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At last in paperback in one complete volume, here are the five novels from Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker series. "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" Seconds before the Earth is demolished for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is saved by Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised Guide. Together they stick out their thumbs to the stars and begin a wild journey through time an At last in paperback in one complete volume, here are the five novels from Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker series. "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" Seconds before the Earth is demolished for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is saved by Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised Guide. Together they stick out their thumbs to the stars and begin a wild journey through time and space. "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe" Facing annihilation at the hands of warmongers is a curious time to crave tea. It could only happen to the cosmically displaced Arthur Dent and his comrades as they hurtle across the galaxy in a desperate search for a place to eat. "Life, the Universe and Everything" The unhappy inhabitants of planet Krikkit are sick of looking at the night sky- so they plan to destroy it. The universe, that is. Now only five individuals can avert Armageddon: mild-mannered Arthur Dent and his stalwart crew. "So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish" Back on Earth, Arthur Dent is ready to believe that the past eight years were all just a figment of his stressed-out imagination. But a gift-wrapped fishbowl with a cryptic inscription conspires to thrust him back to reality. So to speak. "Mostly Harmless" Just when Arthur Dent makes the terrible mistake of starting to enjoy life, all hell breaks loose. Can he save the Earth from total obliteration? Can he save the Guide from a hostile alien takeover? Can he save his daughter from herself? Also includes the short story "Young Zaphod Plays It Safe".


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At last in paperback in one complete volume, here are the five novels from Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker series. "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" Seconds before the Earth is demolished for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is saved by Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised Guide. Together they stick out their thumbs to the stars and begin a wild journey through time an At last in paperback in one complete volume, here are the five novels from Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker series. "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" Seconds before the Earth is demolished for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is saved by Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised Guide. Together they stick out their thumbs to the stars and begin a wild journey through time and space. "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe" Facing annihilation at the hands of warmongers is a curious time to crave tea. It could only happen to the cosmically displaced Arthur Dent and his comrades as they hurtle across the galaxy in a desperate search for a place to eat. "Life, the Universe and Everything" The unhappy inhabitants of planet Krikkit are sick of looking at the night sky- so they plan to destroy it. The universe, that is. Now only five individuals can avert Armageddon: mild-mannered Arthur Dent and his stalwart crew. "So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish" Back on Earth, Arthur Dent is ready to believe that the past eight years were all just a figment of his stressed-out imagination. But a gift-wrapped fishbowl with a cryptic inscription conspires to thrust him back to reality. So to speak. "Mostly Harmless" Just when Arthur Dent makes the terrible mistake of starting to enjoy life, all hell breaks loose. Can he save the Earth from total obliteration? Can he save the Guide from a hostile alien takeover? Can he save his daughter from herself? Also includes the short story "Young Zaphod Plays It Safe".

30 review for The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

  1. 5 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 only some of us are in on it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea

    Just as funny as advertised, but I made the mistake of reading the collection of all five novels, and - what's more - trying to read them all in one go. Once I got about halfway through Life, the Universe, and Everything, it had stopped being funny and had gotten a little confusing. Adams is excellent at humor, not so much at plot. So, for clarification: 5 stars for the original Hitchhiker's, 4 for The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, and 3 stars for the others. Just as funny as advertised, but I made the mistake of reading the collection of all five novels, and - what's more - trying to read them all in one go. Once I got about halfway through Life, the Universe, and Everything, it had stopped being funny and had gotten a little confusing. Adams is excellent at humor, not so much at plot. So, for clarification: 5 stars for the original Hitchhiker's, 4 for The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, and 3 stars for the others.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas

    OK. Where do I start with this one. It's a doozy. Let's first of all say that I think this is one of the best uses of the English language. It's right up there with, well, anything else. I mean, just read the sentences. He is a lot like Tolkien, in that he makes the words themselves the art. But where Tolkien will take English and make it into a lush, broad canvas, Mr. Adams turns English into a plaything. Let's put my last sentence another way: The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy is the literar OK. Where do I start with this one. It's a doozy. Let's first of all say that I think this is one of the best uses of the English language. It's right up there with, well, anything else. I mean, just read the sentences. He is a lot like Tolkien, in that he makes the words themselves the art. But where Tolkien will take English and make it into a lush, broad canvas, Mr. Adams turns English into a plaything. Let's put my last sentence another way: The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy is the literary equivalent of juggling chainsaws. You read it through the first time, and you have no freaking clue how he did that with those words. OK, we got that out of the way. How bout the story now? Sure, that sounds good, Nick. There is no plot. For all of you who need one, I'm very very sory. But frankly, it's better that way. Life doesn't have a plot, right? You just sort of muddle through your week doing the best you can with what Life can throw at you. Well, that's the point with this. He takes the most regular guy, the guy you'd like to hang out with, someone decent that you can introduce to your sister. And then Adams throws him out into space and just sees what happens. Certain parts of this book, especially at the beginning, are an adaptation of the BBC Radio programme aired in 1977, which was also written by Douglas Adams. And he wrote H2G2 episodically, but also with no clear goal in mind. So when his characters come to a problem, Adams had no idea what would happen to them until he wrote the solution. Some rather large pieces of the story stuck in H2G2 this way. This is most true in the earlier books in the Trilgy (yes, it's five books in a series; The trilogy is inaccurately named), when the writing is fresher and better. But the best part of H2G2 (and all of DNA's books, frankly, even Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency) is his worldview. Basically, it's all about taking what life gives you with patience, humor, and tea. Yes, he was an Atheist (Yes, I'm a Christian whose favorite thinker/writer/guy was an Atheist. Calm down, calm down.), and he disliked people using ideas and beliefs as a crutch. This is the part where it's hard to really write a coherent review for me, because so many loved ones of mine (hi Mom and Dad) would see this as a Very Bad Idea. So why don't you shoot me an email, and we can have a discussion about it? Maybe sit down, and have some coffee and some nice nosh and chat? You'll get more and better ideas out of me that way. Anyways, I've just lost my train of thought, so I'll just say you'll love the part about the Vogon poetry. And H2G2 is an inaccurately named trilogy, because it is composed of five books. I recommend reading them all at once, even though there's no plot and things in one book will sometimes contradict things in another. Anyways, this trilogy is still one of my favorites.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Suzy

