Douglas Adams
I was a late entrepreneur in Geekland. There are always a lot of insider jokes around when you enter a new world, so I tried to laugh when I heard them the second time, just to be with the crowd. I mean, imagine being with  a couple of guys laughing about this book and going "Hey, I never read it. What is it about?" Seriously, it's not gonna work. (Besides, most of those remarks fell when I couldn't ask - for example, in internet discussion forums or in the computer science lecture: the first variable would be initialized with the value 42... Why is half of the class laughing?)

No, you'd better go and look that stuff up yourself (that holds especially for Geekland). So now, here I went, I did it. I finally read the Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy. Now I can stop fakelaughing at all those insider jokes.

And I do have real reasons to laugh. The book is great. Really. All this maybe-existence-is-not-as-holy-as-we-thought humor... It feels good to laugh about people who claim to know the sense that the world is making.
Also, Adams really knows how to build big characters by only narrating the little meaningless streams of thoughts they have. You feel close to them, even if they have two heads. Or are made of metal. For instance, there is Marvin, the depressive robot... brilliant.
I will read the other three Hitchhiker-books. In fact, I am just now reading "The long dark tea-time of the soul" by Douglas Adams.

There were only two things bothering me:
First, I knew the computer would say "42". Dammit. And there were several such occasions. I felt like having read that book before, but only when I was drunk and on Parties, so I forgot all but the cheery parts.
Second, Adams is one of the proclaimers of atheism. I just read an interview with him on atheism.org or whereever. No misunderstanding, I am one myself, but the utter meaninglessness of our existence, which might actually be real - that is something you'd better be prepared for when you know such thoughts might stick in your head pretty well (that theme gets repeated quite a lot).

Well, after all, it's a long journey to accept the beauty of designlessness (yep, just coined that term!) and laugh about it - so of you're going there, this book might be a great help on the way.
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