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Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Narrated by: Stephen Fry
Length: 5 hrs and 51 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (8,203 ratings)

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Editor reviews

Master of comedy Stephen Fry delivers a brilliant audiobook narration of the best-selling novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, written by Douglas Adams. Arthur Dent is a very British man having a very bad day. He discovers his friend is an alien and he’s taken off earth just as it’s destroyed to make way for a galaxy highway. To make matters worse, he hasn’t even had his morning cup of tea yet. This ingeniously constructed story takes a humorous look at how something as precious as Earth isn’t always appreciated until it’s gone. A lighthearted and enjoyable listen. Available now from Audible.

Summary

A much loved science-fiction classic, this entertaining intergalactic adventure has a lot going for it - including narration by British comedian Stephen Fry. Adams displays his talents for a creating a whole new world in this first of five audiobooks in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. Packed with brilliant humour, extraordinary characters and a highly original storyline, it's no wonder that this novel is a favourite of so many.

One Thursday lunchtime the Earth gets unexpectedly demolished to make way for a new hyperspace bypass. For Arthur Dent, who has only just had his house demolished that morning, this seems already to be more than he can cope with. Sadly, however, the weekend has only just begun, and the Galaxy is a very strange and startling place.

©1979 Serious Productions Ltd (P)2005 Random House US

Critic reviews

"By turns authoritative as the narrator, bemused as Arthur Dent, deadpan as Ford Prefect and manic as Zaphod Beeblebrox, he [Stephen Fry] makes an altogether appropriate reader . . . The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy" ( The Times)

What listeners say about Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Unmissable, quirky adventure. Perfectly performed.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would definitely recommend this audiobook. The story itself is quirky, comedic and unbelievable until you have actually read or listened to it. I don't think you particularly have to be a sci-fi fan to enjoy Hitchhiker's - a good sense of humour is the only pre-requisite! Hitchhikers does well as an audiobook and I could think of no better performer than Stephen Fry to read it,

Who was your favorite character and why?

Marvin, the loveable depressed android, is my favorite character. Such an original and unique take on humanoid robots; uniquely and hilariously captured.

What about Stephen Fry’s performance did you like?

I love ANY book read by Stephen Fry. His voice is especially suited to the quirky (that word again!) characters and events that take place in Hitchhikers. He does not just read the words, he performs the story and does it beautifully whilst still staying true to the book.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

An event concerning a whale is my favourite part of the story... but I don't want to give too much away!

15 people found this helpful

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fantastic satirical humour

shame its not the whole book!

otherwise its a fantastic series mixing whit and humour with intelligent storyline.

6 people found this helpful

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Like Reading it Myself

Stephen Fry has read this the same way I read the book many, many years ago. A real pleasure, but too many Americanism that aren't in the original

6 people found this helpful

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Warning! American English Translation (YUK!)

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Highly annoyed. This quintessentially English novel has been translated into American English.

Arthur did not "go down to the cellar with a flashlight" it was a torch.

Veet Voojagig was not obsessed with missing ballpoints, it was biros.

Given that Douglas Adams was well known for his exacting use of language, and sweating over every line to craft his story "just so", to change a single word is an act of vandalism.

Why in the name of the Great Green Arkleseizure, did they not record the few lines of text effected twice, once as written, and again translated into American for the hard of thinking. It would have taken two minutes at most.

It rankles and Douglas Adams would not approve.

What did you like best about this story?

It's a classic.

Have you listened to any of Stephen Fry’s other performances? How does this one compare?

It would have been great if he'd read the book as it was written.

What character would you cut from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?

Are you insane? The whole point of my review was that the novel should not have been changed in the way it has been.

Any additional comments?

This should be fixed.

71 people found this helpful

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Excellent story, really well-read

What did you like most about Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?

It's hard to find something new to say about this story. It's been wonderful every time it's been told. And Stephen Fry is the perfect narrator.

16 people found this helpful

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Brilliantly Off the wall book, excellently read

If you like your humour surreal, mad, and unobviously obvious, then you will like this book. This version is read by Stephen Fry, who spent a lot of time with Adams sharing their Apple Geekery before the word 'Fanboy' had ever been applied to Apple Disciples. I always prefer actors reading books as they always seem to give it a bit more gusto, and this certainly applies to Stephen Fry here. Overall a very good book read very well. Although I did feel it was a bit short. Just have to find the Restaurant At The End Of The Universe now, I guess.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A brilliant book, brilliantly read!

When I saw Stephen Fry had narrated this, I had to listen to it; adn I was not dissappointed!