    It's that book you pick up and feel obligated to love, if only to escape grievous fan persecution. Well. Here goes. Let's start with the humour. Yes, it's everything that humour should be. For a while, you are oh-so-amused and impressed...but then you weary of being so amused. Akin to being kept on the edge of your seat for a good few hours - something's going to get sore. It's just such a strain. I skipped ten or so pages near the middle but I'm sure those ten pages were, like the rest of the b It's that book you pick up and feel obligated to love, if only to escape grievous fan persecution. Well. Here goes. Let's start with the humour. Yes, it's everything that humour should be. For a while, you are oh-so-amused and impressed...but then you weary of being so amused. Akin to being kept on the edge of your seat for a good few hours - something's going to get sore. It's just such a strain. I skipped ten or so pages near the middle but I'm sure those ten pages were, like the rest of the book, terribly witty and sickeningly clever. The plot takes twists like...ah, what's a good analogy? A snake on LSD? That'll do. Don't get me wrong, they're good twists and Adams is admittedly superb at making the inherently illogical seem orderly and precise, but they just don't stop coming. And after a while, the worst happens and the reader just stops caring. I can see why this book has achieved its cult status. It deserves its cult status in many ways. There are moments of startling originality that knock you back and spin your world to a crazy new angle, but when the whole book is all but filled with these moments, the crazy new angle begins to make you dizzy and irritated. At the end, I'm still feeling oh-so-amused and impressed, but also oh-so-relieved I can stop.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Supratim

    So my journey with The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to Galaxy finally came to an end. What an enjoyable journey it was! The characters, the stories, the writing and the essence of Douglas Adam’s work – it was fantastic!!! I had heard a lot about this cult series and finally got to read it – thanks to a friend. A very big thank you to you indeed! This book contains the entire Hitchhiker’s Guide to Galaxy series by Douglas Adams i.e. 5 novels and 1 story: 1. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 2. The So my journey with The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to Galaxy finally came to an end. What an enjoyable journey it was! The characters, the stories, the writing and the essence of Douglas Adam’s work – it was fantastic!!! I had heard a lot about this cult series and finally got to read it – thanks to a friend. A very big thank you to you indeed! This book contains the entire Hitchhiker’s Guide to Galaxy series by Douglas Adams i.e. 5 novels and 1 story: 1. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 2. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe 3. Life, the Universe and Everything 4. So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish 5. Mostly Harmless 6. Young Zaphod Plays It Safe (story) There is a sixth novel - And Another Thing... by Eoin Colfer also. I shall see if I can get hold of it. The foreword by Neil Gaiman was pretty informative. I was indeed thrilled to learn that Adams had been influenced by P G Wodehouse himself. I knew that I was in for a big treat. I don’t have to say it – but what a skilled storyteller Adams was! That too, as Gaiman says in the foreword, when he did not enjoy the task of writing! So much has been written about this cult series that I wonder if I should write a review! Instead of writing a review for each book, I will write about the series in general and try to convince you why you should give it a try. I am sure you are aware of it, but still I will say that the series is a sci-fi comedy. Hats off to the author’s imagination – what technologies he had imagined, and of course to his writing – I always loved clever use of language and Adams, in my humble opinion, is a master of the craft. First of all, let me tell you about the Hitchhiker’s Guide to Galaxy. As the name suggests it is a guide for people or rather aliens who hitchhike their way through the galaxy and comes in the form of an electronic book. The said book resembles a largish electronic calculator and on its four inches square screen any one of its million pages could be summoned at a moment’s notice. This reminds of you of Kindle right? This is a science fiction book and it has its share of outrageous technologies, alien races, space travel, time travel and whatnot! If you can see beyond the aliens and spaceships, then you would see the brilliance of the stories. The behavior and thoughts of the aliens actually portray the various human foibles. The stories would let accompany the wonderful if somewhat eccentric characters like Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect, Zaphod, Trillian, Marvin among others on their adventures through space and time. There is action, suspense, drama and the best of all – the famous wit of Douglas Adams. That man could make fun of almost anything – philosophers, scientists, political leaders, party-lovers, warmongers, bureaucrats, unions, marketing professionals, corporate and even God himself. There are brilliant dialogues and statements. I thought of including some but later decided that it would be better if you discover them on your own. Oh! Did I tell you about the Question and Answer to the Life, Universe and Everything! When I read about God’s Final Message to His Creation, I was floored. Through his ridiculous creations the author has actually said the ultimate thing about life. I better stop before I give away spoilers! Highly recommended for people who love sci-fi. You guys have probably read it by now. If you are not into science fiction, then I would suggest that you try the first book in the series - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and then decide if you want to proceed further.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michael Finocchiaro

    I definitely am overdue to reread this comic scifi classic! I remember laughing all the time at the quirky universe that Adams conjured up, but admit to have forgotten many of the details...on my 2018 TBR!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Misha

