The three transport to an airborne party that has lasted numerous generations where another Gate component, the Silver Bail of Peace , is to be found, but Arthur finds himself separated from the others and ends up at a Cathedral of Hate created by a being called Agrajag. Agrajag reveals that Arthur has killed him countless times before, each time reincarnating into a new form that is soon killed by Arthur, and now plans to kill Arthur in revenge. However, when he realises that Arthur has yet to cause his death at a place called Stavromula Beta , Agrajag discovered he took Arthur out of his relative timeline too soon, and that killing him now would cause a paradox but attempts to kill Arthur anyway.
In his insanity, Agrajag brings the Cathedral down around them. Arthur manages to escape unharmed, partially due to learning how to fly after falling and missing the ground while catching sight of a piece of luggage he had lost at a Greek airport years before. After collecting the suitcase, Arthur inadvertently comes across the flying party and rejoins his friends. Inside, they find Trillian , but they are too late to stop the robots from stealing the Bail. Arthur, Ford, Trillian, and Slartibartfast return to the Bistromath and try to head off the robots activating the Wikkit Gate.
Meanwhile, the Krikkit robots steal the last piece, the Infinite Improbability Drive core from the spaceship Heart of Gold , capturing Zaphod Beeblebrox and Marvin at the same time. The Bistromath arrives too late at the gate to stop the robots, and transport to the planet to attempt to negotiate with the Krikkit people.
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To their surprise, they find that the people seem to lack any desire to continue the war, and are directed to the robot and spaceship facilities in orbit about the planet. With Zaphod and Marvin's help, the group is able to infiltrate the facilities and discover that the true force behind the war has been the supercomputer Hactar due to the obvious flaw in the idea that the people of Krikkit are simultaneously smart enough to develop their Ultimate Weapon - a bomb that could destroy every star in the universe- while also being stupid enough not to realise that this weapon would destroy them too.
Previously built to serve a war-faring species, he was tasked to build a supernova-bomb that would link the cores of every sun in the Universe together at the press of a button and cause the end of the Universe. Hactar purposely created a dud version of the weapon instead, causing his creators to pulverise him into dust, which thus became the dust cloud around Krikkit, still able to function but at a much weaker level. Trillian and Arthur speak to Hactar in a virtual space that he creates for them to explain himself.
Hactar reveals that he spent eons creating the spaceship that crashed on Krikkit to inspire their xenophobia and incite them to go to war, also influencing their thoughts. However, when the Slo-Time envelope was activated, his control on the population waned. As he struggles to remain functional, Hactar apologises to Trillian and Arthur for his actions before they leave for their ship. With the war over, the group collects the core of the Heart of Gold and the Ashes, the only two components of the Wikkit Gate not destroyed by the robots, and returns Zaphod and Marvin to the Heart of Gold.
Life, the Universe and Everything - Wikipedia
Returning only moments after the robots' attack at the Lord's Cricket Grounds, Arthur attempts to return the Ashes, but is suddenly inspired to bowl one shot at a wicket that is being defended using a cricket ball in his bag. However, in mid-throw, Arthur suddenly realises that the ball he had was created and placed in his bag by Hactar and is actually the working version of the cosmic-supernova-bomb, and that the defender of the wicket is one of the Krikkit robots, ready to detonate the bomb once thrown, all this causing him to trip, miss the ground, and allow him to fly.
Arthur is able to throw the ball aside and disable the robot in mid-throw. In the epilogue the characters are taking Arthur to a 'quiet and idyllic planet' when they come across a half-mad journalist. Orinoco Womble tidy bag and all Today's kids will probably miss a lot of the s pop culture references, but there's nothing in it to shock or scare them.
See all 3 questions about Life, the Universe and Everything…. Lists with This Book. I've just read the most extraordinary thing. In the US version of the third novel of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy , Life, the Universe and Everything, the word 'Belgium' is used to replace the word "fuck" which was in the British publication. Apparently Douglas Adams' American publishers thought that some of the language in the book was too crude for Americans and asked him to take out the words 'fuck', 'asshole' and 'shit'.
Adams' replaced asshole with kneebiter, shit with swut and fuck w I've just read the most extraordinary thing. Adams' replaced asshole with kneebiter, shit with swut and fuck with Belgium! American publishers are pussies. But you can kind of understand why when every now and again in the Feedback group someone whines that books need to be rated for language not to mention amount of sex and violence and there are groups devoted to letting people know if words that might upset their members are used. I remember one review where the woman said she went through the book and used a black marker on every single curse word.
I hope it wasn't a library book. But still, using Belgium, that was a low blow. View all 27 comments. I'm getting very bored of this series. While I like the characters and I understand the humour, I'm not laughing. I read these novels with a smile, not a smirk. View all 11 comments. Another world, another day, another dawn.
Life, the Universe and Everything
Several billion trillion tons of superhot exploding hydrogen nuclei rose slowly above the horizon and managed to look small, cold and slightly damp. There is a moment in every dawn when light floats, there is the possibility of magic. Creation holds its breath. In the previous two volume the hitchhiking Earthman served as a sort of lightning rod, attracting all sort of explosive troubles on his head.
He was stranded on prehistoric earth as the result of a complex sequence of events that had involved his being alternately blown up and insulted in more bizarre regions of the Galaxy than he had ever dreamed existed, and though life has now turned very, very, very quiet, he was still feeling jumpy. Arthur Dent should actually rejoice at the respite he gets and at being back on his previously annihilated planet, but prehistoric times had very little to offer in the entertaining department.
