Arthur Dent has just lost his girlfriend Fenchurch to some random space/time abnormality that erased her from existence. He also is lost in an alternate reality and finds the Earth a very completely different and dismal place. While traveling his ship crashes and he becomes the sandwich maker for a primitive tribe. His life as sandwich maker is fulfilling when Trillian comes with her daughter Random. Random is also Arthur’s daughter because Arthur was selling his DNA and Trillian used it to conceive a daughter. Trillian has to go and leaves Random for Arthur to take care of.
Soon after a package comes from Ford that Random opens and finds is the new Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. A new owner of the publishing company has created this sinister new edition. Now Random takes it to another alternate Earth where that Trillian never left with Zaphod and is a reporter. This Trillian finds a race of aliens living on the tenth planet and they are suffering amnesia. Well through some convoluted process Arthur, Ford and both Trillians get together just as the Vogons are about to destroy all the alternate Earths.
The final entry in the Hitchhiker’s story. The title coming from the entry for Earth in the guide. Sadly this wasn’t very good. It had a dark tone to it . A convoluted storyline and lots of theoretical jibber-jabber that wasn’t very funny. Indeed there were many plot threads left hanging and the ending was a dismal one that saw all the Earth’s in every universe destroyed by the Vogons. Douglas Adams in an interview admitted he was not very happy with this book. That he was going though some bad personal problems that year.
This was the last book he would ever write before his untimely death in 2001. He wasn’t a very prolific writer but what he wrote was brilliant. His Hitchhiker books were something I loved and consider then to be the most funniest thing ever written. It is sad that he didn’t end with a high note. Still I am glad I finally got around to reading this. It brings some closure for me and the book did have some moments. I guess the lesson from this is don’t try to write humor when your going through some bad personal problems.
Arthur Dent after traveling the galaxy discovers that Earth still exists. He goes back to find the planet continuing on as if nothing happened. Everyone thinks the Vogon fleet was some CIA mind control experiment. There are two things though that changed. One is all the dolphins disappeared. The second is Arthur finds his house that was demolished is still standing. Along the way he meets a woman name Fenchurch. Fenchurch had a mental breakdown after the event and feels she knew something important. Their quest takes them to California and a man named Wonko the Sane who knows about the dolphins saving Earth. He decided that all of society is insane after reading the instructions posted on a toothpick box on how to use a toothpick. The two eventually meet up with Ford Prefect and hitch a ride on a passing spaceship to a planet that has God’s final message to the universe.
So the trilogy was so successful it would obviously get a fourth book. Back in the first it was established that the doIphins were the second most intelligent species on Earth. Apparently they managed to save the planet. There final message being the title. I think this is my favorite of the whole series. It takes place mostly on Earth and has some very funny observations on the planet. It also has a beautiful love story that Adams gave Dent. Well needless to say they do get off the planet and find God’s final message. Written in fiery letters on a planet that is a tourist trap. The message is pure Adams and was a very satisfying ending to the book.
Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect are trapped in Earth’s past. Fortunately for them an anomaly in time/space opens a portal to the twentieth century. Only it is just three days before the Vogon constructor fleet blows up the planet. They find themselves at a cricket game in England just as a spaceship lands and takes the trophy. The two run into Slartibartfast that guy who loves designing fjords and did Norway for Earth. He takes the two off the Earth in time. Slartibartfash is on a mission. He tells how long ago a planet called Krikket was enshrouded in a dust cloud and never saw the rest of the universe. One day a spaceship crashed and this alerted the Krikketers that there must be something out there. When they build their own ship and saw the universe they decided it had to go. So they started a genocidal war against the universe. When they were defeated their planet was put in a stasis bubble where once the universe ended they would find themselves alone. Only a rogue ship of their killer robots managed to survive and are gathering the key components to release Krikket. Now the gang has to save the universe.
The final book in the trilogy that later became five books. (We’ll get to those later.) This was another wacky and funny story that was a real treat to read. There are just fun stuff like the party that goes on forever and raids a whole planet to get drinks and snacks. Or the being that is out to get Arthur Dent because Dent has killed his many reincarnations such as a fly or raw oyster. Then there is the omnipotent being who’s life goal is to insult everybody who ever lived alphabetically. A fun book that ending a trilogy at the time on a high note.
Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect, Zaphod Beeblebrox, Trillian and Marvin the manic depressive android have escaped from the planet Megraetha. We find out that Zaphod is working with someone to find the real ruler of the universe. Soon they are attacked by Vogons. The Vogons we find out were hired by the association of psychiatrists because they wanted Earth destroyed so the answer to the question of Life, The Universe and Everything could never be answered. Now they want to make sure the answer is never revealed by killing the last two Earthlings. Well through a whole bunch of improbable events they find themselves at Milliway’s the Restaurant at the End of the Universe. This restaurant is far in the future and caters to the rich and famous so they can watch the universe die while eating dinner.
After the show they steal a ship belonging to rock band Disaster Area. Only this ship is programed to crash into a sun as their act. They manage to get the escape transported working and Arthur and Ford wind up on a strange spaceship. It has thousands of people in cryogenic suspension. They find out that these people were the worthless people of Golgafrinchia. People like telephone sanitizers and ad executives. They are programed to crash into a planet which they do. Soon Arthur and Ford find themselves on Earth 2 million years in the past. Here they find out the most important question of Life, The Universe and Everything.
The second in the trilogy which later was expanded to five books is another brilliant work of satire. Arthur Dent and whole whacky crew have adventures. We get to find out the question to the answer 42 and it makes perfect sense. This is another story of the futility of trying to answer the question why we exist. The BBC series also adapted this book and it was a really cool series.
Arthur Dent is having a very bad day. He wakes up one morning to find that his house is scheduled for demolition to make way for a new bypass. His friend Ford Prefect though brings even worst news. A Vogon constructor fleet is about to destroy the Earth to make way for an interstellar bypass. Ford is actually an alien from Betelgeuse and has been stuck on Earth for fifteen years. He rescues Arthur by hitching a ride on the Vogon ship before it destroys the Earth. Arthur soon finds himself on a wild journey.
After being thrown off the Vogon ship, the two are picked up by Ford’s cousin Zaphod Beeblebrox who is the president of the galaxy. He has just stolen the new ship Heart of Gold with it’s new improbability drive. With his companions Trilliam an astrophysicist he picked up at a party on Earth and Marvin the manic depressive android they head for the legendary planet Magrathea a plant that would custom make planets for the rich. They find it isn’t deserted but the inhabitants were in suspended animation until the galaxy’s economy could afford their services. They have though awakened for a special client.
Arthur finds out that the Earth was created by a group of extradimensional beings that build it as a giant computer to give an answer to explain the answer of Life, The Universe and Everything. An advanced computer Deep Though came up with the answer 42 which didn’t satisfy anyone. So the Earth was supposed to explain the answer. Only it was destroyed at the minute the answer was about to be figured out. These beings were disguised as white mice and now they want to dissect Arthur’s brain to find the answer.
I was first introduced to this series by the excellent BBC series from the early eighties I caught on the local PBS station. This series adapted the first two books and I decided to check out the books. I thought they were the funniest books I ever read. Adams has this humor that just points out the absurdity of the universe. A true classic that I highly recommend.
The BBC did an excellent series in the eighties. There was also a big budget movie which I didn’t really care for.