Among Arthur's motley shipmates are Ford Prefect, a longtime friend and expert contributor to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy; Zaphod Beeblebrox, the three-armed, two-headed ex-president of the galaxy; Tricia McMillan, a fellow Earth refugee who's gone native (her name is Trillian now); and Marvin, the moody android who suffers nothing and no one very gladly. Their destination? The ultimate hot spot for an evening of apocalyptic entertainment and fine dining, where the food (literally) speaks for itself.
Will they make it? The answer: hard to say. But bear in mind that the Hitchhiker's Guide deleted the term "Future Perfect" from its pages, since it was discovered not to be!
Listen to the rest of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy "trilogy."
Want to learn more about the new Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie? Listen to this interview with Robbie Stamp, close friend of Douglas Adams and executive producer of the film.
©1980 Serious Productions, Ltd.; (P)2006 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.
"What's such fun is how amusing the galaxy looks through Adams' sardonically silly eyes." (Detroit Free Press)
This book is beautifully read with the screeching halt exception of Zaphod Beeblebrox. For unknown reasons the narrator chose to read this character as a stereotypical New York thug. Think Rocky Balboa and you'll have it. Other than that, the book is excellent.
First off, if you've listened to the Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy by downloading it from Audible, then you were probably pleased with the voice acting. It was superb. If you expect the same quality in subsequent books....well, you're in for a shock. The voice acting is, in my opinion, atrocious. Granted, it's a different actor, but that's where the problem is: Zaphod Beeblebrox. It is the most annoying voice ever. The narrator's voice is fine. But not his Zaphod Beeblebrox. It is the exact opposite of the Hitchiker;s Guide voice and 100 times more annoying. Trust me, you will be cursing Douglas Adams for every moment he decided to include Zaphod in the book, and not because Zaphod is annoying. No. It is because the narrator's Zaphod is jarringly stereotypical. After listening to the voice and then seeing the producer's name, it's a wonder he didn't prevent this bad portrayal.
In short, then, I had every intention of listening to the complete series but then was convinced by the narrator not to. The closest experience to this book was a very bad rendition of Tom Sawyer where the the voice of Tom was so...I can't even describe it. It just made me want to wretch.
Douglas Adams is great, though. Don't confuse my review as a scathing criticism on Adams. Oh no. It's all about the narrator in this one and apparently in subsequent audio releases of the series.
I was worried by the comments on the narration, but I actually loved this Zaphod. The narrator is no Stephen Fry, but he's quite good and I found the book to be quite enjoyable. I think it boils down to different preferences, so if you loved reading these books don't let the naysayers scare you off. I plan to get the next three.
I'm a big HGTTG fan, and over the years I've listened to all the radio dramatizations and at least 3 or 4 different versions of the audiobooks (Stephen Fry, Douglas Adams, Martin Freeman and I think Simon Jones, who played Arthur Dent in the original radio series).
Martin Freeman played Arthur Dent in the 2005 HGTTG movie, so he's familiar with the material, understands most of the characters, and a couple of his characterizations are pretty good - I thought he did a great Marvin. And he's a good actor, too - he plays Watson in the new BBC version of Sherlock Holmes that everyone loves so much.
But his Zaphod is bad, it's inconsistent with the radio series, and I found myself wanting to give him either a cup of strong coffee or a couple of anti-depressants, because he just doesn't seem to have much enthusiasm. And HGTTG is supposed to have a lot of zip.
My recommendation is: Don't buy this version. Try to track down the Douglas Adams or Simon Jones versions.
I thought this book was great. The first one was a bit better, but that is only because it has the natural advantage of being a bit more shocking to the reader making it slightly more exciting. By now your a little more used to, as is Arthur, the impressively random and outlandish events that stretched your brain in the first book. But there are still just as many random and outlandish adventures to be had in book two.
I'm not sure why everyone thought the narrator was so awful. I thought he was fine. I had a different reader for the first HGTTG. He was fine too.
The reader in this book reads the text flatly. He buzzes through spectacularly described scenes or events and gives no feeling of weight to their absurdity or vastness. This was disappointing after coming from an excellent reading of the first book done by Stephen Fry. The real deal-breaker was that Zaphod sounds like Joe Pesci in "My Cousin Vinny". Zaphod's lines were so distracting that it made the book unlistenable.
I love Douglas Adams and have read the series several times through. The version of the first book available on Audible has a great narrator and I was thoroughly pleased with my purchase. I have no idea why the rest of the series has a different narrator, but I am not nearly as pleased with this audiobook.
First of all, as the other reviewers have said, the Zaphod voice is absolutely horrible. I mean, Zaphod is supposed to be annoying, but sheesh. Also, there is some serious overuse of digital voice manipulation. I like it much better when the narrator can give the impression of several different characters without having to resort to computerized voice changes.
Wife, Mother, Doula, Childbirth Educator
Yes, it's a classic, and listening to it aloud makes it even more fun.
All of the Hitchhiker books are hilarious, and this one is no exception.
I liked his voice for Marvin the paranoid android.
It made me laugh.
I hate Martin Freeman's Zaphod Beeblebrox voice. He sounds like Joe Pesci.
I have no idea why people are complaining about the narration. It's high quality and each character sounds unique. If you want a monotone boring narrator like the people below, then I guess this isn't for you. The narration in this book is very comparable to the great job Stephen Fry did in the first book.
The book itself is pretty good and makes me want to continue the series. I love the world, or should I say "universe" created by Douglas Adams in this series. It's refreshing and exciting.
Don't be swayed by the comments about Zaphod. I thought it was an excellent performance. Martin Freeman gives Zaphod the voice that he has in the books. He is amusingly shallow and charmingly inarticulate. He has, of course, an American accent. In his boastful moments he sounds a little like a serene Al Pacino and in his frustrated moments a little like a slightly stunned Keanu Reeves.
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