    I first read what was then the Hitchhiker's Guide trilogy in high school. I remember sitting on the bleachers in the gym reading while other people played volleyball or some other indoor sport and being swept away on a rollicking ride across the universe, and even to its end. Much more fun than volleyball. You brought much joy and laughter to my life, Douglas Adams. So long and thanks for all the fish. I first read what was then the Hitchhiker's Guide trilogy in high school. I remember sitting on the bleachers in the gym reading while other people played volleyball or some other indoor sport and being swept away on a rollicking ride across the universe, and even to its end. Much more fun than volleyball. You brought much joy and laughter to my life, Douglas Adams. So long and thanks for all the fish.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jan-Maat

    I was thinking about the radio version of this, which I heard scraps of at odd times when from time to time it was repeated. One in particular stuck in my head which was that one of the characters was stuck on a planet in habited by particularly intelligent birds who had evolved out of the human population when their economy collapsed due to an excess of shoe shops. I liked this because it reminded me of Bromley, which as a child to my mind had far too many shoe shops all of which it seemed I wa I was thinking about the radio version of this, which I heard scraps of at odd times when from time to time it was repeated. One in particular stuck in my head which was that one of the characters was stuck on a planet in habited by particularly intelligent birds who had evolved out of the human population when their economy collapsed due to an excess of shoe shops. I liked this because it reminded me of Bromley, which as a child to my mind had far too many shoe shops all of which it seemed I was doomed to be dragged round whenever my childish feet, ever yearning for freedom, threatened to escape the bounds of my current pair. The business of the planet inhabited by the intelligent birds was I'm sure recycled and tided up into Zaphod Beeblebrox's visit to the Total Perspective Vortex - and that in a way is my experience of the whole series. Originally there was the radio series, a television series, a series of books. They overlapped. It was anarchic. It didn't make sense. And it was fun. Then the books left all the rest behind. Things grew progressively neater, more orderly, a plot emerged. For me it became dull, the jokes laboured, down to the final experience in Mostly Harmless of finding all the loose ends tied up by the author only the understand that it was better, from my perspective at least, when they were all undone and missiles (or maybe it was spaceships, it certainly didn't matter eitherway) could turn into a bowl of petunias and a whale that thinks "oh no, not again", characters could escape certain death Candide style, or a piece of cake could be used to show you in relation to the whole of creation. As a series then I suppose I think of it as Mostly Flawed but with occasional nice moments. A flood of detail and invention that washes away the story in a glorious incoming tide, the author in an unfortunate and unnecessary move though repeatedly sticks his fingers in the plot holes and throws down sandbags full of story, even though it is unpredictable joy of the circling poets of Arium and the exchange rates of galactic currencies that best reflect the galaxy we live in and our experience of hitchhiking through it than any kind of story.

  9. 5 out of 5

    P.E.

    December 14, 2018: H2G2, volume 1: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, read by Stephen Fry, finished. So long, and thanks for all the fishiness :) A LITERARY SIBLING : The Cyberiad - Stanisław Lem September 24, 2020: H2G2, volume 2: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe finished! Much of the British variety of nonsense, loads of ludicrousness and quirky characters by the dozen, this short novel is an Improbability Field all by itself :) Buddy reading with Tara 10/10 would do again :^) DOUGL December 14, 2018: H2G2, volume 1: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, read by Stephen Fry, finished. So long, and thanks for all the fishiness :) A LITERARY SIBLING : The Cyberiad - Stanisław Lem September 24, 2020: H2G2, volume 2: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe finished! Much of the British variety of nonsense, loads of ludicrousness and quirky characters by the dozen, this short novel is an Improbability Field all by itself :) Buddy reading with Tara 10/10 would do again :^) DOUGLAS ADAMS' OWN SOUNDTRACK: One-Trick Pony Album - Paul Simon October 4, 2020: H2G2, Volume 3: Life, the Universe and Everything - finished! FEATURING: Wowbagger, the Infinitely Prolonged, Slartibartfast and his Bistromathically-driven spaceship, Agragag, the Karmic Hater, Hactar, the Purposeful Computer, The Ashes of English cricket, The people of Krikkit, a bunch of real sweet guys who just happen to want to kill everybody, Armies of robots doing quadratic equations instead of fighting, The hell of an extremely disreputable party in an erratically flying building, Half-crazed etymologists raving on Sqornshell, swamp planet and natural habitat for loquacious mattresses, Anonymous, the half-mad journalist. Buddy read with Tara during the Goodreads black dust storm, disabling email notifications, in-app notifications, and push notifications to phones :p HINTS AND ALLUSIONS? The Cyberiad Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? The Trial SOUNDTRACK: Paranoid Android - Radiohead Tubular Bells Album (the Caveman passage) - Mike Oldfield Elohim's Voyage - Weidorje

  10. 5 out of 5

    Inge

    2.5 stars I ended it after four books because I felt like the fourth book (epilogue not included) had a nice ending and also I'm bloody sick of it 2.5 stars I ended it after four books because I felt like the fourth book (epilogue not included) had a nice ending and also I'm bloody sick of it

