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Mostly Harmless

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It’s easy to get disheartened when your planet has been blown up, the woman you love has vanished in a misunderstanding about space/time, the spaceship you are on crashes on a remote and Bob-fearing planet, and all you have to fall back on is a few simple sandwich-making skills. However, instead of being disheartened, Arthur Dent makes the terrible mistake of starting to e It’s easy to get disheartened when your planet has been blown up, the woman you love has vanished in a misunderstanding about space/time, the spaceship you are on crashes on a remote and Bob-fearing planet, and all you have to fall back on is a few simple sandwich-making skills. However, instead of being disheartened, Arthur Dent makes the terrible mistake of starting to enjoy life a bit and, immediately, all hell breaks loose. Hell takes a number of forms: there’s the usual Ford Prefect form of hell, fresh hell in the form of an all-new version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and a totally unexpected hell in the form of a teenage girl who startles Arthur Dent by being his daughter when he didn’t even know he had one. Can Arthur save the Earth from total multidimensional obliteration? Can he save the Guide from a hostile alien takeover? Can he save his daughter, Random, from herself? Of course not. He never works out what is going on, exactly. Will you?


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It’s easy to get disheartened when your planet has been blown up, the woman you love has vanished in a misunderstanding about space/time, the spaceship you are on crashes on a remote and Bob-fearing planet, and all you have to fall back on is a few simple sandwich-making skills. However, instead of being disheartened, Arthur Dent makes the terrible mistake of starting to e It’s easy to get disheartened when your planet has been blown up, the woman you love has vanished in a misunderstanding about space/time, the spaceship you are on crashes on a remote and Bob-fearing planet, and all you have to fall back on is a few simple sandwich-making skills. However, instead of being disheartened, Arthur Dent makes the terrible mistake of starting to enjoy life a bit and, immediately, all hell breaks loose. Hell takes a number of forms: there’s the usual Ford Prefect form of hell, fresh hell in the form of an all-new version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and a totally unexpected hell in the form of a teenage girl who startles Arthur Dent by being his daughter when he didn’t even know he had one. Can Arthur save the Earth from total multidimensional obliteration? Can he save the Guide from a hostile alien takeover? Can he save his daughter, Random, from herself? Of course not. He never works out what is going on, exactly. Will you?

30 review for Mostly Harmless

  1. 4 out of 5

    Henry Avila

    The Milky Way Galaxy is in a state of confusion the dozen Universes, ( you didn't know there are more than one?) have collided into each other. Nothing is as it was, no wonder historians quit, what's the point, everything keeps on changing since history is so fluid. Tricia McMillan (Trillian , in another existence) is not happy, the British television anchor is back in England after an unsuccessful job interview, in New York City at ten times more money ! Dead tired from the overnight flight, sh The Milky Way Galaxy is in a state of confusion the dozen Universes, ( you didn't know there are more than one?) have collided into each other. Nothing is as it was, no wonder historians quit, what's the point, everything keeps on changing since history is so fluid. Tricia McMillan (Trillian , in another existence) is not happy, the British television anchor is back in England after an unsuccessful job interview, in New York City at ten times more money ! Dead tired from the overnight flight, she can barely walk to her house but the odd gardener, Eric Bartlett points out strange marks on Tricia's lawn, space aliens undoubtedly and being polite, pretends to care and listen . This interesting conversation must end soon or she'll keel over, at last the bed. Next day, Tricia can figure out what to do with the rest of her life, then the aliens land in the back yard....Three thin, green figures come down from their small craft, Grebulons on a reconnaissance mission, would she like to visit them on Rupert (Persephone) ? Let me think ... the elusive Planet X, in the solar system which astronomers have sought for many years, the tenth planet counted in this world, mighty little Pluto... restored to its proper place in the cosmos . Before departing the unexpected guests deny kidnapping Elvis, they like him ... The greatest story of all time, slowly falls apart like everything else, these creatures can't remember who they are, what they're supposed to do , where the invaders came from not even their own names, eons have gone by during this epic voyage since the ship developed computer problems. On the frozen bizarre planet, Rupert, ( the distant Sun, is just another remote, cold, weak light, in the dark sky) with structures in a cave, which look like a set from a cheap science -fiction film. The Grebulons, ( a name unknown, to these space travelers) like watching television persistently from Earth, copying all. Tricia's camera, shall produce fuzzy pictures back home, she will be laughed at if the video is seen by anyone...Ford Prefect, also has no luck, the Guide is under a different management the new editor wants Mr.Prefect to write a restaurant column, how degrading. He quickly jumps out a window of the Guide's building, on one of the top floors, having noticed the bosses, are evil Vogons. He'll think of something going down to save his hide, Ford sincerely hopes. Passing the 17th level his life too goes by, in his jumbled mind, a happy robot this time prevents the descending man from a bad, very sudden stop ....Meanwhile Mr. Arthur Dent's spaceliner, crashes on a primitive planet Lamuela, yet he's still alive. The only survivor takes up a new profession, would you believe, Sandwich Maker... Adored by the natives, a gift from the gods, such skill with his hands , nobody here could think of putting meat from Perfectly Normal Beasts, (don't ask) and whatever else, between two pieces of bread ... Arthur is finally content, a job that he is good at ... But this universe cannot let people be content, Trillian/Tricia arrives, hands him his unknown daughter Random she says, and hastily leaves, a product of his. Thus Arthur's need for monetary funds, depositing much in institutions around the galaxy, and paid quite well... for his good seed. Random hates Mr.Dent of course, the same emotion prevails towards her mother, and is not that crazy either with all the other universes, a typical teenage daughter. Mr. Arthur Dent, will now fully experience the essence of what being a father entails, may God have mercy on his soul...A lesser Hitchhiker's Guide book...however who can resist..not I.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Chrissy

