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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy book cover

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Quotes

For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.
Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?.
Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?.
He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.
I'd far rather be happy than right any day.
Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.
If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.
You know," said Arthur, "it's at times like this, when I'm trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, and about to die of asphyxiation in deep space that I really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was young." "Why, what did she tell you?" "I don't know, I didn't listen.
For a moment, nothing happened. Then, after a second or so, nothing continued to happen.
This must be Thursday,' said Arthur to himself, sinking low over his beer. 'I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movement of small green pieces of paper, which was odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.
So this is it," said Arthur, "We are going to die." "Yes," said Ford, "except... no! Wait a minute!" He suddenly lunged across the chamber at something behind Arthur's line of vision. "What's this switch?" he cried. "What? Where?" cried Arthur, twisting round. "No, I was only fooling," said Ford, "we are going to die after all.
The Answer to the Great Question... Of Life, the Universe and Everything... Is... Forty-two,' said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm.
So long, and thanks for all the fish.
Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.
One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about humans was their habit of continually stating and repeating the very very obvious.
We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!.
Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.
yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.
Did I do anything wrong today," he said, "or has the world always been like this and I've been too wrapped up in myself to notice?.
All through my life I've had this strange unaccountable feeling that something was going on in the world, something big, even sinister, and no one would tell me what it was." "No," said the old man, "that's just perfectly normal paranoia. Everyone in the Universe has that.
Ford!" he said, "there's an infinite number of monkeys outside who want to talk to us about this script for Hamlet they've worked out.
Arthur: If I asked you where the hell we were, would I regret it? Ford: We're safe. Arthur: Oh good. Ford: We're in a small galley cabin in one of the spaceships of the Vogon Constructor Fleet. Arthur: Ah, this is obviously some strange use of the word safe that I wasn't previously aware of.
What's so unpleasant about being drunk?" "Ask a glass of water!.
Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was Oh no, not again. Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the Universe than we do now.
In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri.
I think you ought to know I'm feeling very depressed.
The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy also mentions alcohol. It says that the best drink in existence is the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, the effect of which is like having your brains smashed out with a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick.
And then, one Thursday, nearly two thousand years after one man had been nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change, a girl sitting on her own in a small café in Rickmansworth suddenly realized what it was that had been going wrong all this time, and she finally knew how the world could be made a good and happy place. This time it was right, it would work, and no one would have to get nailed to anything.
The last ever dolphin message was misinterpreted as a surprisingly sophisticated attempt to do a double-backwards-somersault through a hoop whilst whistling the 'Star Spangled Banner', but in fact the message was this: So long and thanks for all the fish.
Bypasses are devices that allow some people to dash from point A to point B very fast while other people dash from point B to point A very fast. People living at point C, being a point directly in between, are often given to wonder what's so great about point A that so many people from point B are so keen to get there, and what's so great about point B that so many people from point A are so keen to get there. They often wish that people would just once and for all work out where the hell they wanted to be.
The bird that would soar above the plain of tradition and prejudice must have strong wings.
Perhaps I'm old and tired, but I always think that the chances of finding out what really is going on are so absurdly remote that the only thing to do is to say hang the sense of it and just keep yourself occupied.
Meanwhile, the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation.
Exactly!" said Deep Thought. "So once you do know what the question actually is, you'll know what the answer means.
and we’ll be saying a big hello to all intelligent life forms everywhere … and to everyone else out there, the secret is to bang the rocks together, guys.
I don't want to die now!" he yelled. "I've still got a headache! I don't want to go to heaven with a headache, I'd be all cross and wouldn't enjoy it!.
Well, I mean, yes idealism, yes the dignity of pure research, yes the pursuit of truth in all its forms, but there comes a point I'm afraid where you begin to suspect that the entire multidimensional infinity of the Universe is almost certainly being run by a bunch of maniacs. And if it comes to a choice between spending yet another ten million years finding that out, and on the other hand just taking the money and running, then I for one could do with the exercise.
The Ultimate Answer to Life, The Universe and Everything is...42!.
Ford carried on counting quietly. This is about the most aggressive thing you can do to a computer, the equivalent of going up to a human being and saying "Blood...blood...blood...blood...
Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There's a frood who really knows where his towel is." (Sass: know, be aware of, meet, have sex with; hoopy: really together guy; frood: really amazingly together guy.).
