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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #3

Life, the Universe and Everything

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The unhappy inhabitants of planet Krikkit are sick of looking at the night sky above their heads–so they plan to destroy it. The universe, that is. Now only five individuals stand between the killer robots of Krikkit and their goal of total annihilation.

They are Arthur Dent, a mild-mannered space and time traveler who tries to learn how to fly by throwing himself at the ground and missing; Ford Prefect, his best friend, who decides to go insane to see if he likes it; Slartibartfast, the indomitable vice president of the Campaign for Real Time, who travels in a ship powered by irrational behavior; Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed, three-armed ex-president of the galazy; and Trillian, the sexy space cadet who is torn between a persistent Thunder God and a very depressed Beeblebrox.

How will it all end? Will it end? Only this stalwart crew knows as they try to avert “universal” Armageddon and save life as we know it–and don’t know it!

224 pages, Paperback

First published December 29, 1982

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About the author

Douglas Adams

113 books21.6k followers
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 completed after Adams' death. The series has also been adapted for live theatre using various scripts; the earliest such productions used material newly written by Adams. He was known to some fans as Bop Ad (after his illegible signature), or by his initials "DNA".

In addition to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams wrote or co-wrote three stories of the science fiction television series Doctor Who and served as Script Editor during the seventeenth season. His other written works include the Dirk Gently novels, and he co-wrote two Liff books and Last Chance to See, itself based on a radio series. Adams also originated the idea for the computer game Starship Titanic, which was produced by a company that Adams co-founded, and adapted into a novel by Terry Jones. A posthumous collection of essays and other material, including an incomplete novel, was published as The Salmon of Doubt in 2002.

His fans and friends also knew Adams as an environmental activist and a lover of fast cars, cameras, the Macintosh computer, and other "techno gizmos".

Toward the end of his life he was a sought-after lecturer on topics including technology and the environment.

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5 stars
96,183 (43%)
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39,159 (17%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,521 reviews
Profile Image for Federico DN.
307 reviews545 followers
January 20, 2023
Yo Wowbagger!

An ancient danger threatens to resurface and destroy the universe. The townsfolk of Krikkit doesn’t like to see so many bright dots on their night sky, so they plan to correct it, by wiping out every planet in the galaxy. Dent, Ford, Trillian and Zhapod, the crazy quartet of misfortune, will simply try not to make things worse.

An interesting new installment. Arthur and Ford back on the spot light, Trillian with a brief protagonism nearing the end, and, thank God, a whole lot less Zhapod. Adams writing ever so magnificently satirical, far from that perfect #1, but much better than #2. A certainly entertaining sequel, hilarious from time to time, and with some memorable moments. Just loved the introduction of Wowbagger. Marvin was my favorite character, but the throne now belongs to Wowbagger, a highly controversial character, but with an admirable purpose.

[1982] [224p] [Humor] [Not Recommendable] [“Krikkit believe in peace, justice, morality, culture, sport, family life, and the obliteration of all other life forms”] [“His name was Wowbagger. He was a man with a purpose. Not a very good purpose, as he would have been the first to admit, but it was at least a purpose that keep him on the move. ]

Hey Wowbagger!

Un antiguo peligro amenaza con resurgir y destruir el universo. A los ciudadanos de Krikkit no les gusta ver tantos puntos brillantes en su cielo a la noche, por lo cual planean corregirlo, borrando del mapa todos los planetas de la galaxia. Dent, Ford, Trillian y Zhapod, el disparatado cuarteto de la desgracia, simplemente tratarán de no empeorar las cosas.

Una interesante nueva entrega. Arthur y Ford vuelven a la escena principal, Trillian con un leve protagonismo casi al final, y, gracias a Dios, mucho menos Zhapod. La pluma de Adams tan magníficamente satírica como siempre, lejos de esa perfección del #1, pero mucho mejor que #2. Una secuela ciertamente entretenida, muy graciosa a veces, y con algunos momentos para el recuerdo. Simplemente amé la introducción de Wowbagger. Marvin era mi personaje preferido, pero el trono ahora le pertenece a Wowbagger, un personaje altamente controversial, pero con un propósito admirable.

[1982] [224p] [Humor] [No Recomendable] [“Krikkit cree en la paz, justicia, moralidad, cultura, deporte, la vida familiar, y la obliteración de otras formas de vida”] [“Su nombre era Wowbagger. El era un hombre con un propósito. No un propósito muy bueno, como él hubiera sido el primero en admitir, pero era al menos un propósito que lo mantenía en movimiento. ]
Profile Image for Petra left her heart in Miami.
2,405 reviews34k followers
February 10, 2017
I've just read the most extraordinary thing. In the US version of the third novel of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Life, the Universe and Everything, the word 'Belgium' is used to replace the word "fuck" which was in the British publication.

Apparently Douglas Adams' American publishers thought that some of the language in the book was too crude for Americans and asked him to take out the words 'fuck', 'asshole' and 'shit'. Adams' replaced asshole with kneebiter, shit with swut and fuck with Belgium! Sheer genius.

American publishers are pussies.

But you can kind of understand why when every now and again in the Feedback group someone whines that books need to be rated for language (not to mention amount of sex and violence) and there are groups devoted to letting people know if words that might upset their members are used. I remember one review where the woman said she went through the book and used a black marker on every single curse word. I hope it wasn't a library book.

But still, using Belgium, that was a low blow.
Profile Image for Mario the lone bookwolf.
763 reviews3,492 followers
March 5, 2023
Time travel killer robot fun

Dark fun
Some of the key elements of this third strike are the usually terrifying horrors of Sci-Fi with no reason to laugh and enjoy great entertainment, except if one is into that. But Adams has the ability to even turn extermination wars and sick mentalities into a funny and enlightening read.

Because it shows that hobbies like killing each living being in the universe without any good reason, or at least a created advantage, are ridiculous. And that any species that attempts wanton or accidental mass extinction, genocide, and extermination wars is in an immense state of madness. Looking at you humankind.

What time is it?
Another topic is good old time manipulation, great for plotting and producing funny situations. Just probably a bit difficult to use because it can get confusing in the wrong authors´ hands, it´s even difficult to just go through a day in reverse. Great material for future Sci-Fi works, be it time travel, different quickly passing time for protagonists, time bubbles, time dealers, thieves, magicians,... hard to list all novels containing elements of it.

Deeper meaning
Just like Pratchett, Adams has so much hidden under this allegedly trivial reading fun that one could write a thesis about the many implications his work is revealing. I would be very interested to know what Adams read as a kid and during his life and what inspired him to use Sci-Fi tropes in such a unique manner nobody else before did.

Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique:
Profile Image for Barry Pierce.
539 reviews7,222 followers
May 31, 2015
I'm getting very bored of this series. While I like the characters and I understand the humour, I'm not laughing. I read these novels with a smile, not a smirk.
Profile Image for Henry Avila.
451 reviews3,229 followers
May 23, 2022
Arthur Dent finds himself living alone on prehistoric Earth, in a cold damp cave. His friend Ford Prefect, bored has wandered off early without saying a word to Africa Arthur learns later. The duo time travelers are here not voluntarily and have tried to adjust, the whole gang's been scattered all through the Galaxy not a fun situation. Marvin the depressed but amusing robot, has conversations with a talking mattress in a strange planet, Trillian at a party that never ends and Zaphod Beeblebrox is sulking on the Heart of Gold, his spaceship ( almost, he "borrowed it")... a lonely man. Never too well does Mr.Dent live, he's no great farmer or hunter not even very brave. Scraping just enough food to survive in this alien world, yes it's good old Terra but to the Englishman it might as well be Mars and speaking to trees to keep from becoming, insane ? The only excitement in the five stranded years here, ( or four?) came after a couple of trips around the Sun sometime ago. A spaceship landed in front of Arthur's dull cave and coming down the ramp a tall gray- green alien stranger said "You're a jerk , Dent". The flabbergasted Arthur mumbled some incoherent noises which should have been words, before the alien went up the ramp again and left as quickly as he arrived. This mysterious creature is an immortal so lacking in things to do he has devised an activity maybe not the most worthwhile he himself acknowledges, and quite impossible also. To go and visit everyone in the Universe and insult them," a man can dream can't he ?" Don't hate Mr. Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged, every man wants a hobby to keep busy. At last Prefect returns from Africa and tells the caveman about his bloody adventures there, more importantly of instability in the fabric of Space-Time as a sofa magically appears and disappears before their eyes. Ford Prefect says to Dent for their salvation go after it , running wildly down the hill the two jump, fall, roll trying to capture the piece of furniture as it gyrates fades in and out always moving up and down . At last jumping on the sofa and presto their back home immediately inside Slartibartfast. Ironically, the old retired planet builder's spaceship (but first landing on a cricket match, in London) only to discover the Planet Krikkit, wants to destroy the whole Universe, again...ouch .They must prevent them somehow but how ? It seems the unfortunate inhabitants of this sad world at the edge of the galaxy, have the worst night sky anywhere. Blackness, no stars or other planets even moons they lack ...nothing to see, a complete gloomy tedious darkness. A gigantic space cloud precludes any view not a fun place for stargazing, which really ticks them off you can imagine . A previous... conflict a little disagreement, you may say if you're in a grumpy mood...
war, just ten billion years before had devastated the galaxy, thousands of warships millions of killer white robots sent by Krikkit before it was stopped, not a very glorious conflict. The sequel could succeed in their deadly mission, such is the universe.... The five "friends" need to get together again, very soon indeed...They require each other's company.
Profile Image for Ben.
6 reviews4 followers
April 12, 2009
A series losing steam, and it's a real shame given the potential of the first two books--both fun, quick reads. This title is less focused on the sci-fi and philosophical underpinnings of the first two books. Instead, Adams here maintains sequences that hinge on bizarre chains of events and silly, ponderous exchanges between characters who have less and less of an idea as to what exactly is happening around them. These felt a long 200+ pages indeed.

The bon mots and clever passages are fewer and further between than the previous two installments. In fact, much of this book is rather uninspired and infuriating; the Krikkit robots, the Bistromathematics, the reincarnations of the hapless multiple-murder victim Agrajag... none of the set pieces gave me more than a brief chuckle. Much of what aims to pass for characteristic Adams whimsy feels perfunctory, and the string of coincidences that form the crux of the plot are truly slapdash.

The highlights for me here are Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged's perpetual misanthropy and what amounts to the only real meat of the book--the story of the reason why the ultimate question and answer of the universe are (putatively) mutually exclusive. Thus leading to "So Long and Thanks for All the Fish". But nothing here matches the humor of, for instance, the truly inspired chapter containing the Hitchhiker's Guide's entry on The Universe in "Restaurant at the End of the Universe".

When Adams is working with less inspired ideas, his inability to write characters as anything but vehicles for punchlines and guttural confusions is trying. Vonnegut, while a weak painter of convincing personalities, instills a sense of humanity and pathos in the proceedings that eludes Adams. Some sense of feeling and sympathy, perhaps, plays foil to the general absurdity of exposition and content in Vonnegut. This is why he's a better read if you're comparing the two as I feel prone to do, and one of several reasons I'm not too concerned with making it through last installments in this series.

All of that being said, I have to say that the ending is pretty simpatico with me. Maybe Adams should have left it all at that.
Profile Image for R.K. Gold.
Author 13 books10.1k followers
February 28, 2020
Brilliantly brilliant discussing brilliant things lol the kind of book that you can’t read wrong. While the characters haven’t changed too much it’s more about throwing them in the wildest scenarios and watching how their differing personalities interact, the questions they’re asking are getting better.

What makes this series stand out is the strength of the narrator. The narrator is incredibly prominent and steals the show most of the time. What makes this book so enjoyable are not the actions taken by the characters but the perception of their actions by the narrator.

The random thoughts always tie back into the narrative and the adventures continue to grow more and wilder. Poor Arthur lol

Oh also flight!!!!!!!!!! Sorry for the lack of punctuation I just had a lot of thoughts and no structure.
Profile Image for Algernon (Darth Anyan).
1,478 reviews938 followers
July 12, 2016

Another world, another day, another dawn.
The early morning’s thinnest sliver of light appeared silently. Several billion trillion tons of superhot exploding hydrogen nuclei rose slowly above the horizon and managed to look small, cold and slightly damp.
There is a moment in every dawn when light floats, there is the possibility of magic. Creation holds its breath.

... and then a voice from above utters the words:

“You’re a jerk, Dent!”

Arthur Dent has every reason to be both puzzled and angry at the blue skinned alien called Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged who came over the aeons only to insult him. In the previous two volume the hitchhiking Earthman served as a sort of lightning rod, attracting all sort of (explosive) troubles on his head.

He was stranded on prehistoric earth as the result of a complex sequence of events that had involved his being alternately blown up and insulted in more bizarre regions of the Galaxy than he had ever dreamed existed, and though life has now turned very, very, very quiet, he was still feeling jumpy.
He hadn’t been blown up now for five years.