    (mild spoilers ahead) It's terribly amusing that the majority of reviewers have tossed this fifth part to the trilogy aside, banished it from their mental schemata of the series so as to acknowledge only that which ends well. I think it says a lot about the readership that they took in the entirety of the first four books without picking up on the melancholy and nihilistic subtext to Adams' writing. I mean, the first book ends with the discovery that the meaning of life is 42.... how much clearer (mild spoilers ahead) It's terribly amusing that the majority of reviewers have tossed this fifth part to the trilogy aside, banished it from their mental schemata of the series so as to acknowledge only that which ends well. I think it says a lot about the readership that they took in the entirety of the first four books without picking up on the melancholy and nihilistic subtext to Adams' writing. I mean, the first book ends with the discovery that the meaning of life is 42.... how much clearer does it need to be in order convey the ultimately meaningless adventure that Adams saw life in this universe to be? More importantly, at what point did that fact ever stop him from telling a spectacular story? It is the journey, more than the end, that defines us and the worlds we live in. I think Arthur's encounter with the man on the pole in Hawalius can be taken as a pre-emptive response to those who would invariably decry the novel to be "too bleak": humans seek to be protected from knowing the things we don't want to know about, and it leads us to miss a great deal of understanding, experience, and acceptance, sometimes with dire psychological consequences. A reader may not want to know how the story of Arthur and his companions ultimately ends, or how any story that goes on long enough must end, but it's a blind and willful ignorance that serves no purpose but to save us seeing reality, in all its complicated and multidimensional depth of cause and effect and pure probability. Personally, I found this book to be a brilliant and thought-provoking conclusion to a sharp, touching, and gloriously honest series. The ending of the novel, with Arthur at peace and Ford laughing wildly, is the most honest part yet. I pity any reader who doesn't get that.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jon

    Mostly Harmless was, for many people, a disappointing end to a fantastic series. Adams admitted that he was having a "bad year" when he wrote this book, and it shows: the usual humor and manic pacing are largely gone, replaced by long tracts about actual theoretical science (as opposed to the lunatic-inspired science that created, say, the starship Bistromath), and the tone overall is far darker and more depressive. There are still glimpses of Adams' comedic genius, but the book as a whole is a Mostly Harmless was, for many people, a disappointing end to a fantastic series. Adams admitted that he was having a "bad year" when he wrote this book, and it shows: the usual humor and manic pacing are largely gone, replaced by long tracts about actual theoretical science (as opposed to the lunatic-inspired science that created, say, the starship Bistromath), and the tone overall is far darker and more depressive. There are still glimpses of Adams' comedic genius, but the book as a whole is a definite cog or two down the scale from the first four. While Mostly Harmless does provide a firm and definite conclusion to the Hitchhiker's Trilogy, it can, in many ways, be left off the reading list for anyone who is not a die-hard Adams fan; the average reader will get enough conclusion from So Long..., if not from Life....

