Author Douglas Adams has taken a highly improbably scenario, the earth being disintegrated to make way for a galactic highway, and turned it into a funny but riveting story.
Arthur Dent is a rather unassuming man trying to get through his day and maybe find a good cuppa tea. His friend Ford Prefect has some bad news for him, his world is going to be destroyed in a few minutes, and oh yeah, he's an alien who can save him. Not very probable, but I was hooked.
Zaphod Beeblebrox is an outlandish character who also happens to be the President of the Imperial Galactic Government. I am in awe of his ineptitude at life in general, but love his quirkiness. He's a fun character who could take the story in any numbeer of directions at any moment.
I like the way Mr. Adams balanced the male characters. Arthur, Ford and Zaphod are distinctive and each take the lead at various times, but none outshines or dominates the storyline. Even though this book was first published in 1979, it has aged well. The references to the new digital watches is even more funny with the advent of the current computer/phone watches. The humor contained in the book is ageless.
The story continues in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.
Thanks to PanMacMillan for use of the cover image.