  11. 4 out of 5

    Amanda NEVER MANDY

    I read most of this series when I was younger and had only one book left to complete it. I saw this gorgeous piece of paper and ink in the bookstore and knew it was finally time to finish her off. Since it had been so long in between I decided to give the first four a reread which is not my usual at all. I'm a read it once and move on kind of girl. I found the introduction to be super interesting because I had no idea there were so many different versions of this story out there and I do love a I read most of this series when I was younger and had only one book left to complete it. I saw this gorgeous piece of paper and ink in the bookstore and knew it was finally time to finish her off. Since it had been so long in between I decided to give the first four a reread which is not my usual at all. I'm a read it once and move on kind of girl. I found the introduction to be super interesting because I had no idea there were so many different versions of this story out there and I do love a little behind the scenes fact sharing. Here is my book by book review of this amazing collector's edition with a little canned cream corn talk mixed in for fun: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (5 Stars) My grandparents had a closet full of canned goods and books in their back bedroom and it was where I happened upon this book a quarter of a century ago (I’m old enough now that I can say ‘ol timer shit like that). The absurd amount of canned creamed corn was amazing to behold, but this book with its quirky cover was where it was at. I’m pretty sure I devoured it in no time and was ready for the next installment of Arthur Dent does the Universe. This is the story of a man named Arthur Dent and what happens to him after a friend rescues him moments before Earth becomes no more. Hitchhiking across the universe with a towel in one hand and a ridiculously written guide in the other, with barely a moment taken to absorb each new and exciting thing that comes his way. I found the writing to be superb with the perfect blend of dry humor, sarcasm, wit and randomness that I love. The characters were stellar, and the story was out of this world (if you aren’t rolling your eyes after reading that sentence you should be). Five stars to a book that is a gazillion times better than canned cream corn. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (4 Stars) This was another back bedroom closet find. I had it and the next two in the series tucked away in a hidden corner. I did not have any of that damned canned cream corn though. Seriously, who eats that crap? By how untouched they looked in my grandparents’ closet, not even them. I would like to believe it was an end of the world decoy canned goods stash. I’m thinking a person could peel the labels and put them on the good stuff and use the label free cans as weapons or something. Arthur Dent continues his adventures through space forwards, backwards and possibly even sideways with the same fun-loving bunch of characters plus a few not so fun-loving ones. > Another excellent read. It didn’t feel like a new book but a continuation of a story I was dying to hear more of. The writing maintained its excellence and the characters were still quite entertaining. I didn’t love this read as much as the first, but it did get the job done. Four stars to a book that made me excited to have a secret closet even if it contained canned cream corn. Life, the Universe and Everything (4 Stars) Pretty sure I liked this book more than I did the previous one but not enough to equal a star. I would say maybe a smidge over a half. I did however like it more than the canned cream corn it shared shelf space with. You are probably asking yourself right now, “Is she going to keep bringing up that damn canned cream corn?” and the answer is hell yes because annoying can be entertaining when you are doing it to someone else. Arthur’s adventures turn a bit more serious when protecting the universe from destruction becomes the name of the game. Another great book that kept the story going in a way that didn’t bore or become repetitive. The author’s voice has to be the absolute best part of all this series. For once I can say it wasn’t the characters that kept me coming back for more but the man behind the words. I got the feeling his written word matched the way he was in person and he most definitely was a person I would have loved to have met. Four stars to a book that almost made me forget about the closet canned cream corn for a moment. So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (3 Stars) This is the book that had a cover that stuck out in my mind just as much as the first book in the series did. This is also the book that began the downward spiral into lower star ratings. Even though I didn’t love it as much as I did the first three, (wait for it) I did love it more than my grandparents love canned cream corn (I am not sorry at all). Arthur falls in love. Honestly, this one felt out of place. I didn’t want it or ask for it, and I sure as hell didn’t expect a mushy love story to fall into my lap when it did. The story that took place around it wasn’t bad but this dip into cootie pool was more than enough to contaminate it. Three stars to a book that made me think about romance mixed with canned cream corn and man that is so freaking gross. Mostly Harmless (3 Stars) This was my welcome back to the series book after twenty-five years of doing the school, work, marriage, children and lots more work life. It had been on my list for a while and when I happened upon the collector’s edition I knew it was time. I must admit that it was a little odd seeing this book on a shelf without canned cream corn keeping it company. Doing your own thing is the name of the game for Arthur until the universe happens again. This was my least favorite of all the books. The story wasn’t as entertaining, and I found myself putting it down to do other things. I can’t blame my rereading of the other’s first because devouring a book series in one gulp is kind of my thing. The characters were just as zany as before and I had zero complaints about the writing style. I think the fault was all in the plot and there just isn’t much you can do when that isn’t top notch. Three stars to a book that is coming dangerously close to blending in with the canned cream corn at grandma’s house. Young Zaphod Plays it Safe (3 Stars) I was left wanting more after reading this. If this had been a full book and stayed on track with the path it was on I would have liked it more than the last two books in the series. It reminded me of how entertaining Zaphod could be and why he entertained me so in the first book. I'm torn on the rating because it was good but there wasn't enough there to satisfy me. Three stars to a short story that make me want to throw canned cream corn at someone.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Auntie Terror

    I think I might need to lie down and cry a little now... [Prtf]

