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Paperback Mostly Harmless Book

ISBN: 0330491229

ISBN13: 9780330491228

Mostly Harmless

(Book #5 in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Series)

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. Douglas Adams is back with the amazing, logic-defying, but-why-stop-now fifth novel in the Hitchhiker Trilogy. Here is the epic story of Random, who sets out on a transgalactic quest to find the...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Mostly satisfying

The unfortunately final entry in the Hitchhiker's Guide series is also perhaps the best. There are some grounds for complaint. Adams' summarily writing out Fenchurch was disappointing, though necessary to make this story work. And the ending is decidedly bleak--yes, even worse than when Arthur and Ford were stranded on prehistoric Earth at the end of book two. There is some indication that Adams wouldn't have left the series ending this way had his life not been tragically cut short, but now we'll never know. However, despite the occasionally dark tone, Adams' trademark zany humor runs throughout to help counterbalance it, and the plotting here nicely resolves threads introduced in several earlier entries in surprising ways. And as with Arthur's relationship with Fenchurch in the previous book, his relationship with his teenage daughter Random in this one adds new dimensions to his character, and shows that Adams is capable of genuine insight in addition to outright hilarity. The new Guide is appropriately sinister, Old Thrashbarg and the Perfectly Normal Beast and the aliens who've lost their minds are very funny, and best (or worst?) of all, the Vogons are back! Adams somehow manages to expertly juggle all of these plotlines through complex and potentially confusing travel through time and multi-dimensional space. That in and of itself is an achievement. He packs an awful lot of value into such slim volumes. If only there had been more!

A Review of the book that DOES give the question(spoilers)

In "Life, the Universe, and Everything" plays heavily into this book for several reasons. The most obvious is Agrajag, which I thought was very clever of Arthur to remember and allowed him to have a rarely seen sense of arrogance in him. But there's another reference that's incredibly subtle and I don't know if Adams even realized it(or maybe I'm just out to lunch and am dead wrong): Arthur had some interestings views in "L,tU,aE," one of which was that the farther things move in space the more they stay in the same place. After Arthur's fantastic journeys throughout the galaxy, he ends up where he came from: Earth. I know many people disliked this book because it didn't have the happy, "they all lived happily ever after," Hollywood-esque ending. I say that this series wasn't meant to be a cute little tale. It was meant to be ridiculously silly and humorous. And that's exactly the way the book ends the series. Imagine! After all these people have gone through it comes to an end because some confused aliens want to change their horoscope! I thoroughly enjoyed Arthur being a "sandwich maker." I found it very quaint and I was glad Arthur was happy(however momentarily). I like the way of ending the tale of these people with a new, ultimate nemesis: A new Guide. An all-powerful Guide. That's what got Arthur and Ford into all the original trouble into the first(or did it save them?) and now it's back and horribly evil. I liked Ford casually breaking into the headquarters and being confused that the floor was 3 centimeters lower than usual from the vent. It gives you a good perspective of Ford. I admit that I did not enjoy Trillian/Tricia McMillan very much in this story, but she(they) were necessary. I thought Random was somewhat funny, but not as much as Ford and Arthur. I liked Ford's ridiculous overspending with his new found credit card and his notions to throw himself out windows. And I absolutely loved Colin. A beautiful contrast to Marvin(although the doors and Eddie from previous books also served the same purpose). I especially enjoyed his "I gurgle with pleasure" line said right after Ford gives him some sternly horrible words. I was not disappointed that Fenchurch was left out or that Arthur wasn't overly depressed about it. He was already at the near peak of depression before meeting her. In this he's depressed that he's lost his love, his planet, his life, any sense of normalcy, and has gained a completely unstable daughter. It took me a while to understand why Elvis was put into this book so much, but after a while, I finally understood. I hope you all understand it too. Because it represents the true closure to the story that this book puts forth. ... It's a good book(despite the fact that Zaphod Beeblebrox is left out, I liked his wonderfully confusing personality.)