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alex Farrand

    Mostly Harmless is the closing chapter of Douglas Adams' series, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Unless, you want to count And Another Thing by Eoin Coffer as the last installment of the series, but by all extensive purposes I leave it at Mostly Harmless. I am unsure if I will follow the guide any further, since my American Express card was rejected through my elaborate travels. Mostly Harmless follows one Homo Sapien, Arthur Dent, on an exuberant, random, and slightly sad adventure through spa Mostly Harmless is the closing chapter of Douglas Adams' series, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Unless, you want to count And Another Thing by Eoin Coffer as the last installment of the series, but by all extensive purposes I leave it at Mostly Harmless. I am unsure if I will follow the guide any further, since my American Express card was rejected through my elaborate travels. Mostly Harmless follows one Homo Sapien, Arthur Dent, on an exuberant, random, and slightly sad adventure through space, time, and multiple dimensions. Arthur is one of the last humans in the entire universe, and all he wants to do is return home to Earth, or a place like Earth, or somewhere he fits in. He would like a place where he could sit with a cup of tea, or walk to the pub. Unfortunately, Earth was destroyed to make an interstellar highway, which dragged Arthur on his biggest, unwanted adventure. The whole series is a roller coaster ride of random, hilarious (hence the random Ron Swanson bacon gif) events that Arthur cannot shake off. Will he ever have a nice, quiet, simple life, where he can makes sandwiches!? I have to say I enjoyed being in the back seat of Arthur's miserable, sulking life, while he and Ford Prefect get pummeled by rocks. Or when Arthur crashes onto another planet. Everyone knows he is stranded, but no one rescues him. Insurances companies are to blame. I cannot tell you if the series has any real point, besides Arthur trying to fit in somewhere. I guess, we all want to fit in somewhere. Then again, I didn't really care if the books had a point at all. All I wanted was to have my sides ripped apart, because I was laughing so hard. On one particular occasion, my daughter asked me why I was laughing. I explained the reason to her, but she didn't seem to understand the humor. I should of known she wouldn't laugh. What did I expect from an almost three-year-old, who laughs at being chased around the house!? I do not think I could find a funnier series. There are only a few times in life where I could laugh at a rocket being launched at a main character. Will I read this series again? I bet you two sandwiches of Perfectly Normal Beast, and my towel that I will. It was the best laugh I had in a long time. The whole series was my type of humor, and I cannot beat that. Next time, I will buy the books instead of Martin Freeman narrating for me. Martin Freeman did a fabulous job, even if he said squirrel a little awkwardly. Stephen Fry narrates the the first book, Hitchhiker's Guide to Galaxy, and he did a stunning job as well. I do recommend this series to all of you, if you like science, space, and a whole bunch of ridiculous, impossible stunts. Go and grab your copy of the guide. Remember to bring your towel, and don't PANIC. Everything will be alright, I hope. Happy reading. blog|new blog|instagram|twitter

  5. 4 out of 5

    Evan Leach

    The fifth and final installment in the Hitchhiker “trilogy” is generally regarded as the weakest in the series (it’s the lowest rated on this site, for example). The story is focused on Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect. Poor Arthur, who finally found happiness at the end of book four, has the love of his life whisked away from him senselessly and is back to wandering the galaxy alone. He finally settles down to a life that many would find mind-numbingly dull but that suits Arthur just fine. Just as The fifth and final installment in the Hitchhiker “trilogy” is generally regarded as the weakest in the series (it’s the lowest rated on this site, for example). The story is focused on Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect. Poor Arthur, who finally found happiness at the end of book four, has the love of his life whisked away from him senselessly and is back to wandering the galaxy alone. He finally settles down to a life that many would find mind-numbingly dull but that suits Arthur just fine. Just as he begins to grow accustomed to his new role in the universe, Trillian and then Ford show up to pull Arthur back into their chaotic adventures. Ford has discovered a plot that puts not just the Guide, but the universe itself at risk and, once again, a reluctant Arthur is pulled along for the ride. The book has two problems. The first is that it simply isn’t as laugh-out-loud funny as the first three Hitchhiker books. Series staples like Zaphod Beeblebrox and Marvin the Paranoid Android are nowhere to be found, and Trillian plays a relatively minor (if complicated) role. I think that part of what makes the first two books so hysterical is the interplay between all of these larger than life characters (including Ford) and the bewildered Arthur. Like a sitcom with a great cast, it’s at it’s best when all the key players are together. The comedy slips a bit in book three when the characters begin to drift apart, and by the fourth entry some of the regulars are beginning to disappear entirely. But in book four, Adams shifts the story from intergalactic mayhem to a (relatively) conventional love story. Unexpectedly sweet, the fourth book is able to alleviate the pain of losing the Zaphods of the galaxy by telling a different kind of tale. But very little is sweet about this book, which brings us to problem number two. Mostly Harmless is kind of a downer. Adams was apparently going through some personal problems when he wrote this, and described it as “a rather bleak book.” He expressed interest in writing a sixth novel to finish the series on a more upbeat note, but died before he had the opportunity. We are left with a somewhat sad ending to a great series, particularly (view spoiler)[ the grim, fatalistic conclusion (hide spoiler)] . While I begrudgingly accept that comedy is subjective and not everybody’s funnybone is tickled the same way, it’s hard for me to imagine somebody not liking the first two books in this series (even though I know these readers exist). But this one…let’s just say I can see how a reader would find Mostly Harmless to be mostly bleh. That said, it’s still Douglas Adams and I still liked the book. There are some really funny bits interspersed through all the melancholy: Colin the Android, Ford’s heroic crusade against the Guide’s expense accountants, and virtually every exchange between Ford and Arthur. It’s not the same caliber as the first two books in the series, but if you enjoyed the third and fourth books you’ll probably like this one. Readers who like happy endings may want to call it a day after book four, however. 3 stars.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Joe

