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The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide by Douglas…

The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide (original 1992; edition 1996)

by Douglas Adams

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,189372,598 (4.36)11
Title:The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide
Authors:Douglas Adams
Info:Wings (1996), Edition: Complete & Unabridged, Hardcover, 832 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy : A Trilogy in Five Parts by Douglas Adams (1992)

  1. 90
    Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett (ShelfMonkey)
  2. 60
    The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time by Douglas Adams (jabberwockiness)
    jabberwockiness: Published posthumously - drabbles from Douglas Adams himself. Enjoy!
  3. 30
    Douglas Adams's Starship Titanic by Terry Jones (dagnirath)
  4. 20
    Going Bovine by Libba Bray (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: Improbable road trips while dealing with the End of Everything.
  5. 10
    Astrotruckers by Mikael Niemi (andejons)
    andejons: Similarly absurd stories set in space, even if Niemi has more grime.
  6. 10
    Don't Panic: The Official Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Companion by Neil Gaiman (antihero)
    antihero: This is a great book about the life of Douglas Adams, with a focus on all things Hitchhiker.
  7. 00
    Dimension of Miracles by Robert Sheckley (pratchettfan)
    pratchettfan: Dimension of Miracles of Miracles and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy share the same mindset of strange, intelligent and witty sci-fi. If you loved one of them you'll love the other too!
  8. 00
    The Ultimate Inferior Beings by Mark Roman (rretzler)
    rretzler: Science fiction with a dry wit.
  9. 00
    Smith by Mike Devlin (tottman)
    tottman: Both have a wacky, offbeat sense of humor and adventure. They tell tales of fish-out-of-water earthmen on hilarious romps across the universe.
  10. 01
    Wilt by Tom Sharpe (kullfarr)

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» See also 11 mentions

English (31)  Swedish (3)  Norwegian (1)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (37)
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
I still remember that it was 1997 when I read this book, and that much of it was hysterical, and actually practical. Especially the never panic and always carry a towel -things I still try to do today. The rest of it, though I adore British humor, I found sufficiently depressing to not enjoy, nor even finish, the Resto. at the end of the Universe.

30.10.12015 HE today, but read in the year 11997. Holocene Calendar
Shira (Destinie then...) ( )
  ShiraDest | Mar 6, 2019 |
The way I (probably mistakenly) see it, the answer 42 represents a view of cheery perfection. It's almost as though it is trying to be as divisible as possible simply to be helpful. Even its name is annoyingly perky. It is the number which represents what the established order (notably religion) has told us represents the universe. It is the number of order, sense and reason. Neither 6 nor 9 nor 54 are particularly welcoming numbers. Douglas Adams seems to like this view of the world. Just like Sirius Cybernetics, we're sold the idea of something being perfect and flawless whereas we all know (even if we are reluctant to truly accept it) that the reality does not match it.

I also wrote the “perfect sonnet”:

Sonnet 42

That thou hast her, it is not all my grief,
And yet it may be said I loved her dearly;
That she hath thee, is of my wailing chief,
A loss in love that touches me more nearly.
Loving offenders, thus I will excuse ye:
Thou dost love her, because thou knowst I love her;
And for my sake even so doth she abuse me,
Suffering my friend for my sake to approve her.
If I lose thee, my loss is my love's gain,
And losing her, my friend hath found that loss;
Both find each other, and I lose both twain,
And both for my sake lay on me this cross:
But here's the joy; my friend and I are one;
Sweet flattery! Then she loves but me alone.

By MySelfie, the Flatulent Shakespeare

(Bought in 1994)

NB: At the risk of being jumped on and beaten up by everyone who hates such things being mentioned, there is another lovely coincidence here to do with the number 42, and that is that in cultures all over the world 42 is the number of Creation. The Jews believe 42 is the number of permutations of the letters of the name of God with which the Universe was brought into being and in China, both the Tao Te Ching and the I Ching discuss the creation of the Universe in their 42nd chapters. In ancient Egypt, 42 was the number linked to the Goddess Maat (Wisdom) who was the personification of the idea of balance and harmony the Egyptians thought upheld the Cosmos. I offer this up as a piece of anthropological information which makes a nice coincidence for Douglas Adams, whose books I have loved since a child, and not as something which suggests we should all bow to the Pope, become orthodox Jews or take up Taoism, in case anyone starts frothing at the mouth. I just thought it was fun that Adams, in thinking he had come up with a joke comment on the futility of trying to come up with an answer to the question of the meaning of the Universe landed upon the one number which traditionally has been all about the meaning of the Universe! I had always believed that Douglas Adams chose "42" since it was (but no longer is) the Hubble constant. If the number was below 42 then the universe ends in big crunch, greater than 42 we expand into infinite nothingness, but at 42 the universe will reach a state of equilibrium. However the number has been subject to revision and is steadily crawling closer to 43 which (imho) is the ultimate number .... ( )
  antao | Sep 12, 2018 |
yup... it's a five book trilogy! ( )
  tenamouse67 | Jul 21, 2018 |
At the time it was published (1985) this was the complete collection of the book version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, consisting of the original book versions of The Hitchhiker's Guide, followed by The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, followed by Life, the Universe and Everything. Even when this omnibus was published, more material was in the works, and eventually there were additional volumes. Also, as Douglas Adams explains in a very helpful introduction, these books were only loosely based on the original scripts of the wonderful BBC radio shows, and by the time this collection came out there was also a TV version which followed the framework of the radio shows but incorporated material from the books Things only got more complicated after that. However, the key point is that all the various forms of the story were wildly funny, though occasionally bittersweet. The beginning involves a man named Arthur Dent trying to stop his house being bulldozed for a bypass, only to be told by his neighbor Ford Prefect (who happens to be an alien) that the entire planet Earth is to be demolished to make way for an interstellar bypass. The two of them just manage to escape and are off on a series of bizarre adventures, sometimes illuminated by the Guide, for which Prefect is a researcher for a potential updated edition.. ( )
  antiquary | Dec 27, 2017 |
To this date, I've read this "trilogy" three times, and I've never read it any other way than an omnibus like this edition. One of the charming things about Douglas' writing is the subtle humor of it... it never gets old. A thick edition of Dent-Arthur-Dent's story is not daunting. The only thing that bothers me about it is when I want to re-read just the bit about the Rain King, I can never remember if it's in [So Long and Thanks for all the Fish] or [Life, the Universe, and Everything]....

That said, even if you aren't keen on Arthur or Trillian or Random, you'll love the minor sub-characters. This "trilogy" is fun, engrossing, and worthy of a re-read or two. One of my personal favorites. ( )
1 vote Morteana | Dec 4, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Adams, Douglasprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lindgren, NilleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Markkula, PekkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Saarikivi, JukkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tidholm, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Jonny Brock and Clare Gorst
and all other Arlingtonians
for tea, sympathy, and a sofa
First words
Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Collected Books 1-5 Only. This omnibus does NOT include the short story "Young Zaphod Plays it Safe". This is NOT the Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide.
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Canonical DDC/MDS

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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Set including 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy', 'The Restaurant at the End of the Universe', 'Life, The Universe and Everything', 'So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish' and 'Mostly Harmless'.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0739410121, Hardcover)

Contents: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy; The Restaurant at the End of the Universe; Life, the Universe and Everything; So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish; Mostly Harmless.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:07 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Guided by the greatest reference book in the Universe, "The Hitch Hiker's guide to the Galaxy", Arthur Dent travels through the universe in his dressing gown, accompanied by Ford Prefect and Marvin the Paranoid Android, in a random search for the meaning of life.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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