Review Of The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide — 5 years ago
That I made it so far in my life of geekery without having read this masterpiece is foolish; it is the source document for half of the in-jokes in my profession and hobbies. There are many memes that I knew came from HHGG, but my appreciation for them has increased significantly now that I actually understand their provenance.
As for the book itself, it is built on the same sort of absurd-but-entirely-logical fabric as Catch-22, but with a persistent undertone of silliness. When Adams is describing Bistromathics, the Whole General Sort Of Mishmash, or the Improbability Drive, you wonder how anyone could have such a fertile imagination. The first three books are significantly better than the last two, but all five are worth reading. Adams is deserving of credit for a daring ending to Mostly Harmless.
A literary milestone this is not, but it is a froodily entertaining read and entirely deserves its cult following. And yet, I could very easily see a line of publishers all rejecting this work as rubbish. Had it not been successful as a radio script first, I suspect it never would have seen the light of day.