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Mostly Harmless (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 2000

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Mostly Harmless (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) + So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) + Life, the Universe and Everything (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)
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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. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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.

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Product Details

  • Series: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Book 5)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (February 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345418778
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345418777
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.6 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (225 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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 By Trevor Kettlewell on 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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38 of 45 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 6, 1999
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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 13, 1997
Format: Paperback
The first three Hitchhikers books are probably the most hilarious books I have ever read. The fourth, _So Long and Thanks for all the Fish_ was a great disappointment, and lacked the brilliant spark of the first three. _Mostly Harmless_ is mean spirited and largely devoid of humor. I think Adams not only has lost interest in these books, but has lost his muse. Sad to see him writing such junk as _Mostly_, I would presume just for the money. I felt cheated for buying this book, and I cannot even recommend checking it out of the library, as surely your time must be worth something
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