H2G2 Review: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams (Pan)


The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (30th Anniversary Edition) by Douglas Adams
Published by Pan and out now
Review Copy

I can now confirm that whatever version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide that appears in my head it’s not the books. I think I’ve deluded myself that after a 16 plus years gap that I’d actually read them rather than had a mangled version of half listened too radio plays and TV series with a little new film mixed in. So after getting over that I found The Restaurant at the End of the Universe quite familiar but also very refreshing.

Beyond the two key moments of the book, one that involves the Restaurant at the End of the Universe, there is a weaving of something bigger that involves Zaphod and his brains, which might hopefully explains why he stole the spaceship Heart of Gold in the first place.

As I’m book two and still on familiar territory I’m getting the feeling that for Adams plot wasn’t the important factor, as you could boil it down those two main set pieces, but more the language and the playing with humanity and our view of ourselves.

The humour and there are lot of funny moments at times comes from how stupid we are. We being everyone in galaxy it seems. Though saying that we’re not important and you realise that when you read The Guide’s entry on The Universe – some information to help you live in it. Boiling down to it’s vast so vast in fact that anything in it so small that it’s not worth mentioning. So nothing anyone does is very important.

But what they do is fascinating especially the way that Adams writes it. Not only has he given us a great cast in Arthur, Trillian, Ford, Zaphod and Marvin he’s placed them in some in some bizarre and mind altering situations and seeing how they cope. And Arthur’s request for a cup of Tea at the beginning is so not the answer to anything.

Next up Life, The Universe and Everything.

I wish I was an old man in a shed by-the-way.

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