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)
A lover of audiobooks of all kinds, since childhood, when long car journeys were accompanied by Discworld stories. @ReineDesLivres (Twitter)
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.
Say something about yourself!
I have not read the printed version. But i really liked the audio version.
And i will definitely listen to the rest of the book in the serie at some point.
The charaters in this book was all, special, and funny, in each of there own way, so i dont have a favorite character.
I have not listen to any of audiobook narrated by Stephen Fry before, but this one was very good. So i dont think it will be the last Stephen Fry book i have listen to.
Yes if i had the time, i would definitely listen to the whole book all in one sitting.
I am an Australian woman who enjoys reading many different styles of books, from history to sci fi and mystery to poetry.
Stephen Fry has managed to disappoint again with a rather stolid reading of a very funny and great book. So sad.
"Warning! American English Translation (YUK!)"
Highly annoyed. This quintessentially English novel has been translated into American English.
Arthur did not "go down to the cellar with a flashlight" it was a torch.
Veet Voojagig was not obsessed with missing ballpoints, it was biros.
Given that Douglas Adams was well known for his exacting use of language, and sweating over every line to craft his story "just so", to change a single word is an act of vandalism.
Why in the name of the Great Green Arkleseizure, did they not record the few lines of text effected twice, once as written, and again translated into American for the hard of thinking. It would have taken two minutes at most.
It rankles and Douglas Adams would not approve.
It's a classic.
It would have been great if he'd read the book as it was written.
Are you insane? The whole point of my review was that the novel should not have been changed in the way it has been.
This should be fixed.
Yes... I would recommend it because it's clever and funny. However, I have to admit that at times the story lost me and I had to go back to the start of a chapter and re-listen to it. I think if I had been reading the book i'd have really struggled. But luckily listening was easier and it wasn't very long so I didn't mind having to go back sometimes.
It's a very clever and funny idea for a story. Everything in the book is hyperbolic, from the plot to the characters to their speech!
But I think the words sometimes lost me and I'd zone out. It's very wordy and as it's talking about space and spaceships etc sometimes it's a bit much. But that might just be me.
Fry was excellent as always. I fell in love with his narrative style when listening to the Harry Potter books years ago. He's a fantastic narrator and gives the characters depth and humour. I could sit and listen to him reading the back of a cereal box if i'm honest.
Yes, because it was only 5 hours or so. Who can't spare that time while doing the dishes or driving or housework or walking the dog?
I enjoyed this and am interested in seeing the film now. Perhaps if i'd know the plot before listening I would have understood it a bit better. Perhaps when I reread it I'll enjoy it better second time around.
"Classic for a reason!!"
Fantastic audiobook. Stephen Fry is as enigmatic as expected. Couldn't help thinking about Martin freeman as Arthur Dent but that isn't a bad thing!
"brilliantly and eloquently told."
Stephen Fry captures the true humour of douglas Adams in this fantastic audio retelling of One of the most mind bogglingly funny and obscure stories ever to be written.
"Story of an outcasy"
This book shows the struggles of a man who's planet has been destroyed and has to make his way in the vastness of the universe in great depth and feeling.
Stephen fry delivers an absolute classic as only he can. great book, great reading and great fun
Stephen fry is the perfect choice for these books the narration is the best I have head yet
One of my favourite books of all time, and I have listened to it so many times I know all the words of by heart. So funny but in the wittiest way and is beautifully read - it's a must
"Great book, extraordinary performance."
Very enjoyable book, with British humour. Kept me interested all the way to the end. I'm looking forward to the next book of the series.
"Fry's Voices are amazing"
This story is full of famous jokes and quotes and is a sort of parody of sci-fi. I think being from the '70s, it has a lot of interesting topics springing from the context of the time, like whether humans are really the most intelligent species on Earth, whether we are destroying our planet, and of course, what the meaning of life, the universe, and everything is.
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