So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #4)
Back on Earth with nothing more to show for his long, strange trip through time and space than a ratty towel and a plastic shopping bag, Arthur Dent is ready to believe that the past eight years were all just a figment of his stressed-out imagination. But a gift-wrapped fishbowl with a cryptic inscription, the mysterious disappearance of Earth's dolphins, and the discovery of his battered copy of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy all conspire to give Arthur the sneaking suspicion that something otherworldly is indeed going on. . . .God only knows what it all means. And fortunately, He left behind a Final Message of explanation. But since it's light-years away from Earth, on a star surrounded by souvenir booths, finding out what it is will mean hitching a ride to the far reaches of space aboard a UFO with a giant robot. But what else is new?

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #4) Details

TitleSo Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #4)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseDec 25th, 2008
PublisherDel Rey
Rating
GenreScience Fiction, Fiction, Humor, Fantasy

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #4) Review

  • Henry Avila
    January 1, 1970
    An unseen spaceship lands on Earth (England) in the rain, never knew about all the precipitation there , a "man " leaves the craft and waves , thanking the crew for the ride, but first going back he forgot his bag, essential towels inside ... Slogs through the mud and muck, in the cold windy darkness slipping and sliding going up a hill, climbs over a fence and is almost killed, when a speeding automobile (a Porsche), nearly crushes the stranger on the road. The heavy rain pours down, lightning An unseen spaceship lands on Earth (England) in the rain, never knew about all the precipitation there , a "man " leaves the craft and waves , thanking the crew for the ride, but first going back he forgot his bag, essential towels inside ... Slogs through the mud and muck, in the cold windy darkness slipping and sliding going up a hill, climbs over a fence and is almost killed, when a speeding automobile (a Porsche), nearly crushes the stranger on the road. The heavy rain pours down, lightning flashes in the nearby gloomy hills, illuminating for a brief moment the cheerless surroundings, the miserable, soaked man, tries to hitchhike but nobody will stop in this weather. This is no alien but a nostalgic Mr. Arthur Dent, coming back home after eight lengthy years, crossing the galaxy. Only five months have passed here, his planet has not vanished, the mystery goes unexplained, this is a science- fiction book after all . At last the shivering Dent, gets into a car, with an unconscious woman in the back seat and her brother driving. She falls on the professional hitchhiker, who can't see her face and immediately becomes infatuated. The lady is named Fenny ( Fenchurch, don't ask), so says her rather unsympathetic brother Russell, with mental problems, too many hospital visits... hallucinations, she also saw the world destroyed, silly idea, however will become the expatriate's great love. Meanwhile back on a real alien world, Mr.Ford Prefect is in deep, deep, trouble, the kind that can get you dead permanently. Having spent not wisely, in the unsavory " Old Pink Dog Bar", and no money, except an American Express Card, and they don't accept plastic from a nonexistent planet, that no one has ever heard of . The murderous bartender, is impatient, lucky The Hitchhiker's Guide is very prestigious and Ford does write for them, publicity can do wonders ... Returning to the third planet from the Sun (Sol) Mr.Prefect finally reunites with Arthur, after an extended search, Dent, doesn't answer his home phone, yes he got back , because his friend was too busy teaching Fenny, how to fly ... In an unlighted alley, floating above the ground, the pair grab each other, acrobatic looping, twisting and turning, doing things which are not well described here, she almost hits the pavement, too fast for a long life, Arthur saves the day. Later, scaring passengers in a plane, high over an English town, its people see a real UFO indeed. Visiting, the couple meet a rather weird , make that eccentric man, who knows a very important secret so he claims, something about dolphins. On a beach in California, Mr. John Watson, has a genuine strange house, he gives him a fish bowl, Arthur already has one so does Fenny. In the sunshine, casting a beautiful rainbow on the sand , writing appears on the surface of the dish, they read . Another very entertaining novel, in the funny series. It amused me...
    more
  • Daniel Clausen
    January 1, 1970
    1. You will never read anything so British again in your lifespan. 2. If you're a writer, try underlining every adverb in this book. Then, read a book on fiction writing that advises you to avoid using adverbs. (Any ironic chuckling afterwards is optional.) 3. This book should be rated "Mostly Harmless." 4. Thanks, Mr. Adams. So long, and thanks for all the fun.
    more
  • K.D. Absolutely
    January 1, 1970
    This book seems to be different from the earlier books in the series. It is no longer sci-fi since Arthur Dent has come back from space travel to Earth and a good part of the story is his love story. Had I not read the first books, I would have liked this as a romantic comedy story. So, I guess I was affected by my wrong expectation. The plot is tighter than the earlier books. There are still those funny moments and my favorite is the biscuit eating scene. I had a bittersweet feeling about the d This book seems to be different from the earlier books in the series. It is no longer sci-fi since Arthur Dent has come back from space travel to Earth and a good part of the story is his love story. Had I not read the first books, I would have liked this as a romantic comedy story. So, I guess I was affected by my wrong expectation. The plot is tighter than the earlier books. There are still those funny moments and my favorite is the biscuit eating scene. I had a bittersweet feeling about the disappearance of the dolphin. However, my favorite is that part with the sign "Sorry for the Inconvenience." Of course, the title of this book is so catchy and smart-sounding. I even had a first-hand experience of a British office mate who used this sentence in his adieu to us when he was promoted to a new position several years back.The plot was tight but the telling is not as engaging as the earlier books particularly the second one. Or maybe I just had enough of Adams humor as I should not have read these in close succession. I mean if you are reading, alongside with this book, the wonderful prose of Alan Hollinghurst or the funny yet strange characters of Anne Tyler, then you'll know what I mean. It's like reading Shakespeare and upon getting tired, you close it and try Nicholas Sparks. However, overall, this is still an okay book. Nicholas Sparks (he knows how to write and his books sell well!) and all. I still in awe how Adams was able to extend his trilogy to this fourth book without showing that he was tired. Not corny at all. From Earth (Book 1), to Space (Book 2) to Prehistoric Earth (Book 3) then back to our Earth (Book 4). I was like cheering Arthur Dent and Fernchurch, welcome back to earth! It just broke my heart that she was not Trillian. Oh.I have to hunt for the other books in this trilogy.
