The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy #1-5)

ISBN: 0345453743
ISBN 13: 9780345453747
By: Douglas Adams

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Genres

Classics Currently Reading Fantasy Favorites Fiction Humor Sci Fi Science Fiction Scifi To Read

About this book

At last in paperback in one complete volume, here are the five classic novels from Douglas Adams's beloved Hitchiker series. "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"Seconds before the Earth is demolished for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is saved by Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised Guide. Together they stick out their thumbs to the stars and begin a wild journey through time and space."The Restaurant at the End of the Universe"Facing annihilation at the hands of warmongers is a curious time to crave tea. It could only happen to the cosmically displaced Arthur Dent and his comrades as they hurtle across the galaxy in a desperate search for a place to eat."Life, the Universe and Everything"The unhappy inhabitants of planet Krikkit are sick of looking at the night sky- so they plan to destroy it. The universe, that is. Now only five individuals can avert Armageddon: mild-mannered Arthur Dent and his stalwart crew."So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish"Back on Earth, Arthur Dent is ready to believe that the past eight years were all just a figment of his stressed-out imagination. But a gift-wrapped fishbowl with a cryptic inscription conspires to thrust him back to reality. So to speak."Mostly Harmless"Just when Arthur Dent makes the terrible mistake of starting to enjoy life, all hell breaks loose. Can he save the Earth from total obliteration? Can he save the Guide from a hostile alien takeover? Can he save his daughter from herself?

Reader's Thoughts

Amelia, the pragmatic idealist

In my opinion, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is the best in the series. I can only imagine what it must have been like to read a first-edition of the novel when it was originally published back in 1979, or to have listened to the original radio broadcast even earlier. The story was highly original, zany (sometimes even incomprehensibly silly), the characters lovable and bizarre at the same time, and the concept...out-of-this-world original. I mean, the creator of Vogons (and their poetry!) ought to get a 5-star rating all the time, every time.Unfortunately for me, I do not have the same endearing feelings for the subsequent books - The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, and my least-favorite, Mostly Harmless. As a radio/TV concept, the material for stories seems endless. But I don't know, that longevity didn't work for me in novel format. So while I love having an omnibus copy of all the books in the series (loving this larger, more compact edition more than the single-volume Hitchhiker's...), I still prefer the first story to the others in the series. And now...a poem I wrote!See, see the Type-A skyMarvel at its big turquoise depths.Tell me, Bertha do youWonder why the monkey ignores you?Why its foobly staremakes you feel irritable.I can tell you, it isWorried by your wackity facial growthThat looks likeA pineapple.What's more, it knowsYour snog potting shedSmells of snail.Everything under the big Type-A skyAsks why, why do you even bother?You only charm socks.

Liz

It doesn't get any better than this. Best books ever.

sologdin

Really liked these as a kid. Upon rereading, I note that:Volume I and Volume II still hold up to where I had placed them in nostalgia. Happy Ent is right that Bakker's Inchoroi are the Golgafrinchan B Ark--and I'd add that the sperm whale suddenly called into existence by the Infinite Improbability Drive in part I looks like the original source for Bakker's No-God:This is a complete record of its thought from the moment it began its life till the moment it ended it.Ah...! What's happening? it thought.Er, excuse me, who am I?Hello?Why am I here? What's my purpose in life?What do I mean by who am I?(95). And so on. Bakker is essentially writing a dyssatircal gloss on Adams.Volume III keeps the tone but changes the subject matter of the first two installments, taking on subject matter that was not present for the earlier bits, but also seeming to abandon the narrative of the first two.No idea what the point of Volume IIII is. Volume V, alright, but meh. It looks like it ends a cliffhanger similar to the sixth Dune or Farscape season 4. Still a good sense of humor throughout, and definitely a major component of the geocentric aliens subgenre.Recommended for slugs with rocket launchers, people who wondered where Elvis went, and depressed robots.

