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The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy; chapters 1-5 
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Post The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy; chapters 1-5
THE HITCHHIKERS GUIDE TO THE GALAXY
Douglas Adams

Chapters 1-5



Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:01 pm
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Post Re: The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy; chapters 1-5
With regard to Mr. Prosser being a direct descendant of Ghengis Khan; Douglas Adams uses a similar comic theme in a later book.


“And as he drove on, the rainclouds dragged down the sky after him, for, though he did not know it, Rob McKenna was a Rain God. All he knew was that his working days were miserable and he had a succession of lousy holidays. All the clouds knew was that they loved him and wanted to be near him, to cherish him, and to water him.”

― Douglas Adams, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish



I absolutely love this passage and it is yet another example of how we can use this humour to lighten our lives....and see the funny side of certain trying situations/people. :)


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Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:54 pm
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Post Re: The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy; chapters 1-5
That's a great quote Penny and does parallel nicely with Mr. Prosser. Another connection I see is that in some Monty Python animations, the clouds grew legs and voices and were generally personified, similar to this Adams quote.

Reading this quote also triggered a thought I had about Arthur Dent. Reflecting on the first few chapters, I'm wondering if Adams wants us to see Arthur Dent as a 'loser' who is suddenly thrust into great and catastrophic events? I just can't help feeling this way about Dent, but in a sympathetic sort of way. Also, he seems an unlikely adventurer and this reminds me of Frodo Baggins and the other Hobbits.



Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:22 pm
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Post Re: The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy; chapters 1-5
I think we all identify with Arthur Dent as all he seems to want is a bit of peace, he doesn't want to be rich or famous, but he is swept along regardless along with Ford Prefect, who at least has some inkling of what's going on.

I think Arthur is funny because instead of being terrified, he seems rather to have gone beyond fear and is merely exasperated by all the upheaval.

He's all 'ruffled feathers' rather than paralysed with fear. Love it!!


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Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:44 am
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Post Re: The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy; chapters 1-5
Penelope wrote:
He's all 'ruffled feathers' rather than paralysed with fear. Love it!!

Yes I think this is an endearing characteristic of Arthur Dent. He is 'ruffled feathers' or seems more bothered that people (aliens) are disturbing his routine than anything else. Also, I think he is used to events happening around him over which he has no control so this is not much different. When the bulldozers are outside his house and he wanders about muttering and brushing his teeth (albeit in a hungover state), I get the feeling he is more bothered than anything. When he does take action, its silly and ineffectual and he ends up drinking at the pub rather than protecting his house.

Rather a lot happens in the first few chapters. I don't know how many other books have been written where the planet earth is vapourized just after the story begins. Not just destroyed but gone completely like it never existed. I really like the Vogon attitude of 'oh come on, you were advised well in advance so don't pretend you didn't know' just before they vapourize the earth. A good satirical shot at big business and government and I think a quite accurate depiction of a common enough attitude, just slightly exaggerated for effect.

The parallel and simultaneous events of the destruction of Arthur's house and the destruction of the earth for exactly the same reason (on different scales of course) suggests to me that Adams wants us to think about relative perspectives; on the one hand as humans on earth where we feel important and that our affairs matter and on the other hand as a minor species on a small planet in a vast, indifferent Universe where our affairs don't matter. I think Adams does a good job of juxtaposing these two perspectives. I see traces of his atheism here.



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Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:47 pm
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Post Re: The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy; chapters 1-5
I finally started reading this. It's been sitting on my kitchen table untouched for 2 weeks. Lol.

I'm having trouble getting into it. The characters are interesting but I find the story a little odd.

Penelope I completely agree with you about Arthur Dent! He's great

giselle wrote:
The parallel and simultaneous events of the destruction of Arthur's house and the destruction of the earth for exactly the same reason (on different scales of course) suggests to me that Adams wants us to think about relative perspectives; on the one hand as humans on earth where we feel important and that our affairs matter and on the other hand as a minor species on a small planet in a vast, indifferent Universe where our affairs don't matter. I think Adams does a good job of juxtaposing these two perspectives. I see traces of his atheism here.


That's an interesting thought. I would never have a thought of it that way but it's very true. I saw the traces of atheism as well.

I don't really have much to add to discussion right now. I think I need to read a few more chapters and gather my thoughts.



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Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:47 am
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Post Re: The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy; chapters 1-5
Olivia: I wonder if you will enjoy the book more if you hear the dialogue read, as it was first broadcast on BBC radio.

