The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
From plot debriefs to key motifs, Thug Notes’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Summary & Analysis has you covered with themes, symbols, important quotes, and more.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1979) | Written by: Douglas Adams
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Thug Notes Summary & Analysis
What’s goin on mah well read ballas? This week shit gettin’ absurdly cray with Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Don’t panic, tho.
Normal British dude Arthur Dent got turnt waaaayy up last night, and it’a all cuz deez government haters bout bust up his crib to make way fo’ some lame-ass road. Pssh. Just when Arthur gettin’ all in this dude’s grill, his boy Ford Prefect roll by and be like “‘Ey don’t sweat it, bruh. Da world bout to end.” “Wait…WHAT?” “Yeah man, some Vogons bout to blow this whole joint down to make some kinda space road. Oh, yeah, and I’m an alien, bro. S’all good.” Jus’ like he say- da Vogons show up and BOOM. But Ford ain’t trippin, cuz he jus’ hitched him and Arthur a ride on da Vogon spaceship.
Arthur, tho- dat boy buggin! To calm his ass down, Ford like “fool shut up and read dis shit: The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It’ll teach you bout errything… no, fo’ real- ERRYTHING.” Arthur crack open what’s basically Wikipedia for da whole universe and start readin’ bout Vogons. Arthur sees da worst thing dat can happen when you rollin with Vogons is if they try to spit some of their poetry yo’ way. Apparently their flow is so lame, it can KILL YOU! Plus they’re real assholes.
So when the top dawg Volgon Jeltz find out dat Arthur and Ford are bummin’ a ride on his space hooptie, he lays down some ill rhymes and gives em the boot.
Lucky fo’ them, Ford’s cousin Zaphod Beeblebrox and his crew Trillian and Marvin just boosted a SERIOUS G-wagon called “The Heart of Gold.” And since they passin’ by, da ship scoops em up befo’ they suffocate and freeze they asses off.
Turns out Zaphod is the president of the Galaxy who actually partied with Arthur one time back on Earth. Small universe, yo.
Eventually they land on da planet Magrathea, which used to be a swag spot fo’ rich people back in the day. After some whacked-out stuff go down with a giant whale, they meet up with an old geezer named Slartibartfast. This dude take em down to the core of da planet where they learn a buncha CRAZY-ass history.
Apparently, some swole ass super computer named DEEP THOUGHT pumped out da answer to life, da universe, ERRYTHING millions of years ago- and it’s da number 42. No’ fo’ real- that’s the answer to life.
Prollem is- the computer didn’t know what da hell da question was. So to figger that out, the freakin MICE dat built it needed a bigger, badder one: and that’s where the Earth comes in. It was a 10 million year old organic computer calculating dat very question, and got blown to shit minutes before it was bout to get da job done. Nice. Oh, and one more thing- these same mice used to be Trillian’s pets from Earth.
Anyway, the mice runnin the show peep game at Arthur the Earthman and start wonderin’ if errything REALLY lost: I mean if this dude’s brain come from Earth maybe da Ultimate Question’s is up in his dome!” Arthur like ” Oh Hell no. Y’all ain’t even THINKIN bout touchin dis brain.” Dem mice don’t play though, and right as his mind bout to get fucked, Arthur and his homies bust ass outta there.
With the po-po still tailin Zaphod fo’ boostin dat clean-ass ride, they all decide- “man fuck it. Let’s get some grub, yo” and high-tail it to the Restaurant at the End of the Universe.
Man readin’ this book is like watchin absurdist stand up comedy, cuz that boy Douglas Addams got MAD jokes. Just about erry single one of em pointin’ to da idea that ERRYTHING- da world, da solar system, da universe, ALL OF IT- is completely RIDONKULOUS. Da stuff we think is big and meaningful ain’t really shit.
“Far out in the uncharted backwatersÉlies a small unregarded yellow sunÉOrbiting thisÉis an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet”, whose life forms are “amazingly primitive” (1)
It ain’t just da universe dat’s whack- da things livin’ inside are pretty cray too. I mean- errybody’s got their priorities WAY outta line. Like when da brains behind da Heart of Gold whip bout to meet Big Prez Beeblebrox
“There was a mood of immense excitement thrilling through all of them. Together and between them they had gone to and beyond the furthest limits of physical laws, restructured the fundamental fabric of matter, strained, twisted and broken the laws of possibility and impossibility, but still the greatest excitement of all seemed to be to meet a man with an orange sash around his neck. (39-40)
Da Universe bein all random and goofy is actually one part of a bigger theme of da book: thangs ain’t always what they seem. Jus’ when you think you know what’s comin’, Adams messes with yo head and and make it TOTALLY different from what you was expectin’. You know how errybody always sayin the world is so jacked up cuz peeps don’t know how to communicate with each other? Adams flips that shit right on its head with da Babel fish Ð by stickin this nasty thang in yo ear, you can understand every language in the universe. So if errybody can conversate with each other, errything’s all good, right? WRONG.
“Meanwhile, the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation.” (60)
Yeah- da universe is a crazy ass place where coincidence, divine intervention, and science all look mo’ alike then you might think. But if you gonna take one thing away from this book it’s this: (illus: show “DON’T PANIC”) JUST CHILL. At da end of the day, it ain’t worth tryna figger out all da how’s and why’s. Just look at how this conversation with Arthur and Salrtibartfast go:
Arthur: “‘All through my life I’ve had this strange unaccountable feeling that something was going on in the world, something big, even sinister, and no one would tell me what it was.’ ‘No,’ said [Slartibartfast], ‘that’s just perfectly normal paranoia. Everyone in the Universe has that.’ ‘Everyone?’ said Arthur. ‘Well, if everyone has that perhaps it means something! Perhaps somewhere outside the Universe we know’ ‘Maybe. Who cares?’ said Slartibartfast before Arthur got too excited. ‘Perhaps I’m old and tired,’ he continued, ‘but I always think that the chances of finding out what really is going on are so absurdly remote that the only thing to do is to say hang the sense of it and just keep yourself occupied.” (192-93)
Best thing you can do is just kick back and let crazy do what crazy gonna do. Thanks mah well read ballas…