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Book Details

So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish

21.4% complete
1985
1985
1 time
Book Cover
Has a genre Has a synopsis Has a year read Has a rating In my library In a series 
71
© 1985 by Douglas Adams
None on file
None on file
No comments on file
Synopsis* (may contain spoilers)
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish is a science-fiction comedy novel by Douglas Adams, the fourth book in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. The book follows the journey of Arthur Dent, a hapless human who, along with his friend Ford Prefect, has been travelling across the galaxy since Earth was destroyed to make way for a hyperspace bypass.

The book begins with Arthur waking up in his native England, which he had believed to be destroyed. He discovers that he has been away for only a few years, during which time the Vogons, the bureaucratic alien race that destroyed the earth, have been replaced by a new species called the Ruler of the Universe. Arthur meets a bubbly young woman named Fenchurch, who shares his astonishment at the strange happenings around them.

As Arthur and Fenchurch fall in love, they search for the reason behind the inconsistencies they are experiencing. They discover that it is due to the existence of a race of superbeings who can manipulate reality, and who have just arrived on Earth. Arthur and Fenchurch escape the planet on the superbeings' spacecraft to explore the universe together.

As they travel, they encounter a myriad of strange creatures and worlds, including an underwater planet where the dolphins have evolved into highly intelligent beings. The dolphins have managed to evolve to such an extent that they have discovered the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything, which is, unfortunately, unintelligible to other species. The dolphins' farewell message to Earth before they leave isn't a warning about an impending apocalypse, but rather a simple, polite goodbye: "So long, and thanks for all the fish."

The title of the book is an homage to the dolphins' goodbye. Arthur, who was a failed writer on Earth, attempts to write a telling satire of humanity to cheer up his depressed friend Ford. However, he finds himself unable to do so, as he appears to be out of touch with the rest of the galaxy.

As the novel comes to an end, Arthur and Fenchurch return to Earth, which has been reconstructed by the superbeings. They discover that humans have adapted to an entirely new way of life, and that Arthur's old friend Ford has already departed, leaving behind a cryptic message advising Arthur to find the planet where God's Final Message to His Creation is written.

The book ends on a cliffhanger, as the reader is left wondering where Arthur's journey will take him next.

Overall, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish is a funny, engaging, and thought-provoking novel that explores the absurdities of life in a strange and unfamiliar universe. Through Arthur's journey, the novel examines the complexities of love, the mysteries of existence, and the challenges of finding meaning in a world that often seems irrational and unpredictable.

Extract not on file

 

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

Publications

 01-Jan-1985
Harmony Books
Hardback
In my libraryI read this editionOrder from amazon.comHas a cover imageBook Edition Cover
Date Issued:
Cir 01-Jan-1985
Format:
Hardback
Pages*:
204
Read:
Once
Cover Link(s):
Internal ID:
217
Publisher:
ISBN:
0-517-55439-9
ISBN-13:
978-0-517-55439-5
Printing:
1
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Is there "Life" on earth?

This apparently absurd questions assumes its most urgent and madcap expression, but is not examined by Douglas Adams, in So Long and Thanks for All the Fish, the fourth (if you believe that you'll believe anything) book in The Hitchhiker's Trilogy.

Something very weird happens (so what else is new?) to Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect, and all the new voidoid gang when they return to Earth after eight years of crazed wanderings around the galaxy.  Foolishly, young Arthur is glad to be back.  (What a nerd!)

Still wearing his bathrobe and carrying his tructy towel, Arthur sets out once again (this time he takes no chances and travels by commercial airline) on a wacked-out quest for the right result... and the answers to these embarrasing questions:
What really happened the day the Earth was demoloshed?
Why did all the dolphins disappear?
What is God's Final Message to His creation?

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is, as has been remarked before, often and accurately, a pretty startling kind of thing.  Here and now in the best adventure yet, we mistakenly meet:

  • Rob McKenna, an unknown Rain God who has categorized 231 types of precipitation, none of which he likes

  • Wonko the Sane (aka John Watson), a mysterious Californian living in a house on the boffo coast called "The Outside of the Asylum."

  • Fenchurch, the lovely and slightly-off-the-floor lady who wins Arthur's heart and turns out to be the girl of his dreams.

  • A few odd animals including the Babel fish and the stupidest dog in the Universe, Know Nothing Bozo.


Don't Panic.  Douglas Adams has done it again!  So put on your Final Message rainhats and live happily ever after.

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 the best-selling author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Resaurant at the End of the Universe, and Life, The Universe and Everything.

Jacket painting copyright © 1984 by Peter Cross
Author photo by Jerry Bauar
Cover:
Book Cover
Notes and Comments:
 01-May-1991
Pocket Books
Order from amazon.comHas a cover imageBook Edition Cover
Date Issued:
Cir 01-May-1991
Cover Link(s):
Internal ID:
216
Publisher:
ISBN:
0-671-74553-0
ISBN-13:
978-0-671-74553-0
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:
223
Publisher:
ISBN:
Unknown
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SO LONG, AND THANKS FOR ALL THE FISH

Just as Arthur Dent's sense of reality is in its dickiest state he suddenly finds the girl of his dreams. He finds her in the last place in the Universe in which he would expect to find anything at all, but which 3,976,000,000 people will find oddly familiar. They go in search of God's Final Message to His Creation and, in a dramatic break with tradition, actually find it.

VOLUME FOUR IN THE TRILOGY OF FOUR
Cover:
Book Cover
Notes and Comments:
 01-Apr-1999
Ballantine Books
Order from amazon.comHas a cover imageBook Edition Cover
Date Issued:
Cir 01-Apr-1999
Cover Link(s):
Internal ID:
215
Publisher:
ISBN:
0-345-39183-7
ISBN-13:
978-0-345-39183-4
Country:
United States
Language:
English
"A MADCAP ADVENTURE... ADAMS'S WRITING TEETERS ON THE FRINGE OF INSPIRED LUNACY."
-  United Press International


Back on Earth with nothing more to show for his long, strange trip through time and space than a ratty towel and a plastic shopping bag, Arthur Dent is ready to believe that the past eight years were all just a figment of his stressed-out imagination.  But a gift-wrapped fishbowl with a cryptic inscription, the mysterious disappearance of Earth's dolphins, and the discovery of his battered copy of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy all conspire to give Arthur the sneaking suspicion that something otherworldly is indeed going on...

God only knows what it all means.  And fortunately, He left behind a Final Message of explanation.  But since its light-years away from Earth, on a star surrounded by souvenir booths, finding out what it is will mean hitching a ride to the far reaches of space aboard a UFO with a giant robot.  But what else is new?

"The most ridiculously exaggerated situation comedy known to created beings... Adams is irresistible."
The Boston Globe
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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