Life, the Universe and Everything (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #3)
The unhappy inhabitants of planet Krikkit are sick of looking at the night sky above their heads–so they plan to destroy it. The universe, that is. Now only five individuals stand between the killer robots of Krikkit and their goal of total annihilation.They are Arthur Dent, a mild-mannered space and time traveler who tries to learn how to fly by throwing himself at the ground and missing; Ford Prefect, his best friend, who decides to go insane to see if he likes it; Slartibartfast, the indomitable vice president of the Campaign for Real Time, who travels in a ship powered by irrational behavior; Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed, three-armed ex-president of the galazy; and Trillian, the sexy space cadet who is torn between a persistent Thunder God and a very depressed Beeblebrox.How will it all end? Will it end? Only this stalwart crew knows as they try to avert “universal” Armageddon and save life as we know it–and don’t know it!

Life, the Universe and Everything (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #3) Details

TitleLife, the Universe and Everything (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #3)
Author
FormatPaperback
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 26th, 2005
PublisherDel Rey
ISBN0345418905
ISBN-139780345418906
Number of pages224 pages
Rating
GenreScience Fiction, Fiction, Humor, Fantasy

Life, the Universe and Everything (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #3) Review

  • Petra Eggs
    April 19, 2010
    I've just read the most extraordinary thing. In the US version of the third novel of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Life, the Universe and Everything, the word 'Belgium' is used to replace the word "fuck" which was in the British publication.Apparently Douglas Adams' American publishers thought that some of the language in the book was too crude for Americans and asked him to take out the words 'fuck', 'asshole' and 'shit'. Adams' replaced asshole with kneebiter, shit with swut and fuck w I've just read the most extraordinary thing. In the US version of the third novel of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Life, the Universe and Everything, the word 'Belgium' is used to replace the word "fuck" which was in the British publication.Apparently Douglas Adams' American publishers thought that some of the language in the book was too crude for Americans and asked him to take out the words 'fuck', 'asshole' and 'shit'. Adams' replaced asshole with kneebiter, shit with swut and fuck with Belgium! Sheer genius.American publishers are pussies.But you can kind of understand why when every now and again in the Feedback group someone whines that books need to be rated for language (not to mention amount of sex and violence) and there are groups devoted to letting people know if words that might upset their members are used. I remember one review where the woman said she went through the book and used a black marker on every single curse word. I hope it wasn't a library book.But still, using Belgium, that was a low blow.
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  • Algernon
    April 6, 2016
    Another world, another day, another dawn.The early morning’s thinnest sliver of light appeared silently. Several billion trillion tons of superhot exploding hydrogen nuclei rose slowly above the horizon and managed to look small, cold and slightly damp.There is a moment in every dawn when light floats, there is the possibility of magic. Creation holds its breath.... and then a voice from above utters the words: “You’re a jerk, Dent!” Arthur Dent has every reason to be both puzzled and angry at Another world, another day, another dawn.The early morning’s thinnest sliver of light appeared silently. Several billion trillion tons of superhot exploding hydrogen nuclei rose slowly above the horizon and managed to look small, cold and slightly damp.There is a moment in every dawn when light floats, there is the possibility of magic. Creation holds its breath.... and then a voice from above utters the words: “You’re a jerk, Dent!” Arthur Dent has every reason to be both puzzled and angry at the blue skinned alien called Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged who came over the aeons only to insult him. In the previous two volume the hitchhiking Earthman served as a sort of lightning rod, attracting all sort of (explosive) troubles on his head. He was stranded on prehistoric earth as the result of a complex sequence of events that had involved his being alternately blown up and insulted in more bizarre regions of the Galaxy than he had ever dreamed existed, and though life has now turned very, very, very quiet, he was still feeling jumpy.He hadn’t been blown up now for five years. Arthur Dent should actually rejoice at the respite he gets and at being back on his previously annihilated planet, but prehistoric times had very little to offer in the entertaining department. His melancholic mood is lyrically captured by an author who is more famous for his comedy chops: In the end, it was the Sunday afternoons he couldn’t cope with, and that terrible listlessness that starts to set in at about 2:55, when you know you’ve taken all the baths you can usefully take that day, that however hard you stare at any given paragraph in the newspaper you will never actually read it, or use the revolutionary new pruning technique it describes, and that you stare at the clock the hands will move relentlessly on to four o’clock, and you will enter the long dark teatime of the soul. (view spoiler)[ the passage is referring to the troubles with immortality that Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged is experiencing, but for me it has an universal resonance with regard to my own empty and dark weekends with nothing to do (hide spoiler)]Escape comes in the unusual form of a galloping Chesterfield sofa, but readers familiar with the style of Douglas Adams already know to be prepared for the unexpected and to always have a towel handy before they embark on a new adventure. Arthur Dent and his companion in exile Ford Perfect should also be more careful what they wish for, because times are about to get interesting and the boredom of prehistoric times will be sorely missed : an old friend, a planet designer specialising in shaping fjords, has need of their assistance for nothing less than the saving of the Universe. “Deep in the fundamental heart of mind and Universe,” said Slartibartfast, “there is a reason.”Ford glanced sharply around. He clearly thought this was taking an optimistic view of things. [...] “Where are we going?”“We are going to confront an ancient nightmare of the Universe.”“And where are you going to drop us off?”“I will need your help.[...] A curse has arisen from the mists of time. A curse which will engulf the Galaxy in fire and destruction, and possibly bring the Universe to a premature doom. I mean it,” he added.“Sounds like a bad time,” said Ford; “with luck I’ll be drunk enough not to notice. [...] My doctor says that I have a malformed public duty gland and a natural defficiency in moral fiber, and that I am therefore excused from saving Universes.” Move over, Mr. Flash Gordon! Arthur Dent is taking over the role of saviour of the Universe and the quest starts right here on Earth (after alittle time travel on the Bistromathic spaceship) when alien war robots from the planet Krikkit are stealing a piece of junk from the middle of a sports field. For many readers, a piece of burned wood from Melbourne, Australia in the year 1882 would mean nothing, to others it is a holy relic of national pride. For Slartibartfast and his unwilling heroes, it is an artefact of ancient power and evil. The game you know as cricket is just one of those curious freaks of racial memory that can keep images alive in the mind aeons after their true significance has been lost in the mists of time. Of all the races of the Galaxy, only the English could possibly revive the memory of the most horrific wars ever to sunder the Universe and transform it into what I am afraid is generally regarded as an incomprehensibly dull and pointless game. ... and so the journey into danger and adventure begins anew, with only a towel and a small tourist guide in my pockets, ready to witness the neverending wonders of the Universe.Wheeee!!! Sign me in for the trip, Mr. Adams! Each episode is better than the previous one for me, and I am in awe at the inventivity of the setting, the satirical sharpness of the sketches, the all embracing and gentle acceptance of our human condition in a cold and hostile Universe. So fasten your seatbelts folks, relax and have an enormously long lunch break! (view spoiler)[ Lunch breaks are apparently the secret of succes in business that all the big megacorporations are keeping mum about. Hurling Frootmig, it is said, founded the Guide, established its fundamental principles of honesty and idealism and went bust. Hurling only recovered when a friendly tip revealed to him the power of the mighty Lunch Break (hide spoiler)]Riding in a ship powered by advanced mathematics theories ( The Bistromathic Drive is a wonderful new method of crossing vast interstellar distances without all that dangerous mucking about with Improbability Factors. [...] The most extraordinary thing about it was that it looked only partly like a spaceship with guidance fins, rocket engines and escape hatches and so on, and a great deal like a small, upended Italian bistro. ), a ship made invisible by a force field called “Somebody Else’s Problem” , Arthur and his friends will guide my eyes towards the absurdity of war, making fun I suspect of some of my favorite epic fantasies series in the vein of J R R Tolkien: The Silastic Armorfiends of Striterax were engaged in one of their regular wars with the Strenuous Garfighters of Stug, and were not enjoying it as much as usual because it involved and awful lot of trekking through the Radiation Swamps of Cwulzenda and across the Fire Mountains of Frazfraga, neither of which terrains they felt at home in.So when the Strangulous Stillettans of Jajazikstak joined in the fray and forced them to fight another front in the Gamma Caves of Carfrax and the Ice storms on Varlengooten, they decided that enough was enough, and they ordered Hactar to design for them an Ultimate Weapon.