Saturday 13 October 2007

44. The Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy

It's shocking, isn't it, that this is my first taste of Douglas Adams' wacky world of literature? I honestly don't know how it is that I've never read his stuff, what with my quest over the years for comic novels. I recall Melinda recommending him to me in either junior high or high school but can't remember thinking of him much after that.
Then, the year I taught at Trent, one of my students gifted me an Adams omnibus, but I never got around to reading it. I felt squeamish somehow about carting such a stupidly large tome around in public (don't ask; I can't explain).
So, I got a cheap paperback copy of The Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy through BookMooch to deal with my handicap. Thus far, it's very silly and I'm therefore enjoying it very much; Vogon poetry is particularly compelling, as is Arthur Dent's explication thereof.
Semi-segue: I was at the University College book sale on Friday and picked up some books, including a sweet little 1934 copy of Northanger Abbey for $2, owned previously by a Jeanne L. Orr of Havergal College. More impressively, I got an 18-volume, limited edition set of Balzac's fiction published in 1901 (translated into English for Philistines like me). It was only $150; more surprising than the price though is that anyone would sell them to begin with. I had to get one of the volunteers to help me carry these books downstairs where I could grab a taxi; he told me that he loved the Douglas Adams books (rather a weak connection, isn't it?). But he was a lovely man who also loved books and told me that he didn't have a cell phone (we were scrabbling around for a pay phone) and was proud to remain a Luddite. Hear, hear!

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