Arthur Dent should actually rejoice at the respite he gets and at being back on his previously annihilated planet, but prehistoric times had very little to offer in the entertaining department. His melancholic mood is lyrically captured by an author who is more famous for his comedy chops:

In the end, it was the Sunday afternoons he couldn’t cope with, and that terrible listlessness that starts to set in at about 2:55, when you know you’ve taken all the baths you can usefully take that day, that however hard you stare at any given paragraph in the newspaper you will never actually read it, or use the revolutionary new pruning technique it describes, and that you stare at the clock the hands will move relentlessly on to four o’clock, and you will enter the long dark teatime of the soul.

Escape comes in the unusual form of a galloping Chesterfield sofa, but readers familiar with the style of Douglas Adams already know to be prepared for the unexpected and to always have a towel handy before they embark on a new adventure. Arthur Dent and his companion in exile Ford Perfect should also be more careful what they wish for, because times are about to get interesting and the boredom of prehistoric times will be sorely missed : an old friend, a planet designer specialising in shaping fjords, has need of their assistance for nothing less than the saving of the Universe.

“Deep in the fundamental heart of mind and Universe,” said Slartibartfast, “there is a reason.”
Ford glanced sharply around. He clearly thought this was taking an optimistic view of things. [...] “Where are we going?”
“We are going to confront an ancient nightmare of the Universe.”
“And where are you going to drop us off?”
“I will need your help.[...] A curse has arisen from the mists of time. A curse which will engulf the Galaxy in fire and destruction, and possibly bring the Universe to a premature doom. I mean it,” he added.
“Sounds like a bad time,” said Ford; “with luck I’ll be drunk enough not to notice. [...] My doctor says that I have a malformed public duty gland and a natural defficiency in moral fiber, and that I am therefore excused from saving Universes.”

Move over, Mr. Flash Gordon! Arthur Dent is taking over the role of saviour of the Universe and the quest starts right here on Earth (after alittle time travel on the Bistromathic spaceship) when alien war robots from the planet Krikkit are stealing a piece of junk from the middle of a sports field. For many readers, a piece of burned wood from Melbourne, Australia in the year 1882 would mean nothing, to others it is a holy relic of national pride. For Slartibartfast and his unwilling heroes, it is an artefact of ancient power and evil.

The game you know as cricket is just one of those curious freaks of racial memory that can keep images alive in the mind aeons after their true significance has been lost in the mists of time. Of all the races of the Galaxy, only the English could possibly revive the memory of the most horrific wars ever to sunder the Universe and transform it into what I am afraid is generally regarded as an incomprehensibly dull and pointless game.

... and so the journey into danger and adventure begins anew, with only a towel and a small tourist guide in my pockets, ready to witness the neverending wonders of the Universe.
Wheeee!!! Sign me in for the trip, Mr. Adams! Each episode is better than the previous one for me, and I am in awe at the inventivity of the setting, the satirical sharpness of the sketches, the all embracing and gentle acceptance of our human condition in a cold and hostile Universe. So fasten your seatbelts folks, relax and have an enormously long lunch break!

Riding in a ship powered by advanced mathematics theories ( The Bistromathic Drive is a wonderful new method of crossing vast interstellar distances without all that dangerous mucking about with Improbability Factors. [...] The most extraordinary thing about it was that it looked only partly like a spaceship with guidance fins, rocket engines and escape hatches and so on, and a great deal like a small, upended Italian bistro. ), a ship made invisible by a force field called “Somebody Else’s Problem” , Arthur and his friends will guide my eyes towards the absurdity of war, making fun I suspect of some of my favorite epic fantasies series in the vein of J R R Tolkien:

The Silastic Armorfiends of Striterax were engaged in one of their regular wars with the Strenuous Garfighters of Stug, and were not enjoying it as much as usual because it involved and awful lot of trekking through the Radiation Swamps of Cwulzenda and across the Fire Mountains of Frazfraga, neither of which terrains they felt at home in.
So when the Strangulous Stillettans of Jajazikstak joined in the fray and forced them to fight another front in the Gamma Caves of Carfrax and the Ice storms on Varlengooten, they decided that enough was enough, and they ordered Hactar to design for them an Ultimate Weapon.
“What do you mean,” asked Hactar, “by Ultimate?”
To which the Silastic Armorfiends of Striterax said, “Read a bloody dictionary,” and plunged back into the fray.

Later on I get a chance to take part in the Ultimate Party to end all parties, a millenia long bash on a floating hotel that attracts the Galactic jet-set while making the host planet a wasteland through unbridled consumption and pollution. Sounds familiar? The Romans are reputed to say “Aftee us, the Flood!” and thinks apparently are unchanged in the future. Pro-Tip if you happen to get an invite: don’t use the word Belgium :

“Belgium,” exclaimed Arthur.
A drunken seven-toed sloth staggered past, gawked at the word and threw itself backward at a blurry-eyed pterodactyl, roaring with displeasure.

In between saving the Universe from its latest Ultimate Weapon of Total Annihilation, we might spent a moment on the issue of truth, as in shutting down the voices of reason and moderation:

When it became clear what was happening, and as it became clear that Prak could not be stopped, that here was truth in its absolute and final form, the court was cleared.
Not only cleared, it was sealed up, with Prak still in it. Steel walls were erected around it, and, just to be on the safe side, barbed wire, electric fences, crocodile swamps and three major armies were installed, so that no one would ever have to hear Prak speak.

What exactly did this man Prak know that was so dangerous to the establishement? Was he another Snowden shouting to the world that the emperor has no clothes on? We might never know more than the fact that it has something to do with frogs, because when Prak lays eyes on Arthur Dent mayhem issues:

He howled and screamed with laughter. He fell over backward onto the bench. He hollered and yelled in hysterics. He cried with laughter, kicked his legs in the air, he beat his chest. Gradually he subsided, panting. He looked at them. He looked at Arthur. He fell back again howling with laughter. Eventually he fell asleep.

In the end, laughter may be the best weapon we have at our disposal against the tyranny of people and the tyranny of time. Without a sense of humour life, the universe and everything are pointless and utterly depressing. The final scene is for me essential and relevant, but I think I’d better put it in a spoiler bracket:

An earlier passage is even more evocative for me of the unexpected depths of feeling underlining the hilarity and the sillyness of the expedition:

It seemed to him that the atoms of his brain and the atoms of the cosmos were streaming through each other. It seemed to him that he was blown on the wind of the Universe, and that the wind was him. It seemed to him that he was one of the thoughts of the Universe and that the Universe was a thought of his.

