I started a book club last month. To be honest, while I am in charge of it, I didn’t start it. A writing friend of mine did because she wanted some people to yell at her in October if she wasn’t reading the books she wanted to read then.
Now I’m completely invested.
I didn’t understand book clubs before, but mainly because I’ve always read what I want when I wanted. However at this point in my life, I have so many books to read. Having some people to keep me accountable with them is actually all I have ever needed.
August’s book was “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”.
I was slightly ashamed I had yet to read it. My copy of it is actually the entire series and I never realized it. The first book happened to be a lot shorter than I realized. It is basically 50k. It is a NaNo length novel. Surprise surprise.
I read it and thought it clever, but it fell short. It’s not because it was short. Or it was, but it’s not because I have anything against shorter books. It took its time to get to speed and then it hit into the end like a brick wall. If I had read it when it first came out I would have been very confused. Now I know there are four more books and a short story (spoiler alert: I liked it enough I am continuing on).
I loved the world building. Or the little factoids that didn’t actually matter to the story, but where there. I loved hearing about the Guide, both what was in it and everything about it.
I freaking loved Zaphod.
For someone who had never read the story before, I knew several things about it. I knew Arthur Dent was the human who survived the destruction of Earth. I knew Ford was his alien friend. I knew there was a depressed robot named Martin. I knew the dolphins survived the destruction of the earth.
How in all the worlds did I never hear anything about Zaphod?
I’m only on the second book now, but so far it’s focused more on him and that immediately makes everything better than the first book. I’ve been considering why that was the case and only recently have I come to a conclusion. Zaphod is the only person who really feels like he is taking any actions. All of the others are just there for the ride. Zaphod, even when he is trying to avoid the plot, is still doing something. Occasionally the other characters trip up and do something, but not as often as him.
(At least so far, I will hold out that the rest of them will do more than that as I’m still so early in the series.)
Is Zaphod a good person? Not in the slightest. But he is a dynamic character. Even before figuring out his deal toward the end of the first book he felt much more fleshed out than the others to me. And that’s saying a lot, because a lot of times the “acting like a jerk” characters can seem rather static until the background elements or the plot makes them otherwise.
And I can’t wait to find out more about him as I go on. Hopefully I will become more invested in some of the others too. Ford’s relationships with other people they come across are interesting, so I hope more of that comes up. I hope Trillian does more than just be there too, because it feels like she was only there to make Arthur be annoyed and to have brought along a couple of mice. And Arthur Dent? I hope he becomes more than just the McGuffin for the first book, because other than being an audience stand in I don’t know what his point is.
But I’ll read all of these books for Zaphod. And for the facts from and about the Guide. And for Douglas Adams’ style of writing, which I do very much enjoy.
But September’s novel? Good Omens, because so many people that have joined this book club need to read it. I’ve read it before. I’ve read it many times. I’ll read it many more times. I’m pleased as punch to do so.
To the world~