“What do you mean,” asked Hactar, “by Ultimate?”To which the Silastic Armorfiends of Striterax said, “Read a bloody dictionary,” and plunged back into the fray. Later on I get a chance to take part in the Ultimate Party to end all parties, a millenia long bash on a floating hotel that attracts the Galactic jet-set while making the host planet a wasteland through unbridled consumption and pollution. Sounds familiar? The Romans are reputed to say “Aftee us, the Flood!” and thinks apparently are unchanged in the future. Pro-Tip if you happen to get an invite: don’t use the word Belgium : “Belgium,” exclaimed Arthur.A drunken seven-toed sloth staggered past, gawked at the word and threw itself backward at a blurry-eyed pterodactyl, roaring with displeasure. In between saving the Universe from its latest Ultimate Weapon of Total Annihilation, we might spent a moment on the issue of truth, as in shutting down the voices of reason and moderation: When it became clear what was happening, and as it became clear that Prak could not be stopped, that here was truth in its absolute and final form, the court was cleared.Not only cleared, it was sealed up, with Prak still in it. Steel walls were erected around it, and, just to be on the safe side, barbed wire, electric fences, crocodile swamps and three major armies were installed, so that no one would ever have to hear Prak speak. What exactly did this man Prak know that was so dangerous to the establishement? Was he another Snowden shouting to the world that the emperor has no clothes on? We might never know more than the fact that it has something to do with frogs, because when Prak lays eyes on Arthur Dent mayhem issues: He howled and screamed with laughter. He fell over backward onto the bench. He hollered and yelled in hysterics. He cried with laughter, kicked his legs in the air, he beat his chest. Gradually he subsided, panting. He looked at them. He looked at Arthur. He fell back again howling with laughter. Eventually he fell asleep. In the end, laughter may be the best weapon we have at our disposal against the tyranny of people and the tyranny of time. Without a sense of humour life, the universe and everything are pointless and utterly depressing. The final scene is for me essential and relevant, but I think I’d better put it in a spoiler bracket:(view spoiler)[ Arthur Dent learns how to fly in this episode, he soars high above the petty worries of ordinary existence, and with the help of the Babel Fish he can even learn the language of birds. Are they the ultimate poets of flight or what? Unfortunately, he discovered, once you have learned birdspeak you quickly come to realise that the air is full of it the whole time, just inane bird chatter. There is no getting away from it.For that reason Arthur eventually gave up the sport and learned to live on the ground and love it, despite the inane chatter he heard down there as well. Thank you again, Mr. Douglas, for the wisdom to accept the world as it is and for urging me to laugh on my way to the gallows to the tune of the Monty Python’s “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” (hide spoiler)]An earlier passage is even more evocative for me of the unexpected depths of feeling underlining the hilarity and the sillyness of the expedition: It seemed to him that the atoms of his brain and the atoms of the cosmos were streaming through each other. It seemed to him that he was blown on the wind of the Universe, and that the wind was him. It seemed to him that he was one of the thoughts of the Universe and that the Universe was a thought of his. I hope I will find time for the next episode of the Hitchhker’s Guide soon. In the meantime I will let Marvin The Paranoid Android serenade you to sleep: Now the world has gone to bed,Darkness won’t engulf my head,I can see in infrared,How I hate the night.Now I lay me down to sleep,Try to count electric sheep.Sweet dreams wishes you can keep,How I hate the night.
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  • Henry Avila
    December 24, 2013
    Arthur Dent finds himself living alone, on prehistoric Earth, in a cold, damp cave. His friend Ford Prefect, bored, has wandered off, early on , without saying a word , to Africa, Arthur learns, later. The duo, time traveled here, not voluntarily, and have tried to adjust. The whole gang, has been scattered all through the Galaxy. Marvin, the depressed robot, has conversations with a talking mattress, in a strange planet, Trillian, is at a party, that never ends, and Zaphod Beeblebrox, is sulkin Arthur Dent finds himself living alone, on prehistoric Earth, in a cold, damp cave. His friend Ford Prefect, bored, has wandered off, early on , without saying a word , to Africa, Arthur learns, later. The duo, time traveled here, not voluntarily, and have tried to adjust. The whole gang, has been scattered all through the Galaxy. Marvin, the depressed robot, has conversations with a talking mattress, in a strange planet, Trillian, is at a party, that never ends, and Zaphod Beeblebrox, is sulking on the Heart of Gold, a lonely man. Not too well, does Mr.Dent, live, he's no great farmer, or hunter, not even very brave. Scraping just enough food, to survive in this alien world, yes, it's Terra, but to the Englishman, it might as well be Mars. And speaking to trees, to keep from becoming, insane ? The only excitement, in the five stranded years here( or is it four?), came a couple of trips around the Sun, ago. A spaceship landed in front of the cave of Arthur's, coming down the ramp, a tall gray green alien stranger, and said, "You're a jerk , Dent". The flabbergasted Arthur, mumbled some incoherent noises, that should have been words, before the alien went up the ramp and left as quickly as he arrived. This mysterious creature, is an immortal, so lacking in things to do, that he devised an activity, maybe not the most worthwhile, he himself acknowledges, and quite impossible also. To go and see everyone in the Universe, and insult them," A man can dream, can't he ?". Don't hate Mr. Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged, every man needs a hobby. At last Prefect, returns from Africa, and tells the caveman about his bloody adventures there. More importantly of instability in the fabric of Space-Time. As a sofa magically appears and disappears, before their eyes. Ford Prefect says to Dent, for their salvation , go after it . Running wildly down the hill, the two, jump, fall, roll , trying to capture the piece of furniture, as it gyrates, fades in and out, always moving, up and down . At last jumping on the sofa and presto, their back home, immediately. In Slartibartfast, ironically, the old retired planet builder's spaceship (but first landing on a cricket match, in London), only to discover, that the Planet Krikkit, wants to destroy the whole Universe, again...They must prevent them, somehow, but how ? It seems the unfortunate inhabitants of this sad world, at the edge of the galaxy, have the worst night sky anywhere. Blackness, no stars or other planets, even moons, nothing to see, a complete, gloomy darkness. A gigantic space cloud, precludes any view. Which really ticks them off, you can imagine . A previous war, just ten billion years before, had devastated the galaxy, thousands of warships, millions of killer white robots, sent by Krikkit, before it was stopped. The sequel could succeed in their deadly mission. The five "friends", need to get together again, very soon indeed...
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  • Barry Pierce
    October 27, 2014
    I'm getting very bored of this series. While I like the characters and I understand the humour, I'm not laughing. I read these novels with a smile, not a smirk.
  • Riku Sayuj
    June 18, 2012
    42? Really? I don't think so!