Stephen reads Adams's dry, sarcastic humour exactly so; with his own dry & sarcastic wit.



He does what the movie couldn't; actually make the book sound plausible (no matter how far fetched & bizarre it really is).



Absolutely recommended listening!

16 people found this helpful

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Cult book all Sixth formers must read

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I'd definitely recommend this book as it is a modern classic that would appeal to teenagers and those reminiscing of bygone years

What did you like best about this story?

The strong opposing character

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The book made me laugh and reminded me of the TV adaptation created in the 80s

3 people found this helpful

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A classic from a comic genius, read wonderfully

Where does Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Pretty high up. I had read the book and seen the BBC series beforehand so knew the story (so far) so there was not the novelty factor of other great reads. It was great to listen to.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Arthur Dent. A man more out of his depth than any other man has ever been out of his depth before, and unlikely to be outdone as his planet has been destroyed and he is the last man alive, in or out of his depth.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

Any additional comments?

A great book that everyone should read before the end of the world.

13 people found this helpful

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better than the film

narrator kept me focused and the story was just marvellous to hear and fantastically written

5 people found this helpful

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  • Matthew
  • 08-01-14

Stephen Fry is so, so good

This is just so damn British. I’m afraid my enjoyment for this book was enhanced a little too much by nostalgic memories of offbeat britcoms like Blackadder and (especially) Red Dwarf.

Speaking of influences I can’t help but wonder if—the very American—Futurama was partly inspired by Hitchhikers? Did anyone else notice the striking resemblance between Zapp Brannigan and Zaphod Beeblebrox? I had an image of Zapp in my mind every time Zaphod appeared on the page.

But back to Britain… when I learned the critical component of the Infinite Improbability Drive was a cup of hot tea… let’s just say it warmed my heart and provoked a spontaneous, gentle smile.

Apart from being terribly British, it’s also dreadfully amusing and easy-to-read. I loved it.

As for Stephen Fry’s narration of this audio-version --- *sigh* --- the man is a genius and has remained consistently on my list of “Fantasy Dinner Party Invitees” for the last 15 years so—obviously I would like to hack into the Audible website and somehow assign a sixth star in the category of “performance”.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Rune
  • 26-11-12

Hitchhiker never fails to entertain

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I'm not the sort of person who recommends things to my friends - they're just so finicky. However, should I find out that a friend is a Hitchhiker's fan AND a Stephen Fry fan AND they ask me if it was any good I'd tell them, "Yes, yes and yes!"

The performance of this story that I know so well brought me new laughs and enjoyment.

What a shame the story reminded me of how old I am by reminding me of how old it is.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-05-17

"Mice, they paid for earth." Mind Blowing.

Love to Love it, Stephen Fry made it better, as a matter of fact, he is undoubtedly the best at these sort of entertainment.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Stelio
  • 02-06-13

My Memories have been Fry'ed...

always loved Douglas Adams as a young Adult and was meaning to re read the trilogy (in four parts of course) in any case.

this was well worth the buy as Stephen Fry really does an outstanding performance, just bringing the book to life. This must be the best version of this work in my opinion, much netter than reading the book myself or watching the movie.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sonia
  • 01-10-12

Always a winner

I read this book when I was 20. Over a decade later, I thought it was about time to re-read it. So, with a puzzle in front of me, I began listening to this funny story once again. I just did it to feel good, to laugh, and to reminisce.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-05-20

Very Funny Reading

Stephen Fry is a master story teller. kep me entertained throughout the book.

The writer did a very good job. Will now read the sequel.

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  • linda
  • 21-04-20

always amazing to read/ listen

started listening on a Sunday late afternoon and finished it the next Monday it's such a captivating and fun story you can't help but wasn't to listen continuously

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  • Tori K
  • 03-02-20

Stephen Fry is amazing

Watched the movie first, then read the book, and now the audiobook. Always loved the story but Stephen Fry takes it up a notch with his voices. A marked 42% improvement over reading it yourself.

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  • Louise
  • 11-11-19

Brilliant

Stephen Fry does a brilliant job narrating this exciting and hilarious sci-fi novel. I look forward to listening to this again in the future.

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  • Gary Dale Cearley
  • 26-05-19

I can’t believe I waited so long to tackle this one!

The story meanders and some of the names are outlandish (but, of course!), yet the wit in both the dialogue and narration make this book a real gem. I’m not a science fiction aficionado but I loved this one and would highly recommend it. The humor is dripping from every page.