Saturday, 18 May 2013

Don't Panic and something about a Towel

Alright it is the end of another month middle of the next month, and it is time to talk about my book choice.

Now I have to say that I struggled in reading this book and didn't find myself in the mood to read it, but I did finish it and I think I will read the sequels at some point in my life. So I found some questions from other book clubs, so hopefully we can have a good discussion. =)

<b>1. What did you enjoy about Hitchhiker? What made you laugh?</b>
I really liked the character of Arthur Dent, I thought he was a great example of a how an ordinary person would handle the chaos of the first 50 pages or so. Plus I love the UK so that made me smile.  Not so happy about earth being destroyed though... =)
<b>2. The two most famous icons from the series are the towel and the phrase, "don't panic." Comment on that.</b>
I enjoyed "don't panic" and I think that is the best news for anything that happens in life. Now the towel part... I have to say I didn't really notice the towel thing. Maybe I completely forgot it or it is mentioned more in the next books.
3. The Hitchhiker series has permeated our popular culture. Some refer to its impact as "hitchhiker-mania," a phenomenon that has spun off a movie, TV series (with Stephen Hawkins, no less), and merchandise (towels and action figures). There are frequent references in rock, videogames, websites, and even an online translation service called Babel Fish! What is it about the series that inspires that kind of . . . following?
I really don't have a good opinion on why that is... I just know that a good deal of my friends enjoyed this book, and it is normally the ones that are a bit nerdier...

<b>Alright so I really wanted to get into discussing the book but to be honest I didn't love it, and I can't really get myself to talk about it.  So if you would like to discuss please feel free to do so... here are more questions, but I really don't have much to say about it, and am a bit disappointed in how much I didn't enjoy reading it.

Some non specific questions:
1. Did the book meet your expectations? Why/why not?
2. What elements of the book did you find particularly enjoyable? Did any of it annoy you? Why?
3. Why do you think this book continues to be popular, especially among college students and adolescents?
4. Adams's humor has been described as both sophomoric and as brilliant. Which term do you think best describes Adams's work?
5. How effective is Adams's use of the technique of flashback in the novel?
6. What unresolved questions or conflicts in the book would you hope to see addressed in its sequel?
7. Compare and contrast Adams's portrayal of space alien creatures in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy to those in other popular books and movies.
8. Is Arthur Dent a hero? If so, how? How would you describe his character?
9. How do Arthur and Ford Prefect relate to each other? What are the strengths and weaknesses of their friendship?
10. Compare the outlooks of the five principal characters – Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect, Zaphod Beeblebrox, Trillian and Marvin. How do they view the world? What are they looking for in life?
11. What does the book say about human beings? Is it a positive or negative view overall? How could this view of humanity affect the way someone lives?
12. How is the idea of God dealt with in the book? Do you agree or disagree with this perspective? Why?
13. How does the book treat the subject of religion? To what extent do you feel the treatment is fair?
14. Slartibartfast says he would “far rather be happy than right any day.” Do you think this is a good perspective to have on life? Why? What are the long-term difficulties with this approach?
15. On what basis do the characters decide issues of right and wrong? What justification is there for their approaches to morality?
16. What do you think Douglas Adams is suggesting with the number 42 being the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything? Why do you think the search for the question was repeatedly frustrated? What would be your answer to “Life, the Universe and Everything”?
17. What would you say is the Ultimate Question? How have you attempted to answer the question over the years? Do you think it matters whether or not there is any ultimate meaning in life? Why/why not?
18. If you could ask the author a question, what would it be?

1 comment:

  1. We have this as an audio book, read by Stephen Fry, so that makes it more enjoyable. It's fine for long car journeys. I had already read it a few years ago. I think that it is a book that everyone should read at some point. I can sympathise with your not having enjoyed it very much though. When I expressed a similar opinion to John, he pointed out that it was a really important book in it's day, and has lead to so much science fiction. Maybe we read it now as one book in a sea of science fiction and it feels a little dated. Maybe it is just too odd!

    I admit that I became bored with the long descriptions, and I didn't really care about any of the characters. Even so, I am glad that I have read it again just so that I can better take part in Quizzes! Over the next few books I also became more attached to Arthur and Trillian.

    The humour is very dry, and I think typically English. Maybe that doesn't appeal so much over the pond, although I would think Sarah that you probably do appreciate British humour :)

    Also, I can't believe you missed the towel reference. That part is bound to come up in a quiz one day!