30 Day Book Challenge: Day 1

I haven’t done the Book Challenge before, but I did the Music Challenge a few years ago on facebook.  If was fun, and I need something to talk about since I’m kind of stuck on what I’m reading now.

My Favourite Book

I know Meg and I both listed our Top Five books (here), but trying to pick just one of those five is ridiculous.  On that list, I included The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide because I was too indecisive to pick JUST one from the trilogy of five.  Here you go, I’m choosing.

Yup.  I choose the second book – The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.  I know, I know, you’re probably all gasping in shock at my ability to make a decision.  I am too, actually.

Don’t get me wrong, or think that my all-encompassing love of this book means that I love the others any less (Seriously, this was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make.  Shut up.), but SO MANY of my all-time favourite lines from ANY BOOK EVER come from this one.

I mean, it starts with this:

There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.

There is another which states that this has already happened.

And goes on to talk about the Great Green Arkleseizure on the next page.  Immediately, you’re in wholly unfamiliar, yet intimately familiar territory at the same time.

There are immediately more Vogon shenanigans and Arthur is STILL trying to make a damn cup of tea.

So very much happens in this book and all of it is hilarious.


The Total Perspective Vortex

And so he built the Total Perspective Vortex—just to show her.

And into one end he plugged the whole of reality as extrapolated from a piece of fairy cake, and into the other end he plugged his wife: so that when he turned it on she saw in one instant the whole infinity of creation and herself in relation to it.

To Trin Tragula’s horror, the shock completely annihilated her brain; but to his satisfaction he realized that he had proved conclusively that if life is going to exist in a Universe of this size, then the one thing it cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion.

Ford’s attempts to explain how Milliways works to Arthur after a few too many Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters

“You get this bath, see? Imagine you’ve got this bath. And it’s ebony. And it’s conical.”

“Conical?” said Arthur. “What sort of …”

“Shhh!” said Ford. “It’s conical. So what you do is, you see, you fill it with fine white sand, all right? Or sugar. Fine white sand, and/or sugar. Anything. Doesn’t matter. Sugar’s fine. And when it’s full, you pull the plug out … are you listening?”

“I’m listening.”

“You pull the plug out, and it all just twirls away, twirls away you see, out of the plughole.”

“I see.”

“You don’t see. You don’t see at all. I haven’t got to the clever bit yet. You want to hear the clever bit?”

“Tell me the clever bit.”

“I’ll tell you the clever bit.”

Ford thought for a moment, trying to remember what the clever bit was.

The digression about structural linguistics, which is far too long to post here so you can just read my favourite part of it:

Structural linguistics is a bitterly divided and unhappy discipline, and a large number of its practitioners spend too many nights drowning their problems in Ouisghian Zodahs.

Finally, the Golgafrinchams.

“Er …” said Arthur after a moment, “what exactly was it that was wrong with your planet then?”

“Oh, it was doomed, as I said,” said the Captain. “Apparently it was going to crash into the sun or something. Or maybe it was that the moon was going to crash into us. Something of the kind. Absolutely terrifying prospect whatever it was.”

“Oh,” said the first officer suddenly, “I thought it was that the planet was going to be invaded by a gigantic swarm of twelve-foot piranha bees. Wasn’t that it?”

Number Two spun around, eyes ablaze with a cold hard light that only comes with the amount of practice he was prepared to put in.

“That’s not what I was told!” he hissed. “My commanding officer told me that the entire planet was in imminent danger of being eaten by an enormous mutant star goat!”

“Oh really …” said Ford Prefect.

Hee, you’ll have to excuse me, I’ve been overcome with a serious case of the giggles and a hankering for a few jynnan tonnyx.

19 thoughts on “30 Day Book Challenge: Day 1

  1. This just makes me realise how much I miss ‘Hitchhiker’s’…I really need to reread them. And read the last one, which I never did, for some reason…
    Thanks, sj! Once again, magnificent taste :)

  2. The Hitchhiker’s series was truly great. It’s been years since I read it. My favorite book is usually the one I’ve just finished reading, unless it was a total colostomy bag, in which case — not.

    Seriously, I have quite a few “favorites” going back over the decades. I highly recommend Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

    • I’ve read Vonnegut, but none of his stuff is on my favourites list. If you’re interested, you can see all of favourite books by clicking on that icon over to the right.

  3. Pingback: 30 day book challenge. Day 1 « emmawolf

  4. I need to read these again. So much.
    Zaphod <3
    Zaphod and the Total Perspective Vortex.
    Slartibartfast and the fjords.
    And Marvin.
    So many good memories. I might use a reread as a reward for finishing my course. Bring on the 31st.

  5. Pingback: 30 Day Book Challenge: Day 30 | snobbery

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