Getting around to reading this classic science fiction comedy has been a long time coming and one reason for this is because I have long been familiar with the story in other forms (such as the old TV series and recent film). I was worried that reading the book (that didn't even originate in book form) wouldn't do much for my appreciation of the story. I was right.
Primarily this book is concerned with playing with the reader's sense of scale, perspective and reality in general. Essentially, life is absurd and there's little to be gained by trying to draw inferences from even the most unlikely of coincidences. Our pursuit of the meaning of life is destined to fail unless we better understand what it is we are trying to achieve.
Don't expect anything along the lines of a conventional plot and characterisation, this is about examining the implications of the cosmic joke. And it's a funny book, the effectiveness of much of which was simply not felt by me on this occasion due to over familiarity. Not the book's fault to be sure, but a problem that interferes with my ability to think objectively about it.