The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy | Study Guide

Douglas Adams

Download a PDF to print or study offline.

Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Study Guide." Course Hero. 28 Nov. 2016. Web. 13 Nov. 2018. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2016, November 28). The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved November 13, 2018, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2016)



Course Hero. "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Study Guide." November 28, 2016. Accessed November 13, 2018.


Course Hero, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Study Guide," November 28, 2016, accessed November 13, 2018,

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy | Chapter Summaries

See Chapter Summaries Chart

Timeline of Events

  • Thursday morning

    Arthur Dent stops bulldozers from razing his house until Ford Prefect lures him away to a pub.

    Chapter 1
  • Thursday afternoon

    Ford tells Arthur the world is about to end. To escape, they hitch a ride on a Vogon starship.

    Chapter 3
  • Across the galaxy

    Galactic President Zaphod Beeblebrox steals the starship Heart of Gold.

    Chapter 4
  • Later

    Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz finds the hitchhikers, tortures them with poetry, and hurls them into space.

    Chapter 7
  • 29 seconds later

    Ford and Arthur are rescued from death by the starship Heart of Gold.

    Chapter 9
  • Soon after rescue

    Coincidences mount as Ford and Arthur learn they already know the ship's crew, Zaphod and Trillian.

    Chapter 13
  • During the night

    The Heart of Gold finds the planet Magrathea and, as it orbits, escapes a missile attack.

    Chapter 14
  • The next day

    While the others explore Magrathea, Arthur meets Slartibartfast and learns the truth about Earth.

    Chapter 20
  • Evening, the same day

    Arthur and his friends are reunited but barely escape the mice who want to dissect Arthur's brain.

    Chapter 31
  • That night

    The four are safely back aboard the starship, heading for the Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

    Chapter 35

Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Prologue In an unfashionable part of the galaxy, there is an insignificant blue-green planet inhabited by ape-descended life-form... Read More
Chapter 1 Arthur Dent is an everyday fellow. English and 30 years old, he is tall, with dark hair and "never quite at ease with hi... Read More
Chapter 2 Under the entry "alcohol" in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is listed as the best... Read More
Chapter 3 As Thursday progresses, several huge, yellow spacecrafts quietly move into position above Earth, "biding their time, gro... Read More
Chapter 4 Meanwhile, on the opposite spiral arm of the galaxy, on the remote planet Damogran, Zaphod Beeblebrox is on his way to t... Read More
Chapter 5 Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz is a typical Vogon: primitive, green and quite hideous to look at, with a thoroughly vile disposi... Read More
Chapter 6 The message coming over the public address system of the Vogon ship is not encouraging. The Vogon captain knows there ar... Read More
Chapter 7 Ford Prefect and Arthur Dent, now prisoners of the Vogon, are strapped in Poetry Appreciation chairs. This is necessary,... Read More
Chapter 8 According to the wholly remarkable book The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, "space is big. Really big." However, attem... Read More
Chapter 9 Just where Ford Prefect and Arthur Dent have ended up, they cannot say. At first, it looks like the sea front at Southen... Read More
Chapter 10 The Infinite Improbability Drive is a newly invented mode of space travel. It allows a ship to generate infinite improba... Read More
Chapter 11 Ford Prefect and Arthur Dent, against tremendous odds, have been picked up by the Heart of Gold as Zaphod Beeblebrox mak... Read More
Chapter 12 Zaphod is listening to a galaxy news bulletin regarding his theft of the new Improbability Drive prototype ship when Tri... Read More
Chapter 13 Complaining about life in general and the cheery-sounding doors on the ship in particular, Marvin leads Ford Prefect and... Read More
Chapter 14 That night, everyone but Arthur Dent has trouble sleeping. Somehow, it seems too many coincidences have occurred to brin... Read More
Chapter 15 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy provides the following information about the planet Magrathea: The long-ago d... Read More
Chapter 16 The sound of an argument brings Arthur Dent to the bridge. Ford Prefect and Zaphod Beeblebrox are vigorously disagreeing... Read More
Chapter 17 Arthur Dent has found a machine on the ship that dispenses a liquid that tastes almost, but not entirely, unlike tea. Re... Read More
Chapter 18 In his moment of brilliance, Arthur's brief use of the Improbability Drive has not only caused Magrathea's missiles to v... Read More
Chapter 19 The Heart of Gold has successfully landed on the barren, dusty surface of Magrathea. The travelers are getting ready to ... Read More
Chapter 20 Zaphod Beeblebrox, Trillian, Ford Prefect, Arthur Dent, and Marvin make their way across the dull gray, dull brown land.... Read More
Chapter 21 Meanwhile, on the surface of Magrathea, Arthur Dent is strolling around and reading random selections in The Hitchhiker'... Read More
Chapter 22 The old man is tallish, elderly, and dressed in a single long gray robe. He stands watching the last of the twin suns of... Read More
Chapter 23 In an aside to readers, the narrator explains that things are not always what they seem. On Earth, this holds true for d... Read More
Chapter 24 Traveling at unimaginable speed and for an immeasurable length of time, Arthur Dent and Slartibartfast enter deep into t... Read More
Chapter 25 The story of Earth began many millions of years ago with a race of hyperintelligent pandimensional beings. Questions con... Read More
Chapter 26 At this point, Arthur Dent still cannot grasp what Slartibartfast's story has to do with Earth and mice and everything e... Read More
Chapter 27 Slartibartfast's study is a terrible mess, but there's no help for it. A malfunction in a life-support computer some 30,... Read More
Chapter 28 As the Sens-O-Tape recording continues, Phouchg and Loonquawl are trying to digest what they have just heard. They are s... Read More
Chapter 29 Zaphod Beeblebrox wakes up on a planet made of gold. Disappointingly, it exists only as part of a Sens-O-Tape program ac... Read More
Chapter 30 In the meantime, Arthur Dent and Slartibartfast are lamenting the destruction of Earth five minutes before the computer ... Read More
Chapter 31 Traveling through a wormhole in the fabric of the space-time continuum, Arthur Dent's comment, "I seem to be having trem... Read More
Chapter 32 A hostile ship has landed on the planet, setting off alarms throughout Magrathea. In the confusion, Arthur Dent, Zaphod ... Read More
Chapter 33 Suddenly, the shooting stops. The silence is broken only by a couple of strangled gurgles and thuds. The huddled foursom... Read More
Chapter 34 The aircar, traveling at terrific speed, reaches Magrathea's dreary surface and deposits Zaphod Beeblebrox, Trillian, Fo... Read More
Chapter 35 That night, the Heart of Gold heads away from the Horsehead Nebula at top speed. Zaphod Beeblebrox relaxes with a few Pa... Read More
Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!