So a friend, Nick Nitro asked a question about my last Hitchhiker’s post. He asked
I guess my real question is, what WAS the point of the books, you think?
Because I know you and I have very different thoughts on the film and television show. I’m intrigued on your thoughts on the point of it all.
Well, here are some thoughts on that.
I think the point of the books was to make money hand over fist. And they did. If there’s a problem with the books it’s that Adams really was a collaborative creator and loved feedback and an audience. The books stuck him alone in a room for hours and by the third and fourth books you can really see the fire’s starting to burn low on Hitchhiker’s for him. The third book was a modified Doctor Who script he had done and the fourth book was truly intended to be his final word on the series. The fifth book just felt like a big middle finger to the world from a man who was very depressed at the time.
Adams never was comfortable with the success of Hitchhiker’s according to his friends. The fandom terrified him on some level. He wanted to move on to other things. The tragedy is that the world wouldn’t let him. Dirk Gently is not nearly as famous. Most people don’t even know about “Last Chance to See”. The man had broad interests and hobbies and friends he loved to spend time with and there he was, stuck in his room with a word processor having to write these books. The bitterness really comes through in “Mostly Harmless”.
I think the point of it all was to be funny and have a good time with his friends. I think he did it all to get something out there and entertain people. Even the books. Otherwise he wouldn’t have done them. Even if he missed deadline after deadline, Adams still gave us those fantastic books, radio series, and television series. I think he did it so he could do what he loved. That, in a nutshell, was the point to me.
EDIT: If the point wasn’t made clear, and it probably wasn’t, I do actually love the first four books in the Hitchhiker’s Trilogy like most people love their children.