At last I managed to finish “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy”. And did I love it or what.
Started off reading it as an e-book, but had to discontinue as my right shoulder didn’t quite enjoy the whole experience. Anyways, got the hard copy from a friend and managed to finish the 776 pages in just over 9 days.
And did I say that I loved it. One of the most hilarious books I have read, for sure. And a must-read for any book lover.
Below is an excerpt from the book:
”"Hello," said the elevator sweetly, "I am to be your elevator for this trip to the floor of your choice. I have been designed by the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation to take you, the visitor to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, into these their offices. If you enjoy your ride, which will be swift and pleasurable, then you may care to experience some of the other elevators which have recently been installed in the offices of the Galactic tax department, Boobiloo Baby Foods and the Sirian State Mental Hospital, where many ex-Sirius Cybernetics Corporation executives will be delighted to welcome your visits, sympathy, and happy tales of the outside world."
"Yeah," said Zaphod, stepping into it, "what else do you do besides talk?"
"I go up," said the elevator, "or down."
"Good," said Zaphod, "We're going up."
"Or down," the elevator reminded him.
"Yeah, OK, up please."
There was a moment of silence.
"Down's very nice," suggested the elevator hopefully.
"Good," said Zaphod, "Now will you take us up?"
"May I ask you," inquired the elevator in its sweetest, most reasonable voice, "if you've considered all the possibilities that down might offer you?"
Zaphod knocked one of his heads against the inside wall. He didn't need this, he thought to himself, this of all things he had no need of. He hadn't asked to be here. If he was asked at this moment where he would like to be he would probably have said he would like to be lying on the beach with at least fifty beautiful women and a small team of experts working out new ways they could be nice to him, which was his usual reply. To this he would probably have added something passionate on the subject of food.
One thing he didn't want to be doing was chasing after the man who ruled the Universe, who was only doing a job which he might as well keep at, because if it wasn't him it would only be someone else. Most of all he didn't want to be standing in an office block arguing with an elevator.
"Like what other possibilities?" he asked wearily.
"Well," the voice trickled on like honey on biscuits, "there's the basement, the microfiles, the heating system... er..."
"Nothing particularly exciting," it admitted, "but they are alternatives."
"Holy Zarquon," muttered Zaphod, "did I ask for an existentialist elevator?" he beat his fists against the wall.
"What's the matter with the thing?" he spat.
"It doesn't want to go up," said Marvin simply, "I think it's afraid."
"Afraid?" cried Zaphod, "Of what? Heights? An elevator that's afraid of heights?"
"No," said the elevator miserably, "of the future..."
"The future?" exclaimed Zaphod, "What does the wretched thing want, a pension scheme?"
At that moment a commotion broke out in the reception hall behind them. From the walls around them came the sound of suddenly active machinery.
"We can all see into the future," whispered the elevator in what sounded like terror, "it's part of our programming."
Zaphod looked out of the elevator-an agitated crowd had gathered round the elevator area, pointing and shouting.
Every elevator in the building was coming down, very fast.
He ducked back in.
"Marvin," he said, "just get this elevator go up will you? We've got to get to Zarniwoop."
"Why?" asked Marvin dolefully.
"I don't know," said Zaphod, "but when I find him, he'd better have a very good reason for me wanting to see him."
Modern elevators are strange and complex entities. The ancient electric winch and "maximum-capacity-eight-persons" jobs bear as much relation to a Sirius Cybernetics Corporation Happy Vertical People Transporter as a packet of mixed nuts does to the entire west wing of the Sirian State Mental Hospital.
This is because they operate on the curios principle of "defocused temporal perception". In other words they have the capacity to see dimly into the immediate future, which enables the elevator to be on the right floor to pick you up even before you knew you wanted it, thus eliminating all the tedious chatting, relaxing, and making friends that people were previously forced to do whist waiting for elevators.
Not unnaturally, many elevators imbued with intelligence and precognition became terribly frustrated with the mindless business of going up and down, up and down, experimented briefly with the notion of going sideways, as a sort of existential protest, demanded participation in the decision-making process and finally took to squatting in basements sulking.
An impoverished hitch-hiker visiting any planets in the Sirius star system these days can pick up easy money working as a counsellor for neurotic elevators.
At the fifteenth floor the elevator doors opened quickly.
"Fifteenth," said the elevator, "and remember, I'm only doing this because I like your robot."
So rush to the nearest book store and get your own copy of the book. And if you are running low on Vitamin M, leave a comment with your e-mail id, and i shall post the e-book(Just hope your shoulders aren't as dysfunctional as mine)
P.S. And if you are wondering what "42" is all about, well, thats the answer to the ultimate questions of the life, the universe and everything. Honest! Swear on you. Even google agrees. Try if you still don't believe...