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The middle-class guide to the galaxy

As the publication date nears for Eoin Colfer’s Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy continuation novel, the Guardian surveys the place of the original work (which is to say, the radio series, novels and TV series combined) in the British psyche. “The Hitchhiker stories make up a sort of folk-art depiction, like on a tribal carpet, of the late-1970s English middle-class cosmic order,” says Jenny Turner.