    more
  • J.G. Keely
    January 1, 1970
    The universe is a joke. Even before I was shown the meaning of life in a dream at 17 (then promptly forgot it because I thought I smelled pancakes), I knew this to be true--and yet, I have always felt a need to search for the truth, that nebulous, ill-treated creature. Adams has always been, to me, to be a welcome companion in that journey. Between the search for meaning and the recognition that it's all a joke in poor taste lies Douglas Adams, and, luckily for us, he doesn't seem to mind if you The universe is a joke. Even before I was shown the meaning of life in a dream at 17 (then promptly forgot it because I thought I smelled pancakes), I knew this to be true--and yet, I have always felt a need to search for the truth, that nebulous, ill-treated creature. Adams has always been, to me, to be a welcome companion in that journey. Between the search for meaning and the recognition that it's all a joke in poor taste lies Douglas Adams, and, luckily for us, he doesn't seem to mind if you lie there with him. He's a tall guy, but he'll make room.For all his crazed unpredictability, Adams is a powerful rationalist. His humor comes from his attempts to really think through all the things we take for granted. It turns out it takes little more than a moment's questioning to burst our preconceptions at the seams, yet rarely does this stop us from treating the most ludicrous things as if they were perfectly reasonable.It is no surprise that famed atheist Richard Dawkins found a friend and ally in Adams. What is surprising is that people often fail to see the rather consistent and reasonable philosophy laid out by Adams' quips and absurdities. His approach is much more personable (and less embittered) than Dawkins', which is why I think of Adams as a better face for rational materialism (which is a polite was of saying 'atheism').Reading his books, it's not hard to see that Dawkins is tired of arguing with uninformed idiots who can't even recognize when a point has actually been made. Adams' humanism, however, stretched much further than the contention between those who believe, and those who don't.We see it from his protagonists, who are not elitist intellectuals--they're not even especially bright--but damn it, they're trying. By showing a universe that makes no sense and having his characters constantly question it, Adams is subtly hinting that this is the natural human state, and the fact that we laugh and sympathize shows that it must be true.It's all a joke, it's all ridiculous. The absurdists might find this depressing, but they're just a bunch of narcissists, anyhow. Demnading the world make sense and give you purpose is rather self centered when it already contains toasted paninis, attractive people in bathing suits, and Euler's Identity. I say let's sit down at the bar with the rabbi, the priest, and the frog and try to get a song going. Or at least recognize that it's okay to laugh at ourselves now and again. It's not the end of the world.It's just is a joke, but some of us are in on it.
    more
  • Vincent
    January 1, 1970
    This is the fourth book in Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker Trilogy (no, that’s not a typo) starting with The Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy. Douglas Adams originally only meant to write two sequels to his original classic, and I’m sorry to say, this book shows it. In all of Douglas’s books, the plot is convoluted at best, with frequent asides and authorial interpretations (which works perfectly in the context of sci-fi comedy) but the plot in this story was so ambiguous, it just didn’t have the same This is the fourth book in Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker Trilogy (no, that’s not a typo) starting with The Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy. Douglas Adams originally only meant to write two sequels to his original classic, and I’m sorry to say, this book shows it. In all of Douglas’s books, the plot is convoluted at best, with frequent asides and authorial interpretations (which works perfectly in the context of sci-fi comedy) but the plot in this story was so ambiguous, it just didn’t have the same effect as the others. Ford has gone back to doing research for the guide, as he was doing before. Arthur is back on earth, courting a new young woman he met recently (who’s got a long list of psychological problems) and through a couple of random events, the two meet up again. Along with Arthur’s new love interest, they travel to the edge of the universe (for a reason not explained), in order to find the last message God left to his people before he disappeared from existence (I shall save you the trouble now, and just tell you that the message is “sorry for the inconvenience”). It’s clear that this is a book Adams never meant to publish, and it just seems like a random smattering of ideas and anecdotes he wanted to use in his other books, but never got the chance to. You’re really better off just sticking with the original three, or just the first book, which is a good stand-alone story.
