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So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

(Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #4)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  126,549 ratings  ·  2,422 reviews
Back on Earth with nothing more to show for his long, strange trip through time and space than a ratty towel and a plastic shopping bag, Arthur Dent is ready to believe that the past eight years were all just a figment of his stressed-out imagination. But a gift-wrapped fishbowl with a cryptic inscription, the mysterious disappearance of Earth's dolphins, and the discovery ...more
Kindle Edition, 225 pages
Published December 25th 2008 by Del Rey (first published October 12th 1984)
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This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Ebun Bello Google Translate and I interpreted that as:
"I did not find any recipe for goulash or carp. where is; Are there in another version? I was…more
Google Translate and I interpreted that as:
"I did not find any recipe for goulash or carp. where is; Are there in another version? I was disappointed."

I'm pretty sure that's not what you meant.(less)

Community Reviews

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4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  126,549 ratings  ·  2,422 reviews

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Henry Avila
An unseen spaceship lands on Earth (England) in the rain, never knew about all the precipitation there , a "man " leaves the craft and waves , thanking the crew for the ride, but first going back he forgot his bag, essential towels inside ... Slogs through the mud and muck, in the cold windy darkness slipping and sliding going up a hill, climbs over a fence and is almost killed, when a speeding automobile (a Porsche), nearly crushes the stranger on the road. The heavy rain pours down, lightning ...more
Daniel Clausen
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
1. You will never read anything so British again in your lifespan.

2. If you're a writer, try underlining every adverb in this book. Then, read a book on fiction writing that advises you to avoid using adverbs. (Any ironic chuckling afterwards is optional.)

3. This book should be rated "Mostly Harmless."

4. Thanks, Mr. Adams. So long, and thanks for all the fun.
K.D. Absolutely
Mar 20, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books; 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2010)
This book seems to be different from the earlier books in the series. It is no longer sci-fi since Arthur Dent has come back from space travel to Earth and a good part of the story is his love story. Had I not read the first books, I would have liked this as a romantic comedy story. So, I guess I was affected by my wrong expectation.

The plot is tighter than the earlier books. There are still those funny moments and my favorite is the biscuit eating scene. I had a bittersweet feeling about the d
J.G. 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
Aug 20, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alex Farrand
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars.

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish is primarily about Arthur being back on Earth. Not the same Earth he previous inhabited, since his world blew up in to make room for a highway, but an Earth that didn't blew up and all the dolphins disappeared. What random, quirky, and hilarious mysteries lay before Arthur before he can solve the ultimate question? If he ever solves it.

This series is wonderful. All the books have made me laugh uncontrollably. Arthur goes through so many obstacles t
Running on empty: Following a highly productive breakthrough period when he was simultaneously knocking out scripts for both Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Doctor Who, Douglas Adams famously struggled with writer's block during the later half of his career as a novelist. Previous Hitchhiker novel Life, the Universe and Everything was itself a re-worked Doctor Who story, and by the time of 4th Hitchhiker novel So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish you can feel the author struggling to find a ...more
Scarlet Cameo
Apr 03, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rc-16
"Arthur no podía creérselo. Treintasegundos de conversacion y ya lo habia echado a perder"

Este libro es un giro de tuerca bastante considerable en comparación con el resto de los libros de esta saga, se nota un alejamiento considerable al tono y temática, pudiendo ubicar más por el lado de comedia romantico (si, dije eso) que ciencia ficción y no es que sea malo, de hecho es una relación que puede ser muy divertida pero que aun teniendo a Dent se siente completamente desconectado.

Sean T
May 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of sci-fi, comedy, romance or magical realism
If any of the inappropriately named Hitchhiker's Guide Trilogy could be called "best", I think this is it. I see two elements setting it apart from the other books in the HHGG series: its tight plot, and the fact that it is at heart a romantic comedy more than a farcical satire of the Science Fiction genre.

As one would expect, the focus of the storyline is the continued pursuit of the Ultimate Question, to which we already know that the Ultimate Answer is "Forty-two".

The characterization of Arth
David Sarkies
Nov 15, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comedy
Sorry for the Inconvenience
16 November 2016

When I first read this book I loved it namely because I happened to be a hopeless romantic and our protagonist, Arthur Dent, finally gets a girlfriend. Well, finally is probably not the best way to describe it because Adams does raise the possibility that Arthur may have had a relationship with Trillian (and when the question is metaphorically asked the reply is basically 'none of your business'), and also suggests that there is a rather long gap betwe
Evan Leach
The fourth installment in the Hitchhiker series is something of an anomaly. Virtually the entire story takes place on Earth, and major characters like Zaphod and Trillian are nowhere to be found. The focus is on Arthur Dent: after years of being kicked around by the universe, poor Arthur finally finds himself in a good old fashioned love story.

