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  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

  • Written by: Douglas Adams
  • Narrated by: Stephen Fry
  • Length: 5 hrs and 51 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (2,199 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last 15 years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker's Guide ("A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have.") and a galaxy full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod's girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; and Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.

Where are these pens? Why are we born? Why do we die? Why do we spend so much time in between wearing digital watches? For all the answers stick your thumb to the stars. And don't forget to bring a towel!

©1980 Serious Productions Ltd (P)2005 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

Editorial Review

Don’t panic. The destruction of Earth may be imminent. Vicious aliens may be out to get you. Nothing really makes any sense. But you have your trusty Hitchhiker’s Guide. What could possibly go wrong?

All Arthur Dent wants is a simple life. A good cup of tea, a boring job, friends and a pint at the local pub–that's all he needs. Unfortunately, one of these friends isn't actually human; enter the eccentric but lovable hyperspace traveller, Ford Prefect. Together, the dynamic duo embarks on a wild journey, hitchhiking on board a spaceship, stumbling their way across the galaxy from one bizarre adventure to the next and seeking the answer to the ultimate question: What is the meaning of life?

Douglas Adams's iconic The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a masterful piece of sci-fi, filled with inventive worlds and grand adventures accentuated by his signature wit and humour. From Vogon ships to seemingly impossible coincidences via a depressed robot, a Deep Thought machine, a girl named Trillian and a thoroughly intolerable president of the galaxy named Zaphod Beeblebrox, this novel, the first in a series, has it all. It is at once a traditional travel-through-space-to-unknown-worlds science fiction story and a truly unique take on the genre.

Classic English voice actor Stephen Fry narrates this Audible title with the perfect combination of wit and charm, which pairs perfectly with Adams’s offbeat dry humour. Originally a BBC radio series, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy translates wonderfully to audiobook form. Fry brings all the crazy characters to life, from Arthur and Ford to paranoid android Marvin and even Slartibartfast. The first book in the epic series will take you on an adventure of galactic portions, followed by more adventures in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe; Life, the Universe and Everything; So Long and Thanks For All the Fish; and, rounding out the series, Mostly Harmless, narrated by another famed British actor, Martin Freeman. Whether it is your first time experiencing the book or you're a diehard fan, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a must add to any listener's library.

Featured Article: 20 Best Sci-Fi Audiobooks for Exploring New Worlds

There is no genre that lends itself better to audio narrative than Science Fiction does. There is a magic that transports listeners to new worlds of wonder and mystery that is heightened by expert voice actors and narrators. A great writer can create an imaginative new world or dystopian civilisation, but it is up to the narrator to bring this world to life around you. We’ve gathered together 20 of the top science fiction audiobooks ranked not only for their stories but for the emotive and compelling narrative performances. Let these award winning tales and voices carry you away to worlds unknown.

What listeners say about The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

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Wow Stephen Fry

I can’t believe the vocal range of this man!! Incredible! This is the first book, with only one narrator, that I felt was like a film without visuals. I loved how his accent changed, how his tone and pitch were delivered. It really made the story. The story itself has been on my tbr list for a very long time, and I’m
So happy to have finally had such a stupendous introduction to Douglas Adams. Highly recommended!

15 people found this helpful

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WOW. WOW. This is really amazing.

You better hope you have free time when you start this book, or you'll hate yourself for never finishing it.

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love Stephen fry

I'm new to audiobook, but just listening to it adds an extra dimension to the experience. also helps that Stephen Fry's subtle yet rich performance made this book a sensational time

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

A perfect novelization of the film.

although the author didnt quite capture the nuiances of Zoey Daschenel's character. minus one star for that

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Disappointed

I found it overrated. Hopefully I will do better with my next choice. I got lost with all the names and was occasionally brought back into the story. Fry did well narrating.

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Not my cup of tea, however...

Far less structure and character building than I prefer in a story. Still funny and charming, but I prefer standup for a laugh. Stephen Fry was fantastic.

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Ridiculously Silly

Did not like this book at all! Just too silly for me. Stephen Fry did an amazing job as usual, but I found the story itself terrible!

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Insightful and very entertaining!

A thoroughly enjoyable book. Fun to read or listen to. Full of clever jokes and very interesting remarks.

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Loved it.

I had already read the series, but to have it read to me was great. I laughed out loud.

