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The ultimate hitchhiker's guide : five…

The ultimate hitchhiker's guide : five complete novels and one story (edition 2005)

by Douglas Adams

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17,095153230 (4.43)51
In this collection of novels, Arthur Dent is introduced to the galaxy at large when he is rescued by an alien friend seconds before Earth's destruction, and embarks on a series of amazing adventures with his new companion.
Title:The ultimate hitchhiker's guide : five complete novels and one story
Authors:Douglas Adams
Info:New York : Gramercy Books, 2005.
Collections:Your library

Work Information

The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

  1. 41
    The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett (bluehooloovo, Morteana)
    bluehooloovo: Absurdity in a pure-fantasy world, rather than a soft-sci-fi world.
  2. 42
    Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (GaryPatella)
    GaryPatella: Although the plots and writing styles are very distinct, it seemed to me like Douglas Adams and Joseph Heller had a similar sense of humour. I think that those who enjoy the humour in Hitchhiker's Guide will also enjoy the humour of Catch-22.
  3. 21
    And Another Thing... by Eoin Colfer (Anonymous user)
  4. 33
    American Gods by Neil Gaiman (bluehooloovo)
    bluehooloovo: Neil Gaiman wrote the introduction to this omnibus, and I think that most Adams fans will find a kindred spirit in Gaiman and enjoy his books.
  5. 12
    Starfighters of Adumar by Aaron Allston (bluehooloovo)
    bluehooloovo: Humor in space! They're practically soul-mates, though Starfighters is a Star Wars book, with all that entails. But Aaron Allston really brings the funny, though it's a different kind of funny than most of Adams's.

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» See also 51 mentions

English (147)  Dutch (1)  Slovak (1)  Finnish (1)  German (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (152)
Showing 1-5 of 147 (next | show all)
***after finishing the audiobook on zat. 15 mei 2021***
I adore the narrator Stephen Fry. So that was cool.

The thing is the story is ridiculous. Like it had everything in it I normally dislike but also everything I love and it still ended up working for me.

But I will say I did not realize just how dark the robot was. Dude. Also the nice were horrifying and I feel fully vindicated in not liking them.

***Before reading***
I'm reading this while also listening to the first book narrated by Stephen Fry. The reason is a bit dumb? This is a bind-up and only the first one counts for my challenge
  Jonesy_now | Sep 24, 2021 |
The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide: Five Complete Novels and One Story (Literary Classics - Gramercy Books) by Douglas Adams (2005)
  arosoff | Jul 10, 2021 |
I enjoyed the humour in this book, the references to things 'in the real world'.

I didn't panic and I have a towel.

After this big one, I'm quite fed up with the confusing act of travelling in time and space. I regularly lost track of the narrative, but then decided that I'd better not try to track and just take the world the book was talking about 'as is'. And that helped a lot to read it till the end. ( )
1 vote BoekenTrol71 | Feb 21, 2021 |
It's tough to know where to even start here. I first read these over 10 years ago and had been meaning to revisit them for some time. If I can get a bit haughty for a minute, David Mitchell said, regarding If on a winter's night a traveller, "however breathtakingly inventive a book is, it is only breathtakingly inventive once", and I think that's exactly the thing that sticks in my craw rereading these. Once you've gotten all the jokes (and don't get me wrong, Adams can still get a chuckle out of me after all this time), what you're left with tends to vary wildly. The threads connecting the books are tenuous at best (heck, even the threads keeping the individual books in and of themselves together are tenuous - I'm pretty sure the character Adams meant to be the main villain of book 2 vanishes halfway through) which makes them light and fun but also maddening to read in sequence like this.

The other thing that frustrates me, revisiting this, is the unevenness of the fourth and fifth book compared to the first three. I remember disliking the fourth book a lot the first time I read through these - I am happy to say I was a stupid little idiot, because it's tremendously excellent. Unfortunately, all of the great development there is squandered in the mean-spirited, bleak fifth book. (I feel a little guilty writing this, seeing on Wikipedia now that it was written at a bad time in Adams's life, but I feel like it'd be dishonest to say anything else.)

