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Old 01-22-2011, 10:39 AM   #16
dwig
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...
If you enjoyed the book, I do urge you to seek out the original radio series, available on BBC CDs, or even the original scripts. Otherwise you'll miss the rather wonderful Haggunenons.
...
Definitely!

The book is very good, at least Book 1, and the BBC TV mini-series version is rather decent, but the radio play is the original version and clearly the best.
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Old 01-22-2011, 01:35 PM   #17
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I've read HHGG before, but it was more than 10 years ago. I knew I enjoyed it back then, so I was more than willing to give it another go.

Personally I love the humor in it, but then I've always been a fan of the British style of humor, and I knew pretty much all of the references in the book (like why Ford Prefect is a funny choice, what a zebra crossing is, and so on).

But what really stood out to me this time around - and obviously would not have last time - is how many parallels you can draw between The Hitchhiker's Guide (the book within the novel) and Wikipedia.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Adams
In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy, the Hitchhiker’s Guide has already supplanted the great Encyclopedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two important respects.

First, it is slightly cheaper; and second, it has the words DON’T PANIC inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover.
A reference that contains many omissions and much that is apocryphal or wildly inaccurate, but is way more popular than a "proper" encyclopedia? Sounds like a match to me.

Or maybe this passage which, while not directly applicable to Wikipedia, certainly seems to be in the same spirit, as to how it treats popular topics compared to the way a regular encyclopedia would.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Adams
Here’s what the Encyclopedia Galactica has to say about alcohol. It says that alcohol is a colorless volatile liquid formed by the fermentation of sugars and also notes its intoxicating effect on certain carbon-based life forms.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy also mentions alcohol. It says that the best drink in existence is the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster.
And then finally I got to this passage, where the Hitchhiker's Guide seems not only like a portable copy of some Wikipedia-like reference, but also a lot like modern e-book readers:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Adams
...he also had a device that looked rather like a largish electronic calculator. This had about a hundred tiny flat press buttons and a screen about four inches square on which any one of a million “pages” could be summoned at a moment’s notice. It looked insanely complicated, and this was one of the reasons why the snug plastic cover it fitted into had the words DON’T PANIC printed on it in large friendly letters. The other reason was that this device was in fact that most remarkable of all books ever to come out of the great publishing corporations of Ursa Minor—The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The reason why it was published in the form of a micro sub meson electronic component is that if it were printed in normal book form, an interstellar hitchhiker would require several inconveniently large buildings to carry it around in.
I enjoyed the story on its own merits, but I think this actually made me enjoy it even more.

The other new thing this time around is that Marvin's lines were all read by Alan Rickman in my head.
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Old 01-22-2011, 01:40 PM   #18
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Cray... great points. The HHGTTG was certainly the first eBook Reader and WikiPedia all rolled into one. I wonder if the founders of WikiPedia took any guidance from HHG or perhaps even got the idea for it from HHG.

BOb
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Old 01-22-2011, 01:58 PM   #19
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.Personally I love the humor in it, but then I've always been a fan of the British style of humor, and I knew pretty much all of the references in the book (like why Ford Prefect is a funny choice, what a zebra crossing is, and so on).
I don't really enjoy Brit humor, and that is the reason I never read it before. However, maybe my great love of Discworld has tempered my dislike for it. I really enjoyed it, even the odd references that I did not understand.

Will someone please kill me if I become a Benny Hill fan?
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Old 01-22-2011, 06:36 PM   #20
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Will someone please kill me if I become a Benny Hill fan?
kinda late for that....Didnt he die...!!!
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Old 01-22-2011, 06:40 PM   #21
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kinda late for that....Didnt he die...!!!
There was this interesting invention in the 20th Century. A method of recording moving pictures with sound in full colour, allowing performances to be stored and played back, even after the performers had died!
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Old 01-22-2011, 06:44 PM   #22
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After reading it, I wondered why I avoided it for 35 years. I saw the movie, and it sucked. Thankfully, the book has no resemblance to that movie!

Now I get the "42" joke.
The TV mini-series was pretty good. But yes, the movie was not all that good. What was very good was the radio dramas. They are excellent. If you can find them, I suggest getting them and having a listen.
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Old 01-22-2011, 06:46 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by DixieGal View Post
I don't really enjoy Brit humor, and that is the reason I never read it before. However, maybe my great love of Discworld has tempered my dislike for it. I really enjoyed it, even the odd references that I did not understand.

