Mostly Harmless (book review)

Happy Monday!

Did you like the ending to the last book review? I did too.  I was trying to convey my disappointment when I learned that there was another book in the series when I got my first omnibus.   Results may vary.

The good news is that Zaphod and Marvin are gone and there’s a couple of solid laughs.  And then it gets weird.  I have no emotional connection to this book, but like a step-relative I feel semi-obligated to acknowledge it but I’m in no way obligated to be nice to it just because it’s related in name to the rest of the series.  I will say that its not good but at least the fin-cap scene isn’t bad.

Three Sentence Summary:

  1. Arthur and Fenchurch are galaxy hopping along happily when Fenchurch, the only character other than Aruthur that I’ve really liked in this entire series, DISAPPEARS into a cloud of improbability (deep breath of frustration) leaving Arthur heartbroken and wandering the cosmos and living off donating his bodily fluids until he gets stranded on a planet that has never invented sandwiches and he becomes a sandwich master.
  2. Meanwhile Ford has been tangling with the Volgon’s hostile takeover of the guide headquarters and after throwing him self out a few windows eventually runs into Arthur on the planet Lamuella, mean while there are two alternative universe Trillans being followed in this book, Trillian A (the one we know) and Trillian B (the one who doesn’t go off with Zaphod at the party); Trillian A becomes an interchronological reporter reporting stories in the future before they happen and then reporting on the alternative histories that happen as a result and some such but she reveals how mechanically Adam’s treats female characters and says “I wanted a baby and I couldn’t resist my biological urges in favour of a logical decision since I’ll be a single mother trying to raise a child alone traveling through time in and out of hostile situations knowingly so I’m going to pass off my child, that I couldn’t be bothered to give a fucking proper name to, to the only other human in existence who happens to be her father because I don’t give a crap about her or the father (I’m serious, this all happens).
  3. Arthur Dent being the good guy he is does his best to be a surprise father to a cantankerous 16 year old girl who is coping with being abandoned by her mother but ultimately cannot control bigger cogs of events conspiring to put Random (Trillian A’s Daughter’s name) in touch with the second version of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy but designed with impressively brilliant Volgon interdimential technology which was created with a singular purpose: to destroy every single earth in every single multiverse.

 

Thoughts:

Alright folks, were at the end of the reviews here(1) and I’m personally happier about this than about the quality of this book.  As mentioned above, Adams seems to have a bend towards really terrible characterization of the female figure.  Trillian A is portrayed as a emotionless robot reporter who is burdened with this child by-product of HER OWN BIOLOGICAL CLOCK. She CHOSE to have this child on her own terms despite already having a challenging job and knowing she does not have a support network in raising this kid.  So the logical move in Trillian A’s mind is to find Arthur, talk sweet memories to him, and say “surprise! You’re a father. Now I’m never coming back to visit or help raise her because I’m already way too swamped with my obviously more important reporting job.  Good luck guys. Or you know…whatever.”  and poor Trillian B is so completely forgettable that her entire side story is completely inconsequential.  Regardless of whether she took the job with the Grebulons or not, the Volgons were already in works to destroy this planet and it’s implied that they even used the guide MKII to manipulate events so that this happened. Fenchurch was proof Adams could do better.  Why? Adams.

Adam’s second attempt at the end wasn’t as good as the first but it’s okay

He wondered what he should do, but he only wondered it idly.  Around him people were beginning to rush and shout a lot, but it was suddenly very clear to him that there was nothing to be done, not now or ever. Through the new strangeness of noise and light he could just make out the shape of Ford Prefect sitting back and laughing wildly.

A tremendous feeling of peace came over him. He knew that at last, for once and forever, it was now all, finally, over.

p. 814

That’s it.  The end.  It carries on for another half page but that’s where it all ends. Tune in next week for the closing thoughts and what it all meant.

 

Footnotes:

  1. There will be a cap piece, one place for me to put all my thoughts on the series and addressing “…and another thing.”
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