One Thursday lunchtime the Earth gets unexpectedly demolished to make way for a new hyperspace bypass. For Arthur Dent, who has only just had his house demolished that morning, this seems already to be more than he can cope with. Sadly, however, the weekend has only just begun, and the Galaxy is a very strange and startling place.
©1979 Serious Productions Ltd (P)2005 Random House US
"By turns authoritative as the narrator, bemused as Arthur Dent, deadpan as Ford Prefect and manic as Zaphod Beeblebrox, he [Stephen Fry] makes an altogether appropriate reader . . . The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy" (The Times)
Moving further from work extended my daily commute... thank God for Audible.
This is just so damn British. I’m afraid my enjoyment for this book was enhanced a little too much by nostalgic memories of offbeat britcoms like Blackadder and (especially) Red Dwarf.
Speaking of influences I can’t help but wonder if—the very American—Futurama was partly inspired by Hitchhikers? Did anyone else notice the striking resemblance between Zapp Brannigan and Zaphod Beeblebrox? I had an image of Zapp in my mind every time Zaphod appeared on the page.
But back to Britain… when I learned the critical component of the Infinite Improbability Drive was a cup of hot tea… let’s just say it warmed my heart and provoked a spontaneous, gentle smile.
Apart from being terribly British, it’s also dreadfully amusing and easy-to-read. I loved it.
As for Stephen Fry’s narration of this audio-version --- *sigh* --- the man is a genius and has remained consistently on my list of “Fantasy Dinner Party Invitees” for the last 15 years so—obviously I would like to hack into the Audible website and somehow assign a sixth star in the category of “performance”.
always loved Douglas Adams as a young Adult and was meaning to re read the trilogy (in four parts of course) in any case.
this was well worth the buy as Stephen Fry really does an outstanding performance, just bringing the book to life. This must be the best version of this work in my opinion, much netter than reading the book myself or watching the movie.
I'm not the sort of person who recommends things to my friends - they're just so finicky. However, should I find out that a friend is a Hitchhiker's fan AND a Stephen Fry fan AND they ask me if it was any good I'd tell them, "Yes, yes and yes!"
The performance of this story that I know so well brought me new laughs and enjoyment.
What a shame the story reminded me of how old I am by reminding me of how old it is.
I read this book when I was 20. Over a decade later, I thought it was about time to re-read it. So, with a puzzle in front of me, I began listening to this funny story once again. I just did it to feel good, to laugh, and to reminisce.
Having Stephen Fry read the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is as brilliant as the twinkle in Zaphod Beeblebrox's eye. Fry is perfect as Arthur Dent, who finds himself a reluctant galactic hitchhiker, as Ford Prefect, carefree traveller through the stars, and as Zaphod Beeblebrox, creator of the Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster and President of the Universe. There is not a single flaw in Fry's narration.
Douglas Adams' classic novel retains all its wit, sparkle and insight as an audiobook, and this story will enjoy repeated listenings, time and time again. Buy this audiobook, enjoy it, and enjoy it over and over again. The only flaw in the ointment is that Fry hasn't recorded all the books in the series, but Martin Freeman (who played Arthur Dent in the recent film) is well up to the task.
The odd characters, the way Adam's describes or introduces pretty much anything in the book is so unique and funny. Stephen Fry also did some great voice acting which made me feel like I was almost in the story itself. I also loved the random information that Adam's so often included (but that nearly always became very relevent in the most unexpected ways later on).
The second half of the book was more enjoyable for me. There were a lot of moments that I couldn't help but laugh out loud. One of my favourites would have to have been Deep Thought's announcement that he was only the second greatest computer and the subsequent hilarious conversation that ensued. Or Arthur's reaction to pretty much everything.
I think Fry did a great impression of all the characters and really brought them to life. I thought that Zaphod's was spot on. And the paranoid android was very well done too.
On the book itself, I was not so impressed with the first part of the book, when Arthur and Ford were still on Earth and also the Vogon ship, but I found myself enjoying the book far more the further into it I got. I think this is mainly because I had an idea of what was happening (from pop culture references and the movie) and I didn't need a lot of the scene setting etc. This obviously became more important further in and Adam's writing is witty, absurd, humorous and very unique and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Stephen Fry is the only person who should ever be allowed to narrate this story. His voice, his intonations, his pace and his grasp of subtle wit leaves all other possibles eating his dust.
This is one of the best stories ever written, and Mr Fry did it justice.
So many great lines in this book.
Completely silly and completely perfect. Have read this many times, but just finished audio book version read by Stephen Fry, which is a lot like having a bowl of the the best ice cream in the world and adding lots of yummy freckles and chic chips!
Hitchhikers was always a bit uneven for me ... but never too uneven to not be a fan.
