Book Review: Douglas Adams' "Mostly Harmless"

Rating: 4 out of 5

Part five of my review of Douglas Adams' The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide focuses on the fifth and final book in the series: Mostly Harmless.

Perfectly Normal Beasts

Mostly Harmless starts out on Earth in a parallel universe where Tricia McMillan never left the planet with Zaphod and became a television reporter. She gets a second chance at seeing the universe when a spacecraft lands in her front yard and takes her to the edge of solar system, to a newly discovered planet called Rupert. Being a reporter, she brings along a camera to document the event, but the lighting conditions, mail-order furniture, and burgers from McDonald's made the whole event look like it was faked with about three minutes notice.

Meanwhile, the other Tricia McMillan, Trillian, also became a reporter, covering galactic wars and whatnot. Wanting a child, Trillian was forced to visit a fertility clinic to find a homo sapiens DNA match. There was one, Arthur Dent. Arthur, who had lost Fenchurch when she blinked out of existence during a hyperspace hop, had been traveling the galaxy trying to find a place where he would fit in, and paid his way by making semen deposits in DNA banks. Trillian tracked down Arthur in a remote planet called Lamuella where for the last few years he had become the Sandwich Maker for a small village. Trillian dumps their daughter, Random, on Arthur then leaves to cover the next galactic war.

Ford Prefect, during all of this, finds out the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was bought out by a company called InfiniDim Enterprises and the fun loving nature at the Guide is completely gone. The new owner, Vann Harl, has commissioned the Guide Mark II. Ford steals the Guide Mark II and mails it to himself in care of Arthur Dent, because Ford believes Arthur to be too boring to open the package himself.

Arthur is to boring to open the package, but his daughter, Random, is not...

What will Random do with the Guide Mark II? Will anyone believe Tricia McMillan's second alien encounter? Why does Ford keep jumping out of windows? Read the final chapter in the Hitchhiker's Guide Series to find out!

Overall Impressions

Rating: 4 out of 5

Overall, I enjoyed the series. I could have done without Life, the Universe and Everything and while I understand the ending to Mostly Harmless it did leave loose ends in the series. From looking at the Wikipedia entry, it looks like the radio series did a better job of wrapping everything up in the end. Still, a good piece of Science Fiction.