I hope I will find time for the next episode of the Hitchhker’s Guide soon. In the meantime I will let Marvin The Paranoid Android serenade you to sleep:

Now the world has gone to bed,
Darkness won’t engulf my head,
I can see in infrared,
How I hate the night.

Now I lay me down to sleep,
Try to count electric sheep.
Sweet dreams wishes you can keep,
How I hate the night.

Profile Image for Dream.M.
434 reviews90 followers
July 25, 2020
حالا که داریم راجع به سوال نهایی فکر میکنیم، چرا این احتمال رو در نظر نگیریم که اصلا سوال نهایی وجود واقعی نداره؟ همه‌مون سرکاریم مونامی.
زندگی شبیه چیه؟ جوابی که بهش میدی فقط جهان بینی تو رو نشون نمیده ،بلکه صریحا روی بقیه ثانیه ها و صدم ثانیه‌های زندگیت هم تاثیر میذاره و اونو میسازه. تو میگی زندگی مثل یه پارک تفریحیه و میخوای هم از تونل وحشتش لذت ببری و هم پارک آبی‌ش. اون میگه زندگی مثل تبعید شدن به باغ عدنه و انسان مگنوم اوپس، که باید دل خالق رو بدست بیاره تا دوباره به جایگاه آسمانیش برگرده.
از نظر منم زندگی یه درامای انسانی از رنج ابدی و بدبختی، عشق، هوس، جنون و سرکشیه که توسط یک نمایشنامه نویس گیج نوشته شده و روی یک صحنه عظیم پر از هرج و مرج داره اجرا میشه.
بازیگرا اونقدر بی‌اهمیت ان که فراموش و رها شدن. کاملا رها شده ،از یاد رفته. هیچکس این دراما رو تماشا نمیکنه، این نمایش برای هیچ موجودی توی کائنات ذره ای اهمیت یا جذابیت نداره. شاید هم اونها بارها و بارها با سفینه هاشون از کنار این پلات رد شدن و نیم نگاهی ام بهش انداختن ،اما با خودشون گفتن این موجودات زشت دوپا و یک سر خیلی احمق بنظر میان، بعیده اونقدر بهره هوشی داشته باشن که بتونن سرمونو گرم کنن، پس گاز بده زودتر به پارتی برسیم.
نمایشنامه نویس هم توی همون پارتی انقدر نوشیده که یگوشه لایعقل افتاده.هرکی رد میشه یه تیپا بهش میزنه.

این ایده‌ای که گفتم منو به غایت خشمگین و عصبی میکنه، جوری که مجبورم سرمو توی بالشت فرو کنم فریاد بزنم و مشت بکوبم تا مغزم مثل نارنجک منفجر نشه. من میخوام غم من، رنج من، خشم من توی تمام جهان منعکس بشه. اونقدر بزرگ هست که بخوام تمام موجودات کائنات براش مویه کنن. من میخوام مرگ اونها برای دقیقه‌ای هم که شده مهمترین مسله جهان باشه. اما واقعیت اینه که این رنج هرچقدر هم حقیقی باشه یا حداقل من فکر کنم حقیقیه، توی جهان هیچکسی انعکاس نداره. این خیلی خیلی ترسناکه. من برای نمایشنامه نویس اهمیتی ندارم . تو هم نداری. ما همونقدر مهمیم که جلبک کف رودخونه. حتی مطمعن نیستم جلبک مهمتره یا نه.
آرزو میکنم همه تون توی این وحشت با من شریک باشید و عذاب بکشید.
خوشبخت‌ترین موجودات کیهان از نظر من ساکنان سیاره کریکیت‌ان. اون مردم دراز رنگ پریده‌ی رمانتیک که علی‌رغم قیافه‌های افسرده و نگاههای رو به پایین، آوازهای شاد میخونن و به هیچی فکر نمیکنن یا نمیکردن.
سیاره کریکیت تا ابد تو یه حباب محب��سه که زمان و زندگی در اون بی‌نهایت آهسته می‌گذره. همه اشعه‌های نورِ دور و بر این حباب منحرف می‌شن تا حباب و سیاره داخل اون از چشم‌ها پنهان بمونن و هیچکی نتونه وارد اون‌ها بشه. امکان فرار از این حباب وجود نداره، مگر این‌که کسی از بیرون قفل اون رو باز کنه.
وقتی که بقیه جهان و کائنات به پایان نهاییِ خود می‌رسن و تمامِ عالم نفس‌های آخر خودش رو می‌کشه (البته این ایده مربوط به زمانی بود که مردم هنوز نمی‌دونستند که پایان جهان فقط یه بیزنس رستوران‌داریه) و زندگی و ماده برای همیشه از بین می‌ره، سیاره کریکیت و خورشید اون از حباب زمانی بیرون می‌ان و خوشحال از وجود نداشتن هیچ‌چیز دیگه‌ای غیر از کریکیت به زندگی مطلوب‌شون ادامه می‌دن.
کلید قفل این حباب روی یه سیارک کار گذاشته شده که در مداری بزرگ‌ دور حباب می‌چرخه. کلید سمبل کهکشانه: دروازه ویکیت.
اگه می خوایید بدونید این مونگولا چجوری از حبابشون بیرون میان و قراره چه بلائی سر کل کیهان بیارن، بهتره خودتون کتابو بخونید .
نه به بدی جلد یک بود و نه به خوبی جلد دو. اما ناامیدم نکرد...
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56k followers
December 9, 2019
Life, the Universe and Everything (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #3), Douglas Adams
After being stranded on pre-historic Earth after the events in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Arthur Dent is met by his old friend Ford Prefect, who drags him into a space-time eddy, represented by an anachronistic sofa. The two end up at Lord's Cricket Ground two days before the Earth's destruction by the Vogons. Shortly after they arrive, a squad of robots land in a spaceship in the middle of the field and attack the assembled crowd, stealing The Ashes before departing. Another spaceship arrives, the Starship Bistromath, helmed by Slartibartfast (a character in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), who discovers he is too late and requests Arthur and Ford's help. ...