  • Manny
    November 20, 2008
    People may have noticed that I've recently become very interested in theories of physics which involve multiple universes. I've spent a fair amount of time over the last few weeks reading about them and discussing the ideas.Since it's buried in one of my other reviews, let me present my conclusions explicitly. To my surprise, I discover that there is a great deal of evidence to support the claim that we are only one of many universes, and, moreover, that we know what these other universes are. T People may have noticed that I've recently become very interested in theories of physics which involve multiple universes. I've spent a fair amount of time over the last few weeks reading about them and discussing the ideas.Since it's buried in one of my other reviews, let me present my conclusions explicitly. To my surprise, I discover that there is a great deal of evidence to support the claim that we are only one of many universes, and, moreover, that we know what these other universes are. The theory isn't particularly flaky or speculative. Or, to be more exact, there is an abundance of flaky and speculative theories, but there is also one which is rooted in mainstream science and already comes close to explaining Life, the Universe and Everything. The idea is simple. There is a way of looking at quantum mechanics - the so-called Many Worlds Interpretation - which, roughly, means that everything which might have happened actually did happen in some alternate universe. These alternate universes are as just real as ours. Now, one's first reaction to this ought to be that it's nonsense, or at best no more than playing with words. It's easy to say that what might have been is real, but does that actually mean anything? Well, it turns out there is a strong argument which supports the claim that many universes exist. When you look at the different physical constants - things like the strength of gravity, the strength of the electromagnetic force, the relative masses of the proton and the electron, and so on - a weird pattern emerges. There is no known reason why any of these constants should have the values they possess. They appear to be arbitrary numbers. But, if these numbers were even slightly different, life would be completely impossible. The most straightforward way to explain this fact is to suppose that there are many universes, with many different settings for the constants; we happen to live in one of the very few universes where the numbers came out right for life to happen. This argument is presented in detail in Martin Rees's Before the Beginning .Next, let's look at the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics (MWI). Everyone who reads SF novels has heard of this, but I had always dismissed it as a fringe theory with little credibility. I was surprised to learn from Brian Greene's The Hidden Reality that the MWI has steadily been gaining ground over the last 30 years, and is now considered completely respectable. As Greene explains, everyone agrees on the mathematical theory behind quantum mechanics, the Schrödinger equation. People know how to do the calculations, and these calculations work spectacularly well. The disagreement is about what the equations actually mean. Greene, and other people you can easily find on the Web, say that the MWI is in fact the simplest and most natural way to give intuitive significance to the mathematics of quantum physics; the traditional "Copenhagen interpretation" due to Niels Bohr and his colleagues is close to mysticism when you try to pin it down, since it makes the human observer an integral part of physics. Quantum physicists are sufficiently uneasy about the choices that the most popular approach is not to ascribe any meaning to the mathematics, but just perform the calculations without asking what they refer to. This is evidently an unusual way to do science.To summarize, the most natural way to interpret our mainstream scientific theory is to say that there are many alternate universes. The physical evidence also suggests that there are many alternate universes. If the notion weren't so startling, one would just conclude that, since theory and experiment coincide, there must be many alternate universes. There are plenty of loose ends to tie up, and you can question the logic in several places. (Robert has done a good job of presenting the case for the defense in the comment thread to my Greene review). I still can't quite bring myself to believe it emotionally, but the more I think about it, the more sense it makes. The other explanations are even more far-fetched; as Sherlock Holmes says, once you've eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be true. Check it out for yourself and see if you agree.___________________________________Looking around for material on the Many Worlds Interpretation, I found a paper by Max Tegmark where the following interesting passage appears:Is there ... any experiment that could distinguish between ... the MWI and the Copenhagen interpretation using currently available technology? The author can only think of one: a form of quantum suicide in a spirit similar to so-called quantum roulette. It requires quite a dedicated experimentalist, since it is amounts to an iterated and faster version of Schrödinger's cat experiment with you as the cat.The apparatus is a "quantum gun" which each time its trigger is pulled measures the z-spin of a particle. It is connected to a machine gun that fires a single bullet if the result is "down" and merely makes an audible click if the result is "up". The details of the trigger mechanism are irrelevant (an experiment with photons and a half-silvered mirror would probably be cheaper to implement) as long as the timescale between the quantum bit generation and the actual firing is much shorter than that characteristic of human perception, say 0.01 seconds. The experimenter first places a sand bag in front of the gun and tells her assistant to pull the trigger ten times. [Everyone] agrees that the "shut-up-and-calculate" prescription applies here, and predict that she will hear a seemingly random sequence of shots and duds such as "bang-click-bang-bang-bang-click-clickbang-click-click." She now instructs her assistant to pull the trigger ten more times and places her head in front of the gun barrel. This time the shut-up-and-calculate recipe is inapplicable, since probabilities have no meaning for an observer in the dead state, and the contenders will differ in their predictions. In interpretations where there is an explicit non-unitary collapse, she will be either dead or alive after the first trigger event, so she should expect to perceive perhaps a click or two (if she is moderately lucky), then "game over", nothing at all.In the MWI, on the other hand, the state after the first trigger event is [...] Since there is exactly one observer having perceptions both before and after the trigger event, and since it occurred too fast to notice, the MWI prediction is that [the experimenter] will hear "click" with 100% certainty. When her assistant has completed his unenviable assignment, she will have heard ten clicks, and concluded that collapse interpretations of quantum mechanics are ruled out at a confidence level of 99.9%. If she wants to rule them out at "ten sigma", she need merely increase n by continuing the experiment a while longer. Occasionally, to verify that the apparatus is working, she can move her head away from the gun and suddenly hear it going off intermittently. Note, however, that almost all terms in the final superposition will have her assistant perceiving that he has killed his boss. Many physicists would undoubtedly rejoice if an omniscient genie appeared at their death bed, and as a reward for life-long curiosity granted them the answer to a physics question of their choice. But would they be as happy if the genie forbade them from telling anybody else? Perhaps the greatest irony of quantum mechanics is that if the MWI is correct, then the situation is quite analogous if, once you feel ready to die, you repeatedly attempt quantum suicide: you will experimentally convince yourself that the MWI is correct, but you can never convince anyone else!But is Tegmark really correct in saying that the experimenter would not convince anyone else of the correctness of the MWI? Imagine that you are the assistant in the universe where the experimenter succeeds in cheating death 100 times in a row, after having explained what she is about to do. I, at least, would find this convincing. I wouldn't be able to repeat the experiment (only the person risking their life can do that), but it would still seem way too strange to ascribe to pure chance.It seems to me that the argument about lucky settings in the physical constants making life possible is related to Tegmark's thought experiment with the quantum gun. We have all been the beneficiaries of, in effect, a long string of clicks, as opposed to bullets. The question is whether this is good evidence of the existence of other quantum worlds. I can see that opinions are divided!___________________________________So I was chatting with a CERN physicist today (imagine other people peacefully knitting in the background), and I took the opportunity to ask him why the picture I describe above isn't the standard one. "Well, it is more or less the standard one!" he said. "At least among cosmologists.""In that case..." I began, but he cut me short."However, it's not the standard picture among theoretical particle physicists," he continued. "And for experimental particle physicists, it's a yet another picture.""But... if they all know they have different pictures of what's happening, why don't they discuss it until they've agreed which is right?" I asked helplessly.That CERN shrug again. It's starting to look familiar.
