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So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

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Back on Earth with nothing more to show for his long, strange trip through time and space than a ratty towel and a plastic shopping bag, 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, the mysterious disappearance of Earth's dolphins, and the discovery Back on Earth with nothing more to show for his long, strange trip through time and space than a ratty towel and a plastic shopping bag, 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, the mysterious disappearance of Earth's dolphins, and the discovery of his battered copy of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy all conspire to give Arthur the sneaking suspicion that something otherworldly is indeed going on. . . . God only knows what it all means. And fortunately, He left behind a Final Message of explanation. But since it's light-years away from Earth, on a star surrounded by souvenir booths, finding out what it is will mean hitching a ride to the far reaches of space aboard a UFO with a giant robot. But what else is new?


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Back on Earth with nothing more to show for his long, strange trip through time and space than a ratty towel and a plastic shopping bag, 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, the mysterious disappearance of Earth's dolphins, and the discovery Back on Earth with nothing more to show for his long, strange trip through time and space than a ratty towel and a plastic shopping bag, 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, the mysterious disappearance of Earth's dolphins, and the discovery of his battered copy of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy all conspire to give Arthur the sneaking suspicion that something otherworldly is indeed going on. . . . God only knows what it all means. And fortunately, He left behind a Final Message of explanation. But since it's light-years away from Earth, on a star surrounded by souvenir booths, finding out what it is will mean hitching a ride to the far reaches of space aboard a UFO with a giant robot. But what else is new?

30 review for So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mario the lone bookwolf

    Adams had to write this one because he needed another part of the series, but instead of integrating it in the metaplot like the second and third part, he made a whole new, but sadly not better, reading experience out of it. This can be good for friends of less interwoven stories that focus on one main topic, but strangely that´s the opposite of what the other parts of the series have been. It´s less funny, not so complex, not so intensively dealing with the events of the other parts and how they Adams had to write this one because he needed another part of the series, but instead of integrating it in the metaplot like the second and third part, he made a whole new, but sadly not better, reading experience out of it. This can be good for friends of less interwoven stories that focus on one main topic, but strangely that´s the opposite of what the other parts of the series have been. It´s less funny, not so complex, not so intensively dealing with the events of the other parts and how they influence the present and just not feeling as what the reader expects. The other parts finished by combining integrated elements to a real aha-wow-moment, but this time the end felt bleak. This critique would be inappropriate because for an average joe author, it would still be very good quality, but the problem of ingenious people is that it can get very tricky to come up to the expectations. Personally, I would have wished for more of the elements that made the series great instead of this wishy-washy whatever thing and it stopped me from reading the fifth part that is even worse, according to what people say. A final bleat: The humor seems to have gone from ironic and deep to more trivial and situational and why there is so much space for useless character description is a mystery for me. Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph... https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Clausen

    1. You will never read anything so British again in your lifespan. 2. If you're a writer, try underlining every adverb in this book. Then, read a book on fiction writing that advises you to avoid using adverbs. (Any ironic chuckling afterwards is optional.) 3. This book should be rated "Mostly Harmless." 4. Thanks, Mr. Adams. So long, and thanks for all the fun. 1. You will never read anything so British again in your lifespan. 2. If you're a writer, try underlining every adverb in this book. Then, read a book on fiction writing that advises you to avoid using adverbs. (Any ironic chuckling afterwards is optional.) 3. This book should be rated "Mostly Harmless." 4. Thanks, Mr. Adams. So long, and thanks for all the fun.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Henry Avila

