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Mostly Harmless (Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy) Paperback – 21 Sep 2002

4.3 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 229 pages
  • Publisher: Chivers Press; New edition edition (21 Sept. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330323113
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330323116
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 1.5 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,018,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Douglas Adams is a terrific satirist.... He is anything but harmless".-- The Washington Post Book World --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

With additional material and a foreword by Dirk Maggs --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I agree that it may not be as funny as some of the other Hitchhiker books, but then again, books 3 & 4 (Life, The Universe... & So Long, and Thanks...) were already less funny than the first two, which both really stand out above the rest on the humor scale. Partly because of its sheer random plotless road-movie style.
To me, books 3 & 4 were the ones that suffered from lack of plot/satisfying ending. Especially So Long and Thanks... was, though quite funny at times, rather a disappointment in the end, though it started off very well, a bit in the style of the Dirk Gently novels. He might have apologised for the inconvenience indeed.
As it is, it seems to me that, steering further away from the absurd humor that inhabited the beginning of the series, Adams tried to write out a good plot (a bit like with the Dirk Gently novels) that would satisfyingly wrap up the whole series - tricky, but could he do it? Yes, definitely yes. I can readily say that the "trilogy" wouldn't have been complete without it! It is a pity that he didn't hold onto the meandering nutter-style. Note that the book chapters switch very orderly between Trillian/Arthur/Ford, as do most of the more conventional novels. That's because here, he's more interested in creating a mystery with suspense and tension, rather than following in the footsteps of Monty Python. That is, the general plot here still makes absolutely no real sense (though everything fits in the end), but there are not much absurdities in the story itself, and the dialogues are less important and contain less unforgettable oneliners - DA concentrates on telling the story and finishing it.
Maybe Adams was better (and probably unique) at being an heir to Python rather than being a detective/mystery novelist.
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By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 24 Dec. 2002
Format: Paperback
It is impossible not to have some mixed feelings about this novel. It does stand as a return to the wild frivolity and cuttingly biting humor of the first three books, yet it is certainly less than upbeat, all things considered. Despite all kinds of evidence to the contrary, I always had the feeling that things would work out, even for poor Arthur Dent—the universe might not make a bit of sense, of course, but these characters I love so much would ultimately at least find a sense of peace if not happiness in some forgotten corner of the cosmos. It’s something of a downer to find out this is not really the case. Two characters who very much made up the heart of the series for me, Marvin and Zaphod, are not even present in these pages. Then you have Fenchurch from the fourth book, a character I really came to love, thrown out of the saga like so much spoiled Perfectly Normal Beast meat. It’s nice to have Trillian back, albeit in a couple of transdimensional forms, as well as Ford and Arthur, but it’s hard to say who the story is really about. Arthur’s new life as a Sandwich Maker on a remote planet his ship crashed on is rather pitiful but totally Dent-like. Ford’s attempts to undo the tragic consequences of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy company having been taken over by unscrupulous business men is interesting. The introduction of a Tricia McMillan who did not leave the party with Zaphod because she decided to go back for her handbag ends up just muddying the waters of the fictional time stream. Then there is Random, the biological daughter of Arthur Dent by Trillian; she is even more mixed up and generally confused about life than the father she only meets as a teenager dumped by her too-busy mother.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
After falling in love with the other four books of the series, you could do worse than to totally avoid the final installment. The overall feeling is of a novel which has been rushed out to meet a publishing deadline. I personally felt that the ending was so flimsy that it was an insult to anyone who had spent time reading the rest of the series. MOSTLY UNIMPRESSED.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's still Douglas Adams. It's still Arthur Dent. It's still Hitchhikers guide. But... it's missing something. It just seems the others were a bit more put together. This one is a bit random and not in the good way the others are. Still an alright read, but not excellent like the rest.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was very surprised at this book. The fourth book in this series was such a disappointment that I was not holding out much hope for this one. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the renewed level of cleverness that Douglas Adams was able to weave into the plot. It wraps up the series pretty nicely as the characters come full circle. There are recognisable characters and creatures from earlier in the series and I feel like this book was a decent note to end the series on. That being said, it is in no way as good as the first two or three and I would only recommend that you read this if you have read the travesty that is the fourth book and want to renew your faith in the series.
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Format: Paperback
In the fifth, and final, book of the Hitchhiker trilogy Adams leaves the reader feeling satisfied, but at the same time rather empty. Plot never being a key factor in Adams' novels, Mostly Harmless carries on the trend in fine style. Not that this has a major effect on the enjoyment of the book, but it can be at times a little confusing.
A promising mysterious start pales into insignificance as the book progresses and the introduction of the unknown ship is bordering on irrelevance. A few chapters into the book we are reintroduced to Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect but any others characters seem to have only a small role to play or have been completely forgotten.
Although the ending is wrapped up nicely a few major issues are left unresolved, such as the disappearance of Fenchurch and the whereabouts of Zaphod, but the clean wit and the unrivalled ability to make any situation seem interesting or obscure hold the book together well and overall make the book an enjoyable read. Interestingly the book is fully summed up the character Random and the title Mostly Harmless.
I would say a book for the more dedicated fans, who maybe appreciate the writing style more than any kind of structure or plot, but sure to make you laugh at some point otherwise.
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