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ash

    The Hitchhiker’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: ★★★★ Young Zaphod Plays it Safe: ★★★ Mostly Harmless: ★★★★ I read the first book in this series, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a few years ago, but at the time I was in sort of an on-again, off-again relationship with reading so I didn’t finish the series. After some disappointing reads this year, I wanted something I knew f The Hitchhiker’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: ★★★★ Young Zaphod Plays it Safe: ★★★ Mostly Harmless: ★★★★ I read the first book in this series, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a few years ago, but at the time I was in sort of an on-again, off-again relationship with reading so I didn’t finish the series. After some disappointing reads this year, I wanted something I knew for a fact wouldn’t let me down. I reread the first book to refresh my memory, and this time I read the rest of the series without stopping. This series is a wild ride in all the best possible ways. It’s hilarious, it’s wacky, it’s absurd, it’s very British, and it’s so much fun. Douglas Adams reels you in from the very beginning and keeps you hooked until the very end. The hits just keep on coming: Whereas most books contain, at most, a handful of truly memorable lines, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series boasts at least a handful of truly memorable lines in every chapter. If I’d read this series in ebook form, it would have more highlights than the rest of my Kindle library combined. This series is filled with witty dialogue between memorable characters with distinct personalities. Even the most minor characters left an impression and contributed something valuable to the story. In his narration, Adams goes off on amusing tangents that add to both the entertainment value and the worldbuilding. Usually this writing style would grate on my nerves because it distracts from the plot and impedes a story’s forward momentum, but for some reason, when Adams does it, it just works. I’m not sure what exactly it was about the last three books that didn’t quite do it for me in the same way the first two did. I think it came down to a series of minor complaints: parts of their plots dragged, or they focused too much on characters I didn’t care for, or certain plot points confused me, or there wasn’t enough character interaction. I’ll also admit that I got a bit fatigued reading over 800 pages. I have one final complaint that was consistent throughout the series. I’m just generally underwhelmed by science fiction that depicts the entire galaxy/universe as just as patriarchal and heteronormative as the planet Earth. It’s boring and unimaginative. In The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the male to female character ratio was abysmal, none of the few female characters were anywhere near as well-developed as their male counterparts, and their personalities and character arcs almost entirely revolved around men.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    One of the funniest books, and one of my favourite, ever. Read it now - it's got good writing, great jokes and the meaning of life thrown in. What more could you want? One of the funniest books, and one of my favourite, ever. Read it now - it's got good writing, great jokes and the meaning of life thrown in. What more could you want?

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    The coolest five-book trilogy ever. Seriously some of the best and original science fiction ever written, and it just happens to be hilarious. Not too many people have the balls to write a trilogy that starts off with the absolute destruction of earth for no other reason than the fact that it was in the path of a hyperspace highway that was soon to become obsolete with the advent of the improbability drive. Speaking of which, the technology in these books is easily more imaginative than anything The coolest five-book trilogy ever. Seriously some of the best and original science fiction ever written, and it just happens to be hilarious. Not too many people have the balls to write a trilogy that starts off with the absolute destruction of earth for no other reason than the fact that it was in the path of a hyperspace highway that was soon to become obsolete with the advent of the improbability drive. Speaking of which, the technology in these books is easily more imaginative than anything that George Lucas has thought of in the last twenty years. I look forward to the day when I can receive all of my nutrients through a towel. Painting myself pink has yet to be attempted, but I have no doubt that I would become somebody else's problem. My goal in life is to create Disaster Area's completely frictionless ship that gets launched into a nearby star at the climax of their planet-wide concerts. Someday.... Reading these books is essential for living. If you appreciate anything from Monty Python (Adams worked with the Pythons on occasion) or want to read something original, read this iconic trilogy. You will not be sorry.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lowed

    - whew!! kept me singing that old song that goes ♫♪"i just can't get enough!" ♫♪ - whew!! kept me singing that old song that goes ♫♪"i just can't get enough!" ♫♪

  17. 4 out of 5

    rrolland

    When i first met this, few years ago, i was in hospital, nose broken, face screwed from a horse riding accident. The doctors didn't let me read, no matter how hard i wanted to, so my dad read this out loud for me, sitting next to my hospital bed. This unique, funny, quirky book which comforts and entertaints, but also teaches you important things about the world, in my mind is always connected with my dad's voice, and his explainations for me When i first met this, few years ago, i was in hospital, nose broken, face screwed from a horse riding accident. The doctors didn't let me read, no matter how hard i wanted to, so my dad read this out loud for me, sitting next to my hospital bed. This unique, funny, quirky book which comforts and entertaints, but also teaches you important things about the world, in my mind is always connected with my dad's voice, and his explainations for me

  18. 4 out of 5

    Petra

    Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (5-star) What a blast! This zany, whacky, completely absurd story has a plot, a reason for being, a vision. It's so off the wall! I loved the absurdness and the way events came together so well, for all their craziness. I have read this "trilogy" of 5 books many years ago. I've remembered so much of it incorrectly. I've forgotten even more than I remember. It's wonderful to have the zaniness brought back to life in this rereading. Marvin is still my favorite chara Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (5-star) What a blast! This zany, whacky, completely absurd story has a plot, a reason for being, a vision. It's so off the wall! I loved the absurdness and the way events came together so well, for all their craziness. I have read this "trilogy" of 5 books many years ago. I've remembered so much of it incorrectly. I've forgotten even more than I remember. It's wonderful to have the zaniness brought back to life in this rereading. Marvin is still my favorite character. The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe (5 star) Originally, this was my favorite scene in this entire book. I hope the Restaurant is as great as I remember it to be. Update: Yes, it is. Milliway's (the restaurant at the end of the Universe) is still an amazing restaurant to visit. The concept is so imaginative and spectacular. The rest of this book continues in the zany, wonderful unfolding of a very good story. Life, The Universe and Everything (4-star) The Room of Informational Illusions...…. brilliant! What a marvelous way to learn history. The planet of Krikket….great story. A people who so cannot imagine a universe or others besides themselves who, when they learn of these things, feel the need to destroy anyone that is not them. They simply cannot imagine others. Also, I loved the reason why Earth is avoided and ignored by all the other planets and how it related to the planet Krikket. The never-ending party! A wonderful continuation of this series. Full of off-the-wall, zany situations and feats of logic. So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish

