The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Author: Douglas Adams
Reader: Stephen Fry
Short Review: A great reading of one of my favorite goofy novels.
Long Review: Like many people, I learned about Douglas Adams’ series when I was a kid, read it, laughed myself silly, read it again, laughed myself silly, saw the TV series on PBS, was terribly frustrated by its failings (go ahead and stone me as a heretic), read the books again, saw the film, found it disappointing, and read the books again.
So I was a bit worried about the audio books. Previous attempts to shove this brilliant, silly stuff of my childhood into other media had not gone so well, in my eyes. But Stephen Fry’s participation convinced me to at least check it out. As the voice of the Guide, Fry was the highpoint of the film for me. I think he was the perfect choice for the reader: he has that excellent, tony prep school diction required for the Guide itself, but also a lot of vocal range, and a good dose of nerdy silliness, which is required.
Fry doesn’t disappoint. He has great comic timing (as well he should), good diction, reads the Guide sections clearly and convincingly, and seems to match the goofy voices for characters like the ship’s computer Eddie and Marvin quite effectively to what my brain wants. Nice trick, Fry.
This is one of those audio books I’ll listen to again when I need something light and fun.