Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Review: So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish by Douglas Adams

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (Hitchhiker's Guide, #4)Title: So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
 Author: Douglas Adams
Publisher/Publication Date: Del Rey Books, April 30, 2002 (First published in 1984)
Genre: Science Fiction
Source/Format: Purchased, Paperback Omnibus Edition

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Synopsis from Goodreads...

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 it's 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?

My Thoughts:

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish was a lot mellower than the previous novels, but it was also a slightly refreshing break from the general random—often life threatening—shenanigans found in the Universe of Douglas Adams Hitchhiker’s Guide trilogy (which, by the way, is far beyond a trilogy by now, but again, more books. So I’m a happy camper).

As I stated above, this book was more down to Earth, literally. The earth has evidently come back from the seemingly permanent destruction it suffered back in book one, but of course something was still amiss. The dolphins have gone missing. Not one, not two, but all of them.

Arthur Dent was slightly less ordinary in this one, despite being back in his old life before his adventure to the far reaches of the galaxy, to odd planets, and even to end of the universe and back again. He also picked up a few interesting skills that defied the laws of physics. Many familiar characters were absent except for a few that still weren’t present for the majority of the book—the others were just mentioned.

The story, for the most part, was firmly grounded on one planet. So, there isn’t much to mention about the setting. Still, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish was interesting and I really enjoyed it.

My Thoughts about Young Zaphod Plays It Safe...

Young Zaphod Plays It Safe was an interesting story, and takes place before the beginning of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy—ironically enough, it was placed after the end of So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish in the omnibus edition of the books by Douglas Adams. It follows Zaphod, earlier in his life, when he was working as a salvage ship operator. The story is basically about Zaphod during this time, while he was out on an assignment for a couple of people. Their evasive behavior was suspicious but interesting.

There isn’t much more to say on this one, but I did like it despite its incredibly short length. It was nice to learn a little bit more about Zaphod’s life before he became president of the universe, and his ensuing adventures aboard the Heart of Gold.

Rating 4/5

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