  19. 4 out of 5

    Madeline

    Douglas Adams is either the craziest, most creative and funniest author I've ever read, or he's just on crack. Or maybe it's a little of both. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and the books that follow it are all completely insane and impossible to summarize, so I'm not even going to try. They're books that can't be taken too seriously, so just sit back, relax, and enjoy the portrait of insanity Adams so expertly paints. Douglas Adams is either the craziest, most creative and funniest author I've ever read, or he's just on crack. Or maybe it's a little of both. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and the books that follow it are all completely insane and impossible to summarize, so I'm not even going to try. They're books that can't be taken too seriously, so just sit back, relax, and enjoy the portrait of insanity Adams so expertly paints.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    Edit 11/17/2017: Added mini-review of The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. Edit 4/18/19: Added mini-review of Life, the Universe and Everything. Edit 7/19/19: Added mini-review of So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish. I don't think I've ever gotten all the way through this five-books-plus-a-short-story trilogy, but it still remains fond in memory as part of my British sci-fi TV phase in high school that also included Dr. Who and Blake's 7. (A good looking actor or two, and the scripts, had ab Edit 11/17/2017: Added mini-review of The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. Edit 4/18/19: Added mini-review of Life, the Universe and Everything. Edit 7/19/19: Added mini-review of So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish. I don't think I've ever gotten all the way through this five-books-plus-a-short-story trilogy, but it still remains fond in memory as part of my British sci-fi TV phase in high school that also included Dr. Who and Blake's 7. (A good looking actor or two, and the scripts, had about equal influence on teenager-me's interest level.) * Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: it has to have been since I was in high school that I read this one, since I would have recognized the Monty Python nods that pop up here and there from hanging out with nerds through college and beyond. Our universe here has a white maleness about it, but calling that out feels ungracious in the face of something that still made me laugh, even after having been through the story many times over the years in TV, book, and movie form. * The Restaurant at the End of the Universe: Already we're moving on to parts of the series that I don't have nearly memorized. All I specifically remembered from this was the scene with the Dish of the Day, but bits and pieces of it came back as I went along. This second novel finishes, sort of, the story started in the first book, giving us the ultimate question that is answered by the ultimate answer. Or does it? Structure-wise it's a series of set pieces connected with huge jumps through time and space. My favorite part is where Zaphod meets the ruler of the Universe, who has an existentialist point of view so extreme that it becomes absurd. But all the sequences are striking in their own way. It has a somewhat relaxed and conceptual vibe, not as hectic or humorous as Hitchhiker's. Maybe some of that is because Arthur's become more accustomed to his life as a galactic wanderer and isn't freaking out all the time. Restaurant ended rather abruptly: I was clicking away through my Kindle copy, and boom. If I'd been reading a paper copy, obviously I wouldn't have been surprised by it! That said, it would be a reasonable end to a duology, if we didn't all know the series went on for three more books. :) I read this because one of the lines from the first book came to mind in a political discussion. Unsurprising, really. What sometimes surprises me, though, is how much these books are consolatory reading for me, despite their essential cynicism. In the face of events you can't control--and the characters witness and go through quite a lot of them--you have to keep on keepin' on. * Life, the Universe and Everything: I'd read this novel only once over thirty years ago, and it was surprising how much of it I remembered, from the S.E.P. field to the immortal who travels the universe insulting everyone--literally everyone--in alphabetical order. Adams himself admitted that he was a reluctant novelist who preferred to work in other media, and in this third volume, well, it's starting to show. Adams' wonderful talent for funny set pieces remains, but those set pieces have to share the stage with a not terribly interesting "save the Universe" plot (that apparently was, itself, imported from a scrapped other project), which makes parts of this story mildly boring to get through. There are a couple of points where the reader can ponder serious questions like military escalation or how any given life sustains itself at the expense of other lives... but they certainly don't have to. This a quick and mostly entertaining read, and while it isn't the best of the lot by far, for me it was worth its brief time investment to see Arthur, Marvin and the rest again. This volume ends with Arthur being separated from the others, much as he was at the end of the second book. But with two volumes left to go, you know it won't be long before we're back to seeing the wildest corners of the universe through his goggling shocked eyes. * So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish: Well, what to say about this one. There are a couple of really good parts, the last few chapters being a standout. But more than half of the book is taken up with Arthur Dent falling in love. It goes like this: Arthur first meets--or rather, sees, under circumstances that are on the "Yikes!" side--a woman named Fenchurch. They are separated by coincidence, and meet again through coincidence (neither of which coincidence involves the Heart of Gold, apparently). They are immediately infatuated and have a lot of sex. That isn't a romance. It isn't even a story! And it eats up dozens of fairly boring pages. The story about the biscuits within the Arthur-Fenchurch hookup arc is much better than it is. And then when Ford and Arthur meet again, Fenchurch fades entirely into the background. [goes off to ship Ford and Arthur] Zaphod and Trillian are mentioned in passing, and Marvin makes a final (?) appearance, but anyone expecting a reunion of the gang is up for a disappointment. It's hard to say what I'd think about this one if my mind hadn't been dazzled with the first two books. I can completely understand an author not wanting to write the same book over and over, and this one's different, all right, but it also largely fails to be either funny or thoughtful. There's a feeling of "if I must" about it, and Adams' reluctance to grind out more of these incredibly popular books hangs over the whole thing. * "Young Zaphod Plays It Safe": an elaborate, nicely-presented setup for a mid-'80s-topical punch line. (More as I move through this anthology.)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    I think after having made little to no progress in the past about 9 months it's best if I just give up even pretending I'm still reading this book. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was the book I really wanted to read - classic English comedy? Bring it on! I enjoyed that book; if I was rating this alone it would be a good 4-star book - it was funny and inventive with some great characters...it's the other books in this series that made it so difficult for me. The second - The Restaurant at th I think after having made little to no progress in the past about 9 months it's best if I just give up even pretending I'm still reading this book. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was the book I really wanted to read - classic English comedy? Bring it on! I enjoyed that book; if I was rating this alone it would be a good 4-star book - it was funny and inventive with some great characters...it's the other books in this series that made it so difficult for me. The second - The Restaurant at the End of the Universe - wasn't particularly bad, but didn't even nearly live up to Hitchhiker's Guide. I plowed through it hoping it would get better. It didn't. Half-way through the third book - Life, the Universe and Everything - I just got stuck. There was no longer any consistent plot, often even within the books, and I didn't really have a clue what was going on any more. There were some interesting bits but not enough to motivate me to read any more. And I'm disappointed about this, because there were some great characters. Marvin the depressed robot is sheer genius and I love him. Unfortunately, he's not in it all that much. Similarly, the incredibly enthusiastic doors were great, but (for obvious reasons - namely that they are doors) don't appear all too often. I love British humour - dry wit and sarcasm is very much my thing. But even that wasn't enough to save this series for me. My recommendation: read Hitchhiker's Guide, but don't bother with any of the others. I'll maybe try reading this again in a few years because I so want to love these books, and hopefully the outcome will be better. But I'm not holding my breath.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Exina

