How shall we begin?
This is the story of a book called The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy—not an Earth book, never published on Earth and, until the terrible catastrophe occurred, never seen or even heard of by any Earthman. Nevertheless, a wholly remarkable book.
This is the story of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a number-one best seller in England, a weekly radio series with millions of fanatic listeners, and soon to be a television spectacle on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
This is the story of Arthur Dent, who, secnds before Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, is plucked off the planet by his friend, Ford Prefect, who has been posing as an out-of-work actor for the last fifteen years but is really a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Together they begin a journey through the galaxy aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, with the words don’t panic written on the front. (“A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have.”)
In their travels they meet:
•Zaphod Beeblebrox—the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch President of the Galaxy
•Trillian—Zaphod’s girl friend, formerly Tricia McMillan, whom Arthur once tried to pick up at a cocktail party
•Marvin—a paranoid android, a brilliant but chronically depressed robot
•Veet Voojagig—former graduate student obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years
To find the answers to these burning questions: Why are we born? Why do we die? And why do we spend so much time in between wearing digital watches? read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. But remember . . . don’t panic, and don’t forget to bring a towel.