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Mostly Harmless (Hitchhiker's Guide, #5)
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Mostly Harmless (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #5)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  57,982 ratings  ·  1,123 reviews
It’s easy to get disheartened when your planet has been blown up, the woman you love has vanished due to a misunderstanding about space/time, the spaceship you are on crashes on a remote and Bob-fearing planet, and all you have to fall back on are a few simple sandwich-making skills. However, instead of being disheartened, Arthur Dent makes the terrible mistake of starting ...more
ebook, 240 pages
Published September 23rd 2009 by Del Rey (first published 1992)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jon
Jun 29, 2007 Jon rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Douglas Adams fans
Mostly Harmless was, for many people, a disappointing end to a fantastic series. Adams admitted that he was having a "bad year" when he wrote this book, and it shows: the usual humor and manic pacing are largely gone, replaced by long tracts about actual theoretical science (as opposed to the lunatic-inspired science that created, say, the starship Bistromath), and the tone overall is far darker and more depressive. There are still glimpses of Adams' comedic genius, but the book as a whole is a ...more
Henry Avila
The Milky Way Galaxy, is in a state of confusion, the dozen Universes ( you didn't know, there are more than one?), have exploded into each other. Nothing is what it was, historians have quit, what's the point, everything keeps on changing, since history is fluid. Tricia McMillan (Trillian in another existence, is not happy, the television anchor is back in England, after an unsuccessful job interview in New York City, at ten times more money too! Dead tired from the overnight flight, she can ba ...more
Evan Leach
The fifth and final installment in the Hitchhiker “trilogy” is generally regarded as the weakest in the series (it’s the lowest rated on this site, for example). The story is focused on Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect. Poor Arthur, who finally found happiness at the end of book four, has the love of his life whisked away from him senselessly and is back to wandering the galaxy alone. He finally settles down to a life that many would find mind-numbingly dull but that suits Arthur just fine. Just as ...more
Chrissy
(mild spoilers ahead)

It's terribly amusing that the majority of reviewers have tossed this fifth part to the trilogy aside, banished it from their mental schemata of the series so as to acknowledge only that which ends well. I think it says a lot about the readership that they took in the entirety of the first four books without picking up on the melancholy and nihilistic subtext to Adams' writing. I mean, the first book ends with the discovery that the meaning of life is 42.... how much clearer
...more
Ivonne Rovira
Jul 22, 2014 Ivonne Rovira rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: diehard Hitchhikers
Sadly, the five-part Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy “trilogy” ends not with a bang, but a whimper. With four storylines — displaced earthman Arthur Dent, reckless Hitchhiker’s Guide correspondent Ford Prefect; Trillian, the earth woman once named Tricia McMillan who dumped Arthur at a party to go into space with Zaphod Beeblebrox, and Tricia McMillan in a parallel universe where she stayed on earth — Mostly Harmless reads like a frenzied ride on the bumper cars, with storylines beginning and st ...more
Nathan Mathews
Blechh! Worst. Ending. Ever! I've heard that Douglas Adams wrote this book during a bad time in his life (hey, we all have 'em), but this book more or less stinks. I have chosen to forget that this book was ever written, and that the series ended on a definite high note with "So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish". Those of you who have not had your minds poisoned with this bit of tripe would do well to skip it altogether.
Ferdy
3.5 stars

Much better than the last book, there was a lot more action, space adventure and silly humour.
I loved Arthur and the whole sandwich making thing he had going on, it was hilarious, his interactions with Random were quite funny too.
I didn't like Ford all that much though, his parts dragged and he just wasn't very entertaining.
The ending was a tad depressing with what happened to all the Earths. I guess it was better to end in that way because then the gang would forever travel in space/
...more
sj
Randal: Which did you like better? Jedi or The Empire Strikes Back?

Dante: Empire.

Randal: Blasphemy!

Dante: Empire had the better ending. I mean, Luke gets his hand cut off, finds out Vader's his father, Han gets frozen and taken away by Boba Fett. It ends on such a down note. I mean, that's what life is, a series of down endings. All Jedi had was a bunch of Muppets.
Matt
I'm a huge fan of Douglas Adams, and loved the first four books in the "trilogy". I was sorely disappointed by the fifth and final book in the series though. To me, it seemed like he was thinking "I'm sick of people whining for more Hitchhiker's books. I'll show them." The way the book ends is so...final. I understand Adams was going through a bad period when he wrote this book, and it shows. Don't bother with this one.
Andrew
What was supposed to be the last chapter of this saga has left me a bitter taste in the mouth, even if compared to the previous one is more interesting. Have been developed concepts of parallel universes, reverse engineering, Probability and so on, that do not increase the effectiveness of the story, but in some cases make it only more tangled. Arthur is always in search of himself, and never able to fully understand what happens around, but on the other hand we find Ford Prefect, which shows a ...more
Crosly Anderson
Let me just say that 'Mostly Harmless' totally shocked me out of my chair.
I read the first four books and pretty much loved the humor, storytelling and not to mention the characters.
Some new characters are made in 'Mostly Harmless', and if I had to choose a favorite new character, it would be Random. Random as in her name IS LITERALLY RANDOM.
The irony of the whole story made me really, really excited. The whole tale goes in a roundabout of time and space and ends up where we started.
The ending w
...more
Keely
The universe is a joke.

