This week I read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams for the Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge. The 216-page book was one of least engaging pieces of "literature" that I have read this year. I stuck with reading this book because I kept hoping that the next page...the next chapter...any part of it would have some redeeming quality. It just wasn't apparent to me.
Basically the book begins by focusing on a man named Arthur Dent who is having a bad day. He learns that his friend is an alien with advanced knowledge of Earth's impending destruction. Seconds before Earth explodes to make room for a new hyperspace motorway, Arthur is transported off Earth.
Together, Arthur and his friend begin a journey through space meeting other travelers along the way. The names of characters - as are many descriptions and names of planets and other items Arthur encounters - are a lot of nonsensical words:
=> Zaphod Beeblebrox a two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and absent-minded president of the galaxy;
=> Trillian, Zaphod's girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party on Earth; and
=> Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.
Towards the end of the book, Arthur is able to see the creation of Earth II and understand that humans were not the most intelligent animals on Earth when it existed.
Some people absolutely love this book and have read it multiple times, finding it quite humorous. The humor was clearly lost on me. I simply didn't get it or find it funny. I was happy to see the book come to an end.