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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

"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)

What listeners say about Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

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    4 out of 5 stars

Stephen Fry is so, so good

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”.

7 people found this helpful

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Hitchhiker never fails to entertain

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

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.

2 people found this helpful

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"Mice, they paid for earth." Mind Blowing.

Love to Love it, Stephen Fry made it better, as a matter of fact, he is undoubtedly the best at these sort of entertainment.

1 person found this helpful

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My Memories have been Fry'ed...

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.

1 person found this helpful

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Always a winner

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.

1 person found this helpful

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Very Funny Reading

Stephen Fry is a master story teller. kep me entertained throughout the book. The writer did a very good job. Will now read the sequel.

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always amazing to read/ listen

started listening on a Sunday late afternoon and finished it the next Monday it's such a captivating and fun story you can't help but wasn't to listen continuously

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Stephen Fry is amazing

Watched the movie first, then read the book, and now the audiobook. Always loved the story but Stephen Fry takes it up a notch with his voices. A marked 42% improvement over reading it yourself.

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Brilliant

Stephen Fry does a brilliant job narrating this exciting and hilarious sci-fi novel. I look forward to listening to this again in the future.

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I can’t believe I waited so long to tackle this one!

The story meanders and some of the names are outlandish (but, of course!), yet the wit in both the dialogue and narration make this book a real gem. I’m not a science fiction aficionado but I loved this one and would highly recommend it. The humor is dripping from every page.

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  • Wibble
  • 08-03-15

Warning! American English Translation (YUK!)

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

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.

What did you like best about this story?

It's a classic.

Have you listened to any of Stephen Fry’s other performances? How does this one compare?

It would have been great if he'd read the book as it was written.

What character would you cut from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?

Are you insane? The whole point of my review was that the novel should not have been changed in the way it has been.

Any additional comments?

This should be fixed.

120 people found this helpful

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  • Mr. C. Hobbs
  • 02-24-15

Like Reading it Myself

Stephen Fry has read this the same way I read the book many, many years ago. A real pleasure, but too many Americanism that aren't in the original

10 people found this helpful

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  • Jennifer
  • 09-11-13

Unmissable, quirky adventure. Perfectly performed.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

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,

Who was your favorite character and why?

Marvin, the loveable depressed android, is my favorite character. Such an original and unique take on humanoid robots; uniquely and hilariously captured.

What about Stephen Fry’s performance did you like?

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.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

An event concerning a whale is my favourite part of the story... but I don't want to give too much away!

15 people found this helpful

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  • Mr G
  • 04-06-16

fantastic satirical humour

shame its not the whole book!

otherwise its a fantastic series mixing whit and humour with intelligent storyline.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Portobello Rockefeller
  • 08-24-20

Classic English Comedy Sci-Fi, but...

This is a classic English Sci-Fi comedy novel which has been translated into a number of different formats including BBC Radio 4's show, the BBC TV series (both in the 1980s) and a 2005 feature film. The story itself is a quirky, detailed, observant and hilarious. Stephen Fry's narration is, as you would expect absolutely flawless. He brings the story, characters and idiosyncrasies of the book to life. The only flaw in this telling of the story (and it's a flaw bigger than the Complaints Division of The Sirius Cybernetics Corporation) is that the book as been translated into American English. Why on earth (or anywhere in the Galaxy for that matter) would you take a classic by an English author, have it narrated by a great English actor and translate it into American English?

5 people found this helpful

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  • Tony
  • 10-14-13

Excellent story, really well-read

What did you like most about Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?

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.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Jasper
  • 07-04-16

Brilliantly Off the wall book, excellently read

If you like your humour surreal, mad, and unobviously obvious, then you will like this book. This version is read by Stephen Fry, who spent a lot of time with Adams sharing their Apple Geekery before the word 'Fanboy' had ever been applied to Apple Disciples. I always prefer actors reading books as they always seem to give it a bit more gusto, and this certainly applies to Stephen Fry here. Overall a very good book read very well. Although I did feel it was a bit short. Just have to find the Restaurant At The End Of The Universe now, I guess.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Paul
  • 09-08-13

Cult book all Sixth formers must read

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I'd definitely recommend this book as it is a modern classic that would appeal to teenagers and those reminiscing of bygone years

What did you like best about this story?

The strong opposing character

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The book made me laugh and reminded me of the TV adaptation created in the 80s

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sander Koop
  • 12-23-12

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!

16 people found this helpful

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  • Sara
  • 09-04-13

A classic from a comic genius, read wonderfully

Where does Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

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.

Who was your favorite character and why?

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.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

Any additional comments?

A great book that everyone should read before the end of the world.

13 people found this helpful

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  • TS
  • 03-13-16

Funny!

This is the first time I read it after years of hearing about it. Interesting how the references, politics, bureaucracies, etc are still relevant. The story is told in a light and funny way, with quite a ew moments of laugh out loud :) definitely worth a read (or listen).

8 people found this helpful

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  • Liz Schneidewin
  • 03-24-16

It's Hitchhiker's! Need I say more?

Really amazingly amazing! A totally stunning story; real, 'Wow, that's funny' time. Hitchhiker's is just so brilliant that brilliance itself seems really dingy.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-06-20

Not the original book, story changed quite a lot.

The hitchhikers guide to the galaxy is a book I have read quite a few times, including the rest of the series. This presentation isn't it. Significant portions of the narrative have been edited and changed - I don't recommend this at all; go out and find the proper one, especially if you are new to the series.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Dan B
  • 03-12-16

An amazing journey!

Absolutely loved Stephen Fry's performance of this audio book. Characters felt real. looking forward to listening to the rest of this series.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Putters
  • 12-15-15

Fantastic

While listening to this I started wondering why Steven Fry didn't just write this book in the first place. He just nailed the narration of the book. It was a great experience.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jennifer
  • 06-08-16

Great

Stephen Fry's narration does credit to a wonderful book, and brings it to life. Great audiobook.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Robert Nichols
  • 09-23-19

Brilliant in every way.

The most outstanding characteristics of this book are the strange plot twists, comical characters, fantastic wit and overall lightheartedness. Stephen Fry does a wonderful job as always, little needs to be said on this. Overall it is a fantastic book, well worth my recommendation.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kris
  • 09-23-19

A wonderful retelling of a diverting story.

Clearer than the original radio play. Stephen Fry is masterful. Looking forward to The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-19-17

Great Listen

I listened to this on the train and it gets you hooked. It was well worth the time Spent listening.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Adam Sutherton
  • 04-27-14

A Classic Read by a Classic British - Stephen Fry

Would you consider the audio edition of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy to be better than the print version?

Yes because the main character is british and Stephen Fry really does an amazing job, making the british proud!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?

Great story and can easily visualise the story unfolding!

5 people found this helpful