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  • Ben
    April 12, 2009
    A series losing steam, and it's a real shame given the potential of the first two books--both fun, quick reads. This title is less focused on the sci-fi and philosophical underpinnings of the first two books. Instead, Adams here maintains sequences that hinge on bizarre chains of events and silly, ponderous exchanges between characters who have less and less of an idea as to what exactly is happening around them. These felt a long 200+ pages indeed.The bon mots and clever passages are fewer and A series losing steam, and it's a real shame given the potential of the first two books--both fun, quick reads. This title is less focused on the sci-fi and philosophical underpinnings of the first two books. Instead, Adams here maintains sequences that hinge on bizarre chains of events and silly, ponderous exchanges between characters who have less and less of an idea as to what exactly is happening around them. These felt a long 200+ pages indeed.The bon mots and clever passages are fewer and further between than the previous two installments. In fact, much of this book is rather uninspired and infuriating; the Krikkit robots, the Bistromathematics, the reincarnations of the hapless multiple-murder victim Agrajag... none of the set pieces gave me more than a brief chuckle. Much of what aims to pass for characteristic Adams whimsy feels perfunctory, and the string of coincidences that form the crux of the plot are truly slapdash.The highlights for me here are Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged's perpetual misanthropy and what amounts to the only real meat of the book--the story of the reason why the ultimate question and answer of the universe are (putatively) mutually exclusive. Thus leading to "So Long and Thanks for All the Fish". But nothing here matches the humor of, for instance, the truly inspired chapter containing the Hitchhiker's Guide's entry on The Universe in "Restaurant at the End of the Universe".When Adams is working with less inspired ideas, his inability to write characters as anything but vehicles for punchlines and guttural confusions is trying. Vonnegut, while a weak painter of convincing personalities, instills a sense of humanity and pathos in the proceedings that eludes Adams. Some sense of feeling and sympathy, perhaps, plays foil to the general absurdity of exposition and content in Vonnegut. This is why he's a better read if you're comparing the two as I feel prone to do, and one of several reasons I'm not too concerned with making it through last installments in this series.All of that being said, I have to say that the ending is pretty simpatico with me. Maybe Adams should have left it all at that.
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  • Brandon Collinsworth
    March 18, 2009
    this is the last book in the series that I really enjoyed and I almost wish Douglas Adams would have called it quits here. The book gives us the chance to laugh at ourselves in going back to prehistoric earth and Adams alternate view of how we ended up the creatures we are, that was extremely clever.But Krikkit was the best part, this story was amazing and I can't help but wonder if Adams religous views are at work here. A group of people that just can't accept the idea that there might be anoth this is the last book in the series that I really enjoyed and I almost wish Douglas Adams would have called it quits here. The book gives us the chance to laugh at ourselves in going back to prehistoric earth and Adams alternate view of how we ended up the creatures we are, that was extremely clever.But Krikkit was the best part, this story was amazing and I can't help but wonder if Adams religous views are at work here. A group of people that just can't accept the idea that there might be another group of people besides them in the universe, and the only way they can deal with it is to kill anyone who is not them.But the time paradox starts to become a real problem at this point and utterly undoes the series from here out, and the fact that the cast of characters spends most of their time split apart and that is not as much fun. Also, the characters flaws have become exagerrated by this time and the things that made them interesting characters but people you wouldn't want to know, has now made all of them a little annoying.
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  • Jonathan
    July 22, 2012
    As a continuation of Douglas Adams' famous The Hitchiker's Guide Series this was, as indicated by the foreword, one of the most plotted in the series. But as also indicated by the foreword, you don't read The Hitchiker's Guide Series for the plots. So, you ask me, what do you read it for? You read it for the sense of wonder about the crazy place the universe is. You read it for the comedy of Douglas Adams, for his creative and zany use of made up people, places, words...for his use of language. As a continuation of Douglas Adams' famous The Hitchiker's Guide Series this was, as indicated by the foreword, one of the most plotted in the series. But as also indicated by the foreword, you don't read The Hitchiker's Guide Series for the plots. So, you ask me, what do you read it for? You read it for the sense of wonder about the crazy place the universe is. You read it for the comedy of Douglas Adams, for his creative and zany use of made up people, places, words...for his use of language. He is a wizard, transforming words into wit to power a laugh within the inner sanctum of your mind as a reader. When you think you've got him figured out, that's when you realise that actually you haven't.I read elsewhere when attempting to discover what I could about the literary idea of 'deus-ex-machina' that while it is generally frowned upon as poor storytelling that Adams was able to use it brilliantly for humour. Reading this third instalment of his series I saw again that yes, he was able to do exactly that! And at the same time his use of deus-ex-machina also contributes ultimately to the plot (which we as readers of Adams do not care for). In many ways, perhaps unintentionally, Adams therefore shows that he can also use the literary device of 'Chekhov's gun'. Characters and plot ideas introduced earlier in the piece never really go away. Some may be simple ideas thrown in their for an occasional laugh, but if you see Adams mention a fact or a character specifically, especially in a way that's out of the story's usual context then that character or fact will appear later. Such as the idea in this story of flying (and the re-incarnated character - which I thought was brilliant!).I won't bother with a plot summary. I doubt anyone can sum up the plot in any way that makes much sense. I will say that if you've read the previous books and enjoyed them then this is a similar continuation. If you haven't read any of the previous books don't jump in now. I recommend going back to where there's Vogon poetry and the destruction of the world with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
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  • Olga
    October 28, 2015
    Maybe 2.5 stars. Half the time I didn't understand what the hell was happening. These books are usually a little crazy and over the top, but this one was specially weird. I'm giving it a 3 star rating, because of the audiobook. Martin Freeman's narration made this really enjoyable and I laughed out loud a lot of times. Arthur is still an amazing character, not much change about the way he's written but still my favorite.
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  • Ferdy
    June 5, 2014
    As fun and silly as the previous instalments. The best part was that random guy going around insulting everyone.
  • Katie
    January 2, 2014
    I appreciate Douglas Adams a bit more each time that I read him. This was unsurprisingly lovely and funny and very enjoyable. It's a wonderful thing to read if you're having a bad day and it's rainy outside (or hey, even if it's sunny). I don't think I really noticed it before, but reading through this I kept finding myself thinking that Douglas Adams could easily have been a very successful "serious" writer too, if he had wanted to be one. He's a wonderful writer, and there are a couple of turn I appreciate Douglas Adams a bit more each time that I read him. This was unsurprisingly lovely and funny and very enjoyable. It's a wonderful thing to read if you're having a bad day and it's rainy outside (or hey, even if it's sunny). I don't think I really noticed it before, but reading through this I kept finding myself thinking that Douglas Adams could easily have been a very successful "serious" writer too, if he had wanted to be one. He's a wonderful writer, and there are a couple of turns of phrases throughout this book that are really beautiful. They'll be immediately undercut by something funny or ridiculous, but that only makes them stronger.This one needed more Zaphod Beeblebrox, though.
