The first book in Douglas Adams' five-book "trilogy" is a delight to read for anyone who appreciates satire and intricately crafted absurdist science fiction. This introduction to the series begins the space-crossing adventures of Ford Prefect, Arthur Dent, Zaphod Beeblebrox, Trillian Astra, and Marvin the [chronically depressed] Android.
The thought-provoking hilarity of this novel is apparent from the beginning. Arthur Dent of England awakes to find bulldozers about to demolish his house to make way for a highway bypass. Minutes later, Arthur is rescued from a different calamity by his friend Ford Prefect, who reveals himself to be from a different planet. As a journalist for an intergalactic travel guide, Ford knows how to hitch rides on spaceships, and does so seconds before Earth is vaporized to make way for a hyperspace bypass. From there we meet the remaining cast of characters and follow them on a series of strange and silly adventures.
For me, this book was a quick read with an exciting page-turner ending. Comical asides abound throughout the book, but most are not the "throwaway jokes" they first appear to be. When reading Douglas Adams' works it is safe to assume that there are no coincidences, and what seems like an unimportant detail may be the punchline of a major plot line later. There's no need to try making predictions, though... part of the fun is allowing the humor to "sneak up on you."
If you like to laugh and appreciate satire, then I recommend this particular escape from reality.