    An unseen spaceship lands on Earth (England) in the rain, never knew about all the precipitation there , a "man " leaves the craft and waves , thanking the crew for the ride, but first going back he forgot his bag, essential towels inside ... Slogs through the mud and muck, in the cold windy darkness slipping and sliding going up a hill, climbs over a fence and is almost killed, when a speeding automobile (a Porsche), nearly crushes the stranger on the road. The heavy rain pours down, lightning An unseen spaceship lands on Earth (England) in the rain, never knew about all the precipitation there , a "man " leaves the craft and waves , thanking the crew for the ride, but first going back he forgot his bag, essential towels inside ... Slogs through the mud and muck, in the cold windy darkness slipping and sliding going up a hill, climbs over a fence and is almost killed, when a speeding automobile (a Porsche), nearly crushes the stranger on the road. The heavy rain pours down, lightning flashes in the nearby gloomy hills, illuminating for a brief moment the cheerless surroundings, the miserable, soaked man, tries to hitchhike but nobody will stop in this weather. This is no alien but a nostalgic Mr. Arthur Dent, coming back home after eight lengthy years, crossing the galaxy. Only five months have passed here, his planet has not vanished, the mystery goes unexplained, this is a science- fiction book after all . At last the shivering Dent, gets into a car, with an unconscious woman in the back seat and her brother driving. She falls on the professional hitchhiker, who can't see her face and immediately becomes infatuated. The lady is named Fenny ( Fenchurch, don't ask), so says her rather unsympathetic brother Russell, with mental problems, too many hospital visits... hallucinations, she also saw the world destroyed, silly idea, however will become the expatriate's great love. Meanwhile back on a real alien world, Mr.Ford Prefect is in deep, deep, trouble, the kind that can get you dead permanently. Having spent not wisely, in the unsavory " Old Pink Dog Bar", and no money, except an American Express Card, and they don't accept plastic from a nonexistent planet, that no one has ever heard of . The murderous bartender, is impatient, lucky The Hitchhiker's Guide is very prestigious and Ford does write for them, publicity can do wonders ... Returning to the third planet from the Sun (Sol) Mr.Prefect finally reunites with Arthur, after an extended search, Dent, doesn't answer his home phone, yes he got back , because his friend was too busy teaching Fenny, how to fly ... In an unlighted alley, floating above the ground, the pair grab each other, acrobatic looping, twisting and turning, doing things which are not well described here, she almost hits the pavement, too fast for a long life, Arthur saves the day. Later, scaring passengers in a plane, high over an English town, its people see a real UFO indeed. Visiting, the couple meet a rather weird , make that eccentric man, who knows a very important secret so he claims, something about dolphins. On a beach in California, Mr. John Watson, has a genuine strange house, he gives him a fish bowl, Arthur already has one so does Fenny. In the sunshine, casting a beautiful rainbow on the sand , writing appears on the surface of the dish, they read . Another very entertaining novel, in the funny series. It amused me...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #4), Douglas Adams The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a science fiction comedy radio series, written by Douglas Adams (with some material in the first series provided by John Lloyd). So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish is the fourth book of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy "trilogy" written by Douglas Adams. Its title is the message left by the dolphins when they departed Planet Earth just before it was demolished t So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #4), Douglas Adams The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a science fiction comedy radio series, written by Douglas Adams (with some material in the first series provided by John Lloyd). So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish is the fourth book of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy "trilogy" written by Douglas Adams. Its title is the message left by the dolphins when they departed Planet Earth just before it was demolished to make way for a hyperspace bypass, as described in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The phrase has since been adopted by some science fiction fans as a humorous way to say "goodbye" and a song of the same name was featured in the 2005 film adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و یکم ماه سپتامبر سال 2018 میلادی عنوان: خداحافظ برای همیشه و ممنون بابت اون‌ همه ماهی جلد چهارم؛ نویسنده: داگلاس آدامز؛ مترجم: آرش سرکوهی؛ تهران نشر چشمه‏‫، 1397؛ در 203ص؛ شابک 9786220100287؛ چاپ دوم 1398؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان بریتانیایی - سده 20م در جلد چهارم از این سری: «راهنمای کهکشان برای اتواستاپ‌زن‌ها»، با عنوان: «خداحافظ برای همیشه و ممنون بابت اون همه ماهی»، «آرتور» پس از سفرهای فراوانِ زمانی و مکانی، پس از نزدیک‌شدن به درک معنای زندگی، و نقش کره زمین در آن (در جلد نخست سری: راهنمای کهکشان برای اتواستاپ‌زن‌ها)، پس از دیدار با مردی که جهان را اداره می‌کند (جلد دوم سری: رستوران آخر جهان)، پس از غذا خوردن در رستوران آخر جهان (جلد دوم سری) و پس از نجات جهان از حمله ربات‌های مرگ‌آور کریکیتی (جلد سوم سری: زندگی، جهان و همه چیز)، به کره ی زمین باز‌می‌گردد؛ به زمینی که «آرتور»، نابودی آن را به چشم خود دیده، اما زمین همچنان وجود دارد؛ «خداحافظ برای همیشه و ممنون بابت اون همه ماهی» از یکسو روایت تلاش‌های «آرتور» است، برای کنار آمدن با این پارادوکس، و یافتن توضیحی منطقی برای این تناقض، و از سوی دیگر داستان آشنا شدن «آرتور» با دختری زمینی است، که شاید بتواند «آرتور» را، در حل این معما یاری کند، و البته ماجرای ناپدیدشدن ناگهانی «دلفین‌»ها از کره ی زمین، و آخرین پیام آن‌ها برای بشریت: «خداحافظ برای همیشه و ممنون بابت اون همه ماهی!» نیز هست؛ جناب «آرش سرکوهی» در پیشگفتار این کتاب می‌نویسند «زبان آدامز در این رمان زبانی روایی و گفتاری است، که زیبایی‌های زبان ادبی را نیز حفظ کرده است؛ کوشیده‌ ام تا، علاوه بر انتقالِ طنزِ رمان، شیوه، سبک، روال و لحن و شگردهای نویسنده را نیز به فارسی منتقل کنم؛ زبان «آدامز» در این رمان، که برای خواندن از رادیو تنظیم شده است،‌ زبانی گفتاری است؛ زبان محاوره‌ ای یا شکسته فارسی معادلی است مناسب برای این زبان،. به همین دلیل تصمیم گرفتم تا در مجموعه راهنمای کهکشان‌ برای اتواستاپ‌زن‌ها، هم در متن روایی و هم در گفتگوها، از زبان محاوره‌ ای بهره گیرم، و متن روایی و گفتگوها را دو با رسم‌ الخط متفاوت، متمایز کنم؛ شاید این روال یا قراری که من با خود نهاده‌ ام، به چشم برخی خوانشگران عجیب بنماید؛ اما نوشتن زبان شکسته یا محاوره‌ ای فارسی، هموازه با دشواری‌های بسیاری همراه است، از جمله به این دلیل که رسم‌ الخط، یا آیین نگارش فارسی، درباره ی شیوه نوشتن ضمیرها، و فعل‌های شکسته، قواعد پذیرفته شده‌ ای وجود ندارد؛ هدف اصلی من این بوده است که تمامی متن کتاب با رسم‌ الخطی یکسان نوشته شود.»؛ پایان نقل از مترجم تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 28/06/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی

