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Life, The Universe And Everything by Douglas Adams

01/12/2009. Contributed by Gareth D Jones

Buy Life, The Universe And Everything in the USA - or Buy Life, The Universe And Everything in the UK

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pub: Pan Macmillan. 199 page small enlarged paperback. Price: 7.99(UK), $14.99 (CAN), $22.99 (AUS). ISBN: 978-0-330-50857-5.

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In the third of five volumes in the 'Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy' trilogy, Douglas Adams continues his crazy series of adventures and bizarre coincidences that take Arthur Dent farther through space and time. The meaning of 'Life, The Universe And Everything' turns out not to be as important as we may have been led to believe. Instead, we're treated to insights into the origin of the Guide itself, much helpful information about cricket and the rules of Brockian Ultra-Cricket.

All of the regular characters are back: Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect, Zaphod Beeblebrox and the extraordinarily named Slartibartfast. As with the previous books, it's not particularly important to know what's going on because the events themselves are always entertaining. The story moves on at a relatively slow pace as we veer off to learn interesting facts from the guide or to follow a minor character on a rambling anecdote. Whatever is happening, it's always worth the read.

What makes all of this chaos quite acceptable and a joy to read is the totally bemused affability of Arthur Dent. He still wears his dressing gown, while travelling from prehistoric Earth to Lords cricket ground and a plethora of other destinations. He is the quintessential Englishman on holiday - badly dressed, utterly clueless about the cultures he encounters and prone to falling back on good old reliable Britishness when all else fails.

I can't really go into much more detail about the book. All I can say is read it. But read the first two volumes first or if you've already read it, read it again.

Gareth D. Jones

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This book has 35 votes in the sci-fi charts

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