    One of my all time favorites! It's unique and hilarious, simply unputdownable! One of my all time favorites! It's unique and hilarious, simply unputdownable!

  23. 5 out of 5

    cookielover

    Seriously, I would read anything he wrote, even his grocery lists.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Joe S

    Why does British humor rely so much on the use of indifference? Just something I've noticed. So the Earth is destroyed. In an indifferent manner, which makes it hi-larious. A bloke is saved and, unmoored in the Universe, is dragged through a series of droll hijinx. One formulaic hijinx after another, which are really just vehicles for terribly self-satisfied one-liners. And then the novel stops at a seemingly arbitrary point -- though I suspect it's actually the point of diminishing returns. At a Why does British humor rely so much on the use of indifference? Just something I've noticed. So the Earth is destroyed. In an indifferent manner, which makes it hi-larious. A bloke is saved and, unmoored in the Universe, is dragged through a series of droll hijinx. One formulaic hijinx after another, which are really just vehicles for terribly self-satisfied one-liners. And then the novel stops at a seemingly arbitrary point -- though I suspect it's actually the point of diminishing returns. At around the third novel (this is a collection of five plus a short story, remember; I expect my medal to arrive any day now), Adams begins to lick himself uncontrollably and lifts entire chapters from his earlier books. I find this utterly distasteful. The first two novels collected here ( The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and The Restaurant at the End of the Universe) are tolerable if you enjoy dry humor. The rest is offal.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    It doesn't get any better than this. Best books ever. It doesn't get any better than this. Best books ever.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sunny

    Better late than never. After decades of hearing about this series, I finally broke down and read this collection. I laughed so much I thought I'd pass out. I will definitely keep my towel handy. The Hitchhiker'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 (★★★★★) Better late than never. After decades of hearing about this series, I finally broke down and read this collection. I laughed so much I thought I'd pass out. I will definitely keep my towel handy. The Hitchhiker'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 (★★★★★)

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ridhika Khanna

    An astounding 4 star for this series. The satire in the first two books is just mind blowing. Many a times I had to shut the book and laugh my heart out. There were many comical events in this series that I thoroughly enjoyed. The later books were not as good as the first two but I still found the story line and humor to be good. The last book was definitely not the end of the series because the author died while writing the next one. Sadly, it was not upto the standard set by Adams in previous i An astounding 4 star for this series. The satire in the first two books is just mind blowing. Many a times I had to shut the book and laugh my heart out. There were many comical events in this series that I thoroughly enjoyed. The later books were not as good as the first two but I still found the story line and humor to be good. The last book was definitely not the end of the series because the author died while writing the next one. Sadly, it was not upto the standard set by Adams in previous installments. I didn't want the series to end and definitely not at the point it did. I strongly recommend everyone to read at least the first two or three books of the series. :)

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jovana Autumn

    I didn’t get my laptop but I am still writing a review. Bravo for me. This series was so fun to read – at least the first three books. I’ll get to that later. I never realized how many modern-day phrases were references to this series. I knew there was a movie but I never watched it, only a few bits in passing while my brother was watching it. I didn’t have a problem with reading this series, it didn’t put me into a slump, but I can see how it can do this to any reader. Because there is just so muc I didn’t get my laptop but I am still writing a review. Bravo for me. This series was so fun to read – at least the first three books. I’ll get to that later. I never realized how many modern-day phrases were references to this series. I knew there was a movie but I never watched it, only a few bits in passing while my brother was watching it. I didn’t have a problem with reading this series, it didn’t put me into a slump, but I can see how it can do this to any reader. Because there is just so much information being thrown at you and you need to filter what is important and what is not and how can you do that if the very point of this book is not to make sense. Usually, the things you never thought could be important are important here – like towels. Towels are a big thing here. You will have a wild ride with our diverse set of characters as they go through adventures in space. In the first three books. The fourth book is different from the rest of the series, being a love story. And it’s not even set in space. So that was kind of disappointing. But the reading experience was okay for me. Unlike the fifth book that was just bad. That is the sole reason why this book is a 4-star read and not a 5-star read. If you are new to sci-fi check out the first three books and if you like them, check out the last two of the series, but set your bar really low. This was a unique series and I am pretty sure I won’t read anything like this soon, so kudos to that too. Now so long and thanks for the fish. --------------------------------------------------------------------- This was a wild and fun ride. All of the reviews are coming in after I get my laptop back.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    "I give up!" I exclaimed this very proudly. Just as proudly as Arthur exclaimed, "I will go mad!" At the beginning of the third book. I enjoyed the first two books and the beginning of the third but decided that I have nothing to gain from reading the rest of this series. I was wrong! If you are going to read Douglas Adams then my advice to you is to read them one book at a time and not in The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide. I grew tired of Douglas Adams' roundabout jokes that took on an identical s "I give up!" I exclaimed this very proudly. Just as proudly as Arthur exclaimed, "I will go mad!" At the beginning of the third book. I enjoyed the first two books and the beginning of the third but decided that I have nothing to gain from reading the rest of this series. I was wrong! If you are going to read Douglas Adams then my advice to you is to read them one book at a time and not in The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide. I grew tired of Douglas Adams' roundabout jokes that took on an identical spin by the time I reached the third book. Maybe it's because I'm American. What do you think? Is this British Monty Python humor? At times I read it and quite enjoyed it. At times I read it and quite loathed it. Go ahead, read the first book. That one doesn't bite much. You'll quite like it I'm sure. I'm quite sure I'm done now. 14 of 15 books completed this year. .933 isn't such a bad batting average.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Grace Tjan