Even before I was shown the meaning of life in a dream at 17 (then promptly forgot it because I thought I smelled pancakes), I knew this to be true--and yet, I have always felt a need to search for the truth, that nebulous, ill-treated creature. Adams has always been, to me, to be a welcome companion in that journey.

Between the search for meaning and the recognition that it's all a joke in poor taste lies Douglas Adams, and, luckily for us, he doesn't seem to mind if you
...more
MJ Nicholls
I read an excerpt of this in a shop last week and audibly chuckled on every half-glanced page. I felt compelled to write a few words in its defense. This beautifully melancholy book is oft-panned, and pointlessly, as Adams is at the peak of his sardonic savagery and ingenious brain wizardry in this bleak end to the trilogy of five. I love his riffing on New York and the dreamy pathos of the whole book. I must read it again.
zxvasdf
The Hitchhiker's Guide Trilogy is like looking through a magnifying glass, then a microscope, and at the end of it, an electron microscope. The scope transforms, yet a linear narrative of sorts is present. I highly doubt Adams had the ending of this "trilogy" mapped out when he started out with the first book.

The ending is probably fitting, but if you're at all human, you won't like it.
Brandon Collinsworth
Mar 19, 2009 Brandon Collinsworth rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: that just have to finish the series
Well I would be remiss if I did not mention the ending before anything else. First of all this isn't technically the ending of the series, Douglas Adams just died before he wrote anymore Hitchhiker books, that being said this makes this the series ending for all intents and purposes. So with that in mind this is the worst ending of a series that could have ever possibly been conceived. In truth this shouldn't have been the ending of a book. If you are the kind of person that is all about the end ...more
Rebecca
Being the fifth book in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I was hoping to get a few laughs as I did with the other books in the series but unfortunately I was a tad let down in that department. I didn’t really laugh at all. I just felt that Mostly Harmless had a more serious tone to it.
I thought that Mostly Harmless was an alright book. It had some interesting parts but for the most part it just didn’t capture my attention too much. I also got a b
...more
Cecily
Hitchhiker's, volume 5.

There are some good lines in this, but I can't help feeling it would have been better if Adams had left it unwritten, or at least unpublished. It is very disjointed, with Ford, Arthur and Trillian mostly in separate stories.

It starts in what would be a parallel universe - if such things existed, which they don't, because "it makes as much sense as the sea being parallel".

"If there was one thing life had taught her it was that there are times when you do not go back for y
...more
Phillip
I don't rate many books with a 5. I think the Hitchhiker books are brilliant in the way I believe Ron Wesley means something is brilliant that he is referring to in the Harry Potter books.

Memory is a bit hazy because I am getting a little long in the tooth. But, I first heard about "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" in 1981 or 1982 when I was a freshman at Westminster College in Fulton, Mo. I had a friend who enthused about it. I don't remember if he carried on about the book before or after he
...more
Dan
For some reason this fifth volume is not included in most collection of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and I've only realised this recently.

As with most of Adams' book, I finished the book with the feeling that I only sort of know what was going on and wasn't really sure what the point of it was but I had so much fun along the way that I didn't really care. This edition sees a new guide being created which works across all the dimensions. Queue chaos. Arthur Dent spends a great deal of time b
...more
Steven
Dec 15, 2009 Steven rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one.
Shelves: avoid
Carefully read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, then imagine that the most horrible, depressing conclusion possible to the whole affair could happen. That is what happens in Mostly Harmless. It wraps every loose end up most completely, but it wraps things up the way a car compactor packages your favorite vehicle.

The atrocities the author commits towards his characters in this book significantly impact my enjoyment of the rest of the series. The first few pages start out depressing and it j
...more
Kyle
Starting off a bit too divergent in time and space, and rounding up the few remaining main characters for one last adventure, it would seem that Douglas Adam is straining to be glib about the ineffable laws of the universe. Or rather the many universes we may or may not be aware of, preferring to call it some sort of Mish Mash. Yet halfway through this novel, we can see that every sidestep and meander is in the service of a plot that is as straight and piercing as Time's arrow. Arthur Dent gets ...more
Jareed
If Moorcock got lazy with the Elric series, Adams on the other hand, was seemingly depressed (just as a multitude of the reviews available claimed and Adams did say it himself that he was having a 'tough year' in the book's writing). Mostly Harmless, destroyed what the fourth book in the series did, ending in a high and more importantly, happy note. What took the toll however compelling the two stars from the otherwise incomparable series that is The Hitchhiker's Guide.. was how Arthur's story a ...more
Petra X
Its years since I read the first four volumes of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and really enjoyed it. Perhaps my taste has changed or I can't get into the 'mood' but I really didn't enjoy this book. It just seemed to be a 'clever' messa round with words and the sort of adolescent fantasies of the universe that kids who were stoned and listening to Pink Floyd tended to come up with. Like a lot of things, it was more fun to have lived it than to read about it.