Beth

I don't think I've ever gotten all the way through this five-books-plus-a-short-story trilogy, but it still remains fond in memory as part of my British sci-fi TV phase in high school that also included Dr. Who and Blake's 7. (A good looking actor or two, and the scripts, had about equal influence on teenager-me's interest level.)*Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: it has to have been since I was in high school that I read this one, since I would have recognized the Monty Python nods that pop up here and there from hanging out with nerds through college and beyond. Our universe here has a white maleness about it, but calling that out feels ungracious in the face of something that still made me laugh, even after having been through the story many times over the years in TV, book, and movie form. *(More as I move through this anthology.)

Lowed

- whew!! kept me singing that old song that goes ♫♪"i just can't get enough!" ♫♪

Josh

An absolutely fantastic read. Seriously can not believe I had not read these earlier in my life. Douglas Adams takes you on a ride in a majestic, profound and captivatingly surreal universe, one that is totally unrestricted by the imagination. After reading the entire set, I watched the flick and was utterly disappointed. Someday, someone will capture a glimpse of what Adams portrayed in his descriptive writing and share it with us in an epic film series like Star Wars, etc. But until that day, and even beyond it, these books will inspire much thought and project your mind to the bounds of time and space. A must read: 10 out of 5

Margarita

[image error]This mammoth of a book was a hell of an undertaking. After being harassed into reading it for 2.5 years, I have to say I am glad I did it, but gladder it's over and I can now read something I truly want to...and something not set somewhere along the space/time continuum.I found there to be constant peaks and troughs, some chapters or parts were brilliant and others were laborious to get through (I did have some significant and glorious naps while I read this!), and every time I thought I would just give it up it got better again. Then when I noticed how much into it I was, it dipped and was simply ridiculous to the point of annoying me and toying with the idea of throwing it out the window or at the tv.Everyone goes on about how genius it is, the humour, the imagination, the non-sequitors etc., but it seemed full of nonsense in some bits and almost as if Adams had no mental filter, thus resulting in verbal diarrhoea. Some parts are quite humorous but it rapidly descends into silliness and after about 300 pages of this roller coaster, it is soul-destroying. As soon as I've reached this conclusion it gets much better and I feel like I've been too harsh and my interest is maintained for 60 pages only to be thrown about again for another 40.I can see how the Hitch Hiker's Guide can be so absolutely loved by many, but in all sincerity it is not my cup of tea.

Catherine

This comic gem of a book was very different from the movie- Douglas Adams (I believe he wrote the screenplay long before it was set to the screen) doesn't like to write the same story twice, so it is not to be overlooked just because you saw the movie. It is amazingly written and quite funny. Not to be missed!

Nick Black

Parts were and at times remain the height of funny, but there's a lot of trash in there (wtf was going on with the last book?). Certainly an old friend, read and reread literally countless times. Back when I ate a lot of acid, I'd curl up with this big hardback as the sun rose and those horrible hours of introspection, self-loathing and promises to improve oneself tried to kick in. Everyone ought read it, but that also means everyone *can* read it, which kind of reduces the allure.

Arnaud

The perfect way to forget how long a roundtrip ATL-CDG is That is all :-)Please, proceed!

Cherie

Wow!!!! What the... Did that... But.... Huh????Dx oh my gosh!! This book has the CRAZIEST structure ever! And it's just insane how Douglas Adams can create an ending to this that just takes everything and fits it together like a puzzle. I have to admit I was beginning to get really frustrated with this series because it's everywhere... One moment they are on one planet and then a chapter later they are on another.. Then there are plots that make you wonder what the hell they have to do with anything... (Not to mention that sometimes all you can think is "What the fuck are you talking about?!?")... But at the end it all just makes sense. I adore the characters and the dialogue and interactions between them. This book was hilarious beginning to end and it was just so much fun to read. A bit exhausting after a while, but completely worth it. :)