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز هشتم ماه مارس سال 2019 میلادی
عنوان: زندگی، جهان و همه‌چیز؛ نویسنده: داگلاس آدامز؛ مترجم: آرش سرکوهی؛ تهران: نشر چشمه‏‫، 1397؛ در 222 ص؛ شابک: 9786002297556؛

کتاب «زندگی، جهان و همه چیز» جلد سوم رمان دنباله‌ دار «راهنمای کهکشان برای اتواستاپ‌زن‌ها» است. رمان «راهنمای کهکشان برای اتواستاپ‌زن‌ها» مشهورترین اثر نویسندهٔ معروف انگلیسی، داگلاس آدامز و از پُرخوانشگرترین، مطرحترین و موفقترین رمان‌های طنزآمیز و پست‌ مدرنیستی ادبیات معاصر جهان است که با استقبال گستردهٔ خوانشگران و اقبال منتقدان ادبی روبرو بوده است. داگلاس آدامز این رمان را سال 1978 میلادی، در قالب فصل‌های به‌ نسبت مستقل اما پیوسته، به عنوان داستان‌های دنباله‌ دار کوتاه برای رادیو بی‌.بی‌.سی. نوشت و سال 1979 میلادی در قالب رمان منتشر کرد. داستان «راهنمای کهکشان برای اتواستاپ‌زن‌ها» درباره سفر کهکشانی پُرماجرای مردی میان‌مایه از طبقهٔ متوسط انگلیس به نام «آرتور دنت» و نقش ناخواستهٔ او را در یافتن معنای زندگی است «آدامز» در این اثر با نقل داستانی ماجراهایی که در فضای بین‌ کهکشانی و سیاره‌ هایی دور از کرهٔ زمین رخ می‌دهند، زمین، زمان، قدرت، مراجع و اتوریته‌ های جهان معاصر، آدم‌ها و مفاهیم، افکار و کردار انسان‌ها را با زبانی کنایی و طنزی متعالی به نقد می‌کشد. راهنمای کهکشان برای اتواستاپ‌ زن‌ها پس از انتشار با استقبالی کم‌ سابقه روبرو شد و آدامز چهار جلد دیگر این رمان را با عنوان‌های: «رستوران آخر دنیا»، «زندگی، دنیا و همه‌چیز»، «خداحافظ و ممنون از اون‌همه ماهی» و «بیشترش چیز خاصی نیست» در سال‌های 1979 میلادی تا 1992 میلادی خلق و منتشر کرد. «راهنمای کهکشان برای اتواستاپ‌زن‌ها» هم عنوان جلد نخست و هم نام مجموعهٔ پنج‌ جلدی این رمان است. داگلاس آدامز سال 2001 میلادی درگذشت و پس از مرگ او ایون کالفر، نویسندهٔ ایرلندی با بهره‌ گیری از آرشیو، یادداشت‌ها و نوشته‌ های چاپ‌ نشدهٔ داگلاس، جلد ششم و آخرین جلد این رمان را هم با نام «راستی تا یادم نرفته»، در سال 2009 میلادی منتشر کرد. آدامز در رمان راهنمای کهکشان برای اتواستاپ‌زن‌ها، ژانر علمی ـ تخیلی را در ساختاری مستحکم و پیرنگی پُرکشش و جذاب، با طنزی عمیق، چندپهلو، پُرمعنا و هنرمندانه و زبانی روان تلفیق و اثری بدیع و بی‌همتا خلق کرده است. ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for HaMiT.
163 reviews22 followers
February 13, 2021
واوباگر شروع کرد به متنفر شدن از جهان در کل، و مخصوصاً متنفر شدن از همۀ مردمِ ساکن جهان
در همین حال و هوا بود که هدفش رو پیدا کرد. هدفی که می‌تونست اون رو سرپا نگه داره؛ تا ابد سرپا نگه داره. هدفش این بود: واوباگر تصمیم گرفته بود که به جهان توهین کنه. یعنی بهتره بگیم به همۀ مردمِ جهان توهین کنه. به تک‌تک ساکنان همۀ کهکشان‌ها. شخصاً و حضوراً. یکی پس از دیگری

منم اگه یه ماشین زمان و کلِ زمانِ دنیا و عمر جاودانه داشتم، برمی‌گشتم به 42 سال پیش و دم در ماشینِ زمانم وایمیستادم و به هرکی که می‌دیدم می‌گفتم: خیلی خری
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books3,910 followers
May 17, 2020
In a lot of ways, this book is a lot better than Restaurant at the End of the Universe simply because it has a lot more regular plot action and better-defined enemies despite all the Timey-Wimey stuff that comes necessarily with being a hitchhiker.

Things I've learned:

Arthur Dent is a mass murderer. Or a slightly scattered universal-sequential murderer. Or maybe he's just tactless.

Cricket, or rather, the planet Krikkit is full of a bunch of a-holes.

And I've also learned that I REALLY, REALLY don't want to know the truth.

Which is, when you think about it, completely absurd since I'm going to keep reading the series, and it is filled with NOTHING BUT THE UNVARNISHED TRUTH.

On a side note, I do want to mention that I teared up a little bit when I learned how to fly. Again. And I mean not the teary-eyed kind that comes from cooking some onions with olive oil, but tears of sheer amazement that I've always been flying wrong.

And to think that walking was just a bastard version of the same thing: put one foot forward, fall, and fail to hit the ground. Huh. Amazing.
Profile Image for Michelle .
241 reviews72 followers
April 20, 2021
Life, the Universe and Everything is the third installment of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, and I think I enjoyed it more than the second.

A tall figure appeared silhouetted in the hatchway. It walked down the ramp and stood in front of Arthur.
'You're a jerk, Dent,' it said simply.

Amazing series! I can't wait to dive into the fourth book.
Profile Image for Manny.
Author 29 books13.5k followers
April 4, 2012
People may have noticed that I've recently become very interested in theories of physics which involve multiple universes. I've spent a fair amount of time over the last few weeks reading about them and discussing the ideas.

Since it's buried in one of my other reviews, let me present my conclusions explicitly. To my surprise, I discover that there is a great deal of evidence to support the claim that we are only one of many universes, and, moreover, that we know what these other universes are. The theory isn't particularly flaky or speculative. Or, to be more exact, there is an abundance of flaky and speculative theories, but there is also one which is rooted in mainstream science and already comes close to explaining Life, the Universe and Everything. The idea is simple. There is a way of looking at quantum mechanics - the so-called Many Worlds Interpretation - which, roughly, means that everything which might have happened actually did happen in some alternate universe. These alternate universes are as just real as ours.

Now, one's first reaction to this ought to be that it's nonsense, or at best no more than playing with words. It's easy to say that what might have been is real, but does that actually mean anything? Well, it turns out there is a strong argument which supports the claim that many universes exist. When you look at the different physical constants - things like the strength of gravity, the strength of the electromagnetic force, the relative masses of the proton and the electron, and so on - a weird pattern emerges. There is no known reason why any of these constants should have the values they possess. They appear to be arbitrary numbers. But, if these numbers were even slightly different, life would be completely impossible. The most straightforward way to explain this fact is to suppose that there are many universes, with many different settings for the constants; we happen to live in one of the very few universes where the numbers came out right for life to happen. This argument is presented in detail in Martin Rees's Before the Beginning .

