Mostly Harmless (Hitchhiker's Guide Series #5)

( 91 )

Overview

Douglas Adams is back with the amazing, logic-defying, but-why-stop-now fifth novel in the Hitchhiker Trilogy. Here is the epic story of Random, who sets out on a transgalactic quest to find the planet of her ancestors. Line drawings.

From the Hardcover edition.

The legions of Adams addicts waiting to thumb a new ride down the galactic highway were thrilled with Mostly Harmless, a New York Times hardcover bestseller for three ...

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Mostly Harmless (Hitchhiker's Guide Series #5)

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Overview

Douglas Adams is back with the amazing, logic-defying, but-why-stop-now fifth novel in the Hitchhiker Trilogy. Here is the epic story of Random, who sets out on a transgalactic quest to find the planet of her ancestors. Line drawings.

From the Hardcover edition.

The legions of Adams addicts waiting to thumb a new ride down the galactic highway were thrilled with Mostly Harmless, a New York Times hardcover bestseller for three months. Now the trade paperback version carries on the outrageous space odyssey that brilliantly explores new dimensions in cosmic oddity.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Hitchhiker fans rejoice! . . . [Here’s] more of the same zany nonsensical mayhem.”—New York Times Book Review

“It is Mr. Adams’s genius to hurl readers into a plot that seems to go everywhere and nowhere, then suddenly drop the pieces into place, click, click, click, like tumblers in a lock. . . . Delightful.”—Baltimore Sun

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Ford Prefect, of the planet Betelgeuse, and Earthman Arthur Dent began their whimsical odyssey in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. In Adams' latest book, Ford relies on serendipity and his own quick wits to protect a powerful new edition of the Hitchhiker's Guide from the loathsome, sluglike Vogons. Ford's pal, Arthur, misses his planet and his old flame, Tricia McMillan. The rootless traveler from Earth finds his metier, however, on Lamuella, a world whose people subsist on Perfectly Normal Beast. Adams sets a rapid pace that becomes even more hectic when Arthur is unexpectedly joined by Tricia; her peevish teenage daughter; Ford Prefect; and the travel guide to the stars. The book once looked like a hand-held computer; now it takes the shape of a mechanical talking bird. Using new techniques, this floating device can whisk users through space and time. Thus the scene shifts back to Earth, where the past, present and future braid together. Adams may depend too much on the cliffhanger form. But his ingenious wit still captivates, and his characters frolic through the galaxy with infectious joy. (Oct.)
Donna Seaman
Subtitled: "The Fifth Book in the Increasingly Inaccurately Named Hitchhiker's Trilogy," the latest installment in the intergalactic adventures of Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect is up to Adams' usual high standards of ironic inventiveness. The action whips back and forth between parallel universes, one in which the Earth still exists, and one in which the Vogons have dispassionately obliterated it. On Earth, Tricia, a TV anchorwoman (an astrophysicist until she met an attractive, two-headed alien at a party), is working on a story about the implications of the discovery of a tenth planet, called Rupert, for astrology. Meanwhile, Ford has returned to the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" headquarters to learn that the once hip little publishing company has been taken over by the monolithic and secretive InfiniDim Enterprises. While he reconnoiters forbidden corporate territory accompanied by a giddy, rewired security robot, Arthur is mooning around the universe, selling his sperm and DNA, trying to find a planet he can call find home. He is shocked to find out that he has a daughter, named Random, who he is expected to take care of while her reporter mother goes off to cover a war. Eventually, the space-time continuum warps in such a way as to bring everyone together for a cataclysmic finale. Good, metaphysical fun from one of its primary practitioners.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345418777
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/28/2000
  • Series: Hitchhiker's Guide Series , #5
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 162,124
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.88 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Douglas Adams was born in 1952 and educated at Cambridge. He was the author of five books in the Hitchhiker’s Trilogy, 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. His other works include Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency; The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul; The Meaning of Liff and The Deeper Meaning of Liff (with John Lloyd); and Last Chance to See (with Mark Carwardine). His last book was the bestselling collection, The Salmon of Doubt, published posthumously in May 2002.
You can find more about Douglas Adam's life and works at douglasadams.com.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 91 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(53)

4 Star

(25)

3 Star

(10)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 93 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2008

    Good!

    This book is an awesome climax to the series. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves science fiction or comedy. Douglass Adams should know how much I love this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 12, 2013

    "Mostly Harmless" are the words that now replace all

    "Mostly Harmless" are the words that now replace all of the writing and research that Ford Prefect has created for the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy...and he wants to know why. The Vogons are back...still trying to destroy earth, but in a different way than usual. We also find Arthur Dent jumping through alternate universes trying to find his version of his beloved Earth...and learning that he has a moody teenage daughter spawned from his need to get traveling money. The fifth and final (at least from Douglas Adams) entry into the Hitchhiker "Trilogy" is probably the most hilarious and crazy entry in the series. I found myself laughing more at this book than the other ones. The sarcastic and just plain weird subplots (was Elvis kidnapped by aliens? how many “Earths” are there in the mish-mash?) and side-stories are simply hilarious. A great diversion, though I found the ending to be less than satisfying – very Sopranos-like.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2005

    Mostly Harmless 5

    Final book and concluding the Hitchhiker's series from across the galaxy.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2004

