Charting the whole of Arthur Dent’s Odyssey through space – a must-have edition, perfect for would-be galactic travellers, and for Douglas Adams fans everywhere.
First a legendary radio series, then a bestselling paperback, The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was a universal hit with readers of all ages. The omnibus edition is reissued to include the fifth part of the trilogy Mostly Harmless, along with A Guide to the Guide and essential notes on How to Leave the Planet.
• The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
• The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
• Life, the Universe and Everything
• So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
• Mostly Harmless
• A Guide to the Guide
• Notes on How to Leave the Planet
About the Author
Douglas Adams was born in 1952 and educated at Cambridge. His other works include Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, Last Chance to See…with zoologist Mark Carwardine, and, with John Lloyd, The Meaning of Liff and The Deeper Meaning of Liff.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker series will, for certain readers, represent an epiphany of the sort caused elsewhere (but in the same sorts of people) only by Monty Python and Pink Floyd. Generally speaking, if you know all the lyrics to Animals, can quote the dead parrot sketch and can hum David Gilmour's guitar solos, you will be able to recite the titles of all Oolon Colluphid's groundbreaking metaphysical tracts about God, too. Yes, you. You know who you are.I have a few complaints about the way it all ends up, but I better get in the bouquets while the going is good: all my quibbling below is not to detract from the fact that the original instalment, The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy, is one of the wittiest books ever written - the combination of a solid science fiction grounding (Adams scriptwrote for Doctor Who) and dead-eye observations about the collision of the British way of life with the Nineteen Seventies, make this little book one of the genuine cultural artefacts of the past century.Nevertheless, and rather as it has for Floyd and Python, universal admiration for Adams (recently deceased) and the first book has tended to cloud the collective judgment as far as the rest of the series is concerned. While Adams is clearly a master of the dead-ball, the entire package is a pretty tiring affair, as if it were a good idea which ran out of steam about halfway through. Which, according to Adams himself, it was.If you read even the first three stories back to back a few things begin to emerge. Firstly, the original (and undeniably brilliant) premise has completely evaporated by the end of the second book. Until this point the story drifts from set piece to set piece, but is guided fairly firmly by the central quest. When this runs out of gas, the linear narrative disappears, and the characters drift pointlessly between scenes with no apparent connection. What starts out as a clever concept album ends up as a sketch show. As long as the sketches are funny this is ok, if not necessarily ideal. But they too begin to run out of steam.Whenever Adams needs to restore a semblance of continuity, he reintroduces Marvin the Paranoid Android, who turns up having been stuck somewhere for millions of years (waiting to save the author's bacon?): no bad thing, as Marvin is the most enjoyable character of the lot. Adams obviously realised the mess he'd created by the end of Life, The Universe and Everything: So Long and Thanks For All The Fish is an attempt to pull everything back together. Alas, it's wholly unsuccessful. So unsuccessful, in fact, that Adams felt obliged to have another go at the same job in Mostly Harmless, and was equally unsuccessful second time round.After a time you also begin to realise that Adams' famously brilliant writing style consists largely of taking figures of speech and deliberately subverting them - a technique which after a while, to paraphrase it, more or less exactly fails to please the eye. By So Long..., Adams is rather arch about the whole affair - consciously introducing "the chronicler" into proceedings and on one occasion (not a little arrogantly) telling readers to re-read a seemingly incomprehensible sentence, until it is understood. The series certainly gave him the chance to work on his storytelling, and the results are plain to see from Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, which is a superbly plotted, focussed and realised story. But, rather like his characters, for the most part in this Series Adams flounders around with the Answer, but never really gets to grips with the Question. Mostly Harmless.
This review is based only on the first of the five parts.As a carbon based bipedal life form I guess humour is like art, everyone has their own likes and as a first time reader of 'The Hitcher Hikers Guide' I guess it is not to my taste. A few amusing paragraphs were not worth for me the slog of the rest of it.
The first 3 books are excellent, I'm sceptical as to whether the rest are worth the bother. A cult, comedy classic