    The Encyclopedia Galactica, that venerable compendium, has a lot to say about the works of Douglas Adams. In particular, the first four books of his 'Hitchhiker's' series have over 7 million words dedicated to them. This includes synopses, critical analyses, research projects, philosophical treatises and Babel-fish fan-fiction. But the fifth book in the series has not enjoyed this level of attention. Until recently, the Galactica article regarding this novel comprised a single word; 'pointless.' The Encyclopedia Galactica, that venerable compendium, has a lot to say about the works of Douglas Adams. In particular, the first four books of his 'Hitchhiker's' series have over 7 million words dedicated to them. This includes synopses, critical analyses, research projects, philosophical treatises and Babel-fish fan-fiction. But the fifth book in the series has not enjoyed this level of attention. Until recently, the Galactica article regarding this novel comprised a single word; 'pointless.' A sub-set of literature fans didn't appreciate this and launched an extensive campaign to rectify the situation. They argued that Mostly Harmless wasn't a lazy cash-grab or evidence that Adams didn't give a crap by that point. Or at least that it was more than just those things. So while most agreed that Mostly Harmless paled in comparison to its predecessors, they felt that it was still funny and featured a distinctly sad perspective. They wrote impassioned essays about the book's themes regarding the search for purpose and the inevitability of fate. One particularly poignant contribution talked about how much of the novel felt like the beginning of a brand new adventure, a brand new series, and that made the sudden finality of the ending feel crushing. And after many years of protest and tasteless #harmlesslivesmatter jokes they convinced the Galactica to change the article. From thence on, the book on Mostly Harmless reads 'Mostly pointless.'

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cecily

    Hitchhiker's, volume 5. There are some good lines in this, but I can't help feeling it would have been better if Adams had left it unwritten, or at least unpublished. It is very disjointed, with Ford, Arthur and Trillian mostly in separate stories. It starts in what would be a parallel universe - if such things existed, which they don't, because "it makes as much sense as the sea being parallel". "If there was one thing life had taught her it was that there are times when you do not go back for y Hitchhiker's, volume 5. There are some good lines in this, but I can't help feeling it would have been better if Adams had left it unwritten, or at least unpublished. It is very disjointed, with Ford, Arthur and Trillian mostly in separate stories. It starts in what would be a parallel universe - if such things existed, which they don't, because "it makes as much sense as the sea being parallel". "If there was one thing life had taught her it was that there are times when you do not go back for your bag and other times when you do. It had yet to teach her to distinguish between the two types of occasion". "The messages that one part of her brain was busy sending to another were not necessarily arriving on time or the right way up". "For something she hadn't expected... it wasn't going the way she expected". Maximegalon Institute of Slowly and Pointlessly Working out the Surprisingly Obvious. The future is "just the same old stuff in faster cars and smellier air". "It occupied the same co-ordinates in space time [as Earth:]. What co-ordinates it occupied in probability was anyone's guess". "The sun was quite bright but the day was hazy and vague". "A common mistake... when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools". "Her mood swings were very unpredictable but so far they'd all been between different types of bad ones... She had been sent as a test of his faith, if not his patience". AmEx "gave cards exclusively to just about anybody". "about three other customers... it was not the kind of place that you felt like being that specific in". "The possible continually interfered with the probable". 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/... So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish (vol 4): http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... And Another Thing...(vol 6), by Eoin Colfer : https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ivonne Rovira

    Sadly, the five-part Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy “trilogy” ends not with a bang, but a whimper. With four storylines — displaced earthman Arthur Dent, reckless Hitchhiker’s Guide correspondent Ford Prefect; Trillian, the earth woman once named Tricia McMillan who dumped Arthur at a party to go into space with Zaphod Beeblebrox, and Tricia McMillan in a parallel universe where she stayed on earth — Mostly Harmless reads like a frenzied ride on the bumper cars, with storylines beginning and st Sadly, the five-part Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy “trilogy” ends not with a bang, but a whimper. With four storylines — displaced earthman Arthur Dent, reckless Hitchhiker’s Guide correspondent Ford Prefect; Trillian, the earth woman once named Tricia McMillan who dumped Arthur at a party to go into space with Zaphod Beeblebrox, and Tricia McMillan in a parallel universe where she stayed on earth — Mostly Harmless reads like a frenzied ride on the bumper cars, with storylines beginning and starting almost at random. In addition, Arthur Dent returns to his whiny and mostly dazed persona that made him insufferable in Life, the Universe and Everything, and while all four storylines eventually converge, the denouement simply isn’t that satisfying. Take my advice: Stop after the fourth book, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, and end on a high note.

  9. 5 out of 5

    sj

    Randal: Which did you like better? Jedi or The Empire Strikes Back? Dante: Empire. Randal: Blasphemy! Dante: Empire had the better ending. I mean, Luke gets his hand cut off, finds out Vader's his father, Han gets frozen and taken away by Boba Fett. It ends on such a down note. I mean, that's what life is, a series of down endings. All Jedi had was a bunch of Muppets.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Mathews

    Blechh! Worst. Ending. Ever! I've heard that Douglas Adams wrote this book during a bad time in his life (hey, we all have 'em), but this book more or less stinks. I have chosen to forget that this book was ever written, and that the series ended on a definite high note with "So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish". Those of you who have not had your minds poisoned with this bit of tripe would do well to skip it altogether.

