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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How do you follow up a work of genius.....?
.... With more of the same.

While not so good as a stand alone (you'll be lost in time & space without the background of Book 1), this second in the umpteen-part, increasingly inaccurately named Hitchhiker's Trilogy tries even harder than the first to laser your funny bone.

Seems that the thing we call (ultimately to be used-to-call) Earth is really...
Published on March 7, 2005 by Amanda Richards

versus
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars marvin's marvelous moment
Book two in the Hitchhiker's trilogy--"The Restaurant at the End of the Universe" is a very good follow up to "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." Very funny in its own right, it still fails to achieve the brilliance yet to come in Books three and four.
That said, I'll take not-yet-quite-absolutely brilliant writing by Douglas Adams any day over most of the...
Published on August 13, 2002 by NotATameLion


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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How do you follow up a work of genius.....?, March 7, 2005
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This review is from: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Mass Market Paperback)
.... With more of the same.

While not so good as a stand alone (you'll be lost in time & space without the background of Book 1), this second in the umpteen-part, increasingly inaccurately named Hitchhiker's Trilogy tries even harder than the first to laser your funny bone.

Seems that the thing we call (ultimately to be used-to-call) Earth is really just a mighty big supercomputer, built to work out the ultimate question to the ultimate answer, 42. Like all expensive software however, just before it actually does whatever it's supposed to do, it crashes - in this case due to the hacker Vogons and their total annihilation programme. Unlike your regular hard drive, two bits escape to byte another day, and we continue their story.

In one of the many funny lines from the book, Zaphod Beeblebrox remarks, "I am so hip I have difficulty seeing over my pelvis". This book is just as hip.

Our heroes are aboard their Improbability Driven spaceship, when Arthur Dent happens to tie up all the computer circuits just when the Vogons are launching an attack. Zaphod decides its time to see dead people, and with a strange twist, he and miserable Marvin, the depressed computer, disappear, while Arthur takes a tea break.

Zaphod materializes elsewhere and immediately starts looking for the man who rules the Universe, while Marvin continues to depress and be depressed. In my humble opinion, Marvin is the star of this book, but I digress.

After having his sense of perspective sorely tested, Zaphod improbably conjures a happy reunion, although this leaves him sadly out of pocket. Deciding that they should find the nearest place to eat, their ship's computer zaps them to Milliways, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

From this half-way point, the book takes off on a fresh tangent of humor, floor shows, loud rock bands, talking meat, and wicked vehicles - that is, until the universe ends.

Then the humor starts all over again.

A very worthy follow up to the famous first.

