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Mostly Harmless (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Book 5) [Kindle Edition]

Douglas Adams
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (214 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $6.83
You Save: $1.16 (15%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

It’s easy to get disheartened when your planet has been blown up, the woman you love has vanished due to a misunderstanding about space/time, the spaceship you are on crashes on a remote and Bob-fearing planet, and all you have to fall back on are a few simple sandwich-making skills. However, instead of being disheartened, Arthur Dent makes the terrible mistake of starting to enjoy life a bit–and immediately all hell breaks loose.

Hell takes a number of forms: there’s the standard Ford Prefect version, in the shape of an all-new edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and a totally unexpected manifestation in the form of a teenage girl who startles Arthur Dent by being his daughter when he didn’t even know he had one.

Can Arthur save the Earth from total multidimensional obliteration? Can he save the Guide from a hostile alien takeover? Can he save his daughter, Random, from herself? Of course not. He never works out exactly what is going on. Will you?


From the Trade Paperback edition.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this installment of the The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy saga, Ford Prefect of the planet Betelgeuse relies on serendipity and his own quick wits to protect a new edition of the Hitchhiker's Guide from the loathsome Vogons. A 12-week PW bestseller in cloth.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

“Hitchhiker fans rejoice! . . . [Here’s] more of the same zany nonsensical mayhem.”—New York Times Book Review


“It is Mr. Adams’s genius to hurl readers into a plot that seems to go everywhere and nowhere, then suddenly drop the pieces into place, click, click, click, like tumblers in a lock. . . . Delightful.”—Baltimore Sun



From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1625 KB
  • Print Length: 284 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B0041YPA9C
  • Publisher: Del Rey (September 23, 2009)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002SME1J4
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,230 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
55 of 60 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mostly funny, but rather grim in the end December 24, 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It is impossible not to have some mixed feelings about this novel. It does stand as a return to the wild frivolity and cuttingly biting humor of the first three books, yet it is certainly less than upbeat, all things considered. Despite all kinds of evidence to the contrary, I always had the feeling that things would work out, even for poor Arthur Dent-the universe might not make a bit of sense, of course, but these characters I love so much would ultimately at least find a sense of peace if not happiness in some forgotten corner of the cosmos. It's something of a downer to find out this is not really the case. Two characters who very much made up the heart of the series for me, Marvin and Zaphod, are not even present in these pages. Then you have Fenchurch from the fourth book, a character I really came to love, thrown out of the saga like so much spoiled Perfectly Normal Beast meat. It's nice to have Trillian back, albeit in a couple of transdimensional forms, as well as Ford and Arthur, but it's hard to say who the story is really about. Arthur's new life as a Sandwich Maker on a remote planet his ship crashed on is rather pitiful but totally Dent-like. Ford's attempts to undo the tragic consequences of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy company having been taken over by unscrupulous business men is interesting. The introduction of a Tricia McMillan who did not leave the party with Zaphod because she decided to go back for her handbag ends up just muddying the waters of the fictional time stream. Then there is Random, the biological daughter of Arthur Dent by Trillian; she is even more mixed up and generally confused about life than the father she only meets as a teenager dumped by her too-busy mother. Read more ›
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Action, humour, SF satire and post-modern philosophy December 31, 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Always a lovely read - Adams is very user friendly. He seems to almost have his own genre of which he and Pratchett are the leading exponents. I can't say I laughed out loud too often (although the picture of a drunken Zaphod sticking a birdcage over his second head and badly pretending to be a pirate is hilarious), but it was a very pleasant ride - even if the conclusion is surprisingly bleak for what feels like a light comedy. Like Pratchett (and there are so many `like Pratchett's, although that's probably in the wrong comparative order) Adams throws in some agnostic themes with his humour, although here the ultimate meaninglessness of life is treated a little less whimsically.

It's an interesting hotchpotch of action (and cutting between various cliff-hanger scenes), philosophy, stand-up comic perspectives of the everyday, domestic sit-com, satirical SF, and Douglas' own pleasure in blithely hurling his characters through six impossible things before breakfast. The plot is surprisingly coherent although occasionally incidental.

