Friday, May 30, 2014

"This is the real meatballs in the batter"

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish by Douglas Adams
"Haven't you read their junk mail?"
By now you guys already know that I'm a major fangirl of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (review here, here and here). The last book I read, Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, in many ways reminded me of H2G, thanks in no small part to its loopy reasoning and witty turns of phrases, and thus really whetted my appetite for Part 4 of Douglas Adams's five-book trilogy. So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish was published in 1984 and a song of the same name was also used in the 2005 movie adaptation.

After hitchhiking through the galaxy for several years,  Arthur Dent arrives back on Earth. He hitches a ride with a man named Russell, who is driving home his sister Fenny/Fenchurch, and to his surprise discovers that his house is still standing. Inside, he finds a gift-wrapped bowl with a cryptic inscription, which he uses for his Babel Fish. After putting his life in order, Arthur tries to locate Fenchurch, thoroughly convinced that she is in some way connected to him and to the Earth's destruction by the Vogons.

I was kind of disappointed by this fourth installment of the H2G series. Several elements that worked so well in the first books were gone, and even though there are still plenty of funny moments, the love-story angle just didn't cut it for me. The fact that Trillian, Zaphod, and (basically) Marvin weren't featured in SLTF only further frustrated me. I did, however, think Wonko the Sane was a wonderful new character and I la-la-loved the "Asylum" concept. All in all, SLTF was not what I expected, and I am now little nervous about Mostly Harmless. What if it's bad?

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