It is spoken in a deadpan manner, not really tongue-in-cheek. Try it and see if it helps to get you into the groove. 8)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjMqoLBIaek


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Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:07 am
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Post Re: The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy; chapters 1-5
Olivia : thanks for joining the discussion and we look forward to your thoughts. To me, Hitchhiker's Guide is all about satire - Adams takes satirical pokes at religion (God), government, business, science fiction, environmentalism, and generally, at humanity's way of taking ourselves so seriously. And the satirical list goes on. A great deal comes under Adam's satirical microscope in a fairly short book.

And thanks for posting this link to the BBC broadcast, Penny. I think that's a really good suggestion. I will check it out. I can hear the BBC doing it in 'deadpan', much funnier that way. I am a fan of British humour and I think that deadpan fits in that context as well.



Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:00 am
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Post Re: The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy; chapters 1-5
Thanks Penelope. I listened to a bit of it and it did make it easier for me to get into the story.

Giselle- I'm excited to join. This is the first book I've discussed on this forum. : ) I wanted to join in on Atlas Shrugged but I couldn't find a copy of the book anywhere.



Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:45 pm
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Post Re: The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy; chapters 1-5
I really think the humour doesn't work in an American accent.

You need to read it in a slightly pompous British tone of voice.

We, British, do tend to sound pompous, and we all of us love to see authority get a custard pie in the face. I think it's something to do with that. :wink:


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He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world is mad....

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Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:51 pm
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Post Re: The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy; chapters 1-5
Penelope wrote:
I really think the humour doesn't work in an American accent.

You need to read it in a slightly pompous British tone of voice.

We, British, do tend to sound pompous, and we all of us love to see authority get a custard pie in the face. I think it's something to do with that. :wink:

I find some American humour funny but I prefer understatement in humour and I really do not like canned laughter. And yes, out here in the colonies I think many of us hear that British pompous tone and it does make things funnier. HHG delivers the proverbial 'pie in the face' on almost every page, especially aimed at authority. Not so long ago Britain exercised an enormous amount of authority around the world, so I guess British authority is a big target. Or as Adams says about the universe; it is "really big" ... how is that for understatement? When I was in England I noticed several 'village policemen' (bobbies? sp?) and thought how the British village policeman is more than a stereotype, they actually exist. And I find them quite funny, not really sure why, just seems an oddly formal projection of authority in a village setting I guess. I took a picture of one - luckily he had a sense of humour! 8)



Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:35 pm
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Post Re: The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy; chapters 1-5
I have a little trouble with British humor. I don't get it a lot of the time. Lol. Maybe I'm just too American.



Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:00 pm
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Post Re: The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy; chapters 1-5
We don't have many 'Bobbies' on the beat now. When we first came to live here, we had a village policeman called PC Barry. He used to 'attempt' to keep order outside the shops where the youth element hang around, weather permitting.

He once knocked at our front door to ask if I'd seen any suspicious lurkers in the area, or something. The cat was giving birth to kittens under the TV table as we spoke and whilst I was talking to PC Barry, the kids were shouting, 'It's a ginger one, Mum, no, it's a black one this time!' Ever after that, after remarking about my sloppy parking, he always used to ask after the kittens.

He is now retired and and I talked to him in the supermarket just a couple of weeks ago about choosing from the vast variety of tea available. :D

Now the police drive about in panda cars.....and seem aloof and unapproachable.

Quote:
giselle:
I find some American humour funny...


Oh yes, Bronx Jewish humour especially. Ruby Wax wouldn't be nearly so funny if she were English.

We used to love 'Taxi' and 'Barny Miller'.

I am getting on with the book, but can't wait to get to Marvin the Paranoid Android.....


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He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world is mad....

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Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:14 pm
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Post Re: The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy; chapters 1-5
Jokes for Olivia - re British Police:-

Young shoplifter - slipping out of a shop with a parcel:-

Policeman: - 'Ere, what 'ave you got under your arm?

Youth - Hairs, what have you got, feathers?

and:-

Policeman to youth in winkle picker shoes:-

'Do your toes go right to the end of those shoes?

Youth: - Does your 'ead go right to the top of your helmet?

Hmmm......This is Liverpool (as in Beatles) humour, and I don't think it travels?

Well, some humour is international!! xx


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He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world is mad....

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Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:17 pm
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Post Re: The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy; chapters 1-5
Lol. Thanks Penelope. It's still a little over my head though. Want to thank you again for posting the recording. I've been reading and then listening. It's made it easier to get into the story. : )



Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:38 pm
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