  5. 5 out of 5

    K.D. Absolutely

    This book seems to be different from the earlier books in the series. It is no longer sci-fi since Arthur Dent has come back from space travel to Earth and a good part of the story is his love story. Had I not read the first books, I would have liked this as a romantic comedy story. So, I guess I was affected by my wrong expectation. The plot is tighter than the earlier books. There are still those funny moments and my favorite is the biscuit eating scene. I had a bittersweet feeling about the d This book seems to be different from the earlier books in the series. It is no longer sci-fi since Arthur Dent has come back from space travel to Earth and a good part of the story is his love story. Had I not read the first books, I would have liked this as a romantic comedy story. So, I guess I was affected by my wrong expectation. The plot is tighter than the earlier books. There are still those funny moments and my favorite is the biscuit eating scene. I had a bittersweet feeling about the disappearance of the dolphin. However, my favorite is that part with the sign "Sorry for the Inconvenience." Of course, the title of this book is so catchy and smart-sounding. I even had a first-hand experience of a British office mate who used this sentence in his adieu to us when he was promoted to a new position several years back. The plot was tight but the telling is not as engaging as the earlier books particularly the second one. Or maybe I just had enough of Adams humor as I should not have read these in close succession. I mean if you are reading, alongside with this book, the wonderful prose of Alan Hollinghurst or the funny yet strange characters of Anne Tyler, then you'll know what I mean. It's like reading Shakespeare and upon getting tired, you close it and try Nicholas Sparks. However, overall, this is still an okay book. Nicholas Sparks (he knows how to write and his books sell well!) and all. I still in awe how Adams was able to extend his trilogy to this fourth book without showing that he was tired. Not corny at all. From Earth (Book 1), to Space (Book 2) to Prehistoric Earth (Book 3) then back to our Earth (Book 4). I was like cheering Arthur Dent and Fernchurch, welcome back to earth! It just broke my heart that she was not Trillian. Oh. I have to hunt for the other books in this trilogy.

  6. 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.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Vincent

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is the fourth book in Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker Trilogy (no, that’s not a typo) starting with The Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy. Douglas Adams originally only meant to write two sequels to his original classic, and I’m sorry to say, this book shows it. In all of Douglas’s books, the plot is convoluted at best, with frequent asides and authorial interpretations (which works perfectly in the context of sci-fi comedy) but the plot in this story was so ambiguous, it just didn’t have the same This is the fourth book in Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker Trilogy (no, that’s not a typo) starting with The Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy. Douglas Adams originally only meant to write two sequels to his original classic, and I’m sorry to say, this book shows it. In all of Douglas’s books, the plot is convoluted at best, with frequent asides and authorial interpretations (which works perfectly in the context of sci-fi comedy) but the plot in this story was so ambiguous, it just didn’t have the same effect as the others. Ford has gone back to doing research for the guide, as he was doing before. Arthur is back on earth, courting a new young woman he met recently (who’s got a long list of psychological problems) and through a couple of random events, the two meet up again. Along with Arthur’s new love interest, they travel to the edge of the universe (for a reason not explained), in order to find the last message God left to his people before he disappeared from existence (I shall save you the trouble now, and just tell you that the message is “sorry for the inconvenience”). It’s clear that this is a book Adams never meant to publish, and it just seems like a random smattering of ideas and anecdotes he wanted to use in his other books, but never got the chance to. You’re really better off just sticking with the original three, or just the first book, which is a good stand-alone story.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Bradley

    Compared to any other book in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, I may say something rather controversial: I think it is the best book. Mind you, it's a close tie with the first book, but when we add an actual satisfying end to a rather delightful little adventure that has relatively little torture and a great deal more of truly romantic romance, I feel it deserves a boatload of respect. It's full of all the little zingers we've grown to love, it has enormous amounts of satire... and it's Compared to any other book in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, I may say something rather controversial: I think it is the best book. Mind you, it's a close tie with the first book, but when we add an actual satisfying end to a rather delightful little adventure that has relatively little torture and a great deal more of truly romantic romance, I feel it deserves a boatload of respect. It's full of all the little zingers we've grown to love, it has enormous amounts of satire... and it's simply beautiful. Do I love Fenchurch? I do. Do I think she's fantastic for finally giving that poor old sod, Arthur, a chance? Nay, even PITY? Ah, that's the interesting bit. It feels genuine. And delightful. And they're SOOO cute. I'll even say right here and now that if every romance on the planet panned out exactly the way this one did, I would die a very happy man. Did I mention that they're CUTE??? And the flying is MUCH better than that scene in Christopher Reeve's Superman. Word. And, I should mention here... even though the official fifth book in the series, Mostly Harmless, was written a full 8 years after So Long and Thanks for All the Fish, I'm just going to say that the reading order MUST be adjusted for taste. Keep So Long as the last book you read. It makes the whole thing CHARMING and BEAUTIFUL. If you read Mostly Harmless, then read it right before So Long. That way, when you have that bitter taste in your mouth, you can wash it down with the pure charm of So Long. :)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Trish

