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How do you follow up a work of genius.....?,
This review is from: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy) (Paperback)
.... With more of the same.
While not so good as a stand alone (you'll be lost in time & space without the background of Book 1), this second in the umpteen-part, increasingly inaccurately named Hitchhiker's Trilogy tries even harder than the first to laser your funny bone.
Seems that the thing we call (ultimately to be used-to-call) Earth is really just a mighty big supercomputer, built to work out the ultimate question to the ultimate answer, 42. Like all expensive software however, just before it actually does whatever it's supposed to do, it crashes - in this case due to the hacker Vogons and their total annihilation programme. Unlike your regular hard drive, two bits escape to byte another day, and we continue their story.
In one of the many funny lines from the book, Zaphod Beeblebrox remarks, "I am so hip I have difficulty seeing over my pelvis". This book is just as hip.
Our heroes are aboard their Improbability Driven spaceship, when Arthur Dent happens to tie up all the computer circuits just when the Vogons are launching an attack. Zaphod decides its time to see dead people, and with a strange twist, he and miserable Marvin, the depressed computer, disappear, while Arthur takes a tea break.
Zaphod materializes elsewhere and immediately starts looking for the man who rules the Universe, while Marvin continues to depress and be depressed. In my humble opinion, Marvin is the star of this book, but I digress.
After having his sense of perspective sorely tested, Zaphod improbably conjures a happy reunion, although this leaves him sadly out of pocket. Deciding that they should find the nearest place to eat, their ship's computer zaps them to Milliways, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe.
From this half-way point, the book takes off on a fresh tangent of humor, floor shows, loud rock bands, talking meat, and wicked vehicles - that is, until the universe ends.
Then the humor starts all over again.
A very worthy follow up to the famous first.