  11. 4 out of 5

    J.G. Keely

    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.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lucy Banks

    Douglas Adams has always had such a massive influence on my writing. I don’t think there’s any other author out there who does madcap, irreverent and downright silly as well as he does. This book, the fifth in the series, continues the craziness of Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect and Trillion, but with the usual unexpected twists and turns, ranging from random daughters (literally called Random) to multi-universes and holy sandwich makers. Blissfully bonkers stuff.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Steven

    Carefully read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, then imagine that the most horrible, depressing conclusion possible to the whole affair could happen. That is what happens in Mostly Harmless. It wraps every loose end up most completely, but it wraps things up the way a car compactor packages your favorite vehicle. The atrocities the author commits towards his characters in this book significantly impact my enjoyment of the rest of the series. The first few pages start out depressing and it j Carefully read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, then imagine that the most horrible, depressing conclusion possible to the whole affair could happen. That is what happens in Mostly Harmless. It wraps every loose end up most completely, but it wraps things up the way a car compactor packages your favorite vehicle. The atrocities the author commits towards his characters in this book significantly impact my enjoyment of the rest of the series. The first few pages start out depressing and it just gets worse until by the end it left me aghast and in tears -- and not in the way good books do that to me. It is single-handedly the most depressing book I've ever read, in part because the first four books create such an engaging, likable universe filled with delightful characters. There's a theme of loss laced through this book. It goes from the sudden loss of someone you care about, to losing your child's youth through over-work, to losing even more. (I won't spoil it.) It's a depressing theme. It isn't something the character learns from, or grows through. It is just loss and pain and misery. Do yourself a favor and avoid this book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Petra X

    Its years since I read the first four volumes of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and really enjoyed it. Perhaps my taste has changed or I can't get into the 'mood' but I really didn't enjoy this book. It just seemed to be a 'clever' messa round with words and the sort of adolescent fantasies of the universe that kids who were stoned and listening to Pink Floyd tended to come up with. Like a lot of things, it was more fun to have lived it than to read about it. There were a couple of good sen Its years since I read the first four volumes of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and really enjoyed it. Perhaps my taste has changed or I can't get into the 'mood' but I really didn't enjoy this book. It just seemed to be a 'clever' messa round with words and the sort of adolescent fantasies of the universe that kids who were stoned and listening to Pink Floyd tended to come up with. Like a lot of things, it was more fun to have lived it than to read about it. There were a couple of good sentences that made me pause and think and that boosted up the rating, but only to a two-star.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    I'm a huge fan of Douglas Adams, and loved the first four books in the "trilogy". I was sorely disappointed by the fifth and final book in the series though. To me, it seemed like he was thinking "I'm sick of people whining for more Hitchhiker's books. I'll show them." The way the book ends is so...final. I understand Adams was going through a bad period when he wrote this book, and it shows. Don't bother with this one.

  16. 4 out of 5

    David Sarkies

    Is That It? 25 February 2017 I’m not really sure about this book. At first I was going to suggest that it didn’t have any point but then again this is a part of the Hitchhiker’s Guide series, which basically means that the books aren’t going to have a plot, or a point. Well, I guess the lack of a plot, and a point, is a point in and of itself because it simply goes to demonstrate the absurdity of existance, and that is that there really seems to be no point to this whole thing we call reality and Is That It? 25 February 2017 I’m not really sure about this book. At first I was going to suggest that it didn’t have any point but then again this is a part of the Hitchhiker’s Guide series, which basically means that the books aren’t going to have a plot, or a point. Well, I guess the lack of a plot, and a point, is a point in and of itself because it simply goes to demonstrate the absurdity of existance, and that is that there really seems to be no point to this whole thing we call reality and in the end we should probably all just go and jump in the sea and go for a swim. The thing is that this particular book didn’t seem to even explore the absurdity of reality, which, in a way, was the whole purpose of the series anyway – it seemed as if Adams had simply reached a point where he was writing a Hitchhiker’s Guide novel simply for the sake of such a novel, and when he finished it sent it to his publisher and then went around the corner and had a pint at the local pub (most likely English Ale, but then he could have had a Stella, but from my visits to England my impression was that respectable people don’t drink Stella). So, what can I say about the book – well, it is about Arthur, and Ford, and Trillian, but that is about it. Arthur has lost his one true love due to a freak hyperspace accident, and the one thing that gave him meaning in life – a partner – was suddenly gone. So, he basically travels the universe bored out of his brains, and then settles on a planet to become a sandwich maker, which is basically the only thing he is good at. As for Ford, well, he uncovers a conspiracy at the Hitchhiker’s Guide headquarters, but then heads off to find Arthur only to have his ship stolen by a daughter that Arthur never knew he had, and can’t for the life of him ever remember making her, at least with the mother that is (who happens to be Trillian). Trillian is the odd thing with the book – is she a journalist or is she an astrophysicist? At first I was a little confused because it seemed as if Adams had completely forgotten what her original profession was, but then it turns out that she got a lucky break, or a not so lucky break as the case may be. Apparently an alternate version of Trillian gave up astrophysics because she missed out on the ride of a life time when she rushed off to get her bag and Zaphod left without her. Then she missed out on another job of a lifetime when she left her bag in her room only to discover that she wasn’t wearing her contact lenses. However, as it comes to light, even if one does get the scoop of a lifetime it doesn’t mean that the newscasters will run with it, especially if they some something much more interesting – we’ve been visited by aliens, well, that’s going to clash with the royal wedding, and the royal wedding is so much more important than aliens that we might as well leave the aliens for another time, maybe a slow news week. Then again when does news cease to be news – well quite quickly so it happens. If one alien spacecraft lands that is a scoop, but when the next, and the next, and then the next, it ceases to be news and simply becomes part and parcel of everyday life – a politician is corrupt! Hey, all politicians are corrupt so why are we going to run with that story when a baby hippo has just been born in the London Zoo (why is it that, having only spent less than a month out of my entire life in London that I am starting to treat London as if it is my home town? ). What about the absurdity of life? I find it interesting that this whole concept of absurdity came about when people decided that religion just wasn’t for them – it is as if religion actually gives people a sense of worth and purpose and when you throw that away that sense of worth and purpose suddenly vanishes. Well, not really, because we begin to define ourselves by our possessions, which includes our jobs, our families, and of course our stuff. Yet what happens when all of these things cease to give us pleasure, or even purpose. No wonder the divorce rate is so high because we are measuring our worth by our happiness and when our relationships cease to make us happy we simply discard them. Mind you, the media doesn’t help because they help us define our purpose through the constant bombardment of their propoganda. What if our job doesn’t satisfy, and we aren’t agile enough to get ourselves another job – I guess we are a failure them. Yet defining ourselves, and defining life and purpose, are huge money spinners. Self help books, universities, and even religious institutions, make bucket loads of money off of people seeking purpose, and sometimes I wonder if they all sit down at their weekly meetings and laugh about our stupidity. Mind you, our purpose could actually be sitting there staring us right in our face yet we would pretty much ignore it because, well, it is too simple and finding out the meaning of our existance couldn’t actually be that easy (or even simply that), so we all wander off back into the misty streets, find the local bar, and return to our beer.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Samet

