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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Losing grip on reality
Anyone who has read and enjoyed the sublime Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and The Restaurant at the End of the Universe is sure to welcome the third book of the series with open arms. At the same time however, they may quite rightly be concerned as to whether the high standard of the earlier books can be matched by Adams' third effort. If at all possible, 'Life, the...
Published on 17 Jun 2004 by Victoria Craven

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Little Too Different for My Liking
I liked this book, as the comedy was good(like in the other books in the 'trilogy'). However, I felt a bit disorientated. The style is quite different from the previous books. It is altogether more serious, dealing with love, which, when involved with Arthur Dent, is slightly unsettling(especially the scene with the flying; you'll now what I mean when you read it...
Published on 21 Feb 2000


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Losing grip on reality, 17 Jun 2004
Anyone who has read and enjoyed the sublime Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and The Restaurant at the End of the Universe is sure to welcome the third book of the series with open arms. At the same time however, they may quite rightly be concerned as to whether the high standard of the earlier books can be matched by Adams' third effort. If at all possible, 'Life, the Universe and Everything' is even more far-fetched than its predecessors. Not that that's a bad thing, of course: "Arthur felt happy. He was terribly pleased that the day was for once working out so much according to plan. Only twenty minutes ago he had decided he would go mad, and now here he was already chasing a Chesterfield sofa across the fields of prehistoric Earth."
As far as the characters are concerned, Arthur - despite having spent five years living as a caveman since we last saw him - remains a blundering fool in a dressing gown. The only difference perhaps is the appearance of a beard, decorated with a rabbit's bone (this, surprisingly, holds some significance as the story progresses). Thrilled to find himself propelled back in time, Arthur has the dubious pleasure of witnessing a cricket match at Lords, and is partly responsibly for the mass-hysteria that ensues. Slartibartfast takes on a larger role in this story, as he leads the intergalactic group around the universe and attempts to thrust his authority upon anyone who will listen.
One of my favourite parts of the book is that describing the alien with a chip on his shoulder: Bitter about the treatment he has received from his fellow space creatures, he makes it his mission to personally insult every living organism in the universe. Arthur's reaction in particular is very amusing. I also liked the description of the party that had quite literally taken on a life of its own. The original guests, all too stubborn to leave, found themselves spending their lives in the alcohol-strewn room, and as they began spawning children, the phrase 'survival of the fittest' aptly describes the consequences. The strongest party-goer genes were passed on to the next generation, and so the decades of partying continued.
I was disappointed that the evil Vogons failed to make an appearance this time around. Vindictive they may have been, but hugely entertaining nonetheless. Instead, Adams opted to introduce a race of killer white robots. They are far less intereting unfortunately, but Marvin the paranoid android goes some way in readdressing the balance as far as entertainment goes.
All in all, Life, the Universe and Everything os a fantastic book. Short, yes, but I favour quality over quantity any day. It's an enjoyable way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon, and fans of Douglas Adams won't be disappointed.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb book with amazing humour!, 31 July 2000
By A Customer
I loved this book for it's basic simplicity, yet unfathambly complex story. It made a change to the usual space trips of the previouse three books, and i think if it had continued along the same track it could easily have become dull. It wasn't so fast moving but the humour was superb and it still leaves you something to think about to lifes complexities. I just loved Gods final words - a great way to end it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Douglas Adams Is God (or at least he knows the theory), 30 Mar 2000
By A Customer
The charge levelled at this book that it is unlike the rest of the Hitch Hikers books is true. It isn't like them much at all. What it retains are the best features; Douglas Adams's fantastically complex yet simple (yes I know it's a complete contradiction) writing and the strong characters that have been built up from Earth's armageddon. His style of embellishment makes you want to read great passages of the book again, partly because you didn't quite understand it the first time you read it, partly because the ideas contained within the writing are thoroughly mind-mangling when first read and deceptively simple when you figure out what the hell is going on, but mostly because the actual language he uses flows around your head like the psychedelic blobs in a lava lamp as they are being poured down a transparent plughole. It (the fourth book in the series) is wonderfully strange, admirably barmy, and surprisingly innovative for sci-fi in bringing in one or two romantic scenes that make you wish you were in them and not next to a sick bucket. This is one of the only books I have read that has made my face try to express confusion, surprise, wonder, and laugh out loud all at the same time. Anyone who complains that it is not exactly the same as "the good old days" of Hitch Hikers has no imagination or soul.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strained but enjoyable sequel, 31 May 2005
By 
Jane Aland (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