    more
  • Alex
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars.So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish is primarily about Arthur being back on Earth. Not the same Earth he previous inhabited, since his world blew up in to make room for a highway, but an Earth that didn't blew up and all the dolphins disappeared. What random, quirky, and hilarious mysteries lay before Arthur before he can solve the ultimate question? If he ever solves it. This series is wonderful. All the books have made me laugh uncontrollably. Arthur goes through so many obstacles t 3.5 stars.So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish is primarily about Arthur being back on Earth. Not the same Earth he previous inhabited, since his world blew up in to make room for a highway, but an Earth that didn't blew up and all the dolphins disappeared. What random, quirky, and hilarious mysteries lay before Arthur before he can solve the ultimate question? If he ever solves it. This series is wonderful. All the books have made me laugh uncontrollably. Arthur goes through so many obstacles that are ridiculous, and random that I laugh until my sides hurt. A woman interrupts a story five times to give away raffle tickets, or police gangs, or going to an asylum to find someone who has a fish bowl. It is really off the wall stuff, and I can't help but having a good time reading these books. I am not really sure if these books have a real plot, or end point, but I don't care at all. I just hitch myself on the ride for a few good laughs and smile on my face. At least my life is better than Arthur Dent’s, maybe. I somewhat feel a little closer to the ultimate question, but so far away. I wonder if i'll ever know, or if that is the point of the series is to live your life the way you want it.If you want a light read, and you love this random sense of humor I recommend reading this series. Maybe you will figure out the ultimate question or understand the plot, but I am just hitching myself for the ride. Happy reading folks. blog: www.dancingbetweenthecovers.com
    more
  • Peter
    January 1, 1970
    Running on empty: Following a highly productive breakthrough period when he was simultaneously knocking out scripts for both Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Doctor Who, Douglas Adams famously struggled with writer's block during the later half of his career as a novelist. Previous Hitchhiker novel Life, the Universe and Everything was itself a re-worked Doctor Who story, and by the time of 4th Hitchhiker novel So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish you can feel the author struggling to find a Running on empty: Following a highly productive breakthrough period when he was simultaneously knocking out scripts for both Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Doctor Who, Douglas Adams famously struggled with writer's block during the later half of his career as a novelist. Previous Hitchhiker novel Life, the Universe and Everything was itself a re-worked Doctor Who story, and by the time of 4th Hitchhiker novel So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish you can feel the author struggling to find a story to tell.If there is a problem with this novel, it's that there simply isn't enough story here. Previous instalments in the Hitchhiker's series may have been short, but they were packed with fantastic mind bending SF concepts, which are almost entirely absent here. The main storyline consists of Arthur Dent returning to a mysteriously no-longer-destroyed Earth, and having a romance with Fenchurch, the girl who in a throwaway line in the original Hitchhiker's novel had a divine revelation on how to achieve world peace just before the Earth was destroyed by the Vogons. Arthur and Fenchurch's romance is touching, especially a chapter where they both fly through the clouds together, but storywise it doesn't really go anywhere - the identity of Earth's saviours is fairly evident from the books title (though incidentally, why is there a picture of a sea lion on the cover - misdirection?), and Fenchurch never remembers her divine plan for world peace.At the end Adams tags on a coda where Arthur and Fenchurch meet up with Ford Prefect and Marvin (who dies, again) to read God's Last Message To His Creation, following up on the finale of Life, the Universe and Everything, but if anything this feels almost tagged on simply to please the fans of the previous novels. The only ideas that are original to this book, such as the unwilling Rain God, or Wonko's inside-out asylum, are mildly amusing but nothing more.So Long, and Thanks For All The Fish is by no means a bad novel, and thanks to Adams prose it is engagingly readable, but it is a novel all about character - specifically having a few nice things happen to Arthur Dent for a while- and sorely lacking in plot, so don't expect anything much to actually happen beyond Arthur's romance. A pleasant read for fans of the previous 3 novels in the series, but by this stage Douglas Adams just seems to have run out of ideas, and was grinding a novel out for the sake of it.
    more
  • Sean T
    January 1, 1970
    If any of the inappropriately named Hitchhiker's Guide Trilogy could be called "best", I think this is it. I see two elements setting it apart from the other books in the HHGG series: its tight plot, and the fact that it is at heart a romantic comedy more than a farcical satire of the Science Fiction genre.As one would expect, the focus of the storyline is the continued pursuit of the Ultimate Question, to which we already know that the Ultimate Answer is "Forty-two".The characterization of Arth If any of the inappropriately named Hitchhiker's Guide Trilogy could be called "best", I think this is it. I see two elements setting it apart from the other books in the HHGG series: its tight plot, and the fact that it is at heart a romantic comedy more than a farcical satire of the Science Fiction genre.As one would expect, the focus of the storyline is the continued pursuit of the Ultimate Question, to which we already know that the Ultimate Answer is "Forty-two".The characterization of Arthur Dent seems at first to be inconsistent with the Arthur Dent known from the earlier books, until one realizes that this takes place eight years later, as time passes for him. Simply put, Arthur has matured and grown into his own as a Galactic Hitchhiker. He is more confident in who he is, and how to get around, while still maintaining his bumbling ways with women, which naturally leads the reader into the romantic comedy of the story.I know many people who have never read any of the Hitchhiker's Guide books because they are "not into sci-fi", or simply didn't get much of the humor in the initial trilogy. For them, I think that the prize of getting to this, the fourth book in the (inappropriately named) trilogy, will make reading the first three books worthwhile*. * Despite an effort by the author to explain within the text of the story links to the previous books, the characters and plot do require prior knowledge.