Next, let's look at the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics (MWI). Everyone who reads SF novels has heard of this, but I had always dismissed it as a fringe theory with little credibility. I was surprised to learn from Brian Greene's The Hidden Reality that the MWI has steadily been gaining ground over the last 30 years, and is now considered completely respectable. As Greene explains, everyone agrees on the mathematical theory behind quantum mechanics, the Schrödinger equation. People know how to do the calculations, and these calculations work spectacularly well. The disagreement is about what the equations actually mean. Greene, and other people you can easily find on the Web, say that the MWI is in fact the simplest and most natural way to give intuitive significance to the mathematics of quantum physics; the traditional "Copenhagen interpretation" due to Niels Bohr and his colleagues is close to mysticism when you try to pin it down, since it makes the human observer an integral part of physics. Quantum physicists are sufficiently uneasy about the choices that the most popular approach is not to ascribe any meaning to the mathematics, but just perform the calculations without asking what they refer to. This is evidently an unusual way to do science.

To summarize, the most natural way to interpret our mainstream scientific theory is to say that there are many alternate universes. The physical evidence also suggests that there are many alternate universes. If the notion weren't so startling, one would just conclude that, since theory and experiment coincide, there must be many alternate universes.

There are plenty of loose ends to tie up, and you can question the logic in several places. (Robert has done a good job of presenting the case for the defense in the comment thread to my Greene review). I still can't quite bring myself to believe it emotionally, but the more I think about it, the more sense it makes. The other explanations are even more far-fetched; as Sherlock Holmes says, once you've eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be true. Check it out for yourself and see if you agree.

Looking around for material on the Many Worlds Interpretation, I found a paper by Max Tegmark where the following interesting passage appears:
Is there ... any experiment that could distinguish between ... the MWI and the Copenhagen interpretation using currently available technology? The author can only think of one: a form of quantum suicide in a spirit similar to so-called quantum roulette. It requires quite a dedicated experimentalist, since it is amounts to an iterated and faster version of Schrödinger's cat experiment with you as the cat.

The apparatus is a "quantum gun" which each time its trigger is pulled measures the z-spin of a particle. It is connected to a machine gun that fires a single bullet if the result is "down" and merely makes an audible click if the result is "up". The details of the trigger mechanism are irrelevant (an experiment with photons and a half-silvered mirror would probably be cheaper to implement) as long as the timescale between the quantum bit generation and the actual firing is much shorter than that characteristic of human perception, say 0.01 seconds. The experimenter first places a sand bag in front of the gun and tells her assistant to pull the trigger ten times. [Everyone] agrees that the "shut-up-and-calculate" prescription applies here, and predict that she will hear a seemingly random sequence of shots and duds such as "bang-click-bang-bang-bang-click-clickbang-click-click." She now instructs her assistant to pull the trigger ten more times and places her head in front of the gun barrel. This time the shut-up-and-calculate recipe is inapplicable, since probabilities have no meaning for an observer in the dead state, and the contenders will differ in their predictions. In interpretations where there is an explicit non-unitary collapse, she will be either dead or alive after the first trigger event, so she should expect to perceive perhaps a click or two (if she is moderately lucky), then "game over", nothing at all.

In the MWI, on the other hand, the state after the first trigger event is [...] Since there is exactly one observer having perceptions both before and after the trigger event, and since it occurred too fast to notice, the MWI prediction is that [the experimenter] will hear "click" with 100% certainty. When her assistant has completed his unenviable assignment, she will have heard ten clicks, and concluded that collapse interpretations of quantum mechanics are ruled out at a confidence level of 99.9%. If she wants to rule them out at "ten sigma", she need merely increase n by continuing the experiment a while longer. Occasionally, to verify that the apparatus is working, she can move her head away from the gun and suddenly hear it going off intermittently.

Note, however, that almost all terms in the final superposition will have her assistant perceiving that he has killed his boss. Many physicists would undoubtedly rejoice if an omniscient genie appeared at their death bed, and as a reward for life-long curiosity granted them the answer to a physics question of their choice. But would they be as happy if the genie forbade them from telling anybody else? Perhaps the greatest irony of quantum mechanics is that if the MWI is correct, then the situation is quite analogous if, once you feel ready to die, you repeatedly attempt quantum suicide: you will experimentally convince yourself that the MWI is correct, but you can never convince anyone else!
But is Tegmark really correct in saying that the experimenter would not convince anyone else of the correctness of the MWI? Imagine that you are the assistant in the universe where the experimenter succeeds in cheating death 100 times in a row, after having explained what she is about to do. I, at least, would find this convincing. I wouldn't be able to repeat the experiment (only the person risking their life can do that), but it would still seem way too strange to ascribe to pure chance.

It seems to me that the argument about lucky settings in the physical constants making life possible is related to Tegmark's thought experiment with the quantum gun. We have all been the beneficiaries of, in effect, a long string of clicks, as opposed to bullets. The question is whether this is good evidence of the existence of other quantum worlds. I can see that opinions are divided!

So I was chatting with a CERN physicist today (imagine other people peacefully knitting in the background), and I took the opportunity to ask him why the picture I describe above isn't the standard one.

"Well, it is more or less the standard one!" he said. "At least among cosmologists."

"In that case..." I began, but he cut me short.

"However, it's not the standard picture among theoretical particle physicists," he continued. "And for experimental particle physicists, it's a yet another picture."

"But... if they all know they have different pictures of what's happening, why don't they discuss it until they've agreed which is right?" I asked helplessly.

That CERN shrug again. It's starting to look familiar.

Profile Image for Tudor Vlad.
327 reviews72 followers
July 10, 2017
I'm feeling some series fatigue after binge-reading this and the second book over the weekend. I don't know if this was indeed a weaker/more confusing volume or was it just the fact that too much of a good thing can sometimes be bad. Either way, I had some difficulty finishing it and I think I won't be reading the 4th and 5th book anytime soon. It gets 3 stars (2,5 actually) because despite it being really confusing and at time frustrating, it still had a lot of fun and hilarious moments.
Profile Image for Trish.
1,874 reviews3,382 followers
May 17, 2020
Arthur and Ford are still on prehistoric Earth in the beginning, but thanks to timey-wimey stuff they are getting out of their predicament in no time (which equals approximately 5 years). Meanwhile, Trillian has found a new boyfriend and he is ... divine. The problem is that when Arthur gets back to Earth shortly before its demise (see book 1), there is an alien race from planet Cricket Krikkit who has suddenly become aware of the universe - and doesn't like it. So now our friends, with the help of my favourite fjord-engineer, have to literally save the universe, no matter how depressed Zaphod has become and how improbable it all is.