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Perfect

Stephen Fry reading Douglas Adams is sublime. It is the perfection of the art of audiobooks. It is what all audiobooks hope to be when they grow up.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • J. Medany
  • 2005-05-08

HHTGH - Lightly Fried

I have Douglas's narration of the Book which is a joy - and Now I Have Stephen Fry's which polishes the Diamond.

First - Rest assured this is a just a reissue of the original - Not a book of the Film. The Film was Ok but not nearly true enough to its sources (Radio Play, Book, TV series - in that order) - This book brings the voice of Fry - who is an excellent narrator (and a close friend of DNA's) into the mix. He brings more life to the book than Douglas did (Douglas was a great speaker - but when it comes to narrating entire books his performance has high and lows) and I recommend this to all. If you havn't heard the story before - First buy the radio series then go back to the books. Buy Fry's narration then go to Douglas' - you will get the best experience that way.

251 people found this helpful

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  • Randall
  • 2009-04-25

Fun nonsense

I like everything Douglas Adams writes. This is the first I read in his Hitchhiker series, I quickly read the rest.

127 people found this helpful

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  • Erika
  • 2009-01-12

lovely

it's possible i could listen to stephen fry read the phone book and be pleased, but this is such a wonderful book as well. wickedly funny and imaginative.

89 people found this helpful

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  • Moonwolf
  • 2009-12-29

Such a classic

Still an awesome, funny, all time classic. Well read by an easy to understand british gentleman. Awesome quality, great story. Very easy to visualize from the way it's read.

I have read 3 versions of the book, seen the original BBC mini series, the newer movie, and heard several radio broadcast versions and this is definetly one of the better ones. Well worth anyone's time and money whether it's your first time hearing this story or your 100th. It's funny, intriguing, unique, and just an all-time SciFi classic.

Truly enjoyable from start to finish.

38 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rene
  • 2005-05-28

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

This was my first Audio book...a friend told me I should choose a book that was not to long, and recommended The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy...I loved this book...Absolutely Outstanding. The story was fun to listen to. The speaker is also excellent. I have since purchased all of Douglas Adam's stories. Great Read.

38 people found this helpful

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  • Ben Preston
  • 2013-03-15

This version is Brilliant!

I'm sure you already know this book is Hilarious, but having Stephen Fry as the narrator takes Douglas Adams' wonderful work to a whole new level. It's like having an entire chocolate cake served to you on a solid gold platter by Sara Lee herself.
I already owned this audiobook, but I had to buy it again just to hear it read by Stephen Fry.

36 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ambagious
  • 2009-03-30

Weird and wonderful

This satirical, hysterical romp of a novel is a classic now, and would be hard to describe in any case. At breakneck pace, it careens through the galaxy, only rarely pausing long enough for the characters - or the listeners - to catch their breath.

Arguably, the best way to listen to Hitchhiker's Guide is to listen to the original radio show that prompted the novel in the first place.

But if you're going to get an audiobook instead of the radio-show, this is the one. Stephen Fry is top-notch, and clearly having just the right amount of fun.

36 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Diana
  • 2009-03-07

Hitched a fun ride to the 70's

I'm no fan of science fiction but this book is a classic; it is hilarious in its absurdity. If you enjoy the humor of Monty Phyton, you'll love this book. And such a great reader! The intonation and British accent is a perfect match. Loved it, loved it...

34 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • E. Mesa
  • 2005-05-05

Douglas Adams is pure genius

I read this book a few years ago and was left with the feeling that Douglas Adams was a pure genius - the Monty Python and Andy Kaufman of literature. In other words, he has a very peculiar sense of humor, but if you find it funny you will be laughing to hard that people will be staring at you on the subways. Now, I listened to a version of the book prior to the release of the 2005 movie, so I don't know if this new version of the book by random house audio is the same or if it has been modified for the movie. Frankly the movie stank with comparison to the original book so hopefully this is the original book just re-narrated or re-released.

33 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Stephanie
  • 2005-10-19

Excellent Audio Book

I enjoyed the audio book very much. I don't know why, but years ago I tried to read the book but couldn't get through it. Have not seen the movie.
If you like british humour like Monty Python you'll like this book and the audio version as well. I have not heard the earlier version by the author but I would definately listen to something else read by Stephen Fry.
This book made a long 6 hour drive much more enjoyable. Thanks.

31 people found this helpful