    more
  • Marnie Krüger
    January 1, 1970
    “Scientist must also be absolutely like a child. If he sees a thing, he must say that he sees it, whether it was what he thought he was going to see or not. See first, think later, then test. But always see first. Otherwise you will only see what you were expecting.” This is my favorite of all the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" books.I know it kind of defies the whole travel the Galaxy and see the universe idea, but I love that Arthur is content and happy; that he found a like-minded being t “Scientist must also be absolutely like a child. If he sees a thing, he must say that he sees it, whether it was what he thought he was going to see or not. See first, think later, then test. But always see first. Otherwise you will only see what you were expecting.” This is my favorite of all the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" books.I know it kind of defies the whole travel the Galaxy and see the universe idea, but I love that Arthur is content and happy; that he found a like-minded being that likes him back.Call me a Romantic.And who can't love John Watson (Wonko the Sane)? He is the first-ever person I know that knows exactly where we live and he is not afraid of being called a fool.Honestly if you have not read these books; just go pick them up!You'll laugh so hard... and if you don't what's wrong with you?
    more
  • David Sarkies
    January 1, 1970
    Sorry for the Inconvenience16 November 2016 When I first read this book I loved it namely because I happened to be a hopeless romantic and our protagonist, Arthur Dent, finally gets a girlfriend. Well, finally is probably not the best way to describe it because Adams does raise the possibility that Arthur may have had a relationship with Trillian (and when the question is metaphorically asked the reply is basically 'none of your business'), and also suggests that there is a rather long gap betwe Sorry for the Inconvenience16 November 2016 When I first read this book I loved it namely because I happened to be a hopeless romantic and our protagonist, Arthur Dent, finally gets a girlfriend. Well, finally is probably not the best way to describe it because Adams does raise the possibility that Arthur may have had a relationship with Trillian (and when the question is metaphorically asked the reply is basically 'none of your business'), and also suggests that there is a rather long gap between books two and three where we end with Arthur together with a Gulgafringan and then beginning again years later with Arthur by himself in a cave (having discovered that all the Gulgafringans has died off, just because). Anyway, more time has passed since the end of book three and the beginning of book four and we once again meet up with Arthur, who happens to be standing in the rain at the side of the road on a planet that looks remarkably like Earth, and in fact happens to be Earth. Okay, there are a couple of minor differences, though I would hardly call not having been blown up by the Vogon Constructor Fleet as being a minor difference (though Arthur's house still standing, in the grand scheme of things, is). However there is also the fact that the dolphins have still vanished, and everybody happens to have a fish bowl with the inscription 'so long and thanks for all the fish' upon it. The thing about this particular book is that it is more of a romance than the other books in the series, which sort of gives it a different feel. The other thing is that for a bulk of the book the story is set not only on Earth, but both Arthur and Ford are going their separate ways – it isn't until we get close to the end that the two once again come together, but it is only for a short while as Arthur and his girlfriend (Fenchurch, so called because she was conceived in the ticket line at Fenchurch Street station, though my only experience of Fenchurch Street station is having a meal at a pub underneath it) head off to try and find God's final message to humanity (or the Universe to be precise). It also goes back into the old style where there is little to no plot and the main characters just seem to stumble around trying to work out what is going on, only to discover that the answer that they were looking for, in this case God's final message, is a piece of absurdity. Actually, there is sort of a plot, but not in the same sense that Life, The Universe, and Everything had a plot. Rather it involves the main characters continuing their search for meaning, and when they finally discover this meaning, as I mentioned, and as is the case in the other books, the answer that they were looking for turns out to be absurd. In a way it even seems as if God's message to the world is not so much an answer to the reason why we are here, namely because there doesn't seem to be any real reason at all, at least in Adam's mind. In a way I guess this is where our secular society is heading, even though many people in the Western realms still seem to consider themselves connected to some form of religion. Mind you, when you head out of the cities you do tend to discover a much more religious, and conservative, culture, but that has a lot to do with the country being very conservative, and new ideas filter in much more slowly (if ever). In a way, with their religious outlook, people in the country still seem to have a sense of purpose, a sense of belonging, and a sense of identity. However, once you head into the cities, and into the realms of the intellectuals, this traditional purpose and reasoning suddenly seems to get thrown out the door. In a way it is this rejection of religion that leads to these rather absurd views of the universe, and meaningless understanding of life. However, we aren't necessarily the first, or only, people in the history of the world because many other civilisations, particularly those who eventually freed themselves of the tyranny of a king, because in a such a system the purpose and meaning of life is to serve the king, but then one wonders whether the king, who seems to exist in this world to be served, would eventually suffer an existentialist crisis. I'm not sure, particularly is the king never really gave it that much thought – it is only the intellectuals that would start thinking along those lines since most of the kings would probably just be incredibly self-absorbed. As for this book, well it is much shorter, and a lot different, than the other entries in this series, and while I may have gushed over Arthur's romance when I was younger, these days it is a lot different as I am somewhat (or a lot) over that hopeless romantic streak that I used to have. As for the story, it is okay, and the message is interesting, but in the end the first two were much, much better (and this one was quite a lot less funnier as well). Oh, and the fact that Arthur, and to an extent Fenchurch, can fly really doesn't appeal to me all that much.
