Hitchhiker’s Guide, and the rest of the ‘trilogy’, probably had the biggest, earliest influence on my writing style than any other books. They were also what inspired me to write in the first place.
I read them when I was 14 or 15, and afterward began trying to emulate his style with my own stories about talking mattresses or flying evil pickles or the ghosts of crickets.
What I enjoyed so much about his style was the humor in almost every sentence, and I’ve yet to find a book that made me laugh as much as he did. I loved the way completely bizarre things would happen, that appeared to be pulled out of thin air at random, but later in the story turned out to make perfect sense. Of course, in my own writing I was only able to replicate the randomness, but I had loads of fun with it, and learned not to be afraid to be extreme or weird or unpredictable in my writing.
Also I think this early introduction to the British style of comedy really shaped my own sense of humor, and I’m glad for it!
I still read at least the first book in this series once every couple years, I think it’s due for a reread now 🙂