Rating: 4 out of 5
Part four of my review of Douglas Adams' The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide focuses on the forth book in the series: So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish.
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish succeeds in shifting the Hitchhiker's Guide storyline where Life, the Universe and Everything failed. The story begins with Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect separately finding out the the Earth, on which they were standing when a Vogon Construction Crew vaporized the planet, was in fact, still there. While Arthur is trying to hitch his way back to his old home, he gets picked up by a burly man named Russell who happens to have the most beautiful woman Arthur had even seen drugged in the backseat. That woman, Fenchurch, is Russell's sister; and she was drugged (sedated) because Russell believes her to be crazy: she thinks the Earth really blew up some eight months ago when everyone knows it was a CIA induced hallucination.
A few months go by while Arthur attempts to re-adjust to life on Earth when he (almost) runs into Fenchurch walking down the side of the road and offers to give her a ride to wherever she is going. He doesn't really care where, he just wants to spend as much time with her as possible. So, they have lunch at a diner before Fenchurch catches a train to London and Arthur gets her number, which he immediately loses due to a raffle. Another few months go by as Arthur Dent calculates the current location of the cave he called home back on pre-historic Earth, which happens to be the exact location of Fenchurch's place.
After spending a lot of time together and learning each others secrets, which I am not going to tell you what they are, they make plans to try and find answers to the recent mysterious events. This takes them to California to meet with Wonko the Sane, who lets them in on the secret of the dolphins. After which, Arthur and Fenchurch meet up with Ford Prefect who just made it back to Earth. And they all set off on another journey to find "God's Final Message to His Creation."
What took Ford all that time to return to Earth? What happened to all the dolphins? Is that Marvin over there? Read So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish for all these answers and more!