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  • Joe
    August 18, 2014
    'From the studios on the unstable fourth moon of Vega four; it's The Ua show!' The announcer shouted as Ua emerged from behind the curtain to the applause of her live audience.'Thank you, thank you.' She called to her adoring fans. 'And I must say I love you all. Even the reptiloids. Oh what am I saying; especially the reptiloids.' Light laughter followed.'Today we have with us the stars of Life, the Universe and Everything.' She called out while making a horizontal slash through the air; a pant 'From the studios on the unstable fourth moon of Vega four; it's The Ua show!' The announcer shouted as Ua emerged from behind the curtain to the applause of her live audience.'Thank you, thank you.' She called to her adoring fans. 'And I must say I love you all. Even the reptiloids. Oh what am I saying; especially the reptiloids.' Light laughter followed.'Today we have with us the stars of Life, the Universe and Everything.' She called out while making a horizontal slash through the air; a pantomimed underline to indicate that she referenced the popular humor novel and not all of creation. Please welcome Wowbagger and Agrajag!'The lights behind her snapped on to reveal a comically mismatched pair of aliens. The first was tall, gray and sat with perfect posture while the other was a mottled bat-like lump of a humanoid with hideous teeth and scraggly hair; he looked like a commercial personification of acne or athlete’s foot fungus. The crowd cheered as Ua made her way to a seat facing her guests. 'Welcome to the show.' She said.'Hhhhhrrraaaaahhhh!' The bat-creature named Agrajag screeched by way of greeting. Wowbagger merely nodded in her direction.Some light chatting followed, with Ua expending serious effort to focus Agrajag and engage Wowbagger. Finally, after five minutes of talk about the weather, current events and 'how ya doin' pleasantries with little to show, Ua went to her trump card; 'Mr. Wowbagger.' She began “you're legendary for your quest to insult the universe; who doesn't still laugh when they hear 'knee-biter'” She turned to the audience, who applauded.'So we've asked you to come with a few insults prepared. Of course we know that you like to do this alphabetically, but we're hoping you'll make an exception in this case.'The edges of Wowbagger's thin lips turned upward slightly. 'Very well.' He said.'You can start with me.' Ua said and shot the audience a knowing look.'You...' Wowbagger began. A pause ripe with anticipation filled the studio. 'Ua Clarriska Utharion?''Yes?' She said with a devious smile.'You are a clod, Ua. A shiftless weasel-punter.' Ua chortled The audience erupted in laughter. Wowbagger's mouth continued to turn upward. After a full minute of mirth, Ua wiped a tear from her eye and motioned for silence. 'I'm afraid it's not all fun and games on the show today.' She said and turned to Agrajag. 'Our other guest has something of a deeply sad story to tell; I understand you've recently suffered quite a tragedy.''Oh I have.' Moaned Agrajag. Who proceeded to launch into a tale about how he had been murdered by Arthur Dent over 50 times and how his plan for revenge had been foiled. The audience knew the tale and most of them found it very funny. But to see Agrajag in person and so obviously miserable they all sat quiet and attentive. 'And not only did I not kill Arthur Dent, but he pulled his cruelest trick yet. You see, this is my last life and had he killed this life, I would have been a failure but at least I could have rested. But he robbed that from me as well; smashing my poor body and entombing me in a collapsed cave. It's a cursed miracle that I survived in any state. I can't give up when revenge is still possible, but every waking moment is pain and hopelessness.' 'Agrajag.' Wowbagger intoned when Agrajag's story concluded.'Yes?''Trentorz Ignatious Agrajag?''Well, yes, that's my full name. No wait-''You're a dirt bag Agrajag. A total flipping dolt.' The audience went berserk; laughing and applauding. Wowbagger beamed and raised his arms in accepted adulation. Ua shot a glance at Agrajag to see the small monster's shoulders slumped and his face a mangled grimace. She silenced the audience and changed the subject.'And what about the author; Douglas Adams?' She asked 'how do you feel about how he wrote you.'Agragag's eyes perked up. 'Adams...' he said quietly. 'This is his fault; he wrote everything that happened to me. That's why I've never been able to take revenge...' Agragag trailed off as he got lost in his twisted labyrinth of a mind.'Douglas Adams is... Adams is a cretin. A jerktastic cretin.' Wowbagger turned to the audience for further praise. But they appeared dubious; the level of weird had become too much for them.Ua sensed the awkward situation and took a page from primary school teachers everywhere; she showed a video. In this case, a holovideo featuring imagery from the novel and a pair of unruly mobs shaking their fists at one another. The video was narrated by Morgan Freeman.'In the 1980s' Freeman began “Life, the Universe and Everything was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. Critics pointed to the novel's scatter-shot plotting, rehashed jokes and an odd obsession with cricket, a sport few outside England find quaint or amusing, as their reasons for ranking Life, the Universe and Everything below the previous books in the 'Hitchhiker' series. More positive critics defended the novel by pointing out that the writing remained very clever and there are some really classic bits in there, including a planet-raiding mobile party and instruction on how to fly, and furthermore that the divide between the negative and positive critics really was in their favor. The detractors countered this last point; arguing that many of them died of aneurysms while reading the interminable chapters about restaurant-based propulsion or any part where Ford Prefect defined himself as a pointless wanker (which was constantly.) The defenders re-countered by stating that the untimely death of opponents is a well-established means of gaining the upper hand in any argument.'The ensuing war killed billions and devastated the literary arm of the galaxy. With no victor in sight, the two sides agreed to peace talks. These talks were contentions, leading to billions of additional deaths, but would produce a treaty declaring Life, the Universe and Everything 'a mixed bag.'”Just then a crash shook the studio. And suddenly an aqua-colored escape pod smashed through the ceiling and came hurtling toward the stage. Agrajag, who had just formulated a new scheme for revenge, had just enough time to glance up and say 'oh no, not again' before the capsule obliterated his final life. The crowd was stunned; apart from the total annihilation of Agrajag and his chair there was very little damage.After a minute's pause, with the holovideo still playing in the background, the capsule's hatch popped open and a long, bedraggled English face peered out. 'Sorry to disturb you.' The face said. 'But we're lost and I'm hoping one of you can help.''Perhaps you'd like some tea first.' Ua offered and winked at the audience. 'Well, yes that would be very nice.' The face responded.'Arthur Dent everybody!' Ua said and gestured to the literary icon. The crowd summoned another massive cheer. Arthur looked confused. After the cheer died down but before Ua could move the conversation forward, the dulcet voice of Morgan Freeman echoed through the momentary pause '… the primary takeaway is that Life, the Universe and Everything isn't all that it's cracked up to be.''That's what I said' a metallic voice droned from inside the escape-pod.'Is that...' Ua turned suddenly giddy. 'Is that Marvin the robot?''I'm afraid so.' Arthur said as he climbed through the porthole. 'Cheerful as ever.''Oh, Marvin.' Ua cooed. 'I have to admit you're my favorite character. Would you be willing to do an interview. I'd be honored.''That makes one of us.' The voice of everyone's favorite paranoid android said as he emerged.The audience was euphoric. Ua danced a little jig onstage. Wowbagger glared at the interlopers who had stolen his thunder. Arthur looked confused. Agrajag's soul finally found peace. Marvin felt very depressed.
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  • Cecily
    June 19, 2010
    Hitchhiker's, volume 3.Mostly about Krikkit - and the Bistromathic Drive, which is better than mere Infinite Improbability. The immortal Wowbanger the Infinitely Prolonged gave himself the task of insulting everyone in the universe - individually (but nearly did Arthur twice). It has the usual wonderful Adamsness:The "knack" of learning to fly is to "throw yourself at the ground and miss". "Aggressively uninterested". "One thing has suddenly ceased to lead to another". Slartibartfast, who has on Hitchhiker's, volume 3.Mostly about Krikkit - and the Bistromathic Drive, which is better than mere Infinite Improbability. The immortal Wowbanger the Infinitely Prolonged gave himself the task of insulting everyone in the universe - individually (but nearly did Arthur twice). It has the usual wonderful Adamsness:The "knack" of learning to fly is to "throw yourself at the ground and miss". "Aggressively uninterested". "One thing has suddenly ceased to lead to another". Slartibartfast, who has one of the best names in literature, "wrote a monograph to set the record wrong about one or two matters he saw as important". "Time travel is a menace. History is being polluted. The past is now truly like a foreign country. They do things exactly the same there". "They obstinately persisted in their absence". To attack a transdimensional planet you need to work out how to "fire missiles at 90 degrees to reality". "sat in darkened rooms in illegal states of mind". "One of the least benightedly unintelligent organic lifeforms it has been my profound lack of pleasure not be able to avoid meeting" (Boris took that idea with "I couldn't possibly fail to disagree with you less").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/...So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish (vol 4): 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...