Will someone please kill me if I become a Benny Hill fan?
I used to watch Benny Hill when it was broadcast around here. He was quite funny. Also saw his HBO specials too.
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Old 01-22-2011, 06:48 PM   #24
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DON'T PANIC!
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Old 01-22-2011, 06:50 PM   #25
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I loved the TV Series even more than I like the Radio Series and loved the books. All part of my early years. Then I moved to London to work in a tech company in Islington and was surprised to see signs for the local estate agents ("realtors"? in the US)...

http://www.hotblackdesiato.co.uk/ "Hotblack Desiato".

If you haven't read The Restaurant at the End of the Universe that may not mean much but if you have he plays in Disaster Area.

Douglas lived in Islington. Strangely I now live near Liff (see The Meaning of Liff)
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Old 01-23-2011, 11:33 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by DixieGal View Post
I don't really enjoy Brit humor, and that is the reason I never read it before. However, maybe my great love of Discworld has tempered my dislike for it. I really enjoyed it, even the odd references that I did not understand.

Will someone please kill me if I become a Benny Hill fan?
I'll agree with you about Benny Hill *shudder* but "comedy made in Britain" really has a much wider range than just farce, farce and more farce. They have some excellent observational comedy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rNjga5z7hw
and no-one does bleak humour quite as well as the British (and Arrested Development, of course)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7Uc2...eature=related

Anywho, back to the topic at hand: my favourite version of the Hitchhiker's is the Radio Scripts that they published a few years ago. The descriptions of the noises they were aiming for are often as funny as the dialogue.

Last edited by Hatgirl; 01-23-2011 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 01-23-2011, 11:43 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by HarryLime View Post
I loved the TV Series even more than I like the Radio Series and loved the books. All part of my early years. Then I moved to London to work in a tech company in Islington and was surprised to see signs for the local estate agents ("realtors"? in the US)...

http://www.hotblackdesiato.co.uk/ "Hotblack Desiato".

If you haven't read The Restaurant at the End of the Universe that may not mean much but if you have he plays in Disaster Area.

Douglas lived in Islington. Strangely I now live near Liff (see The Meaning of Liff)
There are a few comments in this post that refer to specific sections of the book(s), I don't believe they are spoilers, but am not really sure (anyway, you have been warned )

This is one of my favourite things about the whole series. The whole "apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate" quote applies almost as much to the book as it does to "The Book" (or Wikipedia for that matter). In the introduction to a hardback compilation of the first four books (which I have sadly now lost), Douglas Adams addressed some of the issues over which version was correct (TV, radio or book) - I think he essentially said they were all correct

He also mentioned a couple of little things he included in the book. He asked Hotblack Desiato if he could use their name as he liked it so much, then after the book was published, fans complained to the estate agent that they had stolen the name from the book, and wouldn't believe it was the other way round. The other little bit, I believe is that the number he gave for Trillian's flat (and the probability of being rescued after being pushed out of an airlock) was actually the phone number of a flat he lived in in London.

I think there were a few more bits and pieces, but they are the ones that really stick out in my mind. I love the books, have probably read them all three or four times, and I think my favourite character is Marvin. Fits in perfectly with the BBC Radio 4 sense of humour (and the British one for that matter). My favourite aspect of the book is probably the random, one-off moments (that sometimes receive a reprise later on - stand-up comedian style) that will usually progress the story a little, but not always (for example the fjords, the girl in the cafe who I wish had remained a one-off, being dead for a year for tax purposes, and of course, the terrible pain in all the diodes down my left-hand side).

All in all, the combination of humour and a silly, and sometimes little adhered to, plot make the first book in the series (and indeed the whole series) one of my favourite ever, and one that I periodically re-read and pick up something new. I would recommend it to anyone.
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Old 01-23-2011, 11:44 AM   #28
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The TV mini-series was pretty good. But yes, the movie was not all that good. What was very good was the radio dramas. They are excellent. If you can find them, I suggest getting them and having a listen.
I agree. The radio show (which came first) was the best.

Best to worst:

Radio
Books
TV Show
Movie

In that order. The worst part of the movie, outside of all the changes from what went before, was that it made Marvin look Disney-cute. The clunker from the TV show wasn't how I pictured Marvin, either, but it was far closer than the movie version.
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Old 01-23-2011, 11:56 AM   #29
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There was this interesting invention in the 20th Century. A method of recording moving pictures with sound in full colour, allowing performances to be stored and played back, even after the performers had died!
Hahahhaha....Even more re-runs....!!!!
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Old 01-23-2011, 12:06 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by DixieGal View Post
I don't really enjoy Brit humor, and that is the reason I never read it before. However, maybe my great love of Discworld has tempered my dislike for it. I really enjoyed it, even the odd references that I did not understand.

Will someone please kill me if I become a Benny Hill fan?
Benny Hill is not British humour. Only Americans find him funny; British people just cringe.

Last edited by HarryT; 01-23-2011 at 12:08 PM.
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