Amanda Richards, March 7, 2005
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Zarking Great!, June 19, 2000
This review is from: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Mass Market Paperback)
In the beginning, The Hitchhiker's Giude to the Galaxy was written. This made a lot of people happy and is generally regarded as a good move.
Some time later, it was followed up (by a sequel). This also made a few people ("The people...the things..." "The things are also people," hissed Ford. "The people...the...other people...") very pleased. I am among them. DNA is an excellent writer and this book is perfect alone, after its predecessor, or with a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. Brilliant satire, wonderful characters, and the depressed droning of our favourite Paranoid Android all contribute beautifully to a work of sheer unadultered weirdness. I'd reccomend reading HHGG first to all newcomers to the HHGG trilogy, but if you've already read the first in the series the best way to follow it up is by reading the second. Or by stopping for lunch at Milliways--The Restaurant at the End of the Universe! (But don't forget your towel!)
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, December 14, 2002
This review is from: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Mass Market Paperback)
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe begins where The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy left off, only Zaphod Beeblebrox's idea of stopping for dinner at the aforementioned restaurant is delayed a bit (or an incredibly long bit, depending on your upcoming temporal location). Having escaped the legendary planet Magrathea without having been killed by intergalactic policemen or, in the case of Arthur Dent, having his brain slicked up and studied for the inherent Question of the Life, the Universe, and Everything which is undoubtedly hardwired into it somewhere, the hoopiest cast of space travelers in the galaxy thought their troubles were over, or at least greatly lessened. They were completely wrong. The Vogon ship that destroyed the earth shows up to destroy the last two remnants of that now-dead world, namely Arthur Dent and Trillian McMillian. Unfortunately, Arthur's increasingly strident demands for a cup of real tea have the entire computer system on board the Heart of Gold focused on that task rather than anything as silly as escaping imminent destruction. This is just the beginning of this particular set of adventures. Other highlights include a visit by Zaphod's dead great-grandfather, a night of drinks and food at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Zaphod's experience inside the universally-feared Total Perspective Vortex, a trip in the mega-rock band Danger Area's stunt ship into a sun, a meeting with the real Ruler of the Universe, and a return trip to the Earth-sort of.
Nobody crams as much comedy per page as Douglas Adams. While The Restaurant at the End of the Universe isn't quite as amazing as its predecessor, this is only because its predecessor was so amazingly original and different from everything that came before it. The satire Adams employs, often quite subtle, is as brilliant as always; anyone who reads this book will laugh, but only some will realize that he/she is really laughing at himself and the absurdity of human life that Adams is playing off of. These characters are more real to me than many of the people I know in real life. Best of all, they don't change: Arthur Dent remains the rather bemused, clueless soul he has always been; Ford Prefect is just Ford, only more so; Zaphod-well, Zaphod's just this guy, you know; and poor longsuffering Marvin the Paranoid Android is still the most depressing (yet hilarious) robotically engineered life form in the galaxy. If these crazy characters and Adams' brilliantly comedic narrative don't make you laugh, you would be well advised to don a pair of Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive Sunglasses because you are headed smack dab into big trouble indeed.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars marvin's marvelous moment, August 13, 2002
This review is from: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Mass Market Paperback)
Book two in the Hitchhiker's trilogy--"The Restaurant at the End of the Universe" is a very good follow up to "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." Very funny in its own right, it still fails to achieve the brilliance yet to come in Books three and four.
That said, I'll take not-yet-quite-absolutely brilliant writing by Douglas Adams any day over most of the writers out there.
Marvin is the big scene stealer of book two...he comes darn close to hijacking the whole story. His conversation with the tank-like robot from Frogstar is a piece of comedic writing for the ages. Were it not for the insanity of Zaphod, the brilliance of Adams' depressed robot might stolen the whole show.
But oh--the mighty creation that is Zaphod Beeblebrox. Literature rarely produces such maniacal, unforgettable characters. His disdain for Arthur, his asides to Ford, his complete ineptitude in dealing with Trillian, and most of all--his strained relations with his ancestors. No, Marvin steals some scenes here...but this is Zaphod's book.
The range of Adams' satiric gifts never fails to astound me. The scene in Milliways speaks more effectively to the human condition than many sets of other volumes ever could. We all sit at the edge of oblivion every day. Are we to be mere spectators? Or will we work to create something more?
I give "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe" my heartfelt recommendation.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Look for the other version read by the Author, February 3, 2009
By 
Jay Lucas (Alexandria, VA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This was such a disappointment. Martin Freeman just has all the voices wrong. From the first moment I realized it was different. I gave it a chance. I tried to listen to it, but when Beeblebrox's Great Grandfather spoke in an American Southern accent, filled with screeches, I gave up. It's all wrong. The reader just doesn't seem to get the flavor of the work.

The audio version by the BBC with the reading by Douglas Adams, the author, is clearly worth the effort of looking for it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Story but a Step Down From the 1st in the "Trilogy", June 22, 2003
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This review is from: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Mass Market Paperback)
When I was in elementary school, this was a common series read by the male nerds and geeks in my school. After reading it, I can now see how much it shaped their speech patterns and writing styles. I found myself smiling as clouds of nostalgia unexpectedly overtook me while reading the series. I was also surprised to find phrases original to this series that have worked their way into the American culture. For example, in order to understand people who speak other languages, the characters in this series simply put a "Babelfish" in their ear. In real life, Babel Fish is a language translation program available on the internet. Since the book it appears in was published in 1979, there's no question of which came first.
In THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, we found out that the earth was actually created as an organic supercomputer with the sole purpose of determining the answer to life, the universe and everything. Arthur Dent finds himself whisked away from the earth only moments before the earth is destroyed to make way for a intergalactic bypass highway. Unfortunately, this is right before the earth was to have computed the answer to the question. He and Ford (an alien that has been marooned on earth) hitch a ride on the unsuspecting spacecraft that has just caused the destruction of the earth. They continue their hitchhiking journey throughout the galaxy to a ship called the Heart of Gold (which is actually a stolen vehicle). There, they meet with a series of unlikely coincidences thanks to the ship's Infinite Improbability Drive.
THE RESTAURANT AT THE END OF THE UNIVERSE
The HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY ends as the Heart of Gold heads for a bite to eat at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe. Evidently this restaurant must be reached by traveling forward in time to the actual end of the universe. Every night, a big show is made of the big bang that ends the universe. Luckily, the restaurant is protected from the effects and can make a show of it night after night. The only disappointing thing is that Author Dent and his friends miss the show as they attempt to stow away and hitchhike yet another ride in entirely the wrong vehicle. To make a long story short, Arthur and Ford end up marooned on prehistoric earth with a bunch of cave men and some amazingly stupid people who have been exiled from their own planet. Could these idiotic hairdressers and phone sanitizers be our true ancestors? In this book, we also meet the man in charge of the universe. Strangely enough, he is a forgetful old hermit who spends most of his time in his shack talking to his cat and his table or pondering the use of a pencil.
This series is bizarre comic sarcasm at its best. A smile automatically paints itself on your face as you begin to read. The series reads like a highly improbable dream sequence. I sort of wonder if the author had any conclusion in mind when he wrote it or if he just let the story write itself (not unlike a dream). This, the second book in the "trilogy" isn't quite as fast-paced in the beginning, but things do pick up toward the end.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There is something for every taste in this Restaurant's menu, April 21, 2005
This review is from: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Mass Market Paperback)
It is a waste of time trying to read "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe" without having read "The Hitchhiker Guide's to The Galaxy". The second novel is a sequel whose understanding and appreciation totally depend on understanding the first book. And those who didn't like the previous book are very likely to not like this one as well.