    more
  • Evan Leach
    January 1, 1970
    The fourth installment in the Hitchhiker series is something of an anomaly. Virtually the entire story takes place on Earth, and major characters like Zaphod and Trillian are nowhere to be found. The focus is on Arthur Dent: after years of being kicked around by the universe, poor Arthur finally finds himself in a good old fashioned love story.Well, maybe “old fashioned” is a poor choice of words. This is a Douglas Adams book after all, and it features robots, spaceships, and a man named Wonko t The fourth installment in the Hitchhiker series is something of an anomaly. Virtually the entire story takes place on Earth, and major characters like Zaphod and Trillian are nowhere to be found. The focus is on Arthur Dent: after years of being kicked around by the universe, poor Arthur finally finds himself in a good old fashioned love story.Well, maybe “old fashioned” is a poor choice of words. This is a Douglas Adams book after all, and it features robots, spaceships, and a man named Wonko the Sane. But the lunacy has definitely been dialed back, and this really is a love story. Arthur inexplicably finds himself back on what appears to be the Earth, and is quickly smitten. He spends some time investigating how the hell he could be back on Earth considering it was destroyed in the first book, sure, but the story is principally concerned with Arthur and:”What is he, man or mouse? Is he interested with nothing more than tea and the wider issues of life? Has he no spirit? Has he no passion? Does he not, to put it in a nutshell, fuck? Those who wish to know should read on. Others may wish to skip on to the last chapter which is a good bit and has Marvin in it.”Before diving into this series for the third time, I considered this book to be the weakest of the five. But I was pleasantly surprised during this reread. It doesn’t have the frenzied energy that the first couple of books have, but Adams proves that he doesn’t need an interstellar stage to write truly hysterical prose (there’s a scene with two men sharing biscuits at a train station that’s up there with anything in the entire series). I think it’s the third best Hitchhiker book: behind books 1 and 2, but better than books 3 and 5.Oh, and the ending (which is in fact a good bit, and does contain Marvin) is a corker. 4 stars.Reread in January, 2004 and June, 2012.
    more
  • Raúl Omar
    January 1, 1970
    Writing a bad review for Douglas Adams is a sort of treason I don't want to participate in. On the other hand, I'ts against my review code to be dishonest about a book. So I'll do something I've never done before: write an honest review while trying to explain the reasons I didn't like this book as much as the other three.I didn't dislike this 4th book (in a trilogy of 5) but can't avoid a certain uneasiness after reading it.My first emotion was of disappointment, but towards the end of the nove Writing a bad review for Douglas Adams is a sort of treason I don't want to participate in. On the other hand, I'ts against my review code to be dishonest about a book. So I'll do something I've never done before: write an honest review while trying to explain the reasons I didn't like this book as much as the other three.I didn't dislike this 4th book (in a trilogy of 5) but can't avoid a certain uneasiness after reading it.My first emotion was of disappointment, but towards the end of the novel I started to like it a little bit more. To be honest this is not a bad book, actually is quite good, a typical Adams. When trying to discover the origin of my uneasiness I realize it's something obvious, a sort of itching that started since the early pages and didn't let me completely enjoy the rest: this book is not like the others.And the following realization is that my greatest fear reagarding an author I really like has bacame real: there is a book that I consider not as good as the others. This current emotional status about the book is something I feared since I started reading the second book in the trilogy: the fear that it would not be as good as the previous one. But It happened that I enjoyed The Restaurant at the End of the Universe as much as I liked The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and then, Life, the Universe and Everything, even more. So this 4th book is quite different in many aspects, not what I was expecting, therefore my uneasiness. I had really high expectations, which were biased by my experience reading previous works of Adams and thinking that this novel would be the same, I feel disappointed.But once I understood my bias, and that Adams has always an ace up his sleeve, I realize I should't be so harsh on this book. Finally, the definite proof that this book was not as bad as I originally thought, is that I'm craving to continue with the next book and finally finish this trilogy of five.
    more
  • Becky Ginther
    January 1, 1970
    Out of the "trilogy of five," this one was actually my favorite. I understand that for many people it's the least popular, because almost the whole thing takes place on earth and it focuses mainly just on Arthur Dent and not the other characters. However, that's why I liked it. After the somewhat overwhelming third book, it was a relief to have a novel that didn't keep jumping around between characters and plot, and just focus on one thing at a time.Plus, this story had a much more human element Out of the "trilogy of five," this one was actually my favorite. I understand that for many people it's the least popular, because almost the whole thing takes place on earth and it focuses mainly just on Arthur Dent and not the other characters. However, that's why I liked it. After the somewhat overwhelming third book, it was a relief to have a novel that didn't keep jumping around between characters and plot, and just focus on one thing at a time.Plus, this story had a much more human element to it that the others did not. In the others, we never got to know the characters and they never exhibited any emotions in any depth that we could relate to. And I suppose that was okay, because it wasn't really about emotions, it was just about the humor and the science fiction aspect. But it was kind of nice to see a different side of Arthur Dent in this one. He actually finds a romantic interest in the fascinating character of Fenchurch. Yes, there was less action, but that was okay for me.Also, we occasionally got some glimpses of what Ford was up to, but he didn't really become pertinent to the plot until the very end. It seemed like the book ended on a really exciting note, with the newly formed emotional bond between Arthur and Fenchurch intersecting with the exciting space travel that had been involved in the other books. From here, the fifth book seemed like it could be quite promising.
    more
  • Kelly Furniss
    January 1, 1970
    More craziness and whacky fun & humour. I enjoyed this as much as the previous three. I'm getting quite sad at the thought this journey will soon be over.
