Title: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
Series: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, #2
Author: Douglas Adams
Genre: Science Fiction, Humour
Length: 6 hours (Unabridged)
Narrated by: Douglas Adams
Published by: New MIllenium Audio
Facing annihilation at the hands of the warlike Vogons is a curious time to have a craving for tea. It could only happen to the cosmically displaced Arthur Dent and his curious comrades in arms as they hurtle across space powered by pure improbabilityband desperately in search of a place to eat.
Among Arthur’s motley shipmates are Ford Prefect, a longtime friend and expert contributor to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; Zaphod Beeblebrox, the three-armed, two-headed ex-president of the galaxy; Tricia McMillan, a fellow Earth refugee who’s gone native (her name is Trillian now); and Marvin, the moody android who suffers nothing and no one very gladly. Their destination? The ultimate hot spot for an evening of apocalyptic entertainment and fine dining, where the food (literally) speaks for itself.
Will they make it? The answer: hard to say. But bear in mind that the Hitchhiker’s Guide deleted the term “Future Perfect” from its pages, since it was discovered not to be!
“What’s such fun is how amusing the galaxy looks through Adams’ sardonically silly eyes.”
I had never really intended to read the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, it just sort of happened. While I tried to read the first book over and over again, I never got into it, but when I popped in the audiobook narrated by the author, I was completely in love. A little worried that I wouldn’t understand this second book in the series since it had been so long since I listened to the first, I was quite happy to be able to slide right back into that world, into the hysterical mind of Douglas Adams.
“It is worth repeating at this point the theories that Ford had come up with, on his first encounter with human beings, to account for their peculiar habit of continually stating and restating the very very obvious, as in “It’s a nice day,” or “You’re very tall,” or “So this is it, we’re going to die.”
His first theory was that if human beings didn’t keep exercising their lips, their mouths probably shriveled up.
After a few months of observation he had come up with a second theory, which was this–“If human beings don’t keep exercising their lips, their brains start working.”
In all honesty, I have no idea what to say about this book. I laughed and laughed at some sections (mostly while listening in my car, which I’m sure was hilarious to other drivers) – mainly the ones that revolved around tea, from Arthur Dent trying to explain to a computer how to make a proper cup of tea, or to the increasingly loud Number Two asking Arthur and his comrades what they want to drink.
“Your God person puts an apple tree in the middle of a garden and says, do what you like, guys, oh, but don’t eat the apple. Surprise surprise, they eat it and he leaps out from behind a bush shouting “Gotcha”. It wouldn’t have made any difference if they hadn’t eaten it.’
‘Because if you’re dealing with somebody who has the sort of mentality which likes leaving hats on the pavement with bricks under them you know perfectly well they won’t give up. They’ll get you in the end.”
I love how Adams pokes fun at certain things, with the whole book not making a whole lot of sense (seriously, these books can get weird!), but they’re still so accessible. For most of my listening, when I wasn’t busting a gut I probably had a furrowed brow as I wondered what in the galaxy was going on. Some sections were completely drawn out and ridiculous, other sections cut off abruptly, but the whole thing just works. When I finished, I knew that I would have to continue on listening to the rest of the story because I had to get to the bottom of it all!
I’m sure that there are still so many parts that will go over my head, but in the end, I found this book to be immensely enjoyable and I wish I had read (or listened to) it sooner. Can’t wait to continue on!