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  • David Sarkies
    October 25, 2016
    It's all just a game of cricket25 October 2016 - Clifton Hill I'm going to have to be honest here and admit that I really wasn't all that impressed with this book. In fact the story was originally meant to be a six part Doctor Who series which was rejected by the producers, and I can see why – it just really didn't seem to be what I would expect from Doctor Who. Okay, the Doctor can be pretty tongue in cheek at times, and while there are suggestions that some Earth practices have extra-terrestri It's all just a game of cricket25 October 2016 - Clifton Hill I'm going to have to be honest here and admit that I really wasn't all that impressed with this book. In fact the story was originally meant to be a six part Doctor Who series which was rejected by the producers, and I can see why – it just really didn't seem to be what I would expect from Doctor Who. Okay, the Doctor can be pretty tongue in cheek at times, and while there are suggestions that some Earth practices have extra-terrestrial origins, the who idea of cricket being a reflection of a huge intergalactic war really doesn't seem to fit well with the genre. I guess that having been rejected as a Doctor Who serial, being redrafted and made the third part of the Hitchhiker's Guide series sort of makes the story feel a little forced. Moreso it has a plot, and the one thing about absurdist literature is that it isn't really supposed to have a plot. Sure, the first book dealt with the search for the answer to the ultimate question, and the second dealt with the search for the true ruler of the galaxy, however they sort of sat in the background, and even then there was no real conclusion in the same way that Waiting for Godot really didn't have a conclusion. The difference with this book is that the plot is front and centre. Arthur and Ford are trapped in prehistoric Earth however after parting ways for four years (and having some random person appear and insult him), they meet up again and discover a temporal anomaly in the form of a couch. So, what does one do when they see a couch in a place where it really shouldn't belong – well they sit on it. Anyway, the couch then proceeds to take them to Lord's at a time when the Australian Cricket Team simply cannot beat the English (and once again lose). All of the sudden these robots appear, hit bombs (that look like cricket balls) all over the place with bats that look like cricket bats, steal the ashes, and disappear. As it turns out the ashes aren't supposed to represent the 'death of English cricket' (well, they do, but that was only a representation) but rather are a piece of a key that is supposed to open the 'Wikit Gate' beyond which is imprisoned the world of 'Krikit'. What is then revealed is that eons ago the world of Krikit was isolated due to a dust cloud, however one day a spaceship crashed, and after examining the spaceship, and realising things existed beyond the sky, the inhabitants of Krikit decided to go and have a look, and it turned out that they didn't really like what they saw there. So, they proceeded to declare war on the entire universe. After a long and protracted period of hostilities the people of Krikit eventually lost (should I call them Krikitters? I'm not really sure) and they, and their world, were imprisoned in a field of slow time. However, a single spaceship full of robots managed to escape and proceeded to travel the galaxy and reassembling the key that would open the Wikit Gate. Ironically, parts of the key also included Marven's leg, a part of the infinite improbability drive, and the part of a trophy which represented the most gratuitous use of the word 'fuck' in a serious drama (though apparently when the book was released, this section of censored, so the world Belgium was used instead, which I have to admit is probably somewhat more clever that the other word that is used). Look, as I have already mentioned, I wasn't particularly enamored with this story, and I still have two more to go. I do remember liking the next one, but until I have read it I won't say anymore (though most people sort of write that one off as a load of rubbish). As for this book I don't want to write it completely off because there are some really good scenes, and jokes, in it, but it doesn't really have the panache that the previous books had. For instance, the whole discussion of flying being throwing yourself at the ground, and missing, was actually quite stupid. Okay, it did have a purpose in the book, but the Hitchhiker's Guide entry just simply didn't seem to be as clever as the entries in the first (and second) book. I guess that is the problem with a lot of books where they start off as a single book and quickly morph into a never-ending series (though Terry Pratchett seemed to have been able to solve that problem with his Discworld series). Anyway, let us consider the title of the book, which relates back to the original concept of the series, and in a way comes around to the question at the end of this book – what is life all about. The thing is that the answer to this question seems to be forever out of reach, or simply unobtainable through normal means (such as asking a computer, but then again how is a computer going to be able to answer such a question, particularly when the computer is limited by its creator). Okay, some people believe that they have the answer, which is what religion is all about. Actually, that is the prime definition of a religion, namely that it provides the answer to the questions of 'where did we come from, what are we doing here, and where are we going?'. Sure, most religions boil down to God, God, and God, but not all of them. Dare I say that scientific materialism answers those three questions: dust, whatever we want it to be, and dust. However I suspect that this whole scientific materialistic view of the universe is what created absurdism in the first place because despite providing the answers to these questions the answers weren't satisfactory. Sure, the answers that end with God can be considered satisfactory answers, yet for some reason we insist on killing each other over the exact interpretation of what 'God' actually means. Okay, it technically means, as Bill and Ted put so well, 'be excellent to each other and party on dudes' yet this simple thing seems to be beyond us. Sure, there are some (such as myself) that imply that being excellent to each other also involves being excellent to God, but that sort of comes hand in hand. The baffling thing is that despite the fact that we agree that being excellent to each other is a really good idea we seem to not actually want to do it where we are concerned. In fact Adams even touches on that point namely because anybody who comes along and suggests that being excellent to each other would probably solve all of our problems ends up getting killed. The problem is that our interpretation of being excellent to each other pretty much involves letting me do what I want to do and anybody who stops me from doing what I want to do is not being excellent to me. So, when we do things that are technically not being excellent to each other (such as polluting the world because, well, we want to live our hyperdisposable lifestyle) and people pull us up on it then we get upset and claim that being excellent to each other is not actually as great as it is cracked up to be and we might as well look for another solution to the ultimate question that doesn't involve me giving up all the really cool things that I have. Okay, I'm sure I could participate in this challenge that one of the social justice organisations is suggesting– namely living on one power socket, but I would cheat by having lots of powerboards and lots of extension cords so that my life isn't actually impacted all that much (or I could just live off my laptop as opposed to desktop and computer in the lounge room, but that is beside the point). Actually, come to think of it, there is a computer in the lounge room that I don't use – I think I should format the hardrive and turn that into my video machine as opposed to using my laptop, but I think I have drifted so far off topic that I might bring my story to an end now.
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  • Evan Leach
    April 12, 2012
    The third entry in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series probably has the most coherent plot of all five books, for what that’s worth. In Life, the Universe and Everything, Arthur, Ford and friends get roped into preventing the destruction of the universe. A group of sinister robots have been appearing around the galaxy collecting specific items, and if their efforts are successful all creation as we know it will be destroyed. Unlike the other books in the series, where the characters ofte The third entry in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series probably has the most coherent plot of all five books, for what that’s worth. In Life, the Universe and Everything, Arthur, Ford and friends get roped into preventing the destruction of the universe. A group of sinister robots have been appearing around the galaxy collecting specific items, and if their efforts are successful all creation as we know it will be destroyed. Unlike the other books in the series, where the characters often seem to meander around the galaxy at random, this book features a clear set of antagonists and a relatively clear goal: stop the robots and their masters from universal annihilation. I mentioned in my review of The Restaurant at the End of the Universe that the Hitchhiker’s series gets progressively weirder and weirder with each passing book. And despite this book’s (relative) clarity of plot, that statement holds true. This book features characters flying around as if by magic, spaceships powered by restaurant simulations, gods randomly hanging out at parties, etc. And while weirdness on its own is not necessarily a problem, I don’t find this book quite as funny as the first two entries in the series. I thought Julia made a great point in her review: Adams splits his characters up more in this book, and the book suffers for it. The first two books have a lot of fun at Arthur’s expense, as the blundering earthman struggles to adjust to a universe that’s both bigger and far more bizarre than he ever imagined. Book three treats Arthur more like a real person, which may make sense from a character development standpoint but sacrifices something in the comedic department. Less Zaphod in general is also a bit of a disappointment.That said, I have now read this book three times so I obviously like it. It may not be as consistently, side-splittingly funny as the first two books in the series, but it’s still very clever and has a few passages of inspired hilarity (Marvin’s encounter with the mattress & the world’s longest running party come to mind). In some ways, this book feels like the end of the series: while there are two later books, this is the last one before things really shift gears and the last one revolving around all the main characters from the first book. While I can only recommend books four and five with reservations, Life, the Universe and Everything should be very satisfying for anyone who enjoyed The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. 3.5 stars. Reread in January, 2004 and April, 2012.
