I first read HG2G in 1983. Since then, I have seen Douglas Adams' influence countless times. Sometimes I wonder at the amazing similarities between our current age and Arthur Dent's universe. I've spoken to automated customer service answering machines and, after being routed to the wrong department even when I've enunciated as loudly and clearly as possible, am reminded of the Nutrimatic Drinks Dispenser and the substance that was 'almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.' And I'm sure I wasn't the only one who compared wikipedia to the Guide itself. (Randall Munroe pointed out a version even more eerily similar
.) I wouldn't be terribly surprised to find out that Michael Jackson was only planning on being dead for a year for tax purposes
DNA introduced me to many scientific theories that were still fresh and exciting at the time through a lonely, downtrodden Englishman in a bathrobe who just couldn't seem to get too worked up over losing his family, friends, home, posessions, and planet.
But, if I'm honest with myself, I must admit that when I read the series again for the umpteenth time a year or two ago, it was starting to seem a little stale. How could it not, when its echoes are all around us? Someone reading it today for the first time couldn't possibly be surprised by the answer to life, the universe, and everything or not have heard of a pan-galactic gargle blaster.
Why do I still have such fond and fun memories of the book that will always be in my personal top ten? I guess you just had to be there.