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Mostly Harmless [Paperback]

Douglas Adams
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 14.99
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Book Description

Sept. 1 2009 Hitchhiker (Book 5)

Thirty years of celebrating the comic genius of Douglas Adams…

Arthur Dent hadn’t had a day as bad as this since the Earth had been blown up.

Depressed and alone, Arthur finally settles on the small planet Lamuella and becomes a sandwich maker. Looking forward to a quiet life, his plans are thrown awry by the unexpected arrival of his daughter.

There’s nothing worse than a frustrated teenager with a copy of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in their hands. When she runs away – Arthur goes after her determined to save her from the horrors of the universe.

After all – he’s encountered most of them before…

VOLUME FIVE IN THE TRILOGY OF FIVE


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Mostly Harmless + So Long And Thanks For All The Fish + Life The Universe And Everything
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In this installment of the The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy saga, Ford Prefect of the planet Betelgeuse relies on serendipity and his own quick wits to protect a new edition of the Hitchhiker's Guide from the loathsome Vogons. A 12-week PW bestseller in cloth.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Review

"Douglas Adams is a terrific satirist.... He is anything but harmless".-- The Washington Post Book World

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars HHGTTU Oct. 26 2003
Format:School & Library Binding
*WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS!!*
I loved all of the books,thought the ending to mostly harmless certainly hurt (when I read books, I imagine them to be alive. In addition, I seem to have developed some sort of curse that makes certain that each and every favourite character I ever decide on will die by the end of the book/series/whatever. So Ford dying in the end certainly didn't help my opinion of this book).
A lot of people have brought up questions regarding continuity and loopholes with regards to the ending, and I think that this was intentional - My GUESS, is the Douglas Adams purposely ended the book the way he did to be finished and done with it, but to also give people who couldn't deal with the death a simple way out of having to.
I cannot deal with the death ( ;) ) so I am pretending in my mind that Ford and the others simply hitch-hiked their way out of the situation, and continued on their way, while sorting out Fenchurch, Zaphod, Trillian/Tricia, and Random along the way, and, everyone did indeed live happily ever after.
It could happen.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Strong Conclusion to an Excellent Series May 29 2002
By Mike
Format:Mass Market Paperback
What do you get when you combine interstellar space travel, romance, action, mindless astronauts, parallel universes, religion, and sandwiches all into the same book? Why, you get Mostly Harmless, the fifth book in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams.
Mostly Harmless takes you through the life of Arthur Dent, a man whose house and world have been demolished by the Vogons, a race of evil space aliens that evolution has literally given up on. After losing the love of his life, Fenchurch (she literally vanishes into thin air), he begins to search for a new planet to reside upon. After residing briefly on the planet Bartledan, a world in which no one has wants or desires he takes up shop as a Sandwich Maker on the planet of Lamuella. Everything is going fine, until the day his ex-girlfriend, Trillian, shows up on his front door with a little surpriseï¿a daughter. Random (his appropriately named daughter), was conceived by artificial fertilization from a random specimen, which was donated by Arthur. This complicates the already complicated life of Arthur Dent even more, and this is just the beginning. Adams also brings back old favorites from the previous books in Ford Prefect and of course, the aptly named Hitchhikerï¿s Guide itself.
Mostly Harmless is an great finale for an excellent series. Adams does a good job in tying up the story line while still adding his randomness and humor to the novel. If you love a good science fiction story, or just a good humorous read, Mostly Harmless and the rest of the Hitchhikerï¿s Guide series is definitely something youï¿ll enjoy.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
