Reread Project: Mostly Harmless by Douglas Adams

Mostly HarmlessMostly Harmless

by Douglas Adams
Series: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy, #5

Hardcover, 278 pg.
Harmony Books, 1992

Read: July 7 – 12, 2016

1 Stars

I was dreading this one — typically, like X-Men: The Last Stand, or The Highlander sequels, I prefer to pretend this doesn’t exist. It’s the only one of the series that I haven’t bought my son, and I don’t plan on changing that. Which doesn’t mean I couldn’t be won over — after 4 or 5 tries, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency finally clicked with me, I keep hoping this will.

But it didn’t this time (I think my 5th reading).

Which is not to say there aren’t some parts that don’t deserve to be celebrated — almost everything Ford does (for example) is great. There’s a little bit with Trillian, a bit of Tricia McMillan (no, really, I meant to list those separately) and a smidgen of the Arthur material that’s okay. But not much. Don’t get me started on Random.

There’s some really clever bits here and there, some great lines — and some bits that are clearly attempts to recapture the spirit/zaniness of the earlier books, but without the heart. The narrative as a whole (after such a huge leap forward with So Long) was worthless, the story didn’t work. And the ending? Flummery. It was like Adams was just trying to get away from the series and put it in his rearview mirror. Which I get, I absolutely understand, he wanted to do something other than just crank out another Hitchhiker’s after another after another. But this was not the way to do it.

Just avoid this one, don’t bother. But if you think I’m wrong — tell me why! I’d love to be convinced that Adams couldn’t write a bad book.

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1 Star

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