The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas AdamsThe Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy

byDouglas Adams

Paperback | April 30, 2002

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In one complete volume, here are the five classic novels from Douglas Adams’s beloved Hitchhiker series.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read)
Seconds before the Earth is demolished for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is saved by Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised Guide. Together they stick out their thumbs to the stars and begin a wild journey through time and space.

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
The moment before annihilation at the hands of warmongers is a curious time to crave tea. It could only happen to the cosmically displaced Arthur Dent and his comrades as they hurtle across the galaxy in a desperate search for a place to eat.

Life, the Universe and Everything
The unhappy inhabitants of planet Krikkit are sick of looking at the night sky– so they plan to destroy it. The universe, that is. Now only five individuals can avert Armageddon: mild-mannered Arthur Dent and his stalwart crew.

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
Back on Earth, Arthur Dent is ready to believe that the past eight years were all just a figment of his stressed-out imagination. But a gift-wrapped fishbowl with a cryptic inscription thrusts him back to reality. So to speak.

Mostly Harmless
Just when Arthur Dent makes the terrible mistake of starting to enjoy life, all hell breaks loose. Can he save the Earth from total obliteration? Can he save the Guide from a hostile alien takeover? Can he save his daughter from herself?

Includes the bonus story “Young Zaphod Plays It Safe”

“With droll wit, a keen eye for detail and heavy doses of insight . . . Adams makes us laugh until we cry.”—San Diego Union-Tribune

“Lively, sharply satirical, brilliantly written . . . ranks with the best set pieces in Mark Twain.”—The Atlantic
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 Gent...
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Title:The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide To The GalaxyFormat:PaperbackDimensions:832 pages, 9.18 × 6.06 × 1.42 inPublished:April 30, 2002Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0345453743

ISBN - 13:9780345453747

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read! Great comic sci-fi book, would recommend to teens and adults. If you happened to stumble upon any of the screen adaptations to this book - do yourself a favour and read the book, it's so much better in this format.
Date published: 2017-11-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Such an entertaining writing style Took me a while to get through it, only because I went for a while without feeling like reading. Laughed throughout the book, loved the characters. I definitely see what the hype is about!
Date published: 2017-04-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great series I read all these books together and I really enjoyed them.
Date published: 2017-01-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Such Witty Writing! This was an enjoyable series, but mostly only because of the humour (which is one that I have never quite encountered before). It took me a while to completely finish this because I never had a burning need to know what happens next, but when I did get around to reading it I did enjoy myself. It was great to see things become interconnected; things that I thought were just mentioned in passing ended up returning in later chapters/books, and that realization of these events makes everything that much more enjoyable. Both Arthur and Ford are interesting characters, and their interactions with each other and the universe are amusing. I liked seeing what happens to them (and the other characters) throughout the series, and weaving their adventures with interesting explanations of "science stuff" made the book a good read. The ending is upsetting, though. It took me a moment to understand the events, and then when I did I felt dissatisfied by the utter finality of the ending. Despite being science fiction, the book didn't feel bogged down by the science involved. Everything was explained in such a way that was both understandable and not, but was treated in such a way that made it not really matter. The series is definitely worth reading. The way language is played with is amazing, and the humour is great. While I didn't feel that there was much of a plot, it was still a fun read. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Five very funny books in one! I've been waiting for quite some time for this edition to be available in print. I've been reading it on my Kobo and have been loving it. It's the only book that has made me laugh, and I don't laugh easily. Definitely check it out.
Date published: 2013-12-03