Well, maybe “old fashioned” is a poor choice of words. This is a Douglas Adams book after all, and it features robots, spaceships, and a man named Wonko t
Ubik 2.0
Oct 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Addio e grazie per il buonumore

Se alla quarta puntata della serie iniziata con la “Guida galattica per autostoppisti” sono ancora a svagarmi nei romanzi di questo sottovalutato geniaccio di Douglas Adams è soprattutto per il buonumore che ogni volta la sua lettura mi procura.

Pur essendo ben lontano dai vertici della narrativa, questo humour tipicamente inglese, che flirta col non-sense e richiama lo spirito dei Monty Python e la fantasia creativa di Kurt Vonnegut (che non è inglese ma in qusta c
Sara Zovko
Oct 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Poznata je činjenica da svaka trilogija u pet nastavaka ima genijalan četvrti nastavak.
Douglas Adams je genije. Njegovo poigravanje sa SF žarom, kao da se ruga apsolutno svakom kalupu u koji ga žele smjestiti, a usput se ruga i gotovo svemu na ovom planetu, od demokracije do masovne halucinacije, pa do vječnog pitanja smisla života i znanosti. Toliko mi je žao da sam na pretposljednjem nastavku, žao mi je što svaku od ovih knjiga pročitam kroz nekoliko sati, volim ovo ludo putovanje svemirom i
Becky Ginther
Aug 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Out of the "trilogy of five," this one was actually my favorite. I understand that for many people it's the least popular, because almost the whole thing takes place on earth and it focuses mainly just on Arthur Dent and not the other characters. However, that's why I liked it. After the somewhat overwhelming third book, it was a relief to have a novel that didn't keep jumping around between characters and plot, and just focus on one thing at a time.

Plus, this story had a much more human element
Bill Coffin
Apr 15, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Even by the tired standard of the first three Hitchhiker's Guide novels, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish comes off as a tired, threadbare effort by a writer who simply did not have enough gas in the tank at this point and really should have waited the 10 years or so that it would have taken him to recharge fully and put together something with the creative density of his first or second installment in this series. I have not liked any of the book in this series, but at least there seemed to ...more
Raúl Omar
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Writing a bad review for Douglas Adams is a sort of treason I don't want to participate in. On the other hand, I'ts against my review code to be dishonest about a book. So I'll do something I've never done before: write an honest review while trying to explain the reasons I didn't like this book as much as the other three.
I didn't dislike this 4th book (in a trilogy of 5) but can't avoid a certain uneasiness after reading it.
My first emotion was of disappointment, but towards the end of the nove
David Firmage
Audiobook. Useful for insomnia.
Kelly Furniss
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More craziness and whacky fun & humour. I enjoyed this as much as the previous three.
I'm getting quite sad at the thought this journey will soon be over.
May 17, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, comedy
Not what I would have expected! This book is very different from the first three books in the Hitchhiker's Guide series, which I supposed is apt for the fourth book of a trilogy.

I wasn't overly bothered by the fact that everything took place on earth (though the fact that the earth still apparently exists may take a bit of the underlying pathos out of the earlier works). I thought some of it was delightful, and I got a really big kick out of the Rain God, whenever he showed up. The giant robot
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I love this series. I laugh so hard when I read it, and I don't mean like low chuckle and a smile, I mean laughing so that other people look at me and I have trouble explaining to them why I'm laughing in public laughs.
Robin Hobb
Jan 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you love any of Doug Adam's work, you will be sorry to miss this one.

If you are unfamiliar with his work, I urge you to begin with the Hitchhiker's Guide and move through them in order.
Meh. Didn't like this one as much as the others, not sure why. It was similar to the rest, but just didn't grab me at any point. The only part I really liked was the inside out house, that made me giggle, and it was neat, but it was too short of a part and that was really all that interested me.
Hitchhiker's, volume 4.

This is noticeably less good than it's three predecessors, particularly in terms of plot, but it still has plenty of splashes of brilliance:

Arthur and Fenchurch fly.

