I have long been familiar with Douglas Adams’ work. Familiar. That is, I’ve never read any of it, but I know the central ideas behind Hitchhiker’s and a few of his other storylines. And I am acquainted with the philosophical wit of his universe.
So why have I never read Hitchhiker’s? Time is one reason. There a far too many books on my to-read list without it. But, more to the point, I am a fan of radio drama.
Good radio drama almost entirely left our hemisphere with the advent of television. In the old country, however, it still exists in the form of BBC Radio. And the British Broadcasting Company (Radio 4, more specifically) holds the origin of Adams’ tale of an earthling and his extra-terrestrial pal thumbing their way across a post-apocalyptic (to the human, anyway) galaxy.
Why settle for anything but the original? Yes, I could just sit down and read the books, but when the original medium is one so dear to my heart you can hardly blame me for wanting to go there first.
The first two series (Primary and Secondary Phases) of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy are the ones Douglas Adams’ wrote himself. They are both available on CD. Over here you may have to scrounge, but in the UK they are fairly proliferated. An EBay user in London is currently offering the original series for £3.70p (about $7 here). Or you may go elsewhere and spend almost $140 on some imported MP3 discs.