Good evening, madam, sir, welcome to our fine establishment. We have prepared a special table for you as this is the first time you do us the honor of trying our delicious cuisine. Would you like some drinks first?
Wine, why, no sir, only the purest of drinks are allowed, and you must keep your senses sharp and your mind clear for the feast that will begin shortly. Believe me, madam, it will be worth your while. Tea will do.
What would you like for starters? Ah, I’ve seen that look before, sir, our menu is such a delight, not only to the tongue but to the eye as well. May I recommend we start with a little adventure?
A few interesting characters will be here shortly for your entertainment: Arthur Dent and his friend Ford Prefect, Trillian (former Tricia McMillan) and Zaphod Beeblebrox, not to mention Marvin, who is such a delight, but he’s rather suited for dessert as we prefer to serve him covered in chocolate. You see, it brings out the bitter taste in him.
Ah, who are these fine people you say? Arthur and Trillian may look familiar but Zaphod is a sight to behold and Marvin, oh he’s a sweetheart. They travel together looking for the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything. Actually it’s the Ultimate Question and the Ultimate Answer of Life, the Universe and Everything that they are looking to find.
Do not be fooled by these rather strange pictures on the menu. Our regular photographer was on holiday so we had to make do with whatever was available at the moment. It seems the new guy was rather fond of stellar explosions, intergalactic chases and rather absurd visuals in general.
Are you ready for the first course? Here it comes, don’t be alarmed, you see, our fine restaurant provides the unique opportunity of interacting with your dinner before you eat it. Yes, of course, you can ask for opinions on the choicest parts and about the kind of food your future meal has consumed in order to offer you the best possible meat…errr…I mean meal. And if that option doesn’t satisfy your requirements, you can always try number 42. Oh, you don’t know what number 42 is? Neither do we, but it sounds good and everybody seems to like it.
I just couldn’t resist starting with a bit of silliness. I’m afraid you’ll have to read the book to make sense of this review’s first part.
The chances of me picking up this book on my own would have been next to nothing. As it happens, I met a few book enthusiastic people who put together some interesting novels and this one caught my eye because Anna recommended it and I was intrigued by her comments. Now I have to admit the book surpassed my expectations and I’m glad it did.
Having watched The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and not enjoying it very much with the exception of a few scenes (I remember Marvin perfectly and he was so cute that I wanted to take him home :)) I must say this book made more sense than if I hadn’t watched the aforementioned movie. I may have to watch it again, just to see if my reaction is any different now.
To put it plainly, the book is absurdly funny in a twisted-unexpected-delightful way. I haven’t read anything as funny since Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome, and that was a few years ago.
The fantastical adventures, the wacky situations, the entertaining dialogue, nothing makes sense and yet, if you look just below the surface you may find some answers. Maybe not to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything, but to everything else. And maybe you will laugh out loud, too. I know I did. A lot.
*read in June 2011