There were a couple of good sen
...more
Gina Denny
I'm not sure if I'm better off having read the essays by Gaiman and Adams about how these books came to be. I feel like knowing Adams' story gives me insight into why the books are uneven, but then I'm not sure if that's a really great thing to know...

Whatever. These books are satire at its finest, even when the books themselves don't make a ton of sense.

PARENTAL ADVISORIES (For the overall series, since I didn't do reviews for the in-between books)

Sex 1/5: Vague allusions to personal relation
...more
Lee
Douglas Adams did a beautiful job closing the entire series.

The best part about the book is that Fenchurch is no longer around. I thought Douglas Adams had done a terrible job with her: bland personality, forgettable character, that sort of thing. The book mostly focuses on three of the original characters (Trillian, Ford, & Arthur), their lives, and how the Vogon Captain is still trying to destroy them and Earth in all possible dimensions. As many might know, the book is a mostly dark one b
...more
John Yelverton
I've tried to like these books, but they are so silly and pompous that I just can't.
Katie
I actually quite liked Mostly Harmless. I had been warned going in that it was going to be quite dark and not necessarily up to the standards of earlier entries in the series. Maybe it was a matter of expectations (or maybe it was The Blood Meridian Effect)), but I actually thought it was one of Adams's stronger books. There's certainly a melancholy throughout, but it seemed more just an amplification of a strand that's been there throughout the series. The ending (view spoiler) ...more
Isabella
Aug 09, 2014 Isabella rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one. Not even Hitchhiker's Guide fans. Nope.
(Spoilers ahead)



Douglas, GURL, what happened?

I know you said it was a bad year for you but DAMN. I guess we all underestimated how much of a BAD FUCKING YEAR it was. Wow.

Almost Harmless is not as funny as the previous books, not as thoughtful, not as interesting, not as intriguing and just not good at all. It's too slow-paced and all the things that happen in the book aren't even related to each other (or even to the last few books). They're completely random facts unrelated to the story, and th
...more
Ryan
Nov 08, 2008 Ryan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Teachers
This book made me wonder if Douglas Adams had some marital problems in his later life, or if it was just a much more general distaste of people which bled into his writing.

The prior Hitchhiker books all have, at bare-minimum, at least a cursory veneer of optimism, which has been extant to blunt and sweeten the rather stark and sometimes unapologetically bitter guts of these stories. It appears this book has omitted that particular characteristic from its makeup, though, and it has actually done
...more
Kurt
I feel like the bad guy after a break-up. It's not that this book was terrible, but I gave up after reading 2/3 of it. I started my relationship with the book without a lot of trust - the reviews I've read and heard have been overwhelmingly negative, and I really disliked the previous book in the series. But I figured that maybe my friends were all wrong, and no one could appreciate the book but me, and I just needed to give it some time. And then it let me down. It's not that it did anything al ...more
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Did you read #5? 13 184 Aug 15, 2014 06:58AM  
Λέσχη Ανάγνωσης Κ...: 14.07.14 Μάλλον ακίνδυνος 1 5 Jun 27, 2014 09:20AM  
Catching up on Cl...: Hitchhikers...Galaxy #5 Mostly Harmless: Spoilers 1 13 Jan 13, 2014 04:33PM  
2014 & 2015 R...: Mostly Harmless by Douglas Adams 1 19 Jul 01, 2013 11:55AM  
  • Starship Titanic
  • And Another Thing... (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #6)
  • Better than Life
  • Last Human (Red Dwarf)
  • Backwards
  • Foundation and Earth (Foundation, #5)
  • Thief of Time (Discworld, #26)
  • The Road to Mars: A Post-Modem Novel
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4
Douglas Noël Adams was an English author, comic radio dramatist, and musician. He is best known as the author of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. Hitchhiker's began on radio, and developed into a "trilogy" of five books (which sold more than fifteen million copies during his lifetime) as well as a television series, a comic book series, a computer game, and a feature film that was comp ...more
More about Douglas Adams...
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1) The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #1-5) The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker's Guide, #2) Life, the Universe and Everything (Hitchhiker's Guide, #3) So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (Hitchhiker's Guide, #4)

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