Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

by Douglas Adams

Rated: PG-13

Arthur Dent knows it will be a bad day when he wakes up to realize his house will be demolished to make room for a highway. Unbeknownst to him, that is the least of his problems this unfortunate Thursday, for high above the earth, a Vogon construction crew is awaiting orders to demolish the earth to make way for an interstellar bypass. Arthur Dent is saved from this destruction by a friend who turns out to be an alien travel writer, stranded on earth for the past several years. A series of adventures while traveling the universe leads to the discovery that two representatives of the most intelligent species from earth (not humans, as we would like to think) also managed to escape the earth's destruction and are now bent on fulfilling the mission their ancestors started billions of years ago. They just need Arthur's help - and brain - to do it, whether he's willing or not. . . .

This is a very funny and random, albeit irreverent, book. Although the language is generally clean, there are a few notes of warning. The book is a bit mocking and certainly pokes fun at religion in a couple of places. There is some occasional mild British swearing and instances of taking the Lord's name in vain. There is also an occasional reference to an alien woman of ill-repute. She is not actually a character in the book but her name and descriptive title are included in three or four places. This book gets a PG-13 because of the irreverent overtone of the book in general and the unfortunate inclusion of the woman's name and title - those ten words lend a sexual component to the book.