  • Bill Coffin
    January 1, 1970
    Even by the tired standard of the first three Hitchhiker's Guide novels, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish comes off as a tired, threadbare effort by a writer who simply did not have enough gas in the tank at this point and really should have waited the 10 years or so that it would have taken him to recharge fully and put together something with the creative density of his first or second installment in this series. I have not liked any of the book in this series, but at least there seemed to Even by the tired standard of the first three Hitchhiker's Guide novels, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish comes off as a tired, threadbare effort by a writer who simply did not have enough gas in the tank at this point and really should have waited the 10 years or so that it would have taken him to recharge fully and put together something with the creative density of his first or second installment in this series. I have not liked any of the book in this series, but at least there seemed to be a certain genuine energy to the first novel. By the fourth installment, any misgivings I had with the nature of the story and Adams' humor have been well underscored by a frustration at such a cynical attempt by the author to produce something for the sake of producing it. There is an interesting love story nestled in the middle of this one that remains nice if and only if one can overlook the fact that Adams, like so many other times in this series, went back to the first novel, strip mined a throwaway line for a high concept and decided to weave an entire story around it. It was a throwaway line for a reason. That Adams forgot that shows how far off the rails he'd gotten by this fourth installment.
    more
  • Kaylee
    January 1, 1970
    I love this series. I laugh so hard when I read it, and I don't mean like low chuckle and a smile, I mean laughing so that other people look at me and I have trouble explaining to them why I'm laughing in public laughs.
  • Robin Hobb
    January 1, 1970
    If you love any of Doug Adam's work, you will be sorry to miss this one.If you are unfamiliar with his work, I urge you to begin with the Hitchhiker's Guide and move through them in order.
  • Jason Koivu
    January 1, 1970
    Not my favorite of the series. This one drags along at slow pace and doesn't really go anywhere. There are points in this where it seems like Adams is trying to stretch the page total with gimmicks, like "a writer should never..." and then he proceeds to do that tedious thing as an example, which doesn't add to the humor or plot. I think I preferred how the old tv series handled the dolphin storyline better than how it's portrayed here. However, it's not a terrible book by a long shot, as Adams Not my favorite of the series. This one drags along at slow pace and doesn't really go anywhere. There are points in this where it seems like Adams is trying to stretch the page total with gimmicks, like "a writer should never..." and then he proceeds to do that tedious thing as an example, which doesn't add to the humor or plot. I think I preferred how the old tv series handled the dolphin storyline better than how it's portrayed here. However, it's not a terrible book by a long shot, as Adams still entertains despite these quibbles.
    more
  • David Firmage
    January 1, 1970
    Audiobook. Useful for insomnia.
  • Cecily
    January 1, 1970
    Hitchhiker's, volume 4.This is noticeably less good than it's three predecessors, particularly in terms of plot, but it still has plenty of splashes of brilliance:Arthur and Fenchurch fly.Wonko the Sane declaring the world beyond his inside-out house is an asylum. Rob McKenna is a rain god but doesn't know it - only that it always rains wherever he goes - the loving clouds just want to water him. "All eyes were on Ford Prefect. Some of them were on stalks". "As stunned as a man might be who, hav Hitchhiker's, volume 4.This is noticeably less good than it's three predecessors, particularly in terms of plot, but it still has plenty of splashes of brilliance:Arthur and Fenchurch fly.Wonko the Sane declaring the world beyond his inside-out house is an asylum. Rob McKenna is a rain god but doesn't know it - only that it always rains wherever he goes - the loving clouds just want to water him. "All eyes were on Ford Prefect. Some of them were on stalks". "As stunned as a man might be who, having believed himself to be totally blind for 5 years, suddenly discovers that he had merely been wearing too large a hat" (one for or from Blackadder, surely). "She seemed to be looking at something other than what she looked as if she was looking at". "Waited and waited for the nothing that he knew was about to happen. As the time came for it not to happen, it duly didn't happen". "The recurring impression he had that just when he was least expecting it, the universe would suddenly leap out from behind a door and go boo at him". A hotel "they would enjoy being puzzled by". Two women looking at the Pacific for the first time and one says "It's not as big as I expected". A & F find God's final message to creation ("We apologise for the inconvenience").Brief summary and favourite quotes from the other four of the five books, as follows:Hitchhiker's Guide (vol 1): http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...Restaurant at the End of Universe (vol 2): http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...Life, the Universe and Everything (vol 3):http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...Mostly Harmless (vol 5): http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...And Another Thing...(vol 6), by Eoin Colfer : https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
    more
  • Katie
    January 1, 1970
    Not what I would have expected! This book is very different from the first three books in the Hitchhiker's Guide series, which I supposed is apt for the fourth book of a trilogy. I wasn't overly bothered by the fact that everything took place on earth (though the fact that the earth still apparently exists may take a bit of the underlying pathos out of the earlier works). I thought some of it was delightful, and I got a really big kick out of the Rain God, whenever he showed up. The giant robot Not what I would have expected! This book is very different from the first three books in the Hitchhiker's Guide series, which I supposed is apt for the fourth book of a trilogy. I wasn't overly bothered by the fact that everything took place on earth (though the fact that the earth still apparently exists may take a bit of the underlying pathos out of the earlier works). I thought some of it was delightful, and I got a really big kick out of the Rain God, whenever he showed up. The giant robot at the end was also a lot of fun, and I laugh whenever I think of him lying awkwardly on his face on the beach at Bournemouth. There's a shift in tone, though as well. I didn't like that as much. Adam's books have always been pretty cynical, but it's always been balanced out by the fact that there's an inherent wonder to them as well. The satire works so well because it's set against such a fabulous backdrop. When things stay earthbound, the satire is a bit more hum-drum, and the book as a whole has a bit of a darker feel.The plots also a bit haphazard - I almost got the sense that Adams just didn't really enjoy writing this one as much. It has it's moments, but I don't think it really stands up to the first three.
