This Book I Read...
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy with Matt Beighton
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This month CM Lowry is talking to Matt Beighton, writer and game designer, about The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams in ‘This Book I Read…

Topics covered include:

  • The proper pronunciation of Matt’s surname, along with how to pronounce the names of various small towns in England!
  • Matt describes The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy as: ‘A surrealist quest across the galaxy, full of madness, satirical takedowns of 1980s Britain and a whole load of nonsense for 1500 pages’.
  • Matt shares some of his favourite quotes, that illustrate Adam’s surrealist approach and strange obsessions (such as with towels!)
  • Nothing really matters – The main protagonist, Arthur Dent, doesn’t learn anything over the course of five books. Adam’s takes a very novel approach in that there is no redemptive story arc.
  • Adams is indulging a joke – authors never get to just go off on three page tangents, but He does. This is pretty unique and takes a certain disciple – to purposefully not develop the characters at all.
  • The Probability Drive & Adams’ amazing mastery of the Deus Es Machina writing device – explaining things away but in really bold and exciting ways rather than it feeling like lazy or boring writing.
  • Matt discussed some of the aspects of the book that are somewhat problematic now, including how dates some of the cultural references (digital watches?) feel now.
  • The tedium of reading some of the rambling, longer and stranger passages. Reading all five books back to back is not recommended
  • Eion Colfar’s sixth book, And Another Thing…, which was authorised by Douglas Adam’s widow and published on the 30th anniversary of the first book.
  • The difficulty of bringing yourself to read the last book in a series because of the finality that it brings.
  • Hunt this out for a read if you love Sci-fi and Satire – it abandons all the rules and if full of spontaneous fun.
  • If you enjoy The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy check out Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend. It deals in Adam-esque satire.

Links to things we discussed:

More about Matt Beighton

More about us

Music by CM Lowry. Editing by Dave Emmerson 

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