248 of 259 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Plush Inspired Lunacy
I have been a fan of Douglas Adams since I first read "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" when it was released. I have previously read all of these books (though I had not read the short "Young Zaphod Plays it Safe") before, some several times. When I saw this compendium I was compelled to buy it so I could have a volume with all this brilliant insanity in one place. I...
Published on March 20, 2006 by Robert I. Hedges
64 of 68 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Review of this Edition, not the contents
I don't know if I'll be annoying Amazon or not by this review but I bought this edition of the Hitch-Hikers Guide because I keep losing all the others that I've bought. If you want a review of the actual story then read the other reviews: I agree 100% that it's fabulous.
However, if you want to own the books, then I suggest that you don't buy this omnibus edition. The...
Published on August 8, 2002 by Cordless Iron Man
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248 of 259 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Plush Inspired Lunacy,
This review is from: The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide: Five Complete Novels and One Story (Deluxe Edition) (Leather Bound)I have been a fan of Douglas Adams since I first read "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" when it was released. I have previously read all of these books (though I had not read the short "Young Zaphod Plays it Safe") before, some several times. When I saw this compendium I was compelled to buy it so I could have a volume with all this brilliant insanity in one place. I found Adams' introduction and explanation of the different Hitchhiker's permutations and iterations fascinating and revealing, and found all the books as whimsical and delightful as I had recalled. This edition has the added benefit of being printed on high quality ultra-thin paper, and being quite plushly bound. It definitely looks like an heirloom, but inside it is one hundred percent inspired lunacy.
Without question the original book is the crown jewel of the collection, and stands the test of time as one of the most original and brilliant novels written in the twentieth century. More than the plot following our heroes Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect (and a cast of thousands), it is Adams' amazing ability to turn a phrase into something not totally unlike any other book isn't that utterly distinguishes the first volume of the series. While that last sentence is an obvious homage to Adams, his wit and ability to redirect a line to a place that is totally unpredictable is uncanny. The book is not only brilliantly conceived, but glitters with a patina of dark humor which is utterly unique in literature, the only analog being the television and film productions of Monty Python.
I enjoyed the other volumes in the series as well, with the first three being my favorites. By "So Long, and Thanks For All the Fish" I started to see a bit of monotony creep into Adams' writing style, occasionally to the point that it almost seemed that he was forcibly imitating himself. Although I did enjoy the final two volumes in the series, I would probably have given them independent ratings of four stars, while the others are clearly five star masterworks. I did find the character of Fenchurch (introduced in "So Long, and Thanks For All the Fish") intriguing, and couldn't agree more with Adams' analogy of Mark Knopfler's guitar style to the effect of Fuolornis Fire Dragons. It is no surprise to me that Douglas Adams was a Dire Straits fan, and I found his brief tribute to the band to be an amusing buried delight.
This book is not only great contemporary literature, a level of accomplishment which most sci-fi novels aspire to, but rarely achieve, but is a great value too. The book is over 800 delightful pages long: buy this book and prepare for a wonderful otherworldly journey, but don't forget to bring your towel.
126 of 129 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This series deserves Forty-Two stars,
In this classic story, Arthur Dent, a lovable and easily-confused Earthling gets dragged on the journey of a lifetime as Earth is destroyed by a group of Vogons to make way for a hyperspace by-pass. He is joined by a host of unforgettable characters: the easy-going researcher for the Hitchhikker's Guide to the Galaxy Ford Prefect; the hyper Two-Headed, Three-Armed President of the Galaxy Zaphod Beeblebrox; and his sexy companion former-Earth-reporter Trillian; and Marvin, the hopelessly depressed android. Together, they are off to explore the galaxy, battle with pesky mice-geniuses (no, not Pinky and the Brain), eat dinner at the end of the universe, travel through time, meet the man who designed Norway, redefine "improbability," patronize and annoy countless alien races, search for a decent cup of tea in an unforgivig universe, and continue the eternal quest to find out why 42 is so darn important.
Adams is a visionary. This is unlike any series I have ever read. Although "Mostly Harmless" was a slightly disappointing conclusion(?) to such an entertaining series, I will always consider the Hitchhikkers' "Trilogy" to be among the greats. If you do not own or have never read these books, then this compilation is a necessity for you. I recommend that you purchase it immediately, call in sick from work, school, or whatever, put up a small Somebody Else's Problem (SEP) field around you, and read it and again and again.
88 of 93 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Maybe too much of a good thing,
64 of 68 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Review of this Edition, not the contents,
However, if you want to own the books, then I suggest that you don't buy this omnibus edition. The extra features aren't all that fantastic and it's printed on low-quality paper. Have a look around for the other editions that are available and buy one of them, or buy each book individually. On the other hand, you might end up like me: lending out all your copies to friends because it's fantastic and eventually losing them all. Oh well, the only thing nicer than a brand new book without a single crease is a dog-eared relic that's been read by tens of people 20 times over.
51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book,
I'm glad to say I wasn't disappointed. Quite to the contrary, the book exceeded my expectations. It's beautifully crafted, and the humor is so whimsical and Pythonesque, that it's both clever and absurd at the same time.
