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So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

(The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #4)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  153,343 ratings  ·  3,181 reviews
Including everything you wanted to know about the first three books but never thought to ask.


Left at the end of LIFE, THE UNI
Paperback, 167 pages
Published March 8th 2002 by Picador USA (first published October 12th 1984)
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Dakshraj Sharma One of the best extremely super duper pooper books, yes.
Erik I think she was lonely. It also implied Arthur hadn't even seen a human woman since Trillian. They connected over their idiosyncrasies. …moreI think she was lonely. It also implied Arthur hadn't even seen a human woman since Trillian. They connected over their idiosyncrasies. (less)
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Mario the lone bookwolf
Adams had to write this one because he needed another part of the series, but instead of integrating it in the metaplot like the second and third part, he made a whole new, but sadly not better, reading experience out of it.

This can be good for friends of less interwoven stories that focus on one main topic, but strangely that´s the opposite of what the other parts of the series have been. It´s less funny, not so complex, not so intensively dealing with the events of the other parts and how they
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
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.
Ahmad Sharabiani
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #4), Douglas Adams

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a science fiction comedy radio series, written by Douglas Adams (with some material in the first series provided by John Lloyd).

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish is the fourth book of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy "trilogy" written by Douglas Adams.

Its title is the message left by the dolphins when they departed Planet Earth just before it was demolished t
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, 2020-shelf, humor
Compared to any other book in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, I may say something rather controversial:

I think it is the best book.

Mind you, it's a close tie with the first book, but when we add an actual satisfying end to a rather delightful little adventure that has relatively little torture and a great deal more of truly romantic romance, I feel it deserves a boatload of respect.

It's full of all the little zingers we've grown to love, it has enormous amounts of satire... and it's
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was delicious once again! In fact, it was so delicious that I love this book almost as much as Arthur loves Fenchurch.

Fenchurch, for those of you who don’t know, is a girl Arthur meets back on Earth (yep, he finally made his way back across time, space and parallel universes) and immediately is smitten with. She happens to be the one other human who has figured out the knack about flying. By one of those cosmic coincidences we’ve come to expect in this series, Fenchurch also happens to be t
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
Jan 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, sci-fi, libby, humor
For a moment he felt good about this. A moment or two later he felt bad about feeling good about it. Then he felt good about feeling bad about feeling good about it and, satisfied, drove on into the night.

Simultaneously the most grounded and most absurd entry in the series (let’s see if five can top it) this is a mind-melting fever dream of a book. I loved every page. Adams was a genius.
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
Marnie  (Enchanted Bibliophile)
“Scientist must also be absolutely like a child. If he sees a thing, he must say that he sees it, whether it was what he thought he was going to see or not. See first, think later, then test. But always see first. Otherwise you will only see what you were expecting.”


This is my favorite of all the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" books.

I know it kind of defies the whole travel the Galaxy and see the universe idea, but I love that Arthur is content and happy; that he found a like-minded being t
David Sarkies
Nov 15, 2016 rated it liked it
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
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
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
Robin Hobb
Jan 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Becky Ginther
Aug 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
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
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Feb 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uno-2021, reviewed
In this fourth instalment, (and I won’t be spoiling much by saying this), Arthur Dent miraculously finds his way home after 8 years in the confines of space. But was it really 8 years? And, was Earth really destroyed or was it all just an illusion (or is THIS all a delusion)?

Contrary to most reviews I’ve read, this is definitely my favourite of the series so far (despite the Krikkit reference in #3). It’s wacky and full of wit and wordplay, generously sprinkled with Douglas Adams’ humour and ast
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

This series is so absurd that the usual writing rules don’t seem to apply. While the plot in this book was tighter and less convoluted than previous installments, that actually worked against it. What makes this series so riotously fun is how absolutely absurd they are. Don’t get me wrong, this book is still completely bizarre, but it didn’t have quite the same level of convoluted ridiculousness as the first three books.

However, So Long, And Thanks For All the Fish still delivered on th
Kelly Furniss
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
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.
Anne (ReadEatGameRepeat)
Jan 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book, much like the rest of the books in the series. Its just a continuation of all the wackiness in the rest of the books. It made me laugh so much, I had a hard time keeping a straight face while reading this.

Characters 7
Atmosphere 8
Writing 9
Plot 9
Intrigue 8
Logic 7
Enjoyment 8
This is the book that had a cover that stuck out in my mind just as much as the first book in the series did. This is also the book that began the downward spiral into lower star ratings. Even though I didn’t love it as much as I did the first three, (wait for it) I did love it more than my grandparents love canned cream corn (I am not sorry at all).

Arthur falls in love.

Honestly, this one felt out of place. I didn’t want it or ask for it, and I sure as hell didn’t expect a mushy love story t
Jason Koivu
Not my favorite of the series. This one drags along at slow pace and doesn't really go anywhere. There are points in this where it seems like Adams is trying to stretch the page total with gimmicks, like "a writer should never..." and then he proceeds to do that tedious thing as an example, which doesn't add to the humor or plot. I think I preferred how the old tv series handled the dolphin storyline better than how it's portrayed here. However, it's not a terrible book by a long shot, as Adams ...more
David Firmage
Audiobook. Useful for insomnia.
May 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: comedy, sci-fi
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
Apr 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
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.
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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 ...more

Other books in the series

The 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)

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202 likes · 51 comments
“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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