To be honest, I've never really liked sci-fi that much.
It all started when I was maybe six years old. One of my favorite pastimes was cracking open the door to my parents' room while my dad was watching the History Channel. I'd sit there and watch Modern Marvels or How It's Made until the commercial break, and sometimes I'd even watch the commercials depending on how interesting they were.
One of those commercials was for a show about alien abduction. It scarred me for life and I was even terrified of the little green three-eyed things in Toy Story. It took me several years (and a few episodes of Star Trek) to get over my fear of aliens.
And then I decided that reading The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy would be fun. And I was right.
Some books you read because you love the main character. Not this book. Protagonist Arthur Dent is about as bland as a stale English biscuit, but since he's the sole survivor of the destruction of earth, he's the only guy we have to root for. He's not alone, of course. He's joined by the criminal Zaphod Beeblebrox, President of the Galaxy, his human girlfriend Trillian, the depressed robot Marvin, and Ford Prefect. Ford is a hitchhiker with a fondness for alcohol and an overall likeable personality, and is quite possibly my favorite out of all these characters.
What really sells this book, though, is the writing style. Author Douglas Adams does a phenomenal job of making the reader laugh with well-timed jokes and narrative improbabilities. The plot, the characters--everything except for possibly the setting--is like the cracker upon which you spread the Nutella of Adams' imaginative jocularity. And by "imaginative," I mean something less like a daydream and more like a memorable acid trip.
When you stop reading this book, it's not necessarily the characters you'll remember (although a few of them are notable for multiple heads or personality disorders). And that's alright, I suppose. While I believe that having strong, likable, and memorable characters is the most important part of a book or series, Adams proves that the opposite is true as well. In fact, fans of his work started Towel Day in March (I hope to participate next year) in honor of a simple paragraph.
Well, duty calls. Long story short, it's a good book. Read it. Laugh with it. Don't panic. And always know where your towel is.
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.