Don't let my 2-star rating for "Mostly Harmless" fool you---I miss Douglas Adams very much. He was a brilliantly funny author, and I'm a huge fan of his first four "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy" books, his pair of "Dirk Gently" books, and his writing for the "Doctor Who" TV series. But sadly, I must confess, I'm not a fan of Adams' final "Hitchhiker's" book, "Mostly Harmless." The reason is simple: the fifth book, in my opinion, is totally unnecessary. Adams originally intended for the fourth book, "So Long And Thanks For All The Fish," to be the definitive final book in the "Hitchhiker's" saga. There's a *reason* why the fourth book has a farewell title to it, folks! And, like the three books that came before it, I totally loved it---I read the entire "So Long And Thanks..." book in a single day, and I thought that it was a marvelous "conclusion" to the adventures of Arthur Dent & company.Then along came "Mostly Harmless," which, by Adams' own admission, he only wrote on a whim---just for fun, in other words. He came up with a way to extend the series for one more book, which I'm sure delighted some "Hitchhiker's" fans, but I, personally, was so disappointed with the direction of it. Arthur's ladylove, Fenchurch, is gone, and now it turns out that he & Trillian had a daughter (though not by natural means), and that's just for starters. Oh, Adams' writing is still sharp, but despite a very humourous adventure with Ford Prefect & a companion robot toward the beginning, the fifth book, to my dismay, turns surprisingly serious. What can I say---this is simply not how I wanted the "Hitchhiker's" saga to end. Read more ›
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mostly funny, but rather grim in the end Jan. 3 2003
By Daniel Jolley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
It is impossible not to have some mixed feelings about this novel. It does stand as a return to the wild frivolity and cuttingly biting humor of the first three books, yet it is certainly less than upbeat, all things considered. Despite all kinds of evidence to the contrary, I always had the feeling that things would work out, even for poor Arthur Dent-the universe might not make a bit of sense, of course, but these characters I love so much would ultimately at least find a sense of peace if not happiness in some forgotten corner of the cosmos. It's something of a downer to find out this is not really the case. Two characters who very much made up the heart of the series for me, Marvin and Zaphod, are not even present in these pages. Then you have Fenchurch from the fourth book, a character I really came to love, thrown out of the saga like so much spoiled Perfectly Normal Beast meat. It's nice to have Trillian back, albeit in a couple of transdimensional forms, as well as Ford and Arthur, but it's hard to say who the story is really about. Arthur's new life as a Sandwich Maker on a remote planet his ship crashed on is rather pitiful but totally Dent-like. Ford's attempts to undo the tragic consequences of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy company having been taken over by unscrupulous business men is interesting. The introduction of a Tricia McMillan who did not leave the party with Zaphod because she decided to go back for her handbag ends up just muddying the waters of the fictional time stream. Then there is Random, the biological daughter of Arthur Dent by Trillian; she is even more mixed up and generally confused about life than the father she only meets as a teenager dumped by her too-busy mother. Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Strong Conclusion to an Excellent Series
What do you get when you combine interstellar space travel, romance, action, mindless astronauts, parallel universes, religion, and sandwiches all into the same book? Read more
Published on May 30 2002 by Mike
5.0 out of 5 stars A Review of the book that DOES give the question(spoilers)
In "Life, the Universe, and Everything" plays heavily into this book for several reasons. The most obvious is Agrajag, which I thought was very clever of Arthur to remember and... Read more
Published on April 12 2002 by bridge
5.0 out of 5 stars A strong conclusion to a brilliant series
Despite owning the least auspicious title in Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy, Mostly Harmless follows in the footsteps of its four predecessors,... Read more
Published on March 20 2002 by Halvy
5.0 out of 5 stars The end of the series.
This book was written to provoke those who wanted Adams to continue the trilogy but I loved it. Aurthor setteled down on a bob fearing planet where he has aquired the prestigous... Read more
Published on March 18 2002 by dan
4.0 out of 5 stars Mostly Harmless is Underrated
I think most of the reviews for this book downplay it seriously. While the ending is kind of disappointing, the book overall is wonderful. Read more
Published on Jan. 22 2002 by A Big Adams Fan
1.0 out of 5 stars Please pretend this book was never written.
I have long been a fan of the Hitchhikers series as they are comic genius. The book Mostly Harmless, however, should never have come about. It is frustration at its peak. Read more
Published on Jan. 14 2002 by Paul Norrod
3.0 out of 5 stars Kinda like horror movies...
...in that the last one usually isn't all that appealing. I liked it fine, with some of Adams's wit, but it was a bit disappointing. Read more
Published on Nov. 4 2001 by Kristopher Vincent
1.0 out of 5 stars A Terrible End to A Great Series
The ending for this books was so bad that I vowed never to read another Douglas Adams book. Adams was obviously sick and tired of the series and used this book to kill it off with... Read more
Published on Oct. 17 2001 by David A. Lessnau
3.0 out of 5 stars Just playing out the thread
Not much I can add to most of the other reviews. It seems pretty clear in reading Mostly Harmless than Adams was just playing out the thread, either tying up loose ends, dipping... Read more
Published on Sept. 27 2001 by "pangloss_"
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