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  • Jim
    November 30, 2014
    I'm not sure there has ever been a point to any of this, but this one seemed to lose any sign of cohesive narration toward the end. Again, it ended abruptly & on a cliff hanger. Still kind of funny at odd moments, but so pointless as to be tiring. I thought I'd try one more & queued it up, but then found some better books at the library. I think I've spent enough time on this series. I now get many of the references FWIW. Ugh. Next I'll be watching football or some other ridiculous sport I'm not sure there has ever been a point to any of this, but this one seemed to lose any sign of cohesive narration toward the end. Again, it ended abruptly & on a cliff hanger. Still kind of funny at odd moments, but so pointless as to be tiring. I thought I'd try one more & queued it up, but then found some better books at the library. I think I've spent enough time on this series. I now get many of the references FWIW. Ugh. Next I'll be watching football or some other ridiculous sport that spends millions of dollars moving a ball around a field in an effort to speak to & understand those around me. Hah! No, just kidding. There are far too many better things to do.
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  • Becky
    September 15, 2011
    Still funny, still absurd, still pretty deep really, but Adams was definitly starting to lose some of the threads here. This is the first one where I found myself asking, "wait, what?". There are some pretty decent time jumps between chapters that will leave eyebrows waggling in confusion. But, there ARE still some really great pieces, I'm particularly fond of bistro math.
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  • Inge
    December 13, 2015
    2.5 stars
  • FlibBityFLooB
    October 26, 2009
    How can you go wrong with the zany mind of author Douglas Adams? Arthur, living alone on prehistoric Earth, decides happily to himself that he will go mad and announces it to the empty world. Ford, who unexpectedly reappears after being gone for four years, tells Arthur that he went mad for a while and it did him a lot of good. I loved Ford’s description of his bout of self-imposed madness: “And then I decided I was a lemon for a couple of weeks. I kept myself amused all that time jumping in an How can you go wrong with the zany mind of author Douglas Adams? Arthur, living alone on prehistoric Earth, decides happily to himself that he will go mad and announces it to the empty world. Ford, who unexpectedly reappears after being gone for four years, tells Arthur that he went mad for a while and it did him a lot of good. I loved Ford’s description of his bout of self-imposed madness: “And then I decided I was a lemon for a couple of weeks. I kept myself amused all that time jumping in and out of a gin and tonic.” and “I found a small lake that thought it was a gin and tonic and jumped in and out of that. At least, I think it thought it was a gin and tonic.” Then, Arthur and Ford proceed to chase an irrational sofa through time and a cricket match. Weird enough for you yet? That’s only the first few pages of the book…Maybe it’s the Mathematician in me, but how can you not love the theory of the non-absolute number for the given time of arrival: “A number whose existence can only be defined as being anything other than itself. In other words, the given time of arrival is the one moment of time at which it is impossible that any member of the party will arrive.” ? In chapter 7, a mattress called Zem and Marvin, the depressed robot, have a conversation. I doubt there are any other books out there that feature conversations between mattresses and robots. It does seem like something that I would dream about at night, though… In chapter 17, we learn about the editor that has been out-to-lunch for the last century and about apologizing in sports to your opponent via megaphone. It’s all so very random.I wish I could share with you the entry on how to fly inside the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but I really don’t want to spoil it for you in case you read the book yourself. I’ve already shared too much as is. Really, you must read this book. I implore you to read it. The madness must be shared! *happy sigh* I adore the lunacy of Douglas Adams ;)
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  • Peter
    March 13, 2011
    Strained but enjoyable sequel: With the publication of The Restaurant at the End of the Universe Douglas Adams had completed his novelisations of the two Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy radio series, and the story had effectively reached it's natural conclusion, with the wrapping up of all the major plot-threads concerning the quest for the Ultimate Question, the destruction of planet Earth, and Zaphod's theft of the Heart of Gold. The series popularity though resulted in Adams bringing out a th Strained but enjoyable sequel: With the publication of The Restaurant at the End of the Universe Douglas Adams had completed his novelisations of the two Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy radio series, and the story had effectively reached it's natural conclusion, with the wrapping up of all the major plot-threads concerning the quest for the Ultimate Question, the destruction of planet Earth, and Zaphod's theft of the Heart of Gold. The series popularity though resulted in Adams bringing out a third Hitchhiker's book, with the main storyline being recycled from an unused Doctor Who storyline he had written called Doctor Who And The Krikkitmen. As such this novel feels a little strained at times in bringing all the original Hitchhiker's cast back for a third outing, with Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect's idyllic prehistoric life at the end of The Restaurant at the End of the Universe transformed into a nightmare they can be rescued from, and Marvin having his death in the previous book undone. By far the biggest change though is Slartifartbast, who has changed from an eccentric planet designer into the main plot-driver of the book, essentially taking over the Doctor's role as would be saviour of the universe and guardian of the timelines, with his new background in the Campaign For Real Time replacing the role of Doctor Who's Time Lords.However, the odd strained moments are more than offset but the typically brilliant concepts on display - including the Hitchhiker's art of flying by throwing oneself at the ground and missing, Slartifartbast's Bistromathematical spaceship, and the re-acquaintance of the sentient bowl of petunias from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy that results in Arthur Dent glimpsing his own future.Not quite up to the standard of the first two books in the series, Life, the Universe and Everything is nevertheless clever enough and funny enough to be essential for fans of the earlier novels.
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  • Eric Allen
    April 18, 2015
    This is the first book in the series that has an actual storyline, where there's an ancient evil that needs to be, and is eventually, dealt with in the end. The really amazing thing is that this series went two entire books before it even really needed to happen, and no one really seems to care, because the first two books are so entertaining without any real plotline tying all of the random events together in them. I mean, for a book that doesn't have a girl who discovered a way that everyone c This is the first book in the series that has an actual storyline, where there's an ancient evil that needs to be, and is eventually, dealt with in the end. The really amazing thing is that this series went two entire books before it even really needed to happen, and no one really seems to care, because the first two books are so entertaining without any real plotline tying all of the random events together in them. I mean, for a book that doesn't have a girl who discovered a way that everyone could just be happy without anyone needed to be nailed to anything first, it was okay, I guess. This book is actually probably my favorite in the series, because you get to find out the all important answer to the question "why did the bowl of petunias say 'oh no, not again?'" It's probably my favorite gag in the entire series. I don't know if Adams had that all planned out when he wrote the first book or not, but it goes back to a pretty funny joke, and then makes it even more funny. Just that combined with the flying that takes place afterward makes up my favorite scene in the entire series. And the Krikkit thing is just plain funny as hell too. Adams manages to make fun of not just those who don't understand the game of cricket, but those who understand and enjoy it all at the same time, which takes talent. Certainly recommend this one, and the whole series it's part of, to anyone who enjoys really well thought out comedy.