A strong conclusion to a brilliant series

Despite owning the least auspicious title in Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy, Mostly Harmless follows in the footsteps of its four predecessors, providing outrageous sci-fi comedy as well as a perfect conclusion to the series. With Adams, and specifically with the Hitchhiker trilogy, one almost begins to expect the unexpected. So, after four always amusing books following the travels of two Earthlings and a few of their alien friends, what would be a more unexpected, and therefore fitting, conclusion to the series than a novel with dark overtones and a tragic ending? The premise of the trilogy is this: Arthur Dent is the reluctant main character of the entire series, and one of only two remaining Earthlings. The Earth is actually a giant supercomputer created to find the ultimate question to the ultimate answer of the meaning of life (this answer was previously found to be 42), but was destroyed by Vogons to make way for a hyperspace bypass. Dent escaped moments before Earth's destruction with Ford Prefect, a human-like alien and employee of The Guide. Trillian (short for Tricia McMillian, an English news reporter) managed to escape with Zaphod Beeblebrox, a two-headed alien who was once president of the galaxy, whom she conveniently met at a party on Earth's final night. They then proceed to have a host of wild and crazy times in space, constantly getting into and out of trouble. This group has since split, however, and Mostly Harmless finds Arthur alone and happy on an isolated planet. He was marooned there when his spaceship crashed, and, upon finding a primitive civilization, settled in and set out to bring high technology to the natives. After some time, Arthur found that the only part of modern civilization he actually understood well enough to impart to these people was the art of sandwich making. And he did so, all the while carving out a pleasant niche for himself. The plot begins to thicken when Trillian arrives with their daughter, Random, whom Arthur knew nothing about. It turns out that the teenage girl is actually the product of Arthur's donation to a sperm bank, but he is forced to take her in and attempt to raise her when the career-minded Trillian demands that he take responsibility. After some time, Arthur receives a package addressed to Ford Prefect, which Random opens to reveal a brand new, strangely interactive version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. This new Guide, though generally unbeknownst to its user, caters to the beck and call of whomever possesses it. Random uses it to travel to another dimension, one in which the Earth still exists, so she can go home. Ford comes for his package, and he and Arthur are forced to flee the planet in pursuit of Random. The chaotic conclusion that occurs when they find her brings the entire series to a complete, if not altogether cheery, conclusion. The ultimate strength of Mostly Harmless is in the writing. Every bit of the story is wor

The end of the series.

This book was written to provoke those who wanted Adams to continue the trilogy but I loved it. Aurthor setteled down on a bob fearing planet where he has aquired the prestigous job of "sandwitch maker" and couldn't be happier when Trillian drops his unknown psycho-daughter Random on his doorstep. Aurthor fumbles around differant planet earths chasing Random and the threat to the HGTTG with Ford Prefect. It has all the same Adams humor as the rest of the series even though its not as spectacular as the first 3 books there are still some great moments. Inevidably the joke is on us after we read this book and we choose to laugh it off or get angry for its existance.. I can understand why people get angry, but I thought it was funny.

Actually Very Good

I've seen a couple of negative reviews concerning this book, but it's actually very good. No, it's not the best book in the series, but it's not the worst, either. OK, let's face it: Adams probably didn't really want to write this book. It was probably written as a finality to series so fans would stop clamoring for more sequels. A lot of people are apparently turned off by this fact, but... I don't give a damn! A good book is a good book, period. Mostly Harmless is funnier than the two previous books in the series were. Some of the many humorous elements present are Arthur's stint as "master sandwich maker", the return of Ajragag, and, of course, more of Ford's zany antics (particularly hilarous is his stint with a credit card), and even the King. Yes, THE King! hehe The tone is a bit dark, granted, and the ending is even a bit depressing after having been with the series for so long, but, face it, all good things must come to an end. We begged for another sequel, and Adams gave it to us... but it's over! Get over it, get on with your life. At least the series went out with a bang (no pun intended.)
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