A famous and comic tale. Arthur Dent discovers his house is about to be demolished to build a bypass. Shortly thereafter, everyone on Earth discovers it's about to be demolished to build a bypass.
Fortunately, his friend Ford Prefect is, actually, a hitch-hiker from Betelgeuse, and decides to bring along Arthur.
In this we learn the importance of towels, what the first and second smartest animals on Earth are, atrocious poetry, immense improbability, what a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster is, about the time Ford turned into a penguin, however safe a penguin it was, the real existence of a legendary planet, a depressed robot who's called paranoid (not that, as he would observe, that that's something odd), and much more.
In places showing signs of being a period piece. Hitchhiking having be a lot more popular once. And it was written when digital watches were still a new thing.