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  • Yvonne Mendez
    February 21, 2013
    The first book made sense and I met my new love: Marvin the Paranoid Android. The second book "The restaurant at the end of the universe", made sense, sorta, kinda, but I can't explain why it made sense. Marvin was depressingly charming and I even had a small bout of depression in his honor. In this third installment, there is less of Marvin and more saving-the-universe type action. I constantly feel like Arthur Dent with all these things and new concepts being thrown at me from the lips of the The first book made sense and I met my new love: Marvin the Paranoid Android. The second book "The restaurant at the end of the universe", made sense, sorta, kinda, but I can't explain why it made sense. Marvin was depressingly charming and I even had a small bout of depression in his honor. In this third installment, there is less of Marvin and more saving-the-universe type action. I constantly feel like Arthur Dent with all these things and new concepts being thrown at me from the lips of the author (he read the audiobook version) and I don't even know what to think, all I do is react to the story...maybe I should try flying and think about these stories at the crucial moment (this part will make sense if you read the book).To sum it up, I liked the book and now I want a Marvin plush doll.
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  • Debbie
    December 7, 2016
    Life, the Universe and Everything was everywhere. All over life. All over the universe. And all over my span of consciousness. My poor little Earth brain was inadequate for this book! *Spontaneously laughs like a mad hatter and then abruptly stops.* I wasn't over the moon for this one. I've read some reviews about the previous two books in the series, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and The Restaurant at the End of the Universe and some readers said they were weird. I didn't find them we Life, the Universe and Everything was everywhere. All over life. All over the universe. And all over my span of consciousness. My poor little Earth brain was inadequate for this book! *Spontaneously laughs like a mad hatter and then abruptly stops.* I wasn't over the moon for this one. I've read some reviews about the previous two books in the series, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and The Restaurant at the End of the Universe and some readers said they were weird. I didn't find them weird but this one I did. It was a little too, too much. Too much what? Too much Douglas Adams brain-ish-ness. (Silly book. I can make up silly words.) I have no idea what the plot was. What was the point? I chuckled a few times. But most of the time I felt like, "Wait! What? So... yeah no. 2 stars. Douglas Adams sci-fi fiction is still brilliantly imaginative. But this one stayed in its technicolor space ship and flew directly over my head and right on light years away to the planet, Yeah Girl I Got You Confused located in Sector GH7W of the Brainfart Galaxy. I will go ahead and try the next book. Side bar: I hope this was just a fluke that I didn't care for this one book in the series. I usually never finish any series because they tend to fall off after a while but I'd like to finish this one.
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  • Ivonne Rovira
    May 13, 2013
    No doubt about it: Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and its sequel The Restaurant at the End of the Universe were five-star novels. Anyone would want to read these laugh-out-loud funny books you'd again and again. But the third book in Adams' series, while amusing, doesn't prove to be as good. Sure, there are some funny scenes, such as when Arthur Dent braves killer robots to return to Lord's Cricket Ground to deposit ashes. (Any more details on that would spoil the novel.) Li No doubt about it: Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and its sequel The Restaurant at the End of the Universe were five-star novels. Anyone would want to read these laugh-out-loud funny books you'd again and again. But the third book in Adams' series, while amusing, doesn't prove to be as good. Sure, there are some funny scenes, such as when Arthur Dent braves killer robots to return to Lord's Cricket Ground to deposit ashes. (Any more details on that would spoil the novel.) Life, the Universe, and Everything also shows Arthur Dent gaining confidence and coming into his own in his new life. But whereas the first two novels were uproariously funny and quite clever, Life, the Universe, and Everything feels tired and the plotting careens from chaotically comic to just chaotically confusing. It's worth reading, but don't get your expectations too high.
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  • Momina Masood
    May 5, 2015
    "Important facts from Galactic history, number two:(Reproduced from the Siderial Daily Mentioner's Book of popular Galactic History.)Since this Galaxy began, vast civilizations have risen and fallen, risen and fallen, risen and fallen so often that it's quite tempting to think that life in the Galaxy must be(a) something akin to seasick – space-sick, time sick, history sick or some such thing, and(b) stupid."Ah, well. Much, much better than The Restaurant. Hilarious as expected. Arthur got more "Important facts from Galactic history, number two:(Reproduced from the Siderial Daily Mentioner's Book of popular Galactic History.)Since this Galaxy began, vast civilizations have risen and fallen, risen and fallen, risen and fallen so often that it's quite tempting to think that life in the Galaxy must be(a) something akin to seasick – space-sick, time sick, history sick or some such thing, and(b) stupid."Ah, well. Much, much better than The Restaurant. Hilarious as expected. Arthur got more of a nonce during much of the book, and his characterization got on my nerves at times. But great, stupid story with a whole lot of fun and laughter. And a whole lot of poignant, deep stuff too. Your traditional Douglas Adams! Should have been reading Lawrence for class but hey whatever! :P
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  • Simona Bartolotta
    July 9, 2011
    - Noi non siamo ossessionati da nessuna mania, capite - continuò Ford. - ... - Ed è proprio questo il fattore decisivo: l'ossessione. Non potremo mai vincere contro dei maniaci. Loro hanno la fissazione da soddisfare, noi no. E' quindi destino che vincano loro. - Anch'io ho le mie fissazioni, i miei interessi – disse Slartibartfast con la voce che gli tremava in parte per il risentimento, in parte anche per il dubbio. - Ah si? Quali? - Bé – disse il vecchio - m'interessa la vita, m'interessa l'U - Noi non siamo ossessionati da nessuna mania, capite - continuò Ford. - ... - Ed è proprio questo il fattore decisivo: l'ossessione. Non potremo mai vincere contro dei maniaci. Loro hanno la fissazione da soddisfare, noi no. E' quindi destino che vincano loro. - Anch'io ho le mie fissazioni, i miei interessi – disse Slartibartfast con la voce che gli tremava in parte per il risentimento, in parte anche per il dubbio. - Ah si? Quali? - Bé – disse il vecchio - m'interessa la vita, m'interessa l'Universo. Tutto, direi. I fiordi. - Morireste per loro? - Per i fiordi?- chiese Slartibartfast, battendo gli occhi per lo stupore - No. - Ecco, visto?
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  • Luise
    December 5, 2016
    New part of this series, a new exciting adventure. This time, Arthur Dent and his friends have to prevent the destruction of the universe. Will they succeed?!?It's just as fun to read as the other parts, there really isn't much more to say about it. Now excuse me, I'm off trying to throw myself at the ground and miss - i. e. fly away into whatever adventure my next choice of reading may bring me.
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  • Amantha
    August 29, 2013
    You know what would have made this series awesome? If Mr. Adams had forgotten all about Arthur Dent as the protagonist (seriously, he's useless and I get that's supposed to be the point and that he's supposed to be the Everyman but come on) and made Trillian the protagonist instead.And let her fucking go off with Thor if she wanted to. That whole bit about Arthur "taking care of" Thor and Trillian being grateful (but really she seemed quite ambivalent if you ask me) was just nonsense.
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  • Anastasija
    August 2, 2015
    The very first book of the series fascinated me. The second one amused me. The third one... well, it wasn't bad.The book is still funny and successfully delivers a unique humour to its readers (and I assume, the humour is much more important here than the plot itself).Yet, it failed to capture my attention, to make me sit and read for hours. It feels that the book series began to repeat itself.
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