    more
  • Karsyn
    January 1, 1970
    Meh. Didn't like this one as much as the others, not sure why. It was similar to the rest, but just didn't grab me at any point. The only part I really liked was the inside out house, that made me giggle, and it was neat, but it was too short of a part and that was really all that interested me.
    more
  • Donovan
    January 1, 1970
    This was one of my least favorite books in the series but still moderately entertaining, like a drunk who rambles but is periodically hilarious. It's like one of those road trip indie films with no plot but lots of jokes and introspection. Or an adventure has concluded, everyone goes home, but the story just doesn't know when to quit. I feel like I as the reader sit around a lot waiting for something to happen while Adams drags this out with his often long-winded-and-rambling-for-comedic-effect- This was one of my least favorite books in the series but still moderately entertaining, like a drunk who rambles but is periodically hilarious. It's like one of those road trip indie films with no plot but lots of jokes and introspection. Or an adventure has concluded, everyone goes home, but the story just doesn't know when to quit. I feel like I as the reader sit around a lot waiting for something to happen while Adams drags this out with his often long-winded-and-rambling-for-comedic-effect-and-also-hard-to-follow sentences. So Arthur Dent is back on Earth, Ford Prefect is in a spaceship just hanging out, and then Fenchurch is this weird sexy girl that's weird and sexy. Arthur goes to the pub, cafeteria, is perpetually awkward. Etc., etc. I am only really interested near the end to find out more about the Dolphins and God's Final Message. And just when you think the adventure is over, because it really was but Adams tugged them back into space, there's a whole nother book. I mean, I'll totally read it. I'm just not expecting it to have the magic of the earlier books.
    more
  • Amanda NEVER MANDY
    January 1, 1970
    This is the book that had a cover that stuck out in my mind just as much as the first book in the series did. This is also the book that began the downward spiral into lower star ratings. Even though I didn’t love it as much as I did the first three, (wait for it) I did love it more than my grandparents love canned cream corn (I am not sorry at all). Arthur falls in love. Honestly, this one felt out of place. I didn’t want it or ask for it, and I sure as hell didn’t expect a mushy love story to This is the book that had a cover that stuck out in my mind just as much as the first book in the series did. This is also the book that began the downward spiral into lower star ratings. Even though I didn’t love it as much as I did the first three, (wait for it) I did love it more than my grandparents love canned cream corn (I am not sorry at all). Arthur falls in love. Honestly, this one felt out of place. I didn’t want it or ask for it, and I sure as hell didn’t expect a mushy love story to fall into my lap when it did. The story that took place around it wasn’t bad but this dip into cootie pool was more than enough to contaminate it.Three stars to a book that made me think about romance mixed with canned cream corn and man that is so freaking gross.
    more
  • Marta
    January 1, 1970
    Less frentic, easier to digest, more thoughtful than the previous installment, with a cute, quirky romance, and much less galaxy hopping. The humor is more subtle, the jokes have breathing room. A welcome change of pace.
  • Ivonne Rovira
    January 1, 1970
    WARNING: This review contains a slight spoiler.(view spoiler)[At the end of Life, the Universe and Everything, the third book in Douglas Adams' five-book “trilogy,” as in the first two — The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and The Restaurant at the End of the Universe — Arthur Dent pines due to the destruction of his home planet, Earth.Only it didn’t happen. That’s right — in the eight years that Arthur has spent dodging bullets and lasers and otherwise just barely evading death, going back mil WARNING: This review contains a slight spoiler.(view spoiler)[At the end of Life, the Universe and Everything, the third book in Douglas Adams' five-book “trilogy,” as in the first two — The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and The Restaurant at the End of the Universe — Arthur Dent pines due to the destruction of his home planet, Earth.Only it didn’t happen. That’s right — in the eight years that Arthur has spent dodging bullets and lasers and otherwise just barely evading death, going back millions of years to the dawn of time on Earth, bemoaning the lack of a decent cup of tea, and having dozens of adventures, Earth has been just fine. In fact, just six months have elapsed back on planet Earth. His house in the West Country hasn’t been flattened to make way for a bypass, nor has the Earth been destroyed by the Vogons to make way for an intergalactic bypass — even though Arthur is certain that he witnessed both destructions. Despite all of that, here’s the earth pretty much as he remembered it, except that everyone he meets remembers a platoon of spaceships hovering overhead at just that time, but chuck it up to mass hysteria. So was this series a complete sham of the Dallas variety where everything was just a dream? What do you take Douglas Adams for? Some Hollywood hack? Of course not! I won’t ruin the book, but, of course, it's more complicated than that -- or as Ford Prefect says in another context, "nothing so simple, nothing anything like so straight-forward" -- although I don't think we'll know the entire story until the fifth book, Mostly Harmless. (hide spoiler)] While I absolutely adored the first two books in this Douglas Adams’ five-part “trilogy,” the third book simply didn’t measure up to Adams’ usual standard: It wasn’t as funny or engaging or — I have to admit — philosophically stimulating. And as So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish tacitly admits, not enough Marvin the Paranoid Android, either. However, Adams has completely redeemed himself here.What I can reveal is that So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish finds Earthman Arthur Dent, who thought he was literally the last man in the universe, reveling in new love and coming into his own. After three volumes where poor Arthur always ended up the goat in every mishap or misadventure and the butt of every joke, it’s nice to see Arthur finally happy and feeling more sane and confident than ever. How nice to see Arthur finally getting answers and the happiness he’s been seeking all along.