    Ne yazık ki her güzel şey gibi bu da bitti, NEDEN BİTTİ!?

  18. 4 out of 5

    Cyril Anderson

    Let me just say that 'Mostly Harmless' totally shocked me out of my chair. I read the first four books and pretty much loved the humor, storytelling and not to mention the characters. Some new characters are made in 'Mostly Harmless', and if I had to choose a favorite new character, it would be Random. Random as in her name IS LITERALLY RANDOM. The irony of the whole story made me really, really excited. The whole tale goes in a roundabout of time and space and ends up where we started. The ending w Let me just say that 'Mostly Harmless' totally shocked me out of my chair. I read the first four books and pretty much loved the humor, storytelling and not to mention the characters. Some new characters are made in 'Mostly Harmless', and if I had to choose a favorite new character, it would be Random. Random as in her name IS LITERALLY RANDOM. The irony of the whole story made me really, really excited. The whole tale goes in a roundabout of time and space and ends up where we started. The ending was totally mind blowing. i couldn't believe it. If you read it, you'll know what I mean. Bravo, Douglas Adams!!!! You have done the improbable--to break my heart and make me sob at the end. Only very few books have manged to make me cry at the end(e.g: Artemis Fowl book 8, Sarah's Key...) Lots of irony and lots of very funny jokes, RECOMMENDED!!! And the reason why I gave it four stars? DO YOU REALLY WANT TO KNOW? Spoiler alert.. (view spoiler)[Because every single main character died at the end. (hide spoiler)] :) Even though the books over, I still go hitchhiking the universe with my trusty towel. Good luck to all you!! And remember. THE UNIVERSE IS A LOT SAFER IF YOU HAVE A TOWEL WITH YOU.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Saliha

    Now there's a neat ending, if I ever read one. It was brilliant, however bleak. I could not find in here (in the fifth and last book of the "trilogy") quite so much of the beloved cuckoo sense of humor that made his books always so irresistible to me. However, I did appreciate the proper science fiction-y feeling to it, which was of course well done, having been produced by the magnificent imagination of Douglas Adams. I miss you and I regret never having met you, Mr. Adams. I hope they have goo Now there's a neat ending, if I ever read one. It was brilliant, however bleak. I could not find in here (in the fifth and last book of the "trilogy") quite so much of the beloved cuckoo sense of humor that made his books always so irresistible to me. However, I did appreciate the proper science fiction-y feeling to it, which was of course well done, having been produced by the magnificent imagination of Douglas Adams. I miss you and I regret never having met you, Mr. Adams. I hope they have good tea, wherever you are. (view spoiler)[The new Guide was an amazing villain! So much potential. Could have a whole other book series all to itself. (hide spoiler)]

  20. 5 out of 5

    Chris Greensmith

    ""Tricia! Where the haemorrhaging fuck are you?" I found this books slowly went downhill, dont get me wrong I liked them and loved the series as a whole but felt Douglas Adams never really meant to right more than one, maybe two of these books and just lost his was. It was wrapped up very neatly, well in my opinion, and I enjoyed it more than some entries but it just never had that effortless charm of the first...3🌟

