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The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Paperback – April 30, 2002


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Product Details

  • Series: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
  • Paperback: 832 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (April 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345453743
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345453747
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,035 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,689 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

It's safe to say that The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is one of the funniest science fiction novels ever written. Adams spoofs many core science fiction tropes: space travel, aliens, interstellar war--stripping away all sense of wonder and repainting them as commonplace, even silly.

This omnibus edition begins with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, in which Arthur Dent is introduced to the galaxy at large when he is rescued by an alien friend seconds before Earth's destruction. Then in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Arthur and his new friends travel to the end of time and discover the true reason for Earth's existence. In Life, the Universe, and Everything, the gang goes on a mission to save the entire universe. So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish recounts how Arthur finds true love and "God's Final Message to His Creation." Finally, Mostly Harmless is the story of Arthur's continuing search for home, in which he instead encounters his estranged daughter, who is on her own quest. There's also a bonus short story, "Young Zaphod Plays It Safe," more of a vignette than a full story, which wraps up this completist's package of the Don't Panic chronicles. As the series progresses, its wackier elements diminish, but the satire of human life and foibles is ever present. --Brooks Peck --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“WITH DROLL WIT, A KEEN EYE FOR DETAIL AND HEAVY DOSES OF INSIGHT . . . ADAMS MAKES US LAUGH UNTIL WE CRY.”
–San Diego Union

“LIVELY, SHARPLY SATIRICAL, BRILLIANTLY WRITTEN . . . RANKS WITH THE BEST SET PIECES IN MARK TWAIN.”
–The Atlantic

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

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves to laugh.
John Sileo
I have been a fan of Douglas Adams since I first read "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" when it was released.
Robert I. Hedges
This is the best book I've ever read, it really makes you think and say; "Oh, so that's it?!".
Dan Gustafsson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

139 of 142 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 26, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is undoubtedly the best sci-fi-comedy ever written, and I say that with confidence. Douglas Adams' wit is unmatched in this genre. I have re-read this series at least 5 times, and it gets better each time. Thanks to Adams's insight, I too am on a continual search for the reason why 42 is the answer (just look how many times it pops up randomly... or not so randomly)
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.
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264 of 276 people found the following review helpful By Robert I. Hedges HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on March 20, 2006
Format: Leather Bound Verified Purchase
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.
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100 of 105 people found the following review helpful By J. Carroll VINE VOICE on June 28, 2001
Format: Hardcover
While often embarrassing in a public place, laughing out loud while reading is an example of pure pleasure that so rarely occurs that any author capable of producing this effect should be commended. Douglas Adams is such an author. The only problem is his writing style should be taken in small doses, because when read all together you start to get buried in all the clever little comments and they lose their effectiveness. The first two novels in this series are two of the funniest books I have ever read. The basic plot is simple: Earth is destroyed to make way for an interstellar highway and Arthur Dent, one particularly hapless Earthman, is taken along by an interstellar hitchhiker to the far reaches of space. This synopsis does not do justice to the incredible universe Adams drags us into: Ships that run on improbability factors or restaurants checks, a two headed former president of the galaxy who is looking for a real good time, and other events and people too bizarre and numerous to summarize. The problem is that each succeeding book seems to jettison some whimsy for a more serious form of science fiction until in the last book the laughs are hard to find. The first two books deserve the highest rating, but this review is based on all the content contained within. But once you start, you'll want to read all of them, Adams does make sure that the reader wants to know how it all turns out. Hopefully you'll enjoy the journey.
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84 of 91 people found the following review helpful By Cordless Iron Man on August 8, 2002
Format: Hardcover
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 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.
Enjoy.
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