Suzy

It's that book you pick up and feel obligated to love, if only to escape grievous fan persecution. Well. Here goes. Let's start with the humour. Yes, it's everything that humour should be. For a while, you are oh-so-amused and impressed...but then you weary of being so amused. Akin to being kept on the edge of your seat for a good few hours - something's going to get sore. It's just such a strain. I skipped ten or so pages near the middle but I'm sure those ten pages were, like the rest of the book, terribly witty and sickeningly clever.The plot takes twists like...ah, what's a good analogy? A snake on LSD? That'll do. Don't get me wrong, they're good twists and Adams is admittedly superb at making the inherently illogical seem orderly and precise, but they just don't stop coming. And after a while, the worst happens and the reader just stops caring. I can see why this book has achieved its cult status. It deserves its cult status in many ways. There are moments of startling originality that knock you back and spin your world to a crazy new angle, but when the whole book is all but filled with these moments, the crazy new angle begins to make you dizzy and irritated. At the end, I'm still feeling oh-so-amused and impressed, but also oh-so-relieved I can stop.

Chelsea

Just as funny as advertised, but I made the mistake of reading the collection of all five novels, and - what's more - trying to read them all in one go. Once I got about halfway through Life, the Universe, and Everything, it had stopped being funny and had gotten a little confusing. Adams is excellent at humor, not so much at plot.So, for clarification: 5 stars for the original Hitchhiker's, 4 for The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, and 3 stars for the others.

Nicholas

OK. Where do I start with this one. It's a doozy.Let's first of all say that I think this is one of the best uses of the English language. It's right up there with, well, anything else. I mean, just read the sentences. He is a lot like Tolkien, in that he makes the words themselves the art. But where Tolkien will take English and make it into a lush, broad canvas, Mr. Adams turns English into a plaything. Let's put my last sentence another way: The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy is the literary equivalent of juggling chainsaws. You read it through the first time, and you have no freaking clue how he did that with those words. OK, we got that out of the way. How bout the story now? Sure, that sounds good, Nick.There is no plot. For all of you who need one, I'm very very sory. But frankly, it's better that way. Life doesn't have a plot, right? You just sort of muddle through your week doing the best you can with what Life can throw at you. Well, that's the point with this. He takes the most regular guy, the guy you'd like to hang out with, someone decent that you can introduce to your sister. And then Adams throws him out into space and just sees what happens.Certain parts of this book, especially at the beginning, are an adaptation of the BBC Radio programme aired in 1977, which was also written by Douglas Adams. And he wrote H2G2 episodically, but also with no clear goal in mind. So when his characters come to a problem, Adams had no idea what would happen to them until he wrote the solution. Some rather large pieces of the story stuck in H2G2 this way. This is most true in the earlier books in the Trilgy (yes, it's five books in a series; The trilogy is inaccurately named), when the writing is fresher and better.But the best part of H2G2 (and all of DNA's books, frankly, even Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency) is his worldview. Basically, it's all about taking what life gives you with patience, humor, and tea. Yes, he was an Atheist (Yes, I'm a Christian whose favorite thinker/writer/guy was an Atheist. Calm down, calm down.), and he disliked people using ideas and beliefs as a crutch. This is the part where it's hard to really write a coherent review for me, because so many loved ones of mine (hi Mom and Dad) would see this as a Very Bad Idea. So why don't you shoot me an email, and we can have a discussion about it? Maybe sit down, and have some coffee and some nice nosh and chat? You'll get more and better ideas out of me that way. Anyways, I've just lost my train of thought, so I'll just say you'll love the part about the Vogon poetry. And H2G2 is an inaccurately named trilogy, because it is composed of five books. I recommend reading them all at once, even though there's no plot and things in one book will sometimes contradict things in another. Anyways, this trilogy is still one of my favorites.

Kim

I wish I had read this book when I was younger and technology hadn't moved so far past what it was at the time it was written. Really a fun, quick read, with all sorts of great characters and clever scenarios.

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