All of that aside though, these are still tremendous fun. The interspersed segments of the Guide in the first novel are great (although I'm glad they were basically discarded in later stories as they would have worn out their welcome fast). The extended Pink Floyd joke in the second book is great. The third book's ending comes a bit out of nowhere, but I mourn for the loss of Adams on Doctor Who, because the climax is the best Doctor Who ending that's not in a Doctor Who episode. It's great, it's just that on some level I want to get back the feeling I had the first time I read these, when the jokes were new and I didn't have them all bound up in a single volume. Which, now that I think about it, maybe Mostly Harmless was more on the ball than I thought. ( )
  skolastic | Feb 2, 2021 |
I've heard a lot about these books the past few years, even saw the seperate volumes at a book sale, but decided not to purchase them (yet). Three months later, I wanted to buy the boxset, but opted for the omnibus instead, for some or other reason.

I had been postponing the reading of this brick of a books (815 pages) quite often, but in the end, you have to go through with it.

This omnibus contains 6 books:

1) "The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy" - the classic that started it all.
2) "The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe"
3) "Life, The Universe And Everything"
4) "So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish"
5) "Young Zaphod Plays It Safe" (bonus story)
6) "Mostly Harmless"

It all started really well with "The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy". As this is my first encounter with Douglas Adams's works, I find his writing style smooth, and I loved the witty and fun stuff. Plus, the story's ending was quite open, I found, hence the need for "The Restaurant". And this one contains more action, plus the required funny moments. However, the proof-reading could have been done a bit more profoundly, as here and there a comma is missing, which makes the reading a little less slow. Other than that, no complaints. Oh yes, Marvin rocks! That little, depressed robot.

"Life, The Universe and Everything" is, compared to the other two, rather mediocre. Not as funny, and as I read it directly after the first two, it became a drag to read it, mainly around halfway. After that things got a bit better. But not enough to increase my enthousiasm.

And the reading pleasure went more downhill in "So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish", which was good for a good portion. With regards to the bonus story, "Young Zaphod Plays It Safe": What sh*t is this? It's not a story, but an extract. Or rather, reads/feels like one. Barely 10 pages long. Dafuq? It's supposed to be a prelude to the series, but I fail to see any connection with the proper books, and this little story is really very short. It doesn't have a beginning or an end, not in the proper sense. Like I said, more like an extract. I feel cheated.

Last but not least, "Mostly Harmless". This one started pretty alright, also has its funny moments, some nice action pieces, lots of imagination (of course), but the ending? What is that? It is as if mr. Adams quickly needed to round things off, ran out of wits and imagination, didn't see the grand structure of the story anymore and just wrote something to get it over with. So, by itself, it's not that bad a story, but in the context of the series, it's another mediocre book, this time with, again, a bad ending.

In short: I'm glad I finally read this classic book, for it is indeed a good one. Or rather, the first two are very good, 3 and 4 are less good, but in the total picture still worth reading. The bonus story is not even worth mentioning, actually, and the last book is/was milking out the concept (read: wasn't that necessary). However, memorable and commendable is the fun stuff, the style, and the occasional psychological, and scientific elements. ( )
  TechThing | Jan 22, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 147 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Adams, Douglasprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gaiman, NeilForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Introduction: A GUIDE TO THE GUIDE
The history of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is now so complicated that every time I tell it I contradict myself, and whenever I do get it right I'm misquoted.
The house stood on a slight rise just on the edge of the village. It stood on its own and looked out over a broad spread of West Country farmland. Not a remarkable house by any means—it was about thirty years old, squattish, squarish, made of brick, and had four windows set in the front of a size and proportion which more or less exactly failed to please the eye.
Don't panic.
"You'd better be prepared for the jump into hyperspace. It's unpleasantly like being drunk."

"What's so unpleasant about being drunk?"

"You ask a glass of water."
"Well," said Ford, "if we're lucky it's just the Vogons come to throw us into space."

"And if we're unlucky?"

"If we're unlucky," said Ford grimly, "the captain might be serious in his threat that he's going to read us some of his poetry first."
Resistance is useless! (Vogon soldier shouting)
Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly hugely mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Includes Collected Books 1-5, Plus a bonus story Young Zaphod Plays it Safe.
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In this collection of novels, Arthur Dent is introduced to the galaxy at large when he is rescued by an alien friend seconds before Earth's destruction, and embarks on a series of amazing adventures with his new companion.

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Average: (4.43)
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1 11
1.5 4
2 83
2.5 39
3 331
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4 1236
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