    more
  • Maninee
    January 1, 1970
    Let me start off by saying first of all that I am a huge fan of the Hitchhiker ‘Trilogy’. I loved the first three books of the series. This one was very, very different from the others though and I don’t think I like the change in the pattern.First of all, two major characters, Trillian and Zaphod weren’t even there in the book, they were simply given a brief mention towards the end. And Marvin, who was my favourite character of the lot didn’t come around till the very, very last bit of the book Let me start off by saying first of all that I am a huge fan of the Hitchhiker ‘Trilogy’. I loved the first three books of the series. This one was very, very different from the others though and I don’t think I like the change in the pattern.First of all, two major characters, Trillian and Zaphod weren’t even there in the book, they were simply given a brief mention towards the end. And Marvin, who was my favourite character of the lot didn’t come around till the very, very last bit of the book.Secondly, unlike the first three books where the author almost deliberately steered clear of any hint of romance, even between Zaphod and Trillian who were in a relationship at the time. The plot had no definite structure; the characters simply ambled along through space tackling adventure when it came in their way. Here for the first time Arthur had a more or less definite mission towards the end and more importantly there was an actual romantic story in the book. I’m not sure I liked the sudden infusion of romance, it was all too sudden. So yeah, I really, really hope that the next book has Zaphod, Trillian and Marvin in it as well and they all go on an adventure together, like old times and that Arthur dumps what’s-her-name.
    more
  • Debbie
    January 1, 1970
    Comical and back on track to amusing. I liked it. It made up for book 3 in the series for which I wasn't too fond. For those making their way through the series, I almost want to recommend skipping book 3 and going straight to 4. I don't think you will miss much. And I don't think it's absolutely necessary to have read 3 to comprehend 4. The old quirky humor was back and the weirdness was gone. The old quirky humor was back and the weirdness was lessened. Excuse me. *Clears throat* The consiste Comical and back on track to amusing. I liked it. It made up for book 3 in the series for which I wasn't too fond. For those making their way through the series, I almost want to recommend skipping book 3 and going straight to 4. I don't think you will miss much. And I don't think it's absolutely necessary to have read 3 to comprehend 4. The old quirky humor was back and the weirdness was gone. The old quirky humor was back and the weirdness was lessened. Excuse me. *Clears throat* The consistently quirky humor was ever present and so was the weirdness but it applied to the storyline so it was much more tolerable and we actually welcomed it. Hello weirdness without you we'd not believe we were reading a Douglas Adams book. (If you follow the series the previous pun made absolute sense.) Some of our favorite crazy characters were there and of course they had their towels. Don't panic and keep reading. Back to 3 stars in the best way. And I will keep reading. PS: Since I did see the movie. Although it varies very much from the books, those actors at whom I visualize as the characters as I read. It helps. Just thought you should know that. Your welcome. Carry on.
    more
  • DanielX_E2
    January 1, 1970
    Douglas Adams's trilogy of five books really stands out to me its satire and unconventional plot sequence to confuse readers. Although he uses this unique style of writing mainly for effects, it got me thinking about what he really implies. Adams throws many subtle clues that may or may not foreshadow future ideas and events and I feel that it boils down to in life, being attentive to minor or unobvious detailed can greatly help you visualized the bigger picture. The lesson. Although this book i Douglas Adams's trilogy of five books really stands out to me its satire and unconventional plot sequence to confuse readers. Although he uses this unique style of writing mainly for effects, it got me thinking about what he really implies. Adams throws many subtle clues that may or may not foreshadow future ideas and events and I feel that it boils down to in life, being attentive to minor or unobvious detailed can greatly help you visualized the bigger picture. The lesson. Although this book in my opinion wasn't as good as the first few, Adams, still teaches us an important lesson in discovering what clues in life really imply.
    more
  • Greg
    January 1, 1970
    More or less pointless, yet exceedingly charming. Adams' writing is in killer form here, hilarious and touching as ever. Books #3 and #4 are pretty much about nothing (in retrospect, book #3, 'Life, The Universe, and Everything,' has a brilliant title), yet they could have been about Something and I would feel pretty much the same about it, I'm sure. It's the quality of writing I go in for, and Adams can't be beat at what he does. I loved every minute of reading this tiny book, and believe me, t More or less pointless, yet exceedingly charming. Adams' writing is in killer form here, hilarious and touching as ever. Books #3 and #4 are pretty much about nothing (in retrospect, book #3, 'Life, The Universe, and Everything,' has a brilliant title), yet they could have been about Something and I would feel pretty much the same about it, I'm sure. It's the quality of writing I go in for, and Adams can't be beat at what he does. I loved every minute of reading this tiny book, and believe me, there were several.
    more
Write a review