Archive for December, 2009

The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

A couple of weeks ago I finished The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide by Douglas Adams. As a teenager I read and reread the the first three books of the Hitchhiker’s Guide series many times and my first thought in reading this series as an adult was nostalgia. Reading the whole series straight through was a surprising experience going from very familiar jokes and situations to the completely unfamiliar in the last couple of books. I had thought that I had read every installment but somehow I missed the final book. The ending came as a complete surprise and it became clear that Adams came to dislike the series and the characters. In the end he made them suffer than die along with his entire comic universe. It reminds me of other artists that become famous for a certain role or popular song and get tired of being asked to do the same act over and over. By destroying everything at the end Adams made sure that he would never have to write another book about Arthur Dent.

I remember learning that Douglas Adams had died and the sadness that I felt. My emotions are comparable to learning of Jim Henson’s passing. Adams humor and point of view is so important to my own and it is surprising that he changed significantly in his later years. We want some control and ownership of the artists that effect us.

I enjoyed re-entering the Hitchhiker’s Guide universe and discovering new corners. I think that I will try to forget the destruction of it and pretend that will stay the same forever.