This review excludes And Another Thing by Eoin Colfer, the sixth canonical book. What's there to say about The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy? Well, it's probably the funniest thing this troper has ever read. The humor's "angle" seems to stem primariy from taking ordinary Earth niusances and situations and blowing them up to galactic proportions as a way of making a point about the fallacies of the human condition, though there's also a liberal helping of wordplay and all-around silliness. The first two books are light on plot; they seem to set up a wide, broad plot, most of which is scrapped by the time they're finished, but the author manages to be funny enough, cryptic enough, and profound enough to make it all fall together. The third book is the only one that seems to have a definite beginning, middle, and end. It follows up somewhat broadly on the events of the first pair, but the style rings true and the characters are the same people you remember. This one expands upon characters who had relatively minor roles and paints a more expansive picture of the universe they all inhabit. For edge-of-your-seat action, Life, The Universe, and Everything is the way to go, but at the end of the day it's all a big vehicle for zany jokes. The fourth book is something of a black sheep, so much so that throughout most of it it feels like an entirely different series altogether. It's a love story at heart, and deals with one of our protagonists, Arthur, coping with the events of his first three adventures as he tries to win the heart of his soulmate. To compensate for the change of pace, though, the fifth is nonstop, wacky science-fiction... albeit much, much darker than what we've seen before. The upside is that Adams is back to perfect form in both storytelling and humor, even if his sentences get even more convoluted than they had already been. The ending is a bit of a downer, but those who don't mind that Eoin Colfer took over the series after the unfortunate death of Adams, there's always And Another Thing. Which isn't half bad.
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