    This was delicious once again! In fact, it was so delicious that I love this book almost as much as Arthur loves Fenchurch. Fenchurch, for those of you who don’t know, is a girl Arthur meets back on Earth (yep, he finally made his way back across time, space and parallel universes) and immediately is smitten with. She happens to be the one other human who has figured out the knack about flying. By one of those cosmic coincidences we’ve come to expect in this series, Fenchurch also happens to be t This was delicious once again! In fact, it was so delicious that I love this book almost as much as Arthur loves Fenchurch. Fenchurch, for those of you who don’t know, is a girl Arthur meets back on Earth (yep, he finally made his way back across time, space and parallel universes) and immediately is smitten with. She happens to be the one other human who has figured out the knack about flying. By one of those cosmic coincidences we’ve come to expect in this series, Fenchurch also happens to be the girl who figured out how the world could be made a good and happy place. In book 1, she was stopped from therefore changing the course of human history because she died during the demolition of Earth. In this mirror book, Earth is not getting demolished so nothing stands in her way - except that she's forgotten. Somehow she arrives at the conclusion that the secret to what she's forgotten is God's Final Message to His Creation, which is why she and Arthur want to go and find it. This installment of the series is seriously rivaling the first (a feat not even volume 3 managed). From a rain god who doesn’t know that he is a rain god and therefore is miserable because it always rains no matter where he goes, to the Californian "alchemy" of turning excess fat into gold (a serious dig at the diet industry of course) and, brilliantly, the fictionalized version of a real-life event that had happened to DNA and a packet of his biscuits, DNA was up to his usual brilliance in this book. I’m really glad I read this as the finale although, technically, this is volume 4. But trust me when I say that reading this last makes sense on several levels. So this is a love story. It’s also the author’s farewell, not only by the dolphins, but also to a wonderful universe as well as all the quirky characters inhabiting it (yes, Ford and Marvin are in this, too, never fear). You can see it in the title, obviously. You can also see it right at the beginning as it has almost exactly the same words as book 1, thus brilliantly closing the cycle while still making it just different/unique enough. Interestingly, while there were a few great zingers in here (for example the one about the people and their lizards), they weren’t as prominent as in the first or third book. Instead, we get this sweet story, a second chance of sorts, completing so many story arcs and making the reader feel good about it all coming to an end. Silliness abound that once again just made perfect sense, which was simultaneously surprising and felt absolutely natural/destined/obvious. Finishing this series makes me feel utterly happy and gives me a great sense of satisfaction.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sean T

    If any of the inappropriately named Hitchhiker's Guide Trilogy could be called "best", I think this is it. I see two elements setting it apart from the other books in the HHGG series: its tight plot, and the fact that it is at heart a romantic comedy more than a farcical satire of the Science Fiction genre. As one would expect, the focus of the storyline is the continued pursuit of the Ultimate Question, to which we already know that the Ultimate Answer is "Forty-two". The characterization of Arth If any of the inappropriately named Hitchhiker's Guide Trilogy could be called "best", I think this is it. I see two elements setting it apart from the other books in the HHGG series: its tight plot, and the fact that it is at heart a romantic comedy more than a farcical satire of the Science Fiction genre. As one would expect, the focus of the storyline is the continued pursuit of the Ultimate Question, to which we already know that the Ultimate Answer is "Forty-two". The characterization of Arthur Dent seems at first to be inconsistent with the Arthur Dent known from the earlier books, until one realizes that this takes place eight years later, as time passes for him. Simply put, Arthur has matured and grown into his own as a Galactic Hitchhiker. He is more confident in who he is, and how to get around, while still maintaining his bumbling ways with women, which naturally leads the reader into the romantic comedy of the story. I know many people who have never read any of the Hitchhiker's Guide books because they are "not into sci-fi", or simply didn't get much of the humor in the initial trilogy. For them, I think that the prize of getting to this, the fourth book in the (inappropriately named) trilogy, will make reading the first three books worthwhile*. * Despite an effort by the author to explain within the text of the story links to the previous books, the characters and plot do require prior knowledge.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Dylan