  21. 4 out of 5

    Marta

    I found this a bit lacking in enthusiasm. A bit too much hopelesness, being stuck, anger, confusion. I felt that Adams has run out of ideas and was repeating himself, with less humor. I was quite bored for parts of it. Overall it is worth finishing and still has some amusing moments.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kurt

    I feel like the bad guy after a break-up. It's not that this book was terrible, but I gave up after reading 2/3 of it. I started my relationship with the book without a lot of trust - the reviews I've read and heard have been overwhelmingly negative, and I really disliked the previous book in the series. But I figured that maybe my friends were all wrong, and no one could appreciate the book but me, and I just needed to give it some time. And then it let me down. It's not that it did anything al I feel like the bad guy after a break-up. It's not that this book was terrible, but I gave up after reading 2/3 of it. I started my relationship with the book without a lot of trust - the reviews I've read and heard have been overwhelmingly negative, and I really disliked the previous book in the series. But I figured that maybe my friends were all wrong, and no one could appreciate the book but me, and I just needed to give it some time. And then it let me down. It's not that it did anything all that wrong - the characters were more frustrating than ever, I think there were alternate reality things happening that were on a slow burn, there were a few ill-advised action sequences, and Adams kept forgetting to make it funny, but nothing was offensively awful on its own. I just lost hope. The first two books were so wonderful, and I devoured them with giddy joy, then I had to put a little more effort into liking the third book, and it paid off, then the fourth book let me down, and finally this last book kept failing to meet even my low expectations. Maybe the last third of it is genius, and Random becomes a character I can like even a little, but I didn't see any signs of that in the pages I read, and I'm going home as a quitter. Sorry, Mostly Harmless, it's not you, it's me. Except it's you too.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nat Price

    Douglas Adams finishes off the series with a flourish.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ferdy

    3.5 stars Much better than the last book, there was a lot more action, space adventure and silly humour. I loved Arthur and the whole sandwich making thing he had going on, it was hilarious, his interactions with Random were quite funny too. I didn't like Ford all that much though, his parts dragged and he just wasn't very entertaining. The ending was a tad depressing with what happened to all the Earths. I guess it was better to end in that way because then the gang would forever travel in space/ 3.5 stars Much better than the last book, there was a lot more action, space adventure and silly humour. I loved Arthur and the whole sandwich making thing he had going on, it was hilarious, his interactions with Random were quite funny too. I didn't like Ford all that much though, his parts dragged and he just wasn't very entertaining. The ending was a tad depressing with what happened to all the Earths. I guess it was better to end in that way because then the gang would forever travel in space/time, and would never stop having mad adventures.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey Marie

    I combined my review for all of the Hitchhiker books in to one post. It just felt easier that way. You can read the review here: *****Darling & Co.*****

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    For some reason this fifth volume is not included in most collection of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and I've only realised this recently. As with most of Adams' book, I finished the book with the feeling that I only sort of know what was going on and wasn't really sure what the point of it was but I had so much fun along the way that I didn't really care. This edition sees a new guide being created which works across all the dimensions. Queue chaos. Arthur Dent spends a great deal of time b For some reason this fifth volume is not included in most collection of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and I've only realised this recently. As with most of Adams' book, I finished the book with the feeling that I only sort of know what was going on and wasn't really sure what the point of it was but I had so much fun along the way that I didn't really care. This edition sees a new guide being created which works across all the dimensions. Queue chaos. Arthur Dent spends a great deal of time being a sandwich maker and loves it but my favourite part of the book was a space ship which got confused and lost of all it's inhabitants minds. An alien race who have no idea what there purpose was so guess is very funny. The ending of this one is really odd, it just sort of ends. It almost feels like it could have continued for a little longer and Adams had planned to write a sixth book but died before he had chance. It's a shame as there just feels like there is more to tell. All in all though, a brilliant addition to the trilogy.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Like its predecessors in the "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" series, "Mostly Harmless" is a very quick and easy read. Douglas Adams' writing style is light and entertaining, containing just enough words to let you know what's going on, rather than going on and on describing each and every detail. In this way, the story flows along quite nicely. While the beginning of the story did tend to drag on a bit, once it picked up, I found it to be very engaging and amusing. The character developme Like its predecessors in the "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" series, "Mostly Harmless" is a very quick and easy read. Douglas Adams' writing style is light and entertaining, containing just enough words to let you know what's going on, rather than going on and on describing each and every detail. In this way, the story flows along quite nicely. While the beginning of the story did tend to drag on a bit, once it picked up, I found it to be very engaging and amusing. The character development of Arthur and Trillian -- both going a little mad at not being able to return to Earth -- along with their surprise daughter Random, is at once hilarious and heart-warming. The supporting details in this installment meshed flawlessly with those in the previous Hitchhiker books, which in my mind produced a story that was both nonsensical and yet made perfect sense at the same time. Don't forget to bring your towel, and if anyone asks you what the meaning of life is, it's still 42!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Heather Codename: ♕Dutchess♕