Read from the Book

What Was He Like,Douglas Adams?He was tall, very tall. He had an air of cheerful diffidence. Hecombined a razor-sharp intellect and understanding of whathe was doing with the puzzled look of someone who hadbacked into a profession that surprised him in a world thatperplexed him. And he gave the impression that, all in all, he was ratherenjoying it.He was a genius, of course. It’s a word that gets tossed around a lotthese days, and it’s used to mean pretty much anything. But Douglas wasa genius, because he saw the world differently, and more importantly, hecould communicate the world he saw. Also, once you’d seen it his wayyou could never go back.Douglas Noel Adams was born in 1952 in Cambridge, England (shortlybefore the announcement of an even more influential DNA, deoxyribonucleicacid). He was a self-described “strange child” who did not learnto speak until he was four. He wanted to be a nuclear physicist (“I nevermade it because my arithmetic was so bad”), then went to Cambridge tostudy English, with ambitions that involved becoming part of the traditionof British writer/performers (of which the members of Monty Python’sFlying Circus are the best-known example).When he was eighteen, drunk in a field in Innsbruck, hitchhiking acrossEurope, he looked up at the sky filled with stars and thought, “Somebodyought to write the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” Then he went tosleep and almost, but not quite, forgot all about it.He left Cambridge in 1975 and went to London where his many writ-ingand performing projects tended, in the main, not to happen. Heworked with former Python Graham Chapman writing scripts and sketchesfor abortive projects (among them a show for Ringo Starr which containedthe germ of Starship Titanic) and with writer-producer John Lloyd(they pitched a series called Snow Seven and the White Dwarfs, a comedyabout two astronomers in “an observatory on Mt. Everest–“The ideafor that was minimum casting, minimum set, and we’d just try to sell theseries on cheapness”).He liked science fiction, although he was never a fan. He supportedhimself through this period with a variety of odd jobs: he was, for example,a hired bodyguard for an oil-rich Arabian family, a job that entailedwearing a suit and sitting in hotel corridors through the night listening tothe ding of passing elevators.In 1977 BBC radio producer (and well-known mystery author) SimonBrett commissioned him to write a science fiction comedy for BBC RadioFour. Douglas originally imagined a series of six half-hour comediescalled The Ends of the Earth–funny stories which at the end of each, theworld would end. In the first episode, for example, the Earth would bedestroyed to make way for a cosmic freeway.But, Douglas soon realized, if you are going to destroy the Earth, youneed someone to whom it matters. Someone like a reporter for, yes, theHitchchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. And someone else . . . a man who wascalled Alaric B in Douglas’s original proposal. At the last moment Douglascrossed out Alaric B and wrote above it Arthur Dent. A normal namefor a normal man.For those people listening to BBC Radio 4 in 1978 the show came as arevelation. It was funny–genuinely witty, surreal, and smart. The serieswas produced by Geoffrey Perkins, and the last two episodes of the firstseries were co-written with John Lloyd.(I was a kid who discovered the series–accidentally, as most listenersdid–with the second episode. I sat in the car in the driveway, gettingcold, listening to Vogon poetry, and then the ideal radio line “Ford,you’re turning into an infinite number of penguins,” and I was happy;perfectly, unutterably happy.)By now, Douglas had a real job. He was the script editor for the long-runningBBC SF series Doctor Who, in the Tom Baker days.Pan Books approached him about doing a book based on the radio series,and Douglas got the manuscript for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to theGalaxy in to his editors at Pan slightly late (according to legend they telephonedhim and asked, rather desperately, where he was in the book, andhow much more he had to go. He told them. “Well,” said his editor,making the best of a bad job, “just finish the page you’re on and we’llsend a motorbike around to pick it up in half an hour”). The book, a paperbackoriginal, became a surprise bestseller, as did, less surprisingly, itsfour sequels. It spawned a bestselling text-based computer game.The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy sequence used the tropes of sciencefiction to talk about the things that concerned Douglas, the worldhe observed, his thoughts on Life, the Universe, and Everything. As wemoved into a world where people really did think that digital watcheswere a pretty neat thing, the landscape had become science fiction andDouglas, with a relentless curiosity about matters scientific, an instinctfor explanation, and a laser-sharp sense of where the joke was, was ina perfect position to comment upon, to explain, and to describe thatlandscape.I read a lengthy newspaper article recently demonstrating that Hitchhiker’swas in fact a lengthy tribute to Lewis Carroll (something thatwould have come as a surprise to Douglas, who had disliked the little ofAlice in Wonderland he read). Actually, the literary tradition that Douglaswas part of was, at least initially, the tradition of English Humor Writingthat gave us P. G. Wodehouse (whom Douglas often cited as an influence,although most people tended to miss it because Wodehouse didn’t writeabout spaceships).Douglas Adams did not enjoy writing, and he enjoyed it less as timewent on. He was a bestselling, acclaimed, and much-loved novelist whohad not set out to be a novelist, and who took little joy in the process ofcrafting novels. He loved talking to audiences. He liked writing screenplays.He liked being at the cutting edge of technology and inventing andexplaining with an enthusiasm that was uniquely his own. Douglas’sability to miss deadlines became legendary. (“I love deadlines,” he saidonce. “I love the whooshing sound they make as they go by.”)He died in May 2001–too young. His death surprised us all, and left ahuge, Douglas Adams—sized hole in the world. We had lost both the man(tall, affable, smiling gently at a world that baffled and delighted him)and the mind.He left behind a number of novels, as often-imitated as they are, ultimately,inimitable. He left behind characters as delightful as Marvin theParanoid Android, Zaphod Beeblebrox and Slartibartfast. He left sentencesthat will make you laugh with delight as they rewire the back ofyour head.And he made it look so easy.–Neil Gaiman,January 2002(Long before Neil Gaiman was the bestselling author of novels like American Gods andNeverwhere, or graphic novels like The Sandman sequence, he wrote a book called Don’tPanic, a history of Douglas Adams and the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.)

Editorial Reviews

“WITH DROLL WIT, A KEEN EYE FOR DETAIL AND HEAVY DOSES OF INSIGHT . . . ADAMS MAKES US LAUGH UNTIL WE CRY.”
–San Diego Union

“LIVELY, SHARPLY SATIRICAL, BRILLIANTLY WRITTEN . . . RANKS WITH THE BEST SET PIECES IN MARK TWAIN.”
–The Atlantic