    For a moment he felt good about this. A moment or two later he felt bad about feeling good about it. Then he felt good about feeling bad about feeling good about it and, satisfied, drove on into the night. Simultaneously the most grounded and most absurd entry in the series (let’s see if five can top it) this is a mind-melting fever dream of a book. I loved every page. Adams was a genius.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    Running on empty: Following a highly productive breakthrough period when he was simultaneously knocking out scripts for both Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Doctor Who, Douglas Adams famously struggled with writer's block during the later half of his career as a novelist. Previous Hitchhiker novel Life, the Universe and Everything was itself a re-worked Doctor Who story, and by the time of 4th Hitchhiker novel So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish you can feel the author struggling to find a Running on empty: Following a highly productive breakthrough period when he was simultaneously knocking out scripts for both Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Doctor Who, Douglas Adams famously struggled with writer's block during the later half of his career as a novelist. Previous Hitchhiker novel Life, the Universe and Everything was itself a re-worked Doctor Who story, and by the time of 4th Hitchhiker novel So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish you can feel the author struggling to find a story to tell.If there is a problem with this novel, it's that there simply isn't enough story here. Previous instalments in the Hitchhiker's series may have been short, but they were packed with fantastic mind bending SF concepts, which are almost entirely absent here. The main storyline consists of Arthur Dent returning to a mysteriously no-longer-destroyed Earth, and having a romance with Fenchurch, the girl who in a throwaway line in the original Hitchhiker's novel had a divine revelation on how to achieve world peace just before the Earth was destroyed by the Vogons. Arthur and Fenchurch's romance is touching, especially a chapter where they both fly through the clouds together, but storywise it doesn't really go anywhere - the identity of Earth's saviours is fairly evident from the books title (though incidentally, why is there a picture of a sea lion on the cover - misdirection?), and Fenchurch never remembers her divine plan for world peace.At the end Adams tags on a coda where Arthur and Fenchurch meet up with Ford Prefect and Marvin (who dies, again) to read God's Last Message To His Creation, following up on the finale of Life, the Universe and Everything, but if anything this feels almost tagged on simply to please the fans of the previous novels. The only ideas that are original to this book, such as the unwilling Rain God, or Wonko's inside-out asylum, are mildly amusing but nothing more.So Long, and Thanks For All The Fish is by no means a bad novel, and thanks to Adams prose it is engagingly readable, but it is a novel all about character - specifically having a few nice things happen to Arthur Dent for a while- and sorely lacking in plot, so don't expect anything much to actually happen beyond Arthur's romance. A pleasant read for fans of the previous 3 novels in the series, but by this stage Douglas Adams just seems to have run out of ideas, and was grinding a novel out for the sake of it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Marnie (Enchanted Bibliophile)

    “Scientist must also be absolutely like a child. If he sees a thing, he must say that he sees it, whether it was what he thought he was going to see or not. See first, think later, then test. But always see first. Otherwise you will only see what you were expecting.” This is my favorite of all the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" books. I know it kind of defies the whole travel the Galaxy and see the universe idea, but I love that Arthur is content and happy; that he found a like-minded being t “Scientist must also be absolutely like a child. If he sees a thing, he must say that he sees it, whether it was what he thought he was going to see or not. See first, think later, then test. But always see first. Otherwise you will only see what you were expecting.” This is my favorite of all the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" books. I know it kind of defies the whole travel the Galaxy and see the universe idea, but I love that Arthur is content and happy; that he found a like-minded being that likes him back. Call me a Romantic. And who can't love John Watson (Wonko the Sane)? He is the first-ever person I know that knows exactly where we live and he is not afraid of being called a fool. Honestly if you have not read these books; just go pick them up! You'll laugh so hard... and if you don't what's wrong with you?

  14. 5 out of 5

    David Sarkies

    Sorry for the Inconvenience 16 November 2016 When I first read this book I loved it namely because I happened to be a hopeless romantic and our protagonist, Arthur Dent, finally gets a girlfriend. Well, finally is probably not the best way to describe it because Adams does raise the possibility that Arthur may have had a relationship with Trillian (and when the question is metaphorically asked the reply is basically 'none of your business'), and also suggests that there is a rather long gap betwe Sorry for the Inconvenience 16 November 2016 When I first read this book I loved it namely because I happened to be a hopeless romantic and our protagonist, Arthur Dent, finally gets a girlfriend. Well, finally is probably not the best way to describe it because Adams does raise the possibility that Arthur may have had a relationship with Trillian (and when the question is metaphorically asked the reply is basically 'none of your business'), and also suggests that there is a rather long gap between books two and three where we end with Arthur together with a Gulgafringan and then beginning again years later with Arthur by himself in a cave (having discovered that all the Gulgafringans has died off, just because). Anyway, more time has passed since the end of book three and the beginning of book four and we once again meet up with Arthur, who happens to be standing in the rain at the side of the road on a planet that looks remarkably like Earth, and in fact happens to be Earth. Okay, there are a couple of minor differences, though I would hardly call not having been blown up by the Vogon Constructor Fleet as being a minor difference (though Arthur's house still standing, in the grand scheme of things, is). However there is also the fact that the dolphins have still vanished, and everybody happens to have a fish bowl with the inscription 'so long and thanks for all the fish' upon it. The thing about this particular book is that it is more of a romance than the other books in the series, which sort of gives it a different feel. The other thing is that for a bulk of the book the story is set not only on Earth, but both Arthur and Ford are going their separate ways – it isn't until we get close to the end that the two once again come together, but it is only for a short while as Arthur and his girlfriend (Fenchurch, so called because she was conceived in the ticket line at Fenchurch Street station, though my only experience of Fenchurch Street station is having a meal at a pub underneath it) head off to try and find God's final message to humanity (or the Universe to be precise). It also goes back into the old style where there is little to no plot and the main characters just seem to stumble around trying to work out what is going on, only to discover that the answer that they were looking for, in this case God's final message, is a piece of absurdity. Actually, there is sort of a plot, but not in the same sense that Life, The Universe, and Everything had a plot. Rather it involves the main characters continuing their search for meaning, and when they finally discover this meaning, as I mentioned, and as is the case in the other books, the answer that they were looking for turns out to be absurd. In a way it even seems as if God's message to the world is not so much an answer to the reason why we are here, namely because there doesn't seem to be any real reason at all, at least in Adam's mind. In a way I guess this is where our secular society is heading, even though many people in the Western realms still seem to consider themselves connected to some form of religion. Mind you, when you head out of the cities you do tend to discover a much more religious, and conservative, culture, but that has a lot to do with the country being very conservative, and new ideas filter in much more slowly (if ever). In a way, with their religious outlook, people in the country still seem to have a sense of purpose, a sense of belonging, and a sense of identity. However, once you head into the cities, and into the realms of the intellectuals, this traditional purpose and reasoning suddenly seems to get thrown out the door. In a way it is this rejection of religion that leads to these rather absurd views of the universe, and meaningless understanding of life. However, we aren't necessarily the first, or only, people in the history of the world because many other civilisations, particularly those who eventually freed themselves of the tyranny of a king, because in a such a system the purpose and meaning of life is to serve the king, but then one wonders whether the king, who seems to exist in this world to be served, would eventually suffer an existentialist crisis. I'm not sure, particularly is the king never really gave it that much thought – it is only the intellectuals that would start thinking along those lines since most of the kings would probably just be incredibly self-absorbed. As for this book, well it is much shorter, and a lot different, than the other entries in this series, and while I may have gushed over Arthur's romance when I was younger, these days it is a lot different as I am somewhat (or a lot) over that hopeless romantic streak that I used to have. As for the story, it is okay, and the message is interesting, but in the end the first two were much, much better (and this one was quite a lot less funnier as well). Oh, and the fact that Arthur, and to an extent Fenchurch, can fly really doesn't appeal to me all that much.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Evan Leach

