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on 14 January 2018
A book that is really hard to put down. A sci-fi/comedy/mystery/thriller. Never one to waste a good idea, Douglas Adams creates an original surreal adventure whilst borrowing heavily from two stories that he had previously written for Doctor Who, Shada (which was cancelled due to a strike at the BBC), and City of Death.
As a long standing fan of both Doctor Who and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy I enjoyed it immensely.
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on 10 January 2018
I had often started this book, but for one reason or another never finished. With so much of the content having become ingrained in the public psyche, as with Python and Fawlty Towers, I resolved to finish it on this occasion. Excellent, inspired, hilarious.... I shall mull over the answer of 42 in the restaurant at the end of the universe :)
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on 6 October 2013
Read all the books as a teenager thought they were wonderful then. However, now realise they are absolute genius. Mr Adams as a writer was able to unite the scienfiction with the satirical. As I am a big fan of both genres his books to me are just fantastic. As a rule I am very careful with the books I re-read however I am so glad I did as I noticed so much more I had either forgotten the first time round or lacked the maturity to understand. Many readers criticise the ending of the final book saying there is no way back. However, with all the twists plots and subplots running through the series of books a way would have been found. Sadly the untimely death of Douglas put pay to that. I am sure as many would agree I could not entertain reading anything by someone trying to emulate his style. RIP Douglas Adams a writing genius taken far too young.
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VINE VOICEon 5 March 2011
Douglas Adams stands apart from other authors in having most of his books professionally dramatised. This book is no exception, although I found it was the one that eluded my attention the longest.

Starting off with a lot of confusion & seemingly jumbled information, I initially put it aside for 1 year or so thinking that it was a bad note in an otherwise flawless collection of work.
However, I gave it another go &, once you get beyond the first CD, the plot begins to make sense & you understand why the book was written in such a way.

The basic plot is that Richard McDuff is falsely accused of murder after his boss (Gordon Way) is slain outside his car. McDuff then teams up with Dirk Gently (an enigmatic friend from college who has mysterious abilities) in order to find evidence to clear his name.

So far, so predictable.

What really makes stands this audio book out from the average detective yarn is the science included throughout the plot & the interesting complexities created by the Holistic nature of the universe (e.g. the fundamental inter-connectedness of all things, combined with time travel, means that a completed version of Kublai Khan (by Samuel Taylor Coleridge) spells the end of the human race).

And I suppose this is why it is such a great book - the plot & the sheer strangeness of the material demand repeat listening/ reading & rewards such people with added insights into what is an astonishingly intricate & well written plot.

Add to this that the story has been fully dramatised, with a well picked cast (including Harry Enfield at his best in the role of Dirk Gently) & you will find a true treat waiting to be discovered.
Get beyond the complexities of Adams' most difficult work & the scientific insights are there for the taking...
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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 22 December 2011
There's no way to review this really. It's such a unique piece of radio that there is no where to begin, and nothing to liken it to! These 6 half hour full cast radio episodes were the beginning of a mighty saga crossing space/time/radio/book/TV/film/dimensions and other weird things currently unknown to science. With a sense of anarchic weirdness and fun it tries to tell the story of the most wholly remarkable book in the universe, the Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy, by telling the stories of some of those associated with it. The original aim is soon lost as we get lost in the mayhem of the adventures of Arthur Dent the last remaining earthman, Ford Prefect his friend from somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse and not Guilford after all, Zaphod Beeblebrox galactic president and most wanted criminal and Marvin the paranoid android. Through an unlikely series of events they are plunged across space and time in a search for the ultimate question to the ultimate answer. It's weird, it's funny, it's fun.

This CD release from the BBC is excellent, with a great sound quality far superior to my old somewhat muddy copy. Two episodes per disc on 3 discs, held in a double jewel case. It's a classic, and has been given the decent release it deserves. 5 stars.
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on 31 March 2012
Could not believe my eyes when i saw this as the deal of the day. Now having reread it, all I can say is thank you whoever you are at Amazon for getting this out on the Kindle. Other thing I cant believe is how long ago it was when i first read it.

I thought i knew the book(s) but boy was i wrong as I read I rediscovered things I had forgotten and laughed out loud again. If you dont know the story shame on you but its basically the misadventures of Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect as they bumble around the vast (and it is really really big) emptiness (or not so emptiness) of space. A slight delay in a piece of paper getting to the right folk (Aliens) at the right time leads to Earth being bulldozed for an intergaltic bypass that wasnt needed. Of course no one on Earth had read the planning application and so in move the bull or planet dozers, and with that off you go on a trip around the biggness of everything.

So if you want to discover who really rules the Earth, what the answer is, why Dolphins are Dolphins and what those lights in the night sky really are then this is not the book for you, however it might just be the answer to all your dreams you wont know till you read it or them or whatever.
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on 27 May 2016
I great book! Well, books! 4 of them! I enjoyed it, even tho I was afraid I might not understand it very well. I was told it's not easy to read this book, esp. when you're not English... but it was great! I love the way it's written! It's so... BRITISH :))) Book was in very good condition as I expected.

Then I found out there was another book left to read - Mostly harmless. You should get that one too.
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on 15 May 2018
So, I grew up in the 70s, and knew all about the hype....but I wasn't a reader, and so, I missed out.
Started reading properly when I was 24, a little late, but I found Stephen King.
I was always going to read this....eventually!

It didn't disappoint!

Don't Panic!

Enjoy it!
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on 31 January 2014
What's to say about this book, this series?

It's iconic? It's the cleverest and wittiest sci-fi book written? The best radio sci-fi ever? TV? (We'll forget the terrible movie version)

I've been a fan since I first heard it millions of years ago on the radio - since then I've listened to the CD version over and over whilst driving around but, after all these years, decided it was them to get back to the printed version.

The idea at the core of this book is timeless ("time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so") and is applicable today as it was when DA first put pen to paper. OK, so we don't marvel at digital watches any more but where humankind sits in the pecking order of the multiverse is unchanged.

Any trilogy that spills over into 5 volumes has to have something going for it - and this series punches well above its weight.

So, start here and read on . If it's a re-read, then it'll be like meeting up with a good old friend in the pub, if you're a mouse then you'll already know all about this and if it's a first time read for you, well - there's a whole universe stretching out there for you. "Oh, God, not another one?!" (Read on, and you'll learn who said that.)

But don't forget your towel.
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on 17 June 2013

Have read these novels over and over many times, over the years, over.

They are still as fresh and as funny now as then.

Douglas was bang on with his humour and outlook on life that makes you wonder about the rest of humanity.

It is seriously missing out on something vitally important and unfortunately we shall never discover what that is due to his untimely departure.

The cast of characters may seem a bit OTT but I'm pretty sure that there are still people like that out there right now, and I don't mean on Betelguese.

These stories are a must read for anyone who doesn't take themselves or life too seriously.

The destruction of Earth and one earthmans exposure to the incredible, mindblowing vastness of space and his search for a decent cup of tea, whilst evading Vogons and white mice.
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