Book Review: Douglas Adams' "Life, the Universe, and Everything"

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Part three of my review of Douglas Adams' The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide focuses on the third book in the series: Life, the Universe and Everything.


The story picks up on Earth some two billion years before the Vogons destroy it to build a hyperspatial express route. Our heroes had been broken up into two groups, Ford/Arthur on Earth and Zaphod/Trillian on the Heart of Gold, after Marvin successfully teleported them off of Disaster Area's stunt ship that ended up crashing into a star (presumably with Marvin with it).

Eddys, or pools of instability, in the fabric of spacetime open up on Earth that allows Ford and Arthur to travel to Lord's Cricket Ground just a few short days before the Earth will be destroyed. While there, Ford and Arthur stumble upon a S.E.P. (Somebody Else's Problem) which lands them in the middle of Slartibartfast's attempt to prevent a rogue group of white robots from obtaining the pieces of a key which will release their Masters from Krikkit. Krikkit is a small little planet evneloped en a spherical Dust Cloud which kept them from knowing anything existed outside their little world. That is, until a spacecraft crashed into their planet. Once the people of Krikket discovered life outside their world, they decided it must end. After the two thousand year Krikket war and some two grillion people killed, the Krikket planet was finally locked away in a Slo-Time envelope. Ten billion years later, or five years from the Krikket Slo-Time perspective, eddys in spacetime have allowed the pieces of the Wikkit Gate (the key) to reappear in the universe.

Ford, Arthur, and Slartibartfast's journey leads them to a forth-generation cocktail party where they meet up with Trillian just in time for the Krikkit white robots to recover another piece of the Wikket Gate. So, our heroes must make their way to Krikkit to prevent the Krikkit campaign to destroy the universe.

Where is Zaphod in all of this? Is Marvin still alive? Can Arthur learn to fall and miss the ground? What does an italian restaurant have to do with space travel? The answers to those questions and more, will not be addressed here. Read the book yourself.

While I enjoyed Life, the Universe and Everything, I thought the story was a little bland in comparison to the two previous novels. The characters were on their own or in pairs for a large portion of the story which took away from the group dynamics. The plot felt more like a side quest rather than a continuation of the series. Still glad I read it, but I hope So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish has more to offer.