Mostly Harmless. Douglas Adams

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Mostly Harmless is “the Fifth Book in the Increasingly Inaccurately Named Hitchhikers Trilogy“.    Highly recommended… …read the other books first.  


This was Mr. Adam’s pen-ultimate book.   It is persistently funny in the style of previous books and bleak.    More bleak than earlier  hitchhikers guide books.   The audiobook I listened to on SR101  was narrated by Mr.Adams.    His voices suited the characters.   His female ‘Oracle’ voice was evocative of Monty Python females characters.

Mr. Adam’s imagination and storytelling skills remain engaging and outstanding.   The ideas developed around the following quotes, as with many others,  had me laughing out loud,   looking for a place to park:

A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.”


The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to repair


Nothing travels faster than the speed of light, with the possible exception of bad news which obeys its own laws  



Mostly Harmless develops several intertwined themes as a coherent plot, I noticed them as

  • Capitalism
    • the impact of success on Hitchhikers guide (Ford Prefect).
    • bureaucratic business strategy.
    • corruption (hacking, fraud).
  • Predictability tensions
    • Probable and improbable parallel universes.  
    • Bob and a Bird as omnipotent beings.
    • Astrology and Astronomy.
  • Relationship tensions
    • Trilliums story ‘before’ and ‘after’ meeting Zaphod.
    • Arthur Dent’s life ‘after’ the destruction of the earth.
    • ‘Random’  a displaced  teenage girl.




Mostly Harmless. Douglas Adams
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