    The fourth installment in the Hitchhiker series is something of an anomaly. Virtually the entire story takes place on Earth, and major characters like Zaphod and Trillian are nowhere to be found. The focus is on Arthur Dent: after years of being kicked around by the universe, poor Arthur finally finds himself in a good old fashioned love story. Well, maybe “old fashioned” is a poor choice of words. This is a Douglas Adams book after all, and it features robots, spaceships, and a man named Wonko t The fourth installment in the Hitchhiker series is something of an anomaly. Virtually the entire story takes place on Earth, and major characters like Zaphod and Trillian are nowhere to be found. The focus is on Arthur Dent: after years of being kicked around by the universe, poor Arthur finally finds himself in a good old fashioned love story. Well, maybe “old fashioned” is a poor choice of words. This is a Douglas Adams book after all, and it features robots, spaceships, and a man named Wonko the Sane. But the lunacy has definitely been dialed back, and this really is a love story. Arthur inexplicably finds himself back on what appears to be the Earth, and is quickly smitten. He spends some time investigating how the hell he could be back on Earth considering it was destroyed in the first book, sure, but the story is principally concerned with Arthur and: ”What is he, man or mouse? Is he interested with nothing more than tea and the wider issues of life? Has he no spirit? Has he no passion? Does he not, to put it in a nutshell, fuck? Those who wish to know should read on. Others may wish to skip on to the last chapter which is a good bit and has Marvin in it.” Before diving into this series for the third time, I considered this book to be the weakest of the five. But I was pleasantly surprised during this reread. It doesn’t have the frenzied energy that the first couple of books have, but Adams proves that he doesn’t need an interstellar stage to write truly hysterical prose (there’s a scene with two men sharing biscuits at a train station that’s up there with anything in the entire series). I think it’s the third best Hitchhiker book: behind books 1 and 2, but better than books 3 and 5. Oh, and the ending (which is in fact a good bit, and does contain Marvin) is a corker. 4 stars. Reread in January, 2004 and June, 2012.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Robin Hobb

    If you love any of Doug Adam's work, you will be sorry to miss this one. If you are unfamiliar with his work, I urge you to begin with the Hitchhiker's Guide and move through them in order. If you love any of Doug Adam's work, you will be sorry to miss this one. If you are unfamiliar with his work, I urge you to begin with the Hitchhiker's Guide and move through them in order.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Raúl Omar

    Writing a bad review for Douglas Adams is a sort of treason I don't want to participate in. On the other hand, I'ts against my review code to be dishonest about a book. So I'll do something I've never done before: write an honest review while trying to explain the reasons I didn't like this book as much as the other three. I didn't dislike this 4th book (in a trilogy of 5) but can't avoid a certain uneasiness after reading it. My first emotion was of disappointment, but towards the end of the nove Writing a bad review for Douglas Adams is a sort of treason I don't want to participate in. On the other hand, I'ts against my review code to be dishonest about a book. So I'll do something I've never done before: write an honest review while trying to explain the reasons I didn't like this book as much as the other three. I didn't dislike this 4th book (in a trilogy of 5) but can't avoid a certain uneasiness after reading it. My first emotion was of disappointment, but towards the end of the novel I started to like it a little bit more. To be honest this is not a bad book, actually is quite good, a typical Adams. When trying to discover the origin of my uneasiness I realize it's something obvious, a sort of itching that started since the early pages and didn't let me completely enjoy the rest: this book is not like the others. And the following realization is that my greatest fear reagarding an author I really like has bacame real: there is a book that I consider not as good as the others. This current emotional status about the book is something I feared since I started reading the second book in the trilogy: the fear that it would not be as good as the previous one. But It happened that I enjoyed The Restaurant at the End of the Universe as much as I liked The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and then, Life, the Universe and Everything, even more. So this 4th book is quite different in many aspects, not what I was expecting, therefore my uneasiness. I had really high expectations, which were biased by my experience reading previous works of Adams and thinking that this novel would be the same, I feel disappointed. But once I understood my bias, and that Adams has always an ace up his sleeve, I realize I should't be so harsh on this book. Finally, the definite proof that this book was not as bad as I originally thought, is that I'm craving to continue with the next book and finally finish this trilogy of five.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Becky Ginther