Weird aliens, white killer robots in addition to our favourite depressed one, a therapy couch, flying, another fantastic spaceship (this time powered by irrational behavior), time travel, a party-that-has-yet-to-end and the shocking realization that Arthur might seem like a bumbling fool but actually is a "mass-me-murderer" (complete with petunias and a squashed fly)! Say WHAT?!

This 3rd installment was once again a blast! Not quite up to the standards of the first book, but deliciously funny, deep in thought, god-critical, sharp, with lots of zingers and puns and therefore easily better than the 2nd volume (which nevertheless wasn't bad).

You want to know the truth? The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?! In its absolute and final form?! YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH (Jack Nicholson was right after all and I wonder now if that earnestest of movies had a mad easter egg)!

One of my favourite parts must have been the principle of flying. If you don't know, the trick is to throw yourself at the ground - and missing. While discussing this particular gem of the book with my buddy-reader, it struck us both how DNA was a master at telling you ridiculous things that shouldn't make sense but do. Every time. And if you really think about it, of course they do! That is the thing about life (as well as the universe and everything)!

Naturally, the quest isn't quite over yet because Arthur has been given some instructions. Will he follow them or stick to bord speak?
Profile Image for Bernardo.
70 reviews60 followers
January 31, 2021
Life, the Universe and Everything. Yes, the third book from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy of five. It’s still great, though not as good as the previous two. But it’s still funny, it’s still weird, full of random moments popping out of nowhere and, bear with me, this is the most important thing of all, it’s still incredibly silly.

Alright, now that the book review is out of the way, let’s talk about the big elephant in the room. Yes, you know what I’m talking about. Even though I’m also quite certain that you haven’t read much (or anything) or heard much (or anything) about it until this moment. I even doubt that you’ve ever watched it before. It turned out to be the highlight of the book. And it’s somehow related to some kind of ashes. I know, it doesn’t really make any sense. Maybe you don’t really care for it. But it’s about to fill a major empty spot in your life. Of course, I’m talking about the greatest sport there is, ever was or ever will be. Not, it’s not football (or soccer, for you Americans). It’s also not basketball. American football? No one cares about that outside the US.

Yes, you got it right. It’s cricket.

If you’ve never heard of cricket, then google it. If you’ve never watched cricket, then go watch it on YouTube. I’m even half shocked, half surprised that the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything isn’t cricket. Or that the question isn’t about cricket. Well, to be honest, I’ve never played it or watched even five minutes of it. But it’s good. Or so they say. I don’t know. I hear it’s as boring as watching a fly flying around. I don’t really care for it. Or do I?

All I know is that it seems to be everywhere ever since I read this book.
Profile Image for Cecily.
1,106 reviews3,880 followers
February 8, 2017
Hitchhiker's, volume 3.

Mostly about Krikkit - and the Bistromathic Drive, which is better than mere Infinite Improbability.

The immortal Wowbanger the Infinitely Prolonged gave himself the task of insulting everyone in the universe - individually (but nearly did Arthur twice).

It has the usual wonderful Adamsness:

The "knack" of learning to fly is to "throw yourself at the ground and miss".

"Aggressively uninterested".

"One thing has suddenly ceased to lead to another".

Slartibartfast, who has one of the best names in literature, "wrote a monograph to set the record wrong about one or two matters he saw as important".

"Time travel is a menace. History is being polluted. The past is now truly like a foreign country. They do things exactly the same there".

"They obstinately persisted in their absence".

To attack a transdimensional planet you need to work out how to "fire missiles at 90 degrees to reality".

"sat in darkened rooms in illegal states of mind".

"One of the least benightedly unintelligent organic lifeforms it has been my profound lack of pleasure not be able to avoid meeting" (Boris took that idea with "I couldn't possibly fail to disagree with you less").

Brief summary and favourite quotes from the other four of the five books, as follows:

Hitchhiker's Guide (vol 1): http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

Restaurant at the End of Universe (vol 2): http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish (vol 4): http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

Mostly Harmless (vol 5): http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

And Another Thing...(vol 6), by Eoin Colfer : https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Profile Image for Keyhan Mosavvar.
56 reviews36 followers
December 14, 2021
«سکندری خورد و رفت که بخوره زمین اما چون تو این لحظه ذهنش به هزار چیز دیگه مشغول بود، کاملا فراموش کرد که بخوره زمین و به همین دلیل به زمین نخورد.»
این کتاب جلد سوم کتاب راهنمای کهکشان برای اتواستاپ زن هاست. هر جلدی که میگذره کتاب قشنگ تر ، پرکشش تر و ناب تر میشه .
ترجمه‌ی آرش سرکوهی رو با زبان اصلی مقایسه کردم. واقعا آرش سرکوهی جوری گل کاشته که اصلا پشیمون نیستم که ��تاب رو ترجمه خوندم.‌
سه جلد اول رو پشت سرهم خوندم و برای شروع کردن جلد چهارم و پنجم بشدت ذهنم خسته ست و نیاز به یک استراحت دو هفتگی برای ادامه دادن دارم .
Profile Image for Olga.
301 reviews57 followers
May 13, 2017
Maybe 2.5 stars. Half the time I didn't understand what the hell was happening. These books are usually a little crazy and over the top, but this one was specially weird.
I'm giving it a 3 star rating, because of the audiobook. Martin Freeman's narration made this really enjoyable and I laughed out loud a lot of times. Arthur is still an amazing character, not much change about the way he's written but still my favorite.
Profile Image for Brandon Collinsworth.
148 reviews31 followers
July 9, 2014
this is the last book in the series that I really enjoyed and I almost wish Douglas Adams would have called it quits here. The book gives us the chance to laugh at ourselves in going back to prehistoric earth and Adams alternate view of how we ended up the creatures we are, that was extremely clever.

But Krikkit was the best part, this story was amazing and I can't help but wonder if Adams religous views are at work here. A group of people that just can't accept the idea that there might be another group of people besides them in the universe, and the only way they can deal with it is to kill anyone who is not them.

