Thursday, August 30, 2007

Douglas Adams: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Discussion)

This was the first time I've ever read this book and I picked it for the Book Club this month because I really like the movie. I thought this book was a fun read and I’m glad I got to read it this month.

What were the major themes of the book?
Many people say they like a book that makes them think and teaches them something. I don’t know that I learned all that much from this book, but I sure did laugh a lot. On some level, I think that the reader could relate to the events because we’ve all had experiences where we felt like we didn’t belong or didn’t understand what was going on.

Author’s use of language or their writing style.
I loved the tone Douglas Adams used in this book. As I said before, I saw the movie first, and I was interested to see if the tone of the narration in the movie originated in the book or if that was something new to the movie. I was happy to find that the tone did come from the book and that it translated so well to the screen. The frequent asides in the book from the Guide are just hilarious, even if they’re a little distracting. The petunia/sperm whale tangent is just brilliant.

What did you like and dislike about the book and why?
I liked this book because it was so entertaining and because it really made me laugh. Now, I’m one of those people who is easily entertained and I frequently laugh when I’m reading, but this book tops them all. So far. I wouldn’t pick it up again if I’m in the mood for some serious soul-searching or some intellectual enlightenment, but I’m glad this is part of my collection.

How did the movie compare to the book? Was it a good adaptation?
I don’t know how I would feel about the movie adaptation if I had read the book first, but I think the movie is quite satisfactory. That is probably because Douglas Adams wrote the screenplay for the movie. I know there are sequels to the first book, so I assume that the events in the movie are from those books. If not, I still thing the movie is great because it captured the fundamental tone and characters of the book. I think the casting was really well done and the visual creation of the Vogons quite accurate. Of course, when I read the book, I already envisioned the movie’s creatures. But Martin Freeman was a fantastic Arthur Dent and I really enjoyed Mos Def as Ford. Not to mention Alan Rickman as the voice of the robot Marvin. The narration was done by Stephen Fry and I have to say it was nearly perfect.

Your thoughts on our Book Club selection?

1 comment:

twayne said...

The entire series of the Hitchhiker's Guide is hilarious. If you want a good laugh, just pick them up any time and enjoy. The eventual resolution of why the petunia says "Not again" is awesome. Definitely worth the read.

And that sperm whale's conversation with himself and it's sudden end had me in tears!