    Out of the "trilogy of five," this one was actually my favorite. I understand that for many people it's the least popular, because almost the whole thing takes place on earth and it focuses mainly just on Arthur Dent and not the other characters. However, that's why I liked it. After the somewhat overwhelming third book, it was a relief to have a novel that didn't keep jumping around between characters and plot, and just focus on one thing at a time. Plus, this story had a much more human element Out of the "trilogy of five," this one was actually my favorite. I understand that for many people it's the least popular, because almost the whole thing takes place on earth and it focuses mainly just on Arthur Dent and not the other characters. However, that's why I liked it. After the somewhat overwhelming third book, it was a relief to have a novel that didn't keep jumping around between characters and plot, and just focus on one thing at a time. Plus, this story had a much more human element to it that the others did not. In the others, we never got to know the characters and they never exhibited any emotions in any depth that we could relate to. And I suppose that was okay, because it wasn't really about emotions, it was just about the humor and the science fiction aspect. But it was kind of nice to see a different side of Arthur Dent in this one. He actually finds a romantic interest in the fascinating character of Fenchurch. Yes, there was less action, but that was okay for me. Also, we occasionally got some glimpses of what Ford was up to, but he didn't really become pertinent to the plot until the very end. It seemed like the book ended on a really exciting note, with the newly formed emotional bond between Arthur and Fenchurch intersecting with the exciting space travel that had been involved in the other books. From here, the fifth book seemed like it could be quite promising.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bill Coffin

    Even by the tired standard of the first three Hitchhiker's Guide novels, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish comes off as a tired, threadbare effort by a writer who simply did not have enough gas in the tank at this point and really should have waited the 10 years or so that it would have taken him to recharge fully and put together something with the creative density of his first or second installment in this series. I have not liked any of the book in this series, but at least there seemed to Even by the tired standard of the first three Hitchhiker's Guide novels, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish comes off as a tired, threadbare effort by a writer who simply did not have enough gas in the tank at this point and really should have waited the 10 years or so that it would have taken him to recharge fully and put together something with the creative density of his first or second installment in this series. I have not liked any of the book in this series, but at least there seemed to be a certain genuine energy to the first novel. By the fourth installment, any misgivings I had with the nature of the story and Adams' humor have been well underscored by a frustration at such a cynical attempt by the author to produce something for the sake of producing it. There is an interesting love story nestled in the middle of this one that remains nice if and only if one can overlook the fact that Adams, like so many other times in this series, went back to the first novel, strip mined a throwaway line for a high concept and decided to weave an entire story around it. It was a throwaway line for a reason. That Adams forgot that shows how far off the rails he'd gotten by this fourth installment.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kaylee

    I love this series. I laugh so hard when I read it, and I don't mean like low chuckle and a smile, I mean laughing so that other people look at me and I have trouble explaining to them why I'm laughing in public laughs. I love this series. I laugh so hard when I read it, and I don't mean like low chuckle and a smile, I mean laughing so that other people look at me and I have trouble explaining to them why I'm laughing in public laughs.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Cecily

    Hitchhiker's, volume 4. This is noticeably less good than it's three predecessors, particularly in terms of plot, but it still has plenty of splashes of brilliance: Arthur and Fenchurch fly. Wonko the Sane declaring the world beyond his inside-out house is an asylum. Rob McKenna is a rain god but doesn't know it - only that it always rains wherever he goes - the loving clouds just want to water him. "All eyes were on Ford Prefect. Some of them were on stalks". "As stunned as a man might be who, hav Hitchhiker's, volume 4. This is noticeably less good than it's three predecessors, particularly in terms of plot, but it still has plenty of splashes of brilliance: Arthur and Fenchurch fly. Wonko the Sane declaring the world beyond his inside-out house is an asylum. Rob McKenna is a rain god but doesn't know it - only that it always rains wherever he goes - the loving clouds just want to water him. "All eyes were on Ford Prefect. Some of them were on stalks". "As stunned as a man might be who, having believed himself to be totally blind for 5 years, suddenly discovers that he had merely been wearing too large a hat" (one for or from Blackadder, surely). "She seemed to be looking at something other than what she looked as if she was looking at". "Waited and waited for the nothing that he knew was about to happen. As the time came for it not to happen, it duly didn't happen". "The recurring impression he had that just when he was least expecting it, the universe would suddenly leap out from behind a door and go boo at him". A hotel "they would enjoy being puzzled by". Two women looking at the Pacific for the first time and one says "It's not as big as I expected". A & F find God's final message to creation ("We apologise for the inconvenience"). 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/... Mostly Harmless (vol 5): http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... And Another Thing...(vol 6), by Eoin Colfer : https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