With the publication of The Restaurant at the End of the Universe Douglas Adams had completed his novelisations of the two Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy radio series, and the story had effectively reached it's natural conclusion, with the wrapping up of all the major plot-threads concerning the quest for the Ultimate Question, the destruction of planet Earth, and Zaphod's theft of the Heart of Gold. The series popularity though resulted in Adams bringing out a third Hitchhiker's book, with the main storyline being recycled from an unused Doctor Who storyline he had written called Doctor Who And The Krikkitmen.
As such this novel feels a little strained at times in bringing all the original Hitchhiker's cast back for a third outing, with Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect's idyllic prehistoric life at the end of The Restaurant at the End of the Universe transformed into a nightmare they can be rescued from, and Marvin having his death in the previous book undone. By far the biggest change though is Slartifartbast, who has changed from an eccentric planet designer into the main plot-driver of the book, essentially taking over the Doctor's role as would be saviour of the universe and guardian of the timelines, with his new background in the Campaign For Real Time replacing the role of Doctor Who's Time Lords.
However, the odd strained moments are more than offset but the typically brilliant concepts on display - including the Hitchhiker's art of flying by throwing oneself at the ground and missing, Slartifartbast's Bistromathematical spaceship, and the re-acquaintance of the sentient bowl of petunias from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy that results in Arthur Dent glimpsing his own future.
Not quite up to the standard of the first two books in the series, Life, the Universe and Everything is nevertheless clever enough and funny enough to be essential for fans of the earlier novels.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny, but not quite as good as the previous ones., 13 Sep 2003
By 
Ian Tapley "thefragrantwookiee" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
THE STORY:
Arthur Dent is reunited with Ford Prefect and together they, reluctantly, try to prevent cricket (or rather Krikkit) from destroying the universe.
WHAT'S GOOD:
Arthur Dent, for starters. The single most misunderstood and unfortunate character in science fiction. We also get to see the return of our other favourite space bums; apathetic Ford Prefect, foolishly clever Zaphod, down-to-earth Trillian and the heroic (not) Marvin the robot (who depresses an evil robot army to death). The idea that cricket is mankind's only memory of an intergalactic war tickled me especially.
WHAT'S BAD:
Whilst inventive, the Bistromathics (in which calculations are made by eating at an Italian bistro) proved to be a bit too tedious for my tastes. Also I felt the book ended in a bit of an anti-climax.
Not essential reading as the first two are, but good nonetheless.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointed, 8 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
To be honest, and I hate to say this but I think Doug may have had too many Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters when he wrote this ... thanks but no fish. Love him to bits, but this simply isn't very good.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Little Too Different for My Liking, 21 Feb 2000
By A Customer
I liked this book, as the comedy was good(like in the other books in the 'trilogy'). However, I felt a bit disorientated. The style is quite different from the previous books. It is altogether more serious, dealing with love, which, when involved with Arthur Dent, is slightly unsettling(especially the scene with the flying; you'll now what I mean when you read it. Suffice to say that it seems a little out of character for bland, unexciting Mr Dent). I would have been more happy if it had continued with Arthur, Ford, Trillian, Zaphod and Marvin all travelling across the Universe in the Heart of Gold. It would have been like Star Trek, only funnier.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars still funny but..., 15 Aug 2012
Being the fourth to one of the funniest, if not THE funniest books of all time is always going to be a hard act to follow. And it shows. The style seems to change and the extra new takes in this book such as the Arthur-ian romance just does not compete with the former Douglas Adams moments of rib-tickling spectacular themes. Perhaps this would get more stars if it was not in the Hitch Hikers series. Maybe. But it is noticeably less energetic than its predecessors.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Book for H2G2 Enthusiasts (only?), 26 Dec 2010
By 
Howard Wright (Tunbridge Wells, UK) - See all my reviews
Having really enjoyed the first two books in the series, both of which I have rated 5 stars, I was disappointed by this book. It took as its theme cricket, or as it is called in other parts of the universe, krikit. While this pan-universal activity made an amusing plot device for a while, it really was too contrived for sustaining a whole book. The wonderful Slartibartfast makes a very welcome return, but in a spaceship that is operated by the Bistromathic Drive, a system run by the goings on within a reconstructed Italian restaurant. Having introduced the brilliant Infinite Improbability Drive in book 1, introducing another way to power a spaceship was just too much.

The story involves the characters travelling from one place to another, to another, which I began to find tiresome. Each place seemed to have relatively little to do with the story, but more to do with the next idea that the author had dreamt up.

The first two books relied heavily on their strong dialogue, their origins being radio scripts. This book lost some of that funny dialogue, but gained a storyline (Arthur and Slartibartfast have to save the universe), but somehow it didn't work for me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, 7 Aug 2009
I must have read a few thousand non-fiction books so far. There is no question that 'so long and thanks for all the fish' is the best. It combines the warmth of a wonderful love story, some fine nonsense, a challenge to my own subject, physics, and leaves you wondering about the universe with a warm feeling.
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So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish by Douglas Adams (Paperback - 8 Mar 2002)
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