I still would almost be surprised if Adams didn't cite Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 as a thematic and stylistic influence. Here he lets his sensible and considerate astrologer state the theme that it doesn't matter so much what you believe in (`truth' is irrelevant), but you need something as a structure, a lens, to enable you to live satisfactorily. Adams unsurprisingly explains this much better:
"I know that astrology isn't a science ... of course it isn't. It's just an arbitrary set of rules like chess or tennis ... The rules just kind of got there. They don't make any kind of sense except in terms of themselves.
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36 of 43 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A horrific catastrophic experience June 6, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
If there were some laser device I could use to eradicate the memory of this entire novel from my brain, I would use it. I, too, love all of the previous books in the series. When the fact that I loved _So Long and Thanks For All the Fish_ the most is taken into consideration, anyone who's read this will understand why I HATED this one! I have no problem with miserable, defeatist endings (and that's a bit of an exaggeration when applied to this book) but when compared to the whimsical, light-hearted, good-humored satirical tone of the first four this just doesn't fit. It seemed uneccesary to me. I think there should be a warning on the cover...a sort of anti-DON'T PANIC label that lets people who are expecting what the series seemed to be leading to that this is not at all what they were expecting! My advice is, if you loved _So Long...._ for the same reasons I mentioned above, don't bother with this one. Pretend the series ended with number four. And anyone who has read it and feels as bereft as I do, any leads on that memory eradification device?
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars With Love To DNA, This Book Is Mostly Unnecessary May 24, 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Don't let my 2-star rating for "Mostly Harmless" fool you---I miss Douglas Adams very much. He was a brilliantly funny author, and I'm a huge fan of his first four "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy" books, his pair of "Dirk Gently" books, and his writing for the "Doctor Who" TV series. But sadly, I must confess, I'm not a fan of Adams' final "Hitchhiker's" book, "Mostly Harmless." The reason is simple: the fifth book, in my opinion, is totally unnecessary. Adams originally intended for the fourth book, "So Long And Thanks For All The Fish," to be the definitive final book in the "Hitchhiker's" saga. There's a *reason* why the fourth book has a farewell title to it, folks! And, like the three books that came before it, I totally loved it---I read the entire "So Long And Thanks..." book in a single day, and I thought that it was a marvelous "conclusion" to the adventures of Arthur Dent & company.Then along came "Mostly Harmless," which, by Adams' own admission, he only wrote on a whim---just for fun, in other words. He came up with a way to extend the series for one more book, which I'm sure delighted some "Hitchhiker's" fans, but I, personally, was so disappointed with the direction of it. Arthur's ladylove, Fenchurch, is gone, and now it turns out that he & Trillian had a daughter (though not by natural means), and that's just for starters. Oh, Adams' writing is still sharp, but despite a very humourous adventure with Ford Prefect & a companion robot toward the beginning, the fifth book, to my dismay, turns surprisingly serious. What can I say---this is simply not how I wanted the "Hitchhiker's" saga to end. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Not as good as hitchhiker's guide and restaurant at the end of the universe... But still pretty damn funny
Published 11 days ago by Roy
5.0 out of 5 stars Better at the second read
When I first read this, I was over obsessed with the seemingly depressing ending. However, the jokes along the way are great and Don't take Random too seriously. Read more
Published 27 days ago by Stephen Tomporowski
5.0 out of 5 stars Close Encounters of the Absurd Kind
Douglas Adams can do no wrong. This series is one of the best science fiction humour franchises of all time.
Published 1 month ago by Barry Hammock
3.0 out of 5 stars I should not have bought all the books at one time. The first good,...
Not a Douglas Adams fan
Published 1 month ago by James Sibley
5.0 out of 5 stars Great books, great prices
Classic tale in the Hitchhiker series from Adams. British humor at it's finest in the SF genre.
Published 1 month ago by Allen D. Patterson
4.0 out of 5 stars grim, but more tightly constructed that its predecessors, and contains...
When this book was first published, I found it overly grim and, frankly, depressing. It's short, and doesn't include numerous popular characters from earlier in the series,... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Neurasthenic
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed them greatly
Bought the entire series on recommendation from a friend. Enjoyed them greatly.
Published 2 months ago by ---j
5.0 out of 5 stars Hitchhiker's
So I love everything Douglas Adams wrote. The world lost him much too soon.
Published 2 months ago by Naomi E.
5.0 out of 5 stars No holds barred
It's not uplifting like the other books in the series. However, the fourth book was unsettling (Fenchurch's feet never touching the ground--talk about freakiness) in ways that may... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Gnostradamus .com
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not fantastic like the first 4
If you read the other books in this series, you'll have high expectations for this latest installment. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Cecilia Hess
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More About the Author

Douglas Adams (1952-2001) was the much-loved author of the Hitchhiker's Guides, all of which have sold more than 15 million copies worldwide.

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Topic From this Discussion
Who else hated the ending? (spoilers)
Did Arthur and Ford die? I was honestly a bit confused about that part, and you can call me dull, because that's what I'm calling myself right now. It wasn't really clear. Arthur died, right? Random can't have died, could she? How about Trillian? I was really confused. And also, I would... Read More
Sep 1, 2007 by Sumer Suri |  See all 8 posts
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