And all dared to brave unknown terrors, to do mighty deeds, to boldly split infinitives that no man had split before--and thus was the Empire forged.
Sorry, did I say something wrong?" said Marvin, dragging himself on regardless. "Pardon me for breathing, which I never do anyway so I don't know why I bother to say it, oh God I'm so depressed. Here's another one of those self-satisfied doors. Life! Don't talk to me about life.
The argument goes something like this: "I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.
Don't blame you," said Marvin and counted five hundred and ninety-seven thousand million sheep before falling asleep again a second later.
...Something we once loved, and love now, in the shape of a book. Maybe eBooks are going to take over, one day, but not until those whizzkids in Silicon Valley invent a way to bend the corners, fold the spine, yellow the pages, add a coffee ring or two and allow the plastic tablet to fall open at a favorite page.
Because … because … I think it might be because if I knew I wouldn’t be able to look for them.
We'll be saying a big hello to all intelligent lifeforms everywhere and to everyone else out there, the secret is to bang the rocks together, guys.
Looking up into the night sky is looking into infinity — distance is incomprehensible and therefore meaningless.
Here, for whatever reason, is the world. And here it stays. With me on it.
It is most gratifying," it said, "that your enthusiasm for our planet continues unabated, and so we would like to assure you that the guided missiles currently converging with your ship are part of a special service we extend to all of our most enthusiastic clients, and the fully armed nuclear warheads are of course merely a courtesy detail. We look forward to your custom in future lives ... thank you.
So the hours are pretty good then?' he resumed. The Vogon stared down at him as sluggish thoughts moiled around in the murky depths. Yeah,' he said, 'but now you come to mention it, most of the actual minutes are pretty lousy.
Very deep. You should send that in to the Reader's Digest. They've got a page for people like you.
We are now cruising at a level of two to the power of twenty-five thousand to one against and falling, and we will be restoring normality just as soon as we are sure what is normal anyway.
How do you feel?" he asked him. "Like a military academy," said Arthur. "Bits of me keep on passing out.
There’s no point in acting surprised about it. All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display at your local planning department in Alpha Centauri for 50 of your Earth years, so you’ve had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaint and it’s far too late to start making a fuss about it now. … What do you mean you’ve never been to Alpha Centauri? Oh, for heaven’s sake, mankind, it’s only four light years away, you know. I’m sorry, but if you can’t be bothered to take an interest in local affairs, that’s your own lookout. Energize the demolition beams.
I only know as much about myself as my mind can work out under its current conditions. And its current conditions are not good.
What, are you, crazy?' 'It's a possibility I haven't ruled out yet', said Zaphod quietly. 'I know as much about myself as my mind can work out under its current conditions. And its current conditions are not good.
In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy, the Hitch-Hiker's Guide has already supplanted the great Encyclopaedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two important respects. First, it is slightly cheaper; and secondly it has the words DON'T PANIC inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover.
...they discovered only a small asteroid inhabited by a solitary old man who claimed repeatedly that nothing was true, though he was later discovered to be lying.
It's unpleasantly like being drunk." "What's so unpleasant about being drunk?" "You ask a glass of water.
Do you find coming to terms with the mindless tedium of it all presents an interesting challenge?.
it’s about to open again. I can tell by the intolerable air of smugness it suddenly generates.
And so the problem remained; lots of people were mean, and most were miserable, even the ones with digital watches.
Marvin was humming ironically because he hated humans so much.
The President in particular is very much a figurehead — he wields no real power whatsoever. He is apparently chosen by the government, but the qualities he is required to display are not those of leadership but those of finely judged outrage. For this reason the President is always a controversial choice, always an infuriating but fascinating character. His job is not to wield power but to draw attention away from it. On those criteria Zaphod Beeblebrox is one of the most successful Presidents the Galaxy has ever had — he has already spent two of his ten presidential years in prison for fraud.
It is an important and popular fact that things are not always what they seem. For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much, the wheel, New York, wars and so on - whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man for precisely the same reasons….
The President of the Universe holds no real power. His sole purpose is to take attention away from where the power truly exists...
Who is this god person anyway?.
What does it matter? Science has achieved some wonderful things, of course, but I'd far rather be happy than right any day.