The book opens with Arthur Dent is trying to keep his house from being demolished by the local council to make room for a highway bypass. Soon his friend Ford Prefect (who is in fact a researcher for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and posing as an out of work actor) arrives on the scene and tries to convince Arthur that Earth will be soon demolished in a similar way. Arthur and Ford stow away on an alien spaceship (the Vogons' in fact) and begin their fantastic journey throughout the galaxy.

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