    The Last In The Series, Boo Hoo

    The book ¿Mostly Harmless¿ by Douglas Adams is the last book in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy series. This book sums up all of ¿the crew¿s¿ experiences together and finally gives it an ending that I would say suits the book. It all starts out when Trillian gets lost in a time warp and Arthur Dent crashes his ship on a Bob fearing planet. Yes I know it sounds strange that a whole planet fears Bob¿s but that¿s just the humor in the book. The whole book makes as much sense as that first part that I told you about so its not even worth it trying to make sense of everything. Believe me, I¿ve tried this and after using up a whole summer on it I gave up. This overall is a very funny and interesting book and really gets you thinking about the world around you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2004

    The best of the bunch

    I think Mostly Harmless is the best book in the Hitchhiker's series (except maybe the first). Of course it is hilarious, like all the others, but this book is a little deeper and a little darker. It conveys raw emotion and philosophical ideas, more so than the previous books, yet still maintains the same zaniness we love. Random is one of my favorite characters in the series. There is a new robot character in this book that is hilarious - he is the antithesis of Marvin (he is chronically happy rather than depressed - hilarious). I thought the ending was fitting. It does leave you with unanswered questions, but isn't that what it's all about?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2012

    Pretty Amazing

    If you can't follow the multiuniversal travel in the series, don't read it. One of the characters is split between two occurences in timelines, but you can tell them apart by her different names, Tricia and Trillian. A sad/unexcpected ending, but it goes along with the "Life just happens" theme. You'll never know why it does, only 42. You might as well enjoy the ride, and remember where your towel's at.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2011

    Love it

    This is my favorite in the hitchiker series.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 3, 2011

    Great Book!

    Love it

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 12, 2011

    Why must it end!!!

    Awesome, but then it just end?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2004

    hopefully Adams has a day job

    The main characters of the story Mostly Harmless are Tricia McMillian, Author Dent, and Ford Prefect. They are all over the universe at the beginning of the book. Tricia is in New York trying to get a job as an anchorperson in the major U.S. broadcasting company. She doesn¿t get the job and goes back to London and her anchor job there. She gets abducted by aliens and taken to the tenth planet in our solar system Rupert. They took her there so she can set up a map of the solar system so they can check their horoscopes. Ford Prefect works for a company called The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. He goes to the building to talk to his boss and finds out that the Guide has been bought out by a company called Infinidim. They almost fire him, but he knocks his boss out and goes down to the main computer and gives himself a lot of money in his expense account. He gets attacked and jumps out the window. He falls and then grabs on to the robot he has with him and goes into the thirteenth floor. He finds an orb thing that is the new guide and ships it to himself, but where Author is. Author has traveled from planet to planet searching for one that is remotely close to Earth, because the Earth was blown up. He finally ended up on a Planet close to Earth and decided to stay there. He becomes a sandwich maker and then Trillian his ex-wife comes and tells him he has a daughter named Random who is very moody. She gets very angry with her mom because she thought her mom was just dropping out in the middle of nowhere to let her die. Author gets the packed from Ford but doesn¿t want to open it but Random does. Author leaves the package out in the open to show that he trusts her and she takes it to the forest to open it. Author chases after her but can¿t keep up. She finds a cave and opens it. The black orb comes out of the box and changes into a bird. The bird says it can take her anywhere anytime she wants. She says she wants to go to Earth and then Ford comes down in a space ship and she attacks him and takes the ship. Author comes to the cave and finds Ford and they head to Earth. When they get there all of the characters come together and the planet gets blown up. This book was an okay book. It was interesting how the characters finely come together at the end and get blown up but that was the only interesting thing about it. The rest of the book really sucked because they spread out what was happening to the characters.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2002

    Sad End to the best series ever.

    A timeless clasic finnaly ends here. At first I thought this was the best in the Hitchhikers Guide, but once I got to the last 3 chapters I realized that there was to much of a story to finish in 3 chapters! Once I finished the book I fealt like Marvin 'Very deppressed'. I was very dissaponted in this book, but all but the end were good and had lots of funny moments such as, A Credit Card bill, Ford's opinion of Geese and Arthur meeting his kid.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2001

    NO NO NO NO NO

    This book is a definite YES. It IS AS GOOD as the rest of the series. Leaving off on SOATFATF would be BAD. Adams is not disappointed or bored. NO to negative reviews.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2000

    I'm Like Arthur

    In this case, I'm like Arthur. This, the fifth -- and, in my opinion, darkest -- book of the Hitchhiker's 'trilogy', is one of the most confusing books I've ever read. However, it is also very good and is true to Adams' form. But, like Arthur, I never quite figured out what was going on. Random ticked me off, and the fact that Zaphod failed to appear except in Tricia's memories of him was kind of disappointing. Overall, though, this book was quite good, and I would read it again and again...but maybe not in that order...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2000

    We are Mostly Harmless

    If you read the series out of order, the first part doesn't make much sense, but who cares. I think that this exceptional piece of work is the hardest to understand and leaves much unanswered. I think that we should start a massive campaign for another book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2000

    Mostly Harmless...to the end.

    Well I just finished this book and must say that, though I caught myself laughing aloud many times (thanks to Adams satiristic writing abilities), this book had only two things going for it...1)the closure that we avid Hitchhikers fans wanted and b) Adams satiristic writting abilities. This book is reminisent of the first books in its hummor but gets a liittle bogged down in the storyline, aside from that there is a totaly new way to look - oh just read the book for all I bloody well care, and decide for yourself!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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