Also included on this Special Edition is Douglas Adams's Guide to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, first broadcast in 1999, which looks at the genesis and phenomenal success of the series.
©2008 BBC Audiobooks Ltd; (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
Audiobooks have literally changed my life. I now actually ENJOY doing mindless chores because they give me plenty of listening time!
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was the first radio comedy show to be recorded in stereophonic sound and it was acted out by a full cast of professional actors, but what really sets this show apart is the sound effects which were completely innovative at the time. "One of Adams's stated goals was to be experimental in the use of sound. Being a fan of Pink Floyd and The Beatles (and especially the experimental concept albums both bands produced in the late 1960s and early 1970s), Adams wanted the programme to have the feel of a "rock album...to convey the idea that you actually were on a spaceship or an alien planet — that sense of a huge aural landscape". (From Wikipedia)
Of course today, there is a quaint quality to those sound effects, but that only adds to the overall charm of the experience. I first discovered this show in the late 80s when a local radio station aired the series, and must say that more than 20 years later, a reading of the book (which not surprisingly seemed awfully flat) it felt just as fresh, off the wall and yes, innovative as it did the first time around.
This is the first incarnation in which I (and the rest of the world) ever heard about the Guide, the Vogans, and of course Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect. It is brilliant. Time has not aged the humor, the wit, and the terrific storytelling of this Radio Drama. If you like the books, the movies, and Douglas Adams this is something you must listen to.
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On Wednesday, March 8th, 1978, listeners to BBC Radio 4 first learned about what is perhaps the most remarkable, certainly the most successful book ever to come out of the great publishing corporations of Ursa Minor, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the galaxy. Now, at long last, it's available through Audible! Hear how it all started. This came before the books, before the TV series and before the movie. Get it now! Don't think twice! Don't miss any of the adventures of Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect and the other characters as they take you with them on a romp through the galaxy you'll never forget! If you think you know it all because you read the books, think again. And, most of all, Don't Panic!
If you are a fan of science fiction, or just comedy in general , this is a worthwhile listen. The form of humor in this series of radio shows has a very Monty Python feel, bizarre and perhaps a little random at times; however unlike python's sketch comedy and more akin to their feature films the comedy is tied together into a clever and original story arc. Whether it is proving that there is no life in the universe or finding the meaning of life in the universe, you'll find an interesting and comedic explanation to all your questions.
For those who may have seen the movie the story arc is longer and differs in some large ways, the radio show is also funnier (this is not an opinion it is a fact).
The only thing keeping this audio production from a 5 out of 5 is production quality. The production quality is over all pretty good, especially when one keeps in mind when it was produced. There are, however, a few spots in the recording where I had trouble understand what was being said due to effects placed on vocals.
All in all I would recommend this audio show to anyone who enjoys chuckling at the bizarre.
Always preferred the radio series. Superb. Takes me right back !! What great memories. What a great production. If your a hitchhiker fan and dont have the radio series, buy them - you wont be disappointed.
This review is specifically about the audio quality of the book. While the plethora of character voices were great, this is a radio program recording from a loooooong time ago and the quality of the audio shows. My wife and I both found it difficult to listen to in our cars because some of the voices are quiet and you have to turn it up, then all of a sudden you get a really loud high pitched space noise that blows your ears out. Constant volume knob adjustment is necessary if listening to in the car. I found listening to it at home on headphones much easier.
Humor, witty-ness, well dramatised, Good story, moves right along. Imaginative. Very upbeat, great pace, read clearly.
hilarious and witty
I want more of this!
I first listened to the radio broadcast of Hitchhiker's in 1980. It was only aired once and served as my introduction to the books, TV series, and all things Douglas Adams. It was such a pleasure to find the original version, tidied up, and available to listen to again. I cannot say enough about the casting or the humor that stills tickles me today. If you have never experienced laugh out loud science fiction, this is the genre at it's very finest. Do yourself a favor and get this broadcast today!
Literature teacher and sci-fi/fantasy fan
This is a fun way to revisit the book in an abbreviated amount of time. Nothing compares to the book, but many of the most memorable comical scenes are here in the original radio show. A must for the die-hard Douglas Adams fan!
It's old. It's still funny. It's Douglas. The only thing that would have made this recording better would have been Alan Rickman as the Robot (which he was in the TV version!). Introduced my nephew (11 yrs) to Douglas with this recording and he loved it.
The characterisations are great. Film runs the risk of ruining your own imagined cahracters after reading the book. But audio is quite safe.
Read the book first
A worthy blast from the past
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