  22. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    3.5 stars This series is so absurd that the usual writing rules don’t seem to apply. While the plot in this book was tighter and less convoluted than previous installments, that actually worked against it. What makes this series so riotously fun is how absolutely absurd they are. Don’t get me wrong, this book is still completely bizarre, but it didn’t have quite the same level of convoluted ridiculousness as the first three books. However, So Long, And Thanks For All the Fish still delivered on th 3.5 stars This series is so absurd that the usual writing rules don’t seem to apply. While the plot in this book was tighter and less convoluted than previous installments, that actually worked against it. What makes this series so riotously fun is how absolutely absurd they are. Don’t get me wrong, this book is still completely bizarre, but it didn’t have quite the same level of convoluted ridiculousness as the first three books. However, So Long, And Thanks For All the Fish still delivered on the hilarious one-liners, and really upped the ante on the breaks with the fourth wall.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Furniss

    More craziness and whacky fun & humour. I enjoyed this as much as the previous three. I'm getting quite sad at the thought this journey will soon be over. More craziness and whacky fun & humour. I enjoyed this as much as the previous three. I'm getting quite sad at the thought this journey will soon be over.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Anne (ReadEatGameRepeat)

    I really enjoyed this book, much like the rest of the books in the series. Its just a continuation of all the wackiness in the rest of the books. It made me laugh so much, I had a hard time keeping a straight face while reading this. CAWPILE RATINGS: Characters 7 Atmosphere 8 Writing 9 Plot 9 Intrigue 8 Logic 7 Enjoyment 8

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jason Koivu

    Not my favorite of the series. This one drags along at slow pace and doesn't really go anywhere. There are points in this where it seems like Adams is trying to stretch the page total with gimmicks, like "a writer should never..." and then he proceeds to do that tedious thing as an example, which doesn't add to the humor or plot. I think I preferred how the old tv series handled the dolphin storyline better than how it's portrayed here. However, it's not a terrible book by a long shot, as Adams Not my favorite of the series. This one drags along at slow pace and doesn't really go anywhere. There are points in this where it seems like Adams is trying to stretch the page total with gimmicks, like "a writer should never..." and then he proceeds to do that tedious thing as an example, which doesn't add to the humor or plot. I think I preferred how the old tv series handled the dolphin storyline better than how it's portrayed here. However, it's not a terrible book by a long shot, as Adams still entertains despite these quibbles.

  26. 5 out of 5

    David Firmage

    Audiobook. Useful for insomnia.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Elinor

    In this fourth instalment, (and I won’t be spoiling much by saying this), Arthur Dent miraculously finds his way home after 8 years in the confines of space. But was it really 8 years? And, was Earth really destroyed or was it all just an illusion (or is THIS all a delusion)? Contrary to most reviews I’ve read, this is definitely my favourite of the series so far (despite the Krikkit reference in #3). It’s wacky and full of wit and wordplay, generously sprinkled with Douglas Adams’ humour and ast In this fourth instalment, (and I won’t be spoiling much by saying this), Arthur Dent miraculously finds his way home after 8 years in the confines of space. But was it really 8 years? And, was Earth really destroyed or was it all just an illusion (or is THIS all a delusion)? Contrary to most reviews I’ve read, this is definitely my favourite of the series so far (despite the Krikkit reference in #3). It’s wacky and full of wit and wordplay, generously sprinkled with Douglas Adams’ humour and astute views. It’s also, in my opinion, the deepest in the series with very descriptive, almost poetic passages, and cleverly interwoven truths and metaphors. In a nutshell, I thoroughly enjoyed this, and the pictures evoked were so vivid they are still crystal clear in my mind: Rob McKenna the Rain God, Wonko the Sane and his improbable house, not to mention of course Fenchurch, and dear old Marvin.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    Not what I would have expected! This book is very different from the first three books in the Hitchhiker's Guide series, which I supposed is apt for the fourth book of a trilogy. I wasn't overly bothered by the fact that everything took place on earth (though the fact that the earth still apparently exists may take a bit of the underlying pathos out of the earlier works). I thought some of it was delightful, and I got a really big kick out of the Rain God, whenever he showed up. The giant robot Not what I would have expected! This book is very different from the first three books in the Hitchhiker's Guide series, which I supposed is apt for the fourth book of a trilogy. I wasn't overly bothered by the fact that everything took place on earth (though the fact that the earth still apparently exists may take a bit of the underlying pathos out of the earlier works). I thought some of it was delightful, and I got a really big kick out of the Rain God, whenever he showed up. The giant robot at the end was also a lot of fun, and I laugh whenever I think of him lying awkwardly on his face on the beach at Bournemouth. There's a shift in tone, though as well. I didn't like that as much. Adam's books have always been pretty cynical, but it's always been balanced out by the fact that there's an inherent wonder to them as well. The satire works so well because it's set against such a fabulous backdrop. When things stay earthbound, the satire is a bit more hum-drum, and the book as a whole has a bit of a darker feel. The plots also a bit haphazard - I almost got the sense that Adams just didn't really enjoy writing this one as much. It has it's moments, but I don't think it really stands up to the first three.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Amanda NEVER MANDY

    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 t 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.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Marta

    Less frentic, easier to digest, more thoughtful than the previous installment, with a cute, quirky romance, and much less galaxy hopping. The humor is more subtle, the jokes have breathing room. A welcome change of pace.

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