    Rating: 3 1/2 stars Whole series rating: 4 stars I get why some people don't like this book, however, I didn't read it. I listened to it on audio and I think Martin Freeman bringing all of these characters to life over the books really made it possible for me to enjoy the story more than if I had just read it on paper. If you have a few hours to kill in a day (or are doing a lot of driving), get the audiobooks. Martin does a brilliant job at giving every character a voice, especially Arthur (which Rating: 3 1/2 stars Whole series rating: 4 stars I get why some people don't like this book, however, I didn't read it. I listened to it on audio and I think Martin Freeman bringing all of these characters to life over the books really made it possible for me to enjoy the story more than if I had just read it on paper. If you have a few hours to kill in a day (or are doing a lot of driving), get the audiobooks. Martin does a brilliant job at giving every character a voice, especially Arthur (which I would hope seeing as he played him in the movie). While he's no Alan Rickman, he still makes Martin moody, depressed, and as woe-is-me as ever.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Andrei Stoian

    I can complain about how the other books from the series were better, how after the second or the third one, the series lost some of its charm but if you read this one you already know this and I'm sure that a lot of people have already complained about the same thing so I decided that this review should be special because this was the last book from the series written by Douglas Adams. Without further ado I present you Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect and Marvin, the paranoid android meet The Knights W I can complain about how the other books from the series were better, how after the second or the third one, the series lost some of its charm but if you read this one you already know this and I'm sure that a lot of people have already complained about the same thing so I decided that this review should be special because this was the last book from the series written by Douglas Adams. Without further ado I present you Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect and Marvin, the paranoid android meet The Knights Who Say Ni! Hope you'll enjoy it! "So, let me get this straight...Witches are burned, but wood is also burned, and wood floats, but ducks also float, so, if someone weighs the same as a duck, she's made of wood, therefore, she's a witch?" asked Arthur. He found it often took a moment or so before he saw exactly what it was that people were driving at. "Exactly" answered Ford. "So this helps us understand how did we get here and more importantly where we are?" "Not at all." "Oh, I know where we are" said Marvin. "Then why didn't you tell us?" asked Arthur and Ford simultaneously. "You didn't ask" said Marvin. "We are asking now" responded Ford with an angry voice. Suddenly out of the woods some knights appeared wearing robes and horned helmets. "Ni!" said the leader of them. "Ni! Ni! Ni!" "Who are they?" whispered Arthur to Ford. "I don't know. We should ask them." "I don't think that's a good idea" said Arthur cursing the day he met Ford. "I could tell you weren't really interested," murmured Marvin to himself. "Who are you?" asked Ford. ''We are the Knights who Say Ni! We are the keepers of the secret words: Ni, Peng and Ni Womb!" Ford pulled out his copy of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and accessed it. "Is there anything about them in the Guide?" asked Arthur. "Only this: Those who hear them seldom live to tell the tale." said Ford. "That doesn't sound good" said Arthur. "The Knights Who Say Ni demand a sacrifice" said the Leader of the Knights who is nearly double Arthur's height, and wears a great helm decorated with long antlers. "Knights of Ni we are but simple hitchhikers who seek the Supreme Question of life, the universe and everything." said Arthur with a panicked voice. "Why are you talking like this?" asked Ford. "I don't know" said Arthur. "Ni! Ni! Ni!" responded the knights. Arthur's and Ford's heads were starting to hurt. The Leader of the Knights raised his hand and his people became quiet. "We shall say Ni again to you if you do not appease us." "What is it you want" asked Arthur. "We want..." Arthur was preparing for the worst. "...a shrubbery". "I beg your pardon?" "Ni! Ni! Ni!" "Please no more!" said both Arthur and Ford. "You must return here with a shrubbery or else, you will never pass through this wood...alive!" Arthur, Ford and Marvin left the woods. "We never said we wanted to pass those woods" said Ford. "What should we do?" asked Arthur. "We should find a drink" answered Ford. "And the shrubbery?" asked Arthur. "Marvin?" "I suppose you want me to find a shrubbery for you?" asked Marvin. "Yeah, that's right," said Ford and then he left with Arthur. "Here I am, brain the size of a planet, and they tell me to find a shrubbery in a Goodreads review. Call that job satisfaction? 'Cos I don't." murmured Marvin.

  30. 5 out of 5

    LdyGray

    Thoroughly meh. There were some glimpses of Adams' typical humor, but the final installment of the Hitchhikers' Guide "trilogy" is much more bleak. The story also skips around between three different plots (centered around Arthur, Ford, and Trillian/Trisha), none of which was satisfactorily wrapped up as far as I'm concerned. Adams does delve into the complications of the space/time continuum, which he handles with his characteristic combination of wonkiness and humor. I enjoyed listening to the Thoroughly meh. There were some glimpses of Adams' typical humor, but the final installment of the Hitchhikers' Guide "trilogy" is much more bleak. The story also skips around between three different plots (centered around Arthur, Ford, and Trillian/Trisha), none of which was satisfactorily wrapped up as far as I'm concerned. Adams does delve into the complications of the space/time continuum, which he handles with his characteristic combination of wonkiness and humor. I enjoyed listening to the audiobook, narrated by Martin Freeman, and it was nice to revisit this series almost 15 years after the first time I experienced it.

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