Re: Giselle has volunteered to lead this discussion!
I thought the radio series was superb because you need to read this book in a 'certain tone of voice' or it isn't so funny, but one can visualise Zaphod with his two heads. I always find the depictions of him a little disappointing on the screen. The TV series was amazing otherwise. The film of course combined five books into one story, if I remember correctly. Hitchhikers is a trilogy of five books. Douglas Adams said so!
Having read the book before, many years ago, I was delighted to note that, in the introduction, the lady in the cafe was in Rickmansworth. My son and his partner and my grandson live there. We visit fairly regularly. It is a very posh and civilised suburb of outer London, which makes the lady's enlightenment all the more funny. I didn't know about Rickmansworth when I read the book first time.
It is a book that remains with one though, always in the psyche. One day, a few years ago, some workmen were digging in the field right opposite our house and, as is my wont, I went out to ask what they were doing and why. They said they were erecting a mobile phone mast. That was my Arthur Dent moment. It's not there now though.