Douglas Adams is back with his witty sense of humor and unstoppable imagination. "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe" picks up from where "The Hitchhiker Guide's to The Galaxy" finished. But before the four humans and the robot reach the title's restaurant there is much weird adventure to come.

Those readers who enjoyed the first book have much more here to be delighted. To begin with, besides the sense of humor, Adams has injected much more adventure in this second installment. There is much more to gasp for than to laugh at. But, as a matter of fact, it is not a problem, since the funny parts are really funny.

In this second step of "The Hitchhiker Guide's to The Galaxy" trilogy (consisted of five books!) Adams exploit deeper the personality, fears and anxiety of his characters. For the most part of the book, the most important character that is the center of the action is Zaphod. But Arthur, Ford, Trillian and the delightfully depressed Marvin are never forgotten. In the next chapters the narrative splits in two different poles with two groups of characters.

However little he appears, Marvin is still the best. His depressive pre-prozac behavior is one of the funniest things in the book. His interactions with other machines and human beings are unforgettable.

The book `ends' with a perfect hook for its sequel "Life, Universe and Everything". Adams has a knock for leaving you breathless and waiting for what will come next. One can only hope that he keeps up the level of funny ideas and unstoppable adventure.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious Sequel, November 10, 2003
This review is from: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Mass Market Paperback)
Picking up right where "The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy" left off, Douglas Adams' "The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe" continues the hilarious intergalactic adventures of earthman Arthur Dent, his alien chum Ford Prefect, the two-headed freakazoid Zaphod Beeblebrox, earthwoman Trillian, and Marvin The Paranoid Android. When we last left this ragtag bunch, they were still on the run from the intergalactic authorities in their stolen souped-up spacecraft, The Heart Of Gold. Book 2 includes Zaphod's outrageous adventure to find the man who rules the Universe, a memorable stop at Milliways, The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe, the gang's close shave with having their ship plunge into a sun (all part of a rock concert spectacle put on by the rock group Disaster Area), and finally, Ford & Arthur's adventure onboard an Ark ship manned by a clueless bunch from the planet Golgafrincham. Oh, a startling revelation will also be made, and The Ultimate Question to the Ultimate Answer of "Forty-Two" will also be revealed! (Well, sort of....). Once again, Adams' brilliantly clever wit & writing style shines through on every page, and the book, like it's predecessor, is a real gutbuster.If you have enjoyed the adventures of Arthur Dent & Ford Prefect & company so far, why stop now? Please go to Book 3 in Adams' marvelous sci-fi comedy series, "Life, The Universe, And Everything"....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An improvement over the first book., December 18, 1999
This review is from: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Mass Market Paperback)
This sequel to "Hitchiker" was more enjoyable than the first book. I did'nt find this book to be as absurd as the first, which is an improvement. I also found myself enjoying the characters more in this book than the first. Some of the settings and profound situations in this book where also enjoyable.
All in all a solid four star read. A little to silly and unrealistic at times, but still 4 stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Jason's review, May 8, 2006
By 
Jason "jsl112" (East Lansing, MI USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Mass Market Paperback)
More like 3.5 stars.

The first book was great! When it ended I couldn't wait to to start reading this one. I wanted to find out more details about the conspiracy to make Zaphod the Galactic President, and who the six people who ruled the universe were.

This book doesn't do much to address any of that. It is still funny, and all the great characters from the first book are back. There are some interesting stories going on, but the original plot is largely ignored.
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The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams (Mass Market Paperback - September 27, 1995)
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