But the time paradox starts to become a real problem at this point and utterly undoes the series from here out, and the fact that the cast of characters spends most of their time split apart and that is not as much fun. Also, the characters flaws have become exagerrated by this time and the things that made them interesting characters but people you wouldn't want to know, has now made all of them a little annoying.
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,851 reviews16.4k followers
January 19, 2019

Grab a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster, a towel and a couple of Babel Fish and let’s spend some time with Douglas Adams’ fantastic would building!

It’s more fun than Vogon poetry contest.

Since Adams first lifted his thumb for a ride in 1979’s The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, fans have been keeping up with Zaphod, Trillian, Ford and Arthur and we cannot forget Marvin.

This time around we find Ford and Arthur getting some exile time in prehistoric Earth until Slartibartifast shows up for the rescue.

We run into some killer robots from the planet Krikkit and it’s up to our heroes to save the day.

Adams’ humor and imagination continue to impress. I especially liked the SEP field (somebody else’s problem).

Good fun, for fans.

Profile Image for A. Raca.
723 reviews143 followers
November 6, 2019
"Evren tedirgin edici büyüklükte bir yerdir ve pek çok kişi sakin bir hayat uğruna bu gerçeği görmezden gelmeye meyillidir."

İlk kitaplar kadar iyi değil. Seriye devam eder miyim bilmiyorum...

Profile Image for Rebecca.
473 reviews51 followers
August 31, 2021
Oh man, das war leider nichts.

Wo die ersten Bände noch eine lustige Geschichte für Nerds waren, war "Das Leben, das Universum und der ganze Rest" leider nur noch eine Aneinanderreihung bizzarrer Situationen aus dem Leben der Protagonisten - die sich einen Großteil des Buches gar nicht begegnen. Ich fand es wirklich ziemlich anstrengend und hatte wenig Spaß dabei. Das verrückteste ist, dass ich nicht mal genau sagen kann, worum es eigentlich geht? Irgendwas mit Cricket, aber so einen richtigen Handlungsfortschritt gab es leider nicht.

Erst im letzten Drittel kam wieder das schöne "Per-Anhalter-durch-die-Galaxis-Gefühl" auf. Trotzdem konnte es das nicht mehr retten, Band 3 kann für mich in keinster Weise mit den Vorgängerbänden mithalten.


Ich suche ja oft die Schuld bei mir, deshalb kann es auch einfach daran liegen, dass ich die Vorbände vor rund 3 Jahren gelesen habe, dass das Hörbuchformat einfach der Geschichte nicht gerecht wird oder dass ich momentan einfach Stress habe und mich nicht auf die Story konzentrieren konnte. Im Endeffekt ist es aber wurscht, es hat mir einfach keinen Spaß gemacht und ich hoffe wirklich, dass Band 4 sich wieder eher in Richtung Band 1/2 bewegt.
Profile Image for Ferdy.
944 reviews1,098 followers
September 25, 2014
As fun and silly as the previous instalments. The best part was that random guy going around insulting everyone.
Profile Image for Jonathan Terrington.
593 reviews558 followers
October 31, 2012

As a continuation of Douglas Adams' famous The Hitchiker's Guide Series this was, as indicated by the foreword, one of the most plotted in the series. But as also indicated by the foreword, you don't read The Hitchiker's Guide Series for the plots. So, you ask me, what do you read it for? You read it for the sense of wonder about the crazy place the universe is. You read it for the comedy of Douglas Adams, for his creative and zany use of made up people, places, words...for his use of language. He is a wizard, transforming words into wit to power a laugh within the inner sanctum of your mind as a reader. When you think you've got him figured out, that's when you realise that actually you haven't.

I read elsewhere when attempting to discover what I could about the literary idea of 'deus-ex-machina' that while it is generally frowned upon as poor storytelling that Adams was able to use it brilliantly for humour. Reading this third instalment of his series I saw again that yes, he was able to do exactly that! And at the same time his use of deus-ex-machina also contributes ultimately to the plot (which we as readers of Adams do not care for). In many ways, perhaps unintentionally, Adams therefore shows that he can also use the literary device of 'Chekhov's gun'. Characters and plot ideas introduced earlier in the piece never really go away. Some may be simple ideas thrown in their for an occasional laugh, but if you see Adams mention a fact or a character specifically, especially in a way that's out of the story's usual context then that character or fact will appear later. Such as the idea in this story of flying (and the re-incarnated character - which I thought was brilliant!).

I won't bother with a plot summary. I doubt anyone can sum up the plot in any way that makes much sense. I will say that if you've read the previous books and enjoyed them then this is a similar continuation. If you haven't read any of the previous books don't jump in now. I recommend going back to where there's Vogon poetry and the destruction of the world with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
Profile Image for Baba.
3,527 reviews787 followers
August 25, 2021
I don't feel that bad for rubbishing and One Starring each book in this series as I read it, because ultimately it's how I feel about it - indeed as I read each book I am continually amazed at the popularity of this series; it's just such piss poor comedy and trite storytelling, and to top it all off it's all kind of infantile. 1 out of 12, yep... 1 out of 12!
Profile Image for J.G. Keely.
546 reviews9,580 followers
May 28, 2009
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 lie there with him. He's a tall guy, but he'll make room.

For all his crazed unpredictability, Adams is a powerful rationalist. His humor comes from his attempts to really think through all the things we take for granted. It turns out it takes little more than a moment's questioning to burst our preconceptions at the seams, yet rarely does this stop us from treating the most ludicrous things as if they were perfectly reasonable.

It is no surprise that famed atheist Richard Dawkins found a friend and ally in Adams. What is surprising is that people often fail to see the rather consistent and reasonable philosophy laid out by Adams' quips and absurdities. His approach is much more personable (and less embittered) than Dawkins', which is why I think of Adams as a better face for rational materialism (which is a polite was of saying 'atheism').

Reading his books, it's not hard to see that Dawkins is tired of arguing with uninformed idiots who can't even recognize when a point has actually been made. Adams' humanism, however, stretched much further than the contention between those who believe, and those who don't.

We see it from his protagonists, who are not elitist intellectuals--they're not even especially bright--but damn it, they're trying. By showing a universe that makes no sense and having his characters constantly question it, Adams is subtly hinting that this is the natural human state, and the fact that we laugh and sympathize shows that it must be true.

It's all a joke, it's all ridiculous. The absurdists might find this depressing, but they're just a bunch of narcissists, anyhow. Demnading the world make sense and give you purpose is rather self centered when it already contains toasted paninis, attractive people in bathing suits, and Euler's Identity. I say let's sit down at the bar with the rabbi, the priest, and the frog and try to get a song going. Or at least recognize that it's okay to laugh at ourselves now and again. It's not the end of the world.

It's just is a joke, but some of us are in on it.
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