Life, the Universe and Everything by Douglas Adams — Revisit Review

Cover: bookshop.org

Previous in the series: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

Disappointingly, my enjoyment of each book in The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series is a little lower than the one before. Life, the Universe and Everything has some nice set-pieces, like Arthur learning to fly, Trillian flirting with a Thunder God and the Bistromathic drive, but seems to lack the sparkling wordplay that I enjoyed in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Nothing made me laugh out loud, and that’s a real shame.

“All right!” bellowed Thor, like an enraged bull (or in fact like an enraged Thunder God, which is a great deal more impressive), and did so.

Life, the Universe and Everything, Douglas Adams

Part of the problem is that the gang are separated for much of the book. Arthur doesn’t get the chance to bounce off Trillian or Zaphod until the very end, and Ford spends much of the novel sulking so doesn’t offer much in the way of entertainment. Life, the Universe and Everything is also less episodic than the previous books. Almost the entire plot is taken up with the story of the Krikkit wars. There’s nothing wrong with that plot, exactly, but there’s no variety.

“We came to find you,” said Trillian, deliberately not keeping the disappointment out of her voice.

Life, the Universe and Everything, Douglas Adams

If I hadn’t experienced these novels before, as audiobooks, this might be where I’d stop. As it is, I know at least one piece is coming up that I really enjoy, so I’m going to continue on at least until I reach Arthur as the sandwich maker. Hopefully it’ll be worth it!

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Next in the series: So Long and Thanks for All the Fish.

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