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The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy back to reviews
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Starts hilarious, turns into something wholly different
Far be it from me to knock the holy grail of satire, but the first two books, which were adapted completely from the original radio series, are the absolute best. The radio show was more about cohesive episodes than cohesive seasons, which makes for a fun read. After that, the books were written as books, and they start to get decidedly less madcap and more plot-driven. Of course, they're ridiculous plots, but the actual jokes get farther and farther apart, Guide asides become rare, and once you realize it, you may feel duped.

The first two books are based on the first season of the radio series, with Restaurant at the End of the Universe appropriating a handful of gags from the second season. Such as there's a plot, it merely serves the jokes, which are hilarious.

Life The Universe And Everything is okay. Just okay. It has some elements lifted from the second season of the radio series, but it has a definite plot. Knowledge of the game of Cricket is highly recommended. This book was adapted for the radio in the 2000s, and the adaptation suffers because many of the good bits from the book were used in the earlier radio series.

So Long And Thanks For All The Fish was created entirely out of whole cloth, and is entirely focused on Arthur finding True Happiness. It's much less grandiose than the previous, but it's even less compelling than the first two. It's a feel-good read, though. The radio adaptation leads directly into the next story, which is a slight improvement.

If you haven't read Mostly Harmless yet, do so only with extreme caution. It's a horribly bleak book that's basically the polar opposite of the previous. The radio adaptation finishes much better.

If you don't watch the television adaptation for any other reason, watch it for the terrible effects. Zaphod's other head came off a mannequin and is normally "asleep."

The Movie brings old and new concepts together fairly well, but may not be very accessible for non-fans. Your Mileage May Vary, but I thought the opening sequence was hilarious, and the love subplot well-done and a well-needed fix (not that I don't like Fenchurch...)
I agree that So Long And Thanks For All The Fish wasn't very good, if only because it wasn't really a sci-fi story. I didn't like The Movie because the love subplot was cheesy and they added a lot of weird stuff that didn't really work, like the POV gun. I think the problem is that they searched so hard for Born Of Clay material that they used stuff from Adams' wastepaper basket. They said in interviews that Adams was "too hard on himself," but really, stuff in wastepaper baskets is generally there for a reason.
comment #757 silver2195 7th Aug 09
I quite liked So Long. The series on the whole was amazing, and if I had to chose a least favorite it would have to be the third book.

I didn't like the movie, and the Born Of Clay material was godawful, as was the Romantic Plot Tumor, but keep in mind the stuff that was taken out because "Adams was too hard on himself" were classic bits (such as the whale and the petunias) that he felt fit poorly into the movie.
comment #1355 Wackd 22nd Nov 09
The first two books were awesome, and I'm inclined to say the same for the third just because i love Doctor Who. the last two were meh-ish.

The movie is half a different story in it's own right, and I loved it. Mostly for the POV gun and Marvin's design. And the ending.
comment #6910 Frostagin 19th Mar 11
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