Steven Fry does an excellent job ironing out that unevenness. He has a good range of voices and I found myself not hearing his own voice through everything, which, given his TV exposure is quite a feat. Now and then I thought his choices reflected the original radio broadcast and TV series and I liked that.
I recommend the Guide ...
I would recommend this audio book. I find that Stephy Fry performance gives the perfect tonality for Douglas Adams work.
The closest would be the Eyre Affaire.
"A classic from a comic genius, read wonderfully"
Pretty high up. I had read the book and seen the BBC series beforehand so knew the story (so far) so there was not the novelty factor of other great reads. It was great to listen to.
Arthur Dent. A man more out of his depth than any other man has ever been out of his depth before, and unlikely to be outdone as his planet has been destroyed and he is the last man alive, in or out of his depth.
A great book that everyone should read before the end of the world.
"A brilliant book, brilliantly read!"
When I saw Stephen Fry had narrated this, I had to listen to it; adn I was not dissappointed!
Stephen reads Adams's dry, sarcastic humour exactly so; with his own dry & sarcastic wit.
He does what the movie couldn't; actually make the book sound plausible (no matter how far fetched & bizarre it really is).
Absolutely recommended listening!
"Amazing, want more!"
I absolutely love this book. I originally didn't want to read it, thinking it was a spin-off of the movie and would ruin the really good film. The book is much more than the film!
This is one of my favourite stories ever. Wish there were more books like this, classic British humour, read by classic British voice.
A really good story, keeps you gripped and entertained without stressing you out. The lighthearted and fun syntax is uplifting, the character descriptions and generally everything about its universe is perfect. Beautiful.
Brilliant. Wish there was more like this! :D
"Excellent story, really well-read"
It's hard to find something new to say about this story. It's been wonderful every time it's been told. And Stephen Fry is the perfect narrator.
"Unmissable, quirky adventure. Perfectly performed."
I would definitely recommend this audiobook. The story itself is quirky, comedic and unbelievable until you have actually read or listened to it. I don't think you particularly have to be a sci-fi fan to enjoy Hitchhiker's - a good sense of humour is the only pre-requisite! Hitchhikers does well as an audiobook and I could think of no better performer than Stephen Fry to read it,
Marvin, the loveable depressed android, is my favorite character. Such an original and unique take on humanoid robots; uniquely and hilariously captured.
I love ANY book read by Stephen Fry. His voice is especially suited to the quirky (that word again!) characters and events that take place in Hitchhikers. He does not just read the words, he performs the story and does it beautifully whilst still staying true to the book.
An event concerning a whale is my favourite part of the story... but I don't want to give too much away!
"Cult book all Sixth formers must read"
I'd definitely recommend this book as it is a modern classic that would appeal to teenagers and those reminiscing of bygone years
The strong opposing character
The book made me laugh and reminded me of the TV adaptation created in the 80s
"My favourite Audiobook"
This has to be my favourite audiobook I've heard so far! Stephen Fry does an amazing job of bringing Douglas Adams creations to life and gives his unique perspective on everything something special. This is ten times that of the film, and I did love the film. Trust me when I say that this is totally worth a listen. By listening to this audiobook I've totally fallen in love with the story and had to buy the rest, these are read by Martin Freeman instead of Fry but he does a great job.
Plot in a nutshell:
Basically it is the unusual story of the main protagonist "Arthur Dent", a down to earth guy, who gets swept up in an interstellar adventure after the destruction of Earth, saved only by his best friend "Ford Prefect" whom just so happens to be an alien who is writing for an "extraordinary book the: Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy". They are then carried off on a quest to seek out the ultimate question
" of life, the universe and everything".
Will they find the answer? Get the audiobook to find out.
"Stephen Fry: the icing on the cake"
A nerd's delight, laugh-out-loud comedy, enhanced masterfully by Stephen Fry's dulcet tones. A great first contact with the story and perfect way to revisit it.
"Stephen Fry, what a man!"
Life, Universe, Everything.
The Heart of Gold which is the first prototype ship to successfully use the revolutionary Infinite Improbability Drive. After hearing how it worked, why are we not funding this!
The start where they are in the pub and bought 6 pints, wait was it 8?
No... But I did it anyway!
Douglas Adams watched the universe in a specific weird way, I am happy he wrote this book and plan to continue listening to the rest of the series.
"A classic - richer by far than the film/TV version"
I first heard this narrated on BBC radio four in the seventies and loved it then. I have since read it (more than once) and seen film and TV adaptations, but this audio performance by Stephen Fry is probably the best (with apologies to Peter Jones). It is still brilliant and funny, even if its speech patterns ( 'a frood who knows where his towel is' is SO sixties) are a little dated.
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