It was especially great to read one seemingly absurd part of a story (like a detailed description of a flowerpot hitting the ground), and then, several books later, find out how it ties with the story. Adams does an excellent job and bringing things together - reading these series is like watching a puzzle unfold in front of your eyes.
Another great aspect was finally reading about the many references found to the story - you'll never look at number 42 the same way.
While many people have given negative reviews to the last book (Mostly Harmless), I thought that while it was a bit hard to follow, it wasn't any different from any other H2G2 book.
If you're a Python fan, you owe it to yourself to read this book (Adams wrote several skits with the Pythons and was a close friend). If you're not, you might still like it, if you like whimsical, clever humor.
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You Almost Can't Ask For Anything More,
This book is really a collection of all five books in the Hitchhiker's trilogy (um, ya, five books shouldn't be in a trilogy but thats how this series works), written by Douglas Adams. However, I had no previous experience with these books or with Douglas Adams and I thoroughly enjoyed reading them in this form. I couldn't image having read one of the books, then having to wait to get the other one. This series really is meant to be read in its entirety. The entire story flows throughout each book and needs to be read in order too.
So here is the story, a terrible accident is about to befall earth which drags the main character, Arthur Dent, on a wild romp throughout a hilarious Galaxy. Arthur just wants to get back home to Earth which leads to the stunning climax. This series is full of one liners, two liners, and even some three liners. If your a fan of British comedy, British satire, sci-fi, or just great literature then Douglas Adams weaves a tale that will appeal to you.
The first book in the series, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy really should be required reading in school, it really is that good.
Most "funny books" wouldn't even attempt to dissect the absurdity of our so-called civilization, this is what sets the Hitchhiker series apart from anything else. At points you see that while it may be funny -- all it really is, is insightful. The ridiculousness of humanity is displayed brilliantly -- through aliens. You'll find yourself laughing out loud.
As far as the ending to everything, it is one of the best endings of any series ever (in my opinion of course). It really instills an important moral, whether you get it at first or not, you may have to think about it a while. The ending also wraps up everything and makes perfect logical sense. The spontaneous happenings will have you on the edge of your seat until the very end too.
This series deals with what it really means to be alive and what the meaning of life really is. Isn't that really what everyone wants to know anyways? The answer might be so funny you'll die laughing!
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is being made into a movie too, due out in 2005. I don't see how it could live up to the high standard set by this book but we will have to see.
If you enjoy this I'd highly recommend THE LOSERS CLUB: Complete Restored Edition by Richard Perez, a somewhat unrelated (not sci-fi) but very amusing and FUN book. Short, quick, and funny -- that's how I like them.
Overall, The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy really is great! A must read by everyone!
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars typos, typos galore!,
This review is from: The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Kindle Edition)Sorely disappointed that one of my most loved books would be so riddled with typos. This would be completely unacceptable of a printed book, what would make it ok in a Kindle version? I would have liked one of the reviewers to point that out for me before I bought it. I am, of course, keeping it now, but it is infuriating.
72 of 82 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Leather bound with a silk ribbon placekeeper.,
This review is from: The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide: Five Complete Novels and One Story (Deluxe Edition) (Leather Bound)I ordered this book with the hope that it would be as well made as the other Gramercy Literary Classics books. It is. In fact, it might even be better than the others I have (I have about ten or so books from this collection). Thickly padded leather binding, silk ribben sewn in as a placeholder, nice leather smell like a car interior. The pages are very thin, like the paper used to make bibles. Makes sense given the page count.
I like this, and it is an outstanding deal.
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A comic genius!,
By A Customer
But Ford & Arthur escape from Earth, and set out on a journey of a lifetime, spanning 5 novels so far, where time and space are equally trivial barriers that can be crossed at a leap. Along the way, Arthur finds out a lot he didnt know, and lots more than he ever wanted to know, from hitching rides on passing space ships and teaching their computers to make tea, to the real history of his planet and the knowledge that his is the third most intelligent species on earth(and not, as was widely believed, the second) He also grapples with scientific concepts way beyond his grasp like the Infinite Improbability drive, Somebody Else's Problem field, discontinuities along the probability axis, not to mention the End of the Universe(the universe's most spectacular & profitable catering venture) Douglas Adams serves up one wacky idea after another, a universe wildly beyond our imagination, yet very familiar in its core values of crass commercialization and tasteless marketing hype. The reader is hurled through a series of increasingly improbable events, all held together by equally crazy characters and brilliant, witty(and ofcourse crazy) dialogs.
So if I'm raving so much about the book, why do I give it only 4 stars? Because, like all artists, Adams has his highs & his lows, both of which are present in this collection. I would wholeheartedly recommend the first two novels - Hitchikers guide & Restaurant at the end of the universe. But coming after them, Life, the Universe & Everything is somewhat of a letdown, and So Long & Thanks for all the Fish even more so. Mostly Harmless is better, but still doesnt meet the standards set by the first two. All in all, this book is a collectors item for Adams fans - and I dont regret buying it. But for those just starting out on Adams, I'd recommend they try individual copies of the first two novels.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful read!,
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The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams