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Book Details

Life, The Universe And Everything

21.4% complete
1982
1983
1 time
Book Cover
Has a genre Has a synopsis Has a year read Has a rating In my library In a series 
70
© 1982 by Douglas Adams
None on file
None on file
No comments on file
Synopsis* (may contain spoilers)
Life, the Universe and Everything is the third book in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams. The book continues the misadventures of the human and alien characters introduced in the first two novels, and follows their intergalactic journey to unravel the mysteries of the universe.

The novel begins with Arthur Dent, the last surviving human from the planet Earth, who has been stranded on the planet Prehistoric Earth. He had been rescued by a group of aliens who are part of the Krikkit war fleet, who are planning to destroy the universe. Arthur is contacted by his friend Ford Prefect, who arrives on the planet in a spaceship to save Arthur from the Krikkit robots.

Meanwhile, in another part of the galaxy, the Vogons, notorious bureaucrats and destroyers of worlds, have taken over the role of the Galactic government. They are in search of the "Heart of Gold", a ship that can travel through space using the power of improbability. However, the Heart of Gold is in the possession of Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed president of the galaxy, who has surreptitiously stolen it.

As the story progresses, Arthur and Ford team up with their alien crewmates and the all-knowing supercomputer, the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, to figure out the connection between the Heart of Gold and the Krikkit war fleet. They also discover that the Heart of Gold is powered by an ancient supercomputer called "Deep Thought", which has been tasked with answering to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything. However, no one knows what the question actually is.

The crew travels to the planet Krikkit, where they have to prevent the Krikkit robots from destroying the entire universe. They learn that the Krikkit robots are controlled by a powerful alien race that plans to use them to take over the universe. Meanwhile, the Vogons track down the Heart of Gold and capture Zaphod along with his sidekick Marvin the depressed robot. They bring them to the planet Krikkit, and threaten to kill them if they do not surrender the Heart of Gold.

In the climactic scene, Arthur, Ford, Trillian, and the other members of their crew confront the Krikkit robots and their alien masters. They use the power of improbability to defeat the aliens and save the universe. Deep Thought finally provides the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything, which is revealed to be 42. However, its significance remains unknown.

Life, the Universe, and Everything is a witty and satirical take on science fiction, philosophy, and the meaning of life. Adams' clever use of absurd humor and unconventional storytelling make the novel an entertaining and thought-provoking read. The characters are quirky and endearing, and their interactions add humor and depth to the story. The book's exploration of complex philosophical questions, such as the purpose of existence and the nature of reality, give it a deeper meaning beyond its comedic elements.

Overall, Life, the Universe, and Everything is a delightful and engaging science fiction novel that continues to captivate readers around the world. Its unique blend of humor and thought-provoking themes make it a timeless classic of the genre.

Extract not on file

 

Added: 29-Dec-2002
Last Updated: 22-Mar-2023

Publications

 01-Jan-1982
Harmony Books
Hardback
In my libraryI read this editionOrder from amazon.comHas a cover imageBook Edition Cover
Date Issued:
Cir 01-Jan-1982
Format:
Hardback
Pages*:
227
Read:
Once
Cover Link(s):
Internal ID:
214
Publisher:
ISBN:
0-517-54874-7
ISBN-13:
978-0-517-54874-5
Printing:
5
Country:
United States
Language:
English
The saga continues...
The night sky over the planet Krikkit is the least interesting sight in the entire Universe.

But the people of Krikkit are planning on doing something about it - destroy the rest of the Universe.

The end is coming and only Arthur Dent can stop it in Douglas Adams's Life, The Universe and Everything.

Only five beings stand between the white killer robots of Krikkit and their goal of total destruction of the Universe.

Arthur Dent - mild-mannered space and time traveler who is trying to learn how to fly by throwing himself at the ground and missing.  Ford Prefect - who has decided to go mad for a little while to see how he likes it.  Slartibartfast - the indomitable vice-president of the Campaign for Real Time, who is traveling in a ship powered by the irrational behavior of numbers on restaurant checks.  Zaphod Beeblebrox - two-headed, three-armed ex-head honcho of the Universe.  Trillian - sexy space cadet who is torn between a persistent Thor, the Thunder god, and a depressed Zaphod Beeblebrox.

How will it all end?  Will it end?  Only the crew knows as they try to avert Armageddon and save the Universe for life as we know it (and don't know it).

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Douglas Adams's first two books, have become cult classics loved by millions on both sides of the Atlantic.  Life, The Universe and Everything is the third (and final?) chapter in the amazing adventures of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy crew.  Whether you are already a Douglas Adams fan or are just now finding out about his unique universe, hang on a Douglas Adams examines the most important thing around: Life, The Universe and Everything.

DOUGLAS ADAMS was born in Cambridge, England, in 1952.  He has written for radio, television and theater and has worked at various times as a hospital porter, barn builder, chicken-shed cleaner, bodyguard, radio producer and script editor of Doctor Who.

He is not married, has no children and does not wish to hear from any more Beverly Hills real estate agents.

