“The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide” by Douglas Adams

‘The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide’ by Douglas Adams.

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.

Many of my friends have read this book and recommended it. “It’s just bloody hilarious”, they said. I’m afraid I can’t agree. I laugh now and then, but not as often as Douglas Adams throws a joke of some kind at you. And that’s rather often. The overall quality of the novels also range from poor to quite good. It’s been a while now since I actually read the book, but from what I can remember, I think the first and last novel was the best ones.

Now, I’m not saying that Douglas Adams is a bad writer - because he is not. He is probably one of the best in his genre, his books are selling in the millions around the world. It’s just that I don’t like the genre.

What’s so funny about a sperm whale trying to make a vocabulary and come up with the word “ground” just seconds before it’s crushes into a planet? Is it the irony of it all? I just don’t get it…


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