The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Summary from Goodreads:
Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.
Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker's Guide ("A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have") and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox--the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod's girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.
HHGTTG or H2G2 (abreviations used by fans) dates way back 1979. It started as a radio show, and then made it's way into cassettes, CDs, television, theater, film, and books. It is a cult classic. And as every cult classic goes, it's offbeat, it's not traditional, and it has such a special appeal to it's legion of fans. So I knew, that what I am about to read is a Sci-Fi Icon. I was both scared and excited.
I have always had the impression of Science Fiction being of the serious sort. Technical, scientific, rigid, taut. But here comes H2G2 in all it's shiny space suit glory, poking fun of almost every sci-fi cliche there is. It's a Comedy Adventure Story of a man named Arthur Dent, whom, seconds from having the Earth demolished, was taken in by Ford Perfect, a being from another planet, and the two starts hitchiking their way through the galaxy where they get embrolied in all sorts of lunacy with the wackiest bunch of travellers. This book contains all sorts of ideas and theories, and philosophies that are out of this world. (Is that a pun? :D) They are just so absurd, they might as well really be true. I also can't help but think of this book as a Lewis Caroll poem but in outer space. Instead of Jabberwockys, and Bandersnatches, and TumTum trees; we have Vogons, Veet Voojagig, Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, and The Ravenous Bugblatter Beasts of Traal.
All in all, this was a lovely, silly read. And let's not forget funny. And all the while that I was reading this book, I chuckled too much, at least more than my usual number of chuckles per day.
I am going to leave you with the words of Russell T. Davies (also known as the brilliant man who revived Doctor Who in 2005)
"They carry that childlike lunacy with them forever, its joy and its danger, and Hitchhiker’s is packed with that unique energy, all barmy and brisling and bold. This book can be witty, iconoclastic, godless, savage, sweet, surreal, but above all, it dares to be silly. Fiercely, beautifully silly. No wonder it became a banner, a badge, a totem. for the Class of ‘79. Douglas Adams was writing for us."