Douglas Adams: The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy
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You can buy this novel on its own from
amazon.com cover
But it's better to get the omnibus edition
amazon.com cover
rating
Five out of ten.
If you are interested in this, I suggest that you buy the omnibus edition which contains all of the five main novels plus (in the non-UK editions) a bonus short story.
Review
The printed word being the prime format for Science Fiction and the Hitchhiker's Guide being a very successful SF work in another format, books were inevitable and this is the first in the series.

This volume, the first of five, attempts to follow the Radio series and translate it into novel format. The trouble is that a lot is lost in the translation. Wit, stylistic quirks and devices that glide effortlessly by in audio format are often awkward and ungainly when Adams tries to convert them to the page.

If that seems like a harsh critique, consider it in relative terms. I am comparing the finest ever radio comedy SF series to a merely average book.

As far as what is in the book, it covers broadly the first series of the original radio shows. I do not intend to say more for a very simple reason. If you have heard the radio shows, you do not need any more than that and if you have not, you should do so before reading the books.

That begs the ultimate question about this book. If you liked the radio shows, should you read the book? The answer may not be very satisfying but here it is. There are five books in the series. The first two approximate to the radio series and they are only average. The other three take place after the end of the original series and they are worth reading. Differences between the books and the radio shows mean that if you want to read the new stuff you need to read the first two books as well.