Jacket painting © 1982 by Peter Cross
Jacket typography by Ken Sansome


Raves for
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

**** Four Stars for
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

"It's science fiction and it's extremely funny - a rare and precious conjunction is a field where what usually passes for humor is a bad pun at the end of a dull story.  There's nothing dull about the Guide, which is inspired lunacy that leaves hardly a science fiction cliché alive."
Washington Post

"The feckless protagonist, Arthur Dent, is reminiscent of Vonnegut heroes, and his travels afford a wild satire of present institutions.  ...File it somewhere between Monty Python and The Sirens of Titan.
Chicago Tribune

"I recommend these books wholeheartedly.  Once you start reading either book you will be hooked into a stream-of-consciousness brand of creative insanity rivaling Alice's Adventures in Wonderland for sheer chutzpah.
Los Angeles Herald Examiner

"As parody, it's marvelous: It contains just about every science fiction cliché you can think of.  As humor, it's, well, hysterical."
Philadelphia Inquirer
Cover:
Book Cover
Notes and Comments:
 01-Nov-1995
Ballantine Books
Order from amazon.comHas a cover imageBook Edition Cover
Date Issued:
Cir 01-Nov-1995
Pages*:
232
Cover Link(s):
Internal ID:
213
Publisher:
ISBN:
0-345-39182-9
ISBN-13:
978-0-345-39182-7
Country:
United States
Language:
English
"HYSTERICAL!"  - The Philadelphia Inquirer

The unhappy inhabitants of planet Krikkit are sick of looking at the night sky above their heads - so they plan to destroy it.  The universe, that is.  Now only five individuals stand between the white killer robots of Krikkit and their goals of total annihilation.

They are Arthur Dent, a mild-mannered space and time traveler, who tries to learn how to fly by throwing himself at the ground and missing; Ford Prefect, his best friend, who decides to go insane and see if he likes it; Slartibartfast, the indomitable vice president of the Campaign for Real Time, who travels in a ship powered by irrational behavior; Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed, three-armed ex-head honcho of the Universe; and Trillian, the sexy space cadet who is torn between a persistent Thunder God and a very depressed Beeblebrox.

How will it all end?  Will it end?  Only this stalwart crew knows as they try to avert "universal" Armageddon as save life as we know it - and don't know it!

"ADAMS IS ONE OF THOSE RARE TREASURES: an author who, one senses, has as much fun writing as one has reading."  - The Arizona Daily Star
Cover:
Book Cover
Notes and Comments:
 01-Jun-1997
Ballantine Books
Order from amazon.comHas a cover imageBook Edition Cover
Date Issued:
Cir 01-Jun-1997
Cover Link(s):
Internal ID:
211
Publisher:
ISBN:
0-345-41890-5
ISBN-13:
978-0-345-41890-6
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Cover:
Book Cover
Notes and Comments:
 01-Jan-1999
Millenium Books
Has a cover imageBook Edition Cover
Date Issued:
Cir 01-Jan-1999
Internal ID:
212
Publisher:
ISBN:
Unknown
Country:
United States
Language:
English
LIFE, THE UNIVERSE AND EVERYTHING

In consequence of a number of stunning catastrophes, Arthur Dent is surprised to find himself living in a hideous miserable cave on prehistoric Earth. However, just as he thinks that things cannot possibly get any worse, they suddenly do. He discovers that the Galaxy is not only mind-bogglingly big and bewildering but also that most of the things that happen in it are staggeringly unfair.

VOLUME THREE IN THE TRILOGY OF FOUR
Cover:
Book Cover
Notes and Comments:

Related

Author(s)

 Douglas Adams
Birth: 11 Mar 1952 Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, UK
Death: 11 May 2001 Santa Barbara, California, USA

Notes:
Douglas Noel Adams was born in Cambridge on March 11, 1952.  He went to school at Brentwood School, Essex and St John's College, Cambridge.  In 1974 he gained an MA in English Literature.

He started writing at Cambridge.  Some of his earlier writings were featured on the radio.  He went on from radio to become the script editor of Doctor Who where he wrote a couple of stories for the Tom Baker incarnation of the Doctor (4th Doctor).  He wrote The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy which was comissioned and aired as a radio series in March 1978.  Since then it has been transformed into a series of best-selling novels, a television series, records, cassettes and CDs, a computer game and several stage adaptations.

In 1991 he married Jane Elizabeth Belson and leaves a daughter, Polly Jane Rocket.  Douglas Adams died suddenly of a heart attack on May 11, 2001

Awards

No awards found
*
  • I try to maintain page numbers for audiobooks even though obviously there aren't any. I do this to keep track of pages read and I try to use the Kindle version page numbers for this.
  • Synopses marked with an asterisk (*) were generated by an AI. There aren't a lot since this is an iffy way to do it - AI seems to make stuff up.
  • When specific publication dates are unknown (ie prefixed with a "Cir"), I try to get the publication date that is closest to the specific printing that I can.
  • When listing chapters, I only list chapters relevant to the story. I will usually leave off Author Notes, Indices, Acknowledgements, etc unless they are relevant to the story or the book is non-fiction.
  • Page numbers on this site are for the end of the main story. I normally do not include appendices, extra material, and other miscellaneous stuff at the end of the book in the page count.






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