Wonko the Sane declaring the world beyond his inside-out house is an asylum.

Rob McKenna is a rain god but doesn't know it - only that it always rains wherever he goes - the loving clouds just want to water him.

"All eyes were on Ford Prefect. Some of them were on stalks".

"As stunned as a man might be who, hav
This was one of my least favorite books in the series but still moderately entertaining, like a drunk who rambles but is periodically hilarious. It's like one of those road trip indie films with no plot but lots of jokes and introspection. Or an adventure has concluded, everyone goes home, but the story just doesn't know when to quit. I feel like I as the reader sit around a lot waiting for something to happen while Adams drags this out with his often long-winded-and-rambling-for-comedic-effect- ...more
Ivonne Rovira
May 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who didn't know they liked sci-fi
WARNING: This review contains a slight spoiler.

(view spoiler)
Dec 08, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Comical and back on track to amusing.

I liked it. It made up for book 3 in the series for which I wasn't too fond. For those making their way through the series, I almost want to recommend skipping book 3 and going straight to 4. I don't think you will miss much. And I don't think it's absolutely necessary to have read 3 to comprehend 4. The old quirky humor was back and the weirdness was gone. The old quirky humor was back and the weirdness was lessened. Excuse me. *Clears throat* The consiste
Mar 22, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Let me start off by saying first of all that I am a huge fan of the Hitchhiker ‘Trilogy’. I loved the first three books of the series. This one was very, very different from the others though and I don’t think I like the change in the pattern.

First of all, two major characters, Trillian and Zaphod weren’t even there in the book, they were simply given a brief mention towards the end. And Marvin, who was my favourite character of the lot didn’t come around till the very, very last bit of the book
Jan 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More or less pointless, yet exceedingly charming. Adams' writing is in killer form here, hilarious and touching as ever. Books #3 and #4 are pretty much about nothing (in retrospect, book #3, 'Life, The Universe, and Everything,' has a brilliant title), yet they could have been about Something and I would feel pretty much the same about it, I'm sure. It's the quality of writing I go in for, and Adams can't be beat at what he does. I loved every minute of reading this tiny book, and believe me, t ...more
Apr 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Less frentic, easier to digest, more thoughtful than the previous installment, with a cute, quirky romance, and much less galaxy hopping. The humor is more subtle, the jokes have breathing room. A welcome change of pace.
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
From the Forward:
"Douglas Adams was tall. He was brilliant: I’ve met a handful of geniuses, and I’d count him as one of them. He was a frustrated performer, a remarkable explainer and communicator, an enthusiast. He was an astonishing comic writer: he could craft sentences that changed the way a reader viewed the world, and sum up complex and difficult issues in aptly chosen metaphors. He combined the trappings of science fiction with profound social commentary and a healthy sense of humour to c
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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 co ...more

Other books in the series

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (5 books)
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1)
  • The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #2)
  • Life, the Universe and Everything (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #3)
  • Mostly Harmless (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #5)
“God's Final Message to His Creation:
'We apologize for the inconvenience.”
“It comes from a very ancient democracy, you see..."
"You mean, it comes from a world of lizards?"
"No," said Ford, who by this time was a little more rational and coherent than he had been, having finally had the coffee forced down him, "nothing so simple. Nothing anything like so straightforward. On its world, the people are people. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people."
"Odd," said Arthur, "I thought you said it was a democracy."
"I did," said Ford. "It is."
"So," said Arthur, hoping he wasn't sounding ridiculously obtuse, "why don't people get rid of the lizards?"
"It honestly doesn't occur to them," said Ford. "They've all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they've voted in more or less approximates to the government they want."
"You mean they actually vote for the lizards?"
"Oh yes," said Ford with a shrug, "of course."
"But," said Arthur, going for the big one again, "why?"
"Because if they didn't vote for a lizard," said Ford, "the wrong lizard might get in. Got any gin?"
"I said," said Ford, with an increasing air of urgency creeping into his voice, "have you got any gin?"
"I'll look. Tell me about the lizards."
Ford shrugged again.
"Some people say that the lizards are the best thing that ever happenned to them," he said. "They're completely wrong of course, completely and utterly wrong, but someone's got to say it."
"But that's terrible," said Arthur.
"Listen, bud," said Ford, "if I had one Altairian dollar for every time I heard one bit of the Universe look at another bit of the Universe and say 'That's terrible' I wouldn't be sitting here like a lemon looking for a gin.”
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