    This review is for the first two books only. I have a confession to make: I am allergic to sci-fi. The kind that has as its hero a humanoid who lives in 23345 AD on a dystopian red planet, where he must fight slimy insectoid aliens whose sole purpose in life is to lay and hatch their filthy eggs on human bodies. The guy is barely human anyway, with half his face swathed in shiny robotic gear with glowing red eyes that look like the battery-powered tip of my 10 year old’s toy laser gun. Or instead This review is for the first two books only. I have a confession to make: I am allergic to sci-fi. The kind that has as its hero a humanoid who lives in 23345 AD on a dystopian red planet, where he must fight slimy insectoid aliens whose sole purpose in life is to lay and hatch their filthy eggs on human bodies. The guy is barely human anyway, with half his face swathed in shiny robotic gear with glowing red eyes that look like the battery-powered tip of my 10 year old’s toy laser gun. Or instead of being half-android, he is half Vulcan or Neptune or whatever and thus has the emotional life of a plant. He would speak in pseudo-scientific jargon, something like, “ I must get the quark-photon-intercellular battery on my jet-propulsion pack to work so that I can get back to my Hyper Drive Interstellar Pod and shoot off to Alpha Centauri XYZ2345 in 10,000 times the warp speed along the space-time continuum”. I could feel my brain slowly turn to mush after barely ONE page of dialogue like that. He would have a robotic sidekick that looks like my Brabantia Dome Lid Waste Container with a string of blinking Christmas light around it, except that it can also speak in a metallic voice that somehow sounds like my mother-in-law in one of her bad days. Oh, and there will be other more sympathetic alien life forms that look like the misbegotten offspring of a camel and an orangutan, or some rubbery stuffed toy that the dog had chewed to bits. In short, I just can’t see why I should care about the fate of these monstrous, barely human creatures. Why waste precious time reading about some trash can android or an alien that looks like the Elephant Man on a bad hair day while there are perfectly normal, realistic HUMAN characters out there? My favorite genre is historical fiction; you know, those books about human beings who either have been dead for centuries, or never existed at all, written by people who cannot possibly have any first-hand knowledge of the period that they’re writing about? Nothing could be more different than science fiction, something that I have not touched in 20 years or so. So, what am I doing with The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Omnibus, 832 pages of sci-fi drenched in techno babble and redolent of the smell of a million alien armpits? Well, for one thing, it’s included in the BBC’s 100 Big Reads, which for some reason has become my guide to a worthwhile reading list that is not solely composed of the classics. The other thing is that it’s supposed to be one of the funniest books ever written ---I can always overlook the sci-fi for the funnies. And the characters are recognizably human, or at least sort of human, although one of them is called Zaphod Beeblebrox, (which, incidentally would make a good brand name for a laxative) and has two heads and three arms. The other two are genuine human beings from Earth --- or carbon-based ape-descended life forms --- take your pick, and the other one is a human looking alien with ginger hair (a hideous genetic mutation that should be bred out in real humans). And he is conveniently named Ford Prefect. No need to memorize ridiculous alien names when a simple English one will do. And now that we are superficially acquainted with the protagonists, it’s time to summarize the plot of this sprawling intergalactic tome --- except that there is no real plot to speak of. Well, actually there is something about looking for the Ultimate Question --- ‘What is the meaning of life?’ --- which is of interest to all life forms in the universe, at least to those that have the brain capacity to ponder such things. But mostly they just bounce around from one bizarre planet to another, having weird adventures in which they meet, among others, a paranoid android, rebellious appliances, a comatose intergalactic rock star and a megalomaniac book publisher. Ultimately, the barely there plot is nothing but an excuse for an absurdist farce through which Adams pokes fun at organized religion, meat-eaters, politicians, big businesses, environmentalists, the publishing industry and other pet peeves. Some parts are brilliantly funny, especially in the first book, while others had me scratching my head and wondering whether he was high on something when he wrote them. Certain sections are mind-numbingly boring and confusing in that special sci-fi way. Oh, and the constant smugness and non-stop zaniness are grating after the second book or so, and I just lost interest completely after finishing it. At least I know now that ‘babel fish’ is not just a strangely named online translation program. And that it is possible to write a book about what is essentially nonsense and have it become a major pop culture icon. But I’m also mightily relieved that I can stop hitchhiking through THIS universe, which is probably too cool and too clever for me to completely understand. And this shall be my last sci-fi book for the next 20 years.

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