The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy shows a refreshing change to the topic of aliens on Earth. Many of the more popular media show them to be one race of malevolent creatures that are determined to destroy Earth. It shows the readers a different way of thinking about extraterrestrial beings. That, despite many popular depictions of them, not all of them want to bring the downfall of Earth and that, they too, have lives of their own.
Furthermore, reactions from the characters to events in the book are those that the readers can connect with. Arthur Dent’s reaction to the entire experience, whether it is about his house being destroyed or being dragged through the cosmos, is realistic and relatable to the readers. Although the first few chapters are slow and may bore, it picks up when the adventure does.
An intriguing part of the story is that there is no single antagonist that stays for the entire duration of the book. At the begin, it appears like it may be the Vogons. But as the story progresses, it shifts over so that the antagonists are the mice. Although I prefer having one person being the large force against the protagonist throughout the book, this is a welcome difference.
The idea of the story being driven by the very question of life itself is fascinating. It’s made all the better when the answer is but a number and the question isn’t given. It can be humorous as it isn’t simple, even for things as intelligent as a supercomputer, to comprehend the meaning of life. It could be interpreted as sending a message that it could be one of the questions that may never be answered and that we could be content with not knowing at all.