Like us on Facebook! About The Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything is a memorable phrase found in Douglas Adams' comic science fiction novel series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy , in which the number 42 is revealed as the metanarrative that holds the key to the meaning of life.
Origin In the original radio series of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy , which aired on BBC Radio 4 in , the supercomputer Deep Thought is tasked with coming up with the the "answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything. The Ultimate Question of Life Uploaded by Mecha Harambe.
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On the plus side, it's all five books in one volume. However, in "Life, the Universe, and Everything" and "So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish," the text has been edited to be more "American," and a number of the jokes are gone altogether e. Won't be noticed by anyone who has never read the series, but I hate the editing changes as I know what used to be there! Audible Audiobook Verified Purchase. Just a bit of music editing to avoid copyright issues. I absolutely love hearing this again.
A couple of decades back I first heard this on some radio station in California. I think it was on NPR Playhouse. They broadcast only the first two series. I had seen the books in stores and I thought the radio production was adapted from the books. I later learned the actual history. I learned who Douglas Adams was and how he was a natural to write something that would tingle my funny bone and spark my imagination.
Now I find that all of the radio productions are available as audio books. I am savoring each episode. From Vogon poetry to the musings of Slartibartfast you will not be disappointed. I love hearing Slartibartfast again. Now you can enjoy the entire hilarious adventure. Interesting that my Microsoft Word recognizes Slartibartfast but not Vogon.
Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. This was one of those books that I find a lot of people have heard of but not a lot of people have read - if you're one of those people and you like dry, satire-style humor and imaginative science fiction, certainly give this book a try.
This book is super easy to read and is a humorous take on space and time travel. It follows a 'normal' man who unknowingly befriends an alien hitchhiker and is taken along on some entertaining journeys through space. They go to other universes, meet interesting characters, discover futuristic technology including a melodramatic, depressed robot , and discover the ACTUAL answer to the universe! The only question left now is Sounds ridiculous, I know, but you really get sucked in! Having them in one volume encourages you to read them soon after each other, and I think that enhances the experience.
But, that is a small quibble, and the story is short. I enjoyed the series, mostly, and I would recommend it to certain readers. For more specifics see below where you will find my review for all five of the novels in chronological order. The novel reminds me a lot of Vonnegut in its style and presentation. Short chapters and biting satire mixed with fantastical plot devices. And it all works! The introduction and first chapter of this novel are funny and pull you into the book. There are moments that are so clever and witty that you will find yourself re-reading certain lines for no reason other than to enjoy them once again.
It is very short, funny, and kind of wise. The restaurant of the title is a place where the characters go and can literally watch the end of the Universe during dinner. Trust me, the way Mr.
Douglas Adams said it was the answer to the meaning of life, the universe, and everything. He meant it as a joke, but a new book shows how. It seems that Douglas Adams was right after all: the answer to Life, the Universe and everything, is Cambridge astronomers have found that.
Adams explains it, it makes sense! And with this clever premise it is off to the races. In this delightful and quick romp of a novel we get to meet space psychiatrists, rock stars, and the ruler of the universe. And it goes without saying that none of it is as expected. The satire of the rock stars and bands is wonderful, as is the clever jab at rock stars that use to flee tax jurisdictions to record albums.
The last 20 pages of the book contain some pretty rough satire of modern professions and social dynamics. And then the text ends abruptly, like Mr. Adams was leading you into the next novel. It worked, because I will be continuing my journey with these hitchhikers. The whole book feels like a Monty Python sketch, but the first few chapters especially feel that way.
It works, but it does get a little tiresome after a while. The humor in this text is mostly through wordplay. The unity of the wordplay and humor serves to coalesce as much as it can a very scattered text. Especially enjoyable is a clever discourse on swear words, their usage and how they evolve and change. This part of the novel is a witty piece of satirical writing, and is very enjoyable. There are two interesting bits in this novel I would like to share in this review. The first is one of my favorite cameo appearances in this entire series thus far, the character of Wowbagger, the Infinitely Prolonged.
He is an alien who through an accident has immortality and is bored to tears. So he makes it a mission to insult everyone in the Universe. His occasional appearances in this story are a joy.
Another aspect of the text that I enjoyed is that the ultimate question and answer to everything remains unexplained. There is also a thinly veiled satire aimed at religious symbols where it seems Adams is mocking finding value in such things. It is an engaging section of the text. I will be moving on to the fourth book in this series soon. I have enjoyed this ride so far! This fourth novel in the series begins exactly as the first one, word for word, with one small twist. You can decide for yourself what you think of that twist.
I did not care for it, as it shifts the focus in this text from the ones that preceded it. This novel does not feature the other characters from the previous three, so fans of Zaphod Beeblebrox and Trillian will be disappointed.
I am anxious to see how the series concludes in installment 5, and I will be traveling that way soon. Of the five books in the "Hitchhiker" series numbers four and five don't add much to it, and take a lot from it. Stylistically it is also very different, the chapters are much longer, the humor is much rarer, etc. It is not a good change. A big flaw of the text is that our hero Arthur Dent does not even show up until chapter seven, and even when he does there is no transition from how we left him in book four, "So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish.
The book does have some good moments, particularly chapter nine in which it finally feels like the other novels in the series. Arthur Dent goes to the planet Hawalius to seek the advice of the oracles that inhabit it. In this chapter we see sparks of the Douglas Adams from the previous texts and it is a joy to read. There is also a witty cameo appearance by Elvis, which is cleverly woven into the plotline.
As has been stated in previous reviews "Mostly Harmless" is a dark text, almost nihilistic in its themes. The series ends in a uncharacteristic manner.