|Martin Freeman as Arthur Dent and Zooey Deschanel as Trillian in the (terrible) 2005 movie version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.|
by Douglas Adams
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was originally commissioned by the BBC as a radio play in 1978, only later did it become the hit book. Like many young adults of my generation, I reveled in the entire Hitchhiker's Guide series. I hadn't read any Kurt Vonnegut then, having the benefit of having read Vonnegut now, it's clear that Adams represented a kind of wry English take on the pop/philosophical novel that Kurt Vonnegut epitomized in the 1960's and 1970's. As I was recently re reading Hitchhiker's Guide for the purpose of this post, I have imagined that Vonnegut's wandering sci-fi author Kilgore Trout was going to show up.
|Zooey Deschanel playing Trillian in the 2005 movie version of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.|
|This Green alien with "Don't Panic" became the symbol of the Hitchhiker's Guide|
Clearly, the enduring popularity of Adams among young adults speaks to his abilities as a novelist. In 2016, his less popular but still fantastic Dirk Gently: Holistic Detective has been caught up in the groundswell of peak television. No question that is his grasp of COMEDY- something that Vonnegut, for all his wit, never seemed to be able to wrap his arms around, that has proved the key to Hitchhiker's Guide enduring appeal with popular audiences.