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His melancholic mood is lyrically captured by an author who is more famous for his comedy chops: Arthur Dent and his companion in exile Ford Perfect should also be more careful what they wish for, because times are about to get interesting and the boredom of prehistoric times will be sorely missed: He clearly thought this was taking an optimistic view of things. A curse which will engulf the Galaxy in fire and destruction, and possibly bring the Universe to a premature doom. Arthur Dent is taking over the role of saviour of the Universe and the quest starts right here on Earth after alittle time travel on the Bistromathic spaceship when alien war robots from the planet Krikkit are stealing a piece of junk from the middle of a sports field.
For many readers, a piece of burned wood from Melbourne, Australia in the year would mean nothing, to others it is a holy relic of national pride. For Slartibartfast and his unwilling heroes, it is an artefact of ancient power and evil. The game you know as cricket is just one of those curious freaks of racial memory that can keep images alive in the mind aeons after their true significance has been lost in the mists of time. Of all the races of the Galaxy, only the English could possibly revive the memory of the most horrific wars ever to sunder the Universe and transform it into what I am afraid is generally regarded as an incomprehensibly dull and pointless game.
Sign me in for the trip, Mr. Each episode is better than the previous one for me, and I am in awe at the inventivity of the setting, the satirical sharpness of the sketches, the all embracing and gentle acceptance of our human condition in a cold and hostile Universe. So fasten your seatbelts folks, relax and have an enormously long lunch break! Hurling Frootmig, it is said, founded the Guide, established its fundamental principles of honesty and idealism and went bust.
Hurling only recovered when a friendly tip revealed to him the power of the mighty Lunch Break hide spoiler ] Riding in a ship powered by advanced mathematics theories The Bistromathic Drive is a wonderful new method of crossing vast interstellar distances without all that dangerous mucking about with Improbability Factors.
The Silastic Armorfiends of Striterax were engaged in one of their regular wars with the Strenuous Garfighters of Stug, and were not enjoying it as much as usual because it involved and awful lot of trekking through the Radiation Swamps of Cwulzenda and across the Fire Mountains of Frazfraga, neither of which terrains they felt at home in.
So when the Strangulous Stillettans of Jajazikstak joined in the fray and forced them to fight another front in the Gamma Caves of Carfrax and the Ice storms on Varlengooten, they decided that enough was enough, and they ordered Hactar to design for them an Ultimate Weapon. Later on I get a chance to take part in the Ultimate Party to end all parties, a millenia long bash on a floating hotel that attracts the Galactic jet-set while making the host planet a wasteland through unbridled consumption and pollution. Pro-Tip if you happen to get an invite: A drunken seven-toed sloth staggered past, gawked at the word and threw itself backward at a blurry-eyed pterodactyl, roaring with displeasure.
In between saving the Universe from its latest Ultimate Weapon of Total Annihilation, we might spent a moment on the issue of truth, as in shutting down the voices of reason and moderation: When it became clear what was happening, and as it became clear that Prak could not be stopped, that here was truth in its absolute and final form, the court was cleared. Not only cleared, it was sealed up, with Prak still in it. Steel walls were erected around it, and, just to be on the safe side, barbed wire, electric fences, crocodile swamps and three major armies were installed, so that no one would ever have to hear Prak speak.
What exactly did this man Prak know that was so dangerous to the establishement? Was he another Snowden shouting to the world that the emperor has no clothes on? We might never know more than the fact that it has something to do with frogs, because when Prak lays eyes on Arthur Dent mayhem issues: He howled and screamed with laughter. He fell over backward onto the bench. He hollered and yelled in hysterics. He cried with laughter, kicked his legs in the air, he beat his chest.
Gradually he subsided, panting. He looked at them. He looked at Arthur. He fell back again howling with laughter. Eventually he fell asleep. In the end, laughter may be the best weapon we have at our disposal against the tyranny of people and the tyranny of time. Without a sense of humour life, the universe and everything are pointless and utterly depressing. Are they the ultimate poets of flight or what? Unfortunately, he discovered, once you have learned birdspeak you quickly come to realise that the air is full of it the whole time, just inane bird chatter.
There is no getting away from it. For that reason Arthur eventually gave up the sport and learned to live on the ground and love it, despite the inane chatter he heard down there as well. Thank you again, Mr. It seemed to him that the atoms of his brain and the atoms of the cosmos were streaming through each other. It seemed to him that he was blown on the wind of the Universe, and that the wind was him. It seemed to him that he was one of the thoughts of the Universe and that the Universe was a thought of his. Now I lay me down to sleep, Try to count electric sheep.
Sweet dreams wishes you can keep, How I hate the night. View all 17 comments. Jun 18, Riku Sayuj rated it it was amazing. I don't think so! View all 16 comments. Dec 24, Henry Avila rated it liked it. Arthur Dent finds himself living alone, on prehistoric Earth, in a cold, damp cave. His friend Ford Prefect, bored, has wandered off, early on , without saying a word , to Africa, Arthur learns, later.
The duo, time traveled here, not voluntarily, and have tried to adjust. The whole gang, has been scattered all through the Galaxy. Marvin, the depressed robot, has conversations with a talking mattress, in a strange planet, Trillian, is at a party, that never ends, and Zaphod Beeblebrox, is sulkin Arthur Dent finds himself living alone, on prehistoric Earth, in a cold, damp cave. Marvin, the depressed robot, has conversations with a talking mattress, in a strange planet, Trillian, is at a party, that never ends, and Zaphod Beeblebrox, is sulking on the Heart of Gold, a lonely man.
Not too well, does Mr. Dent, live, he's no great farmer, or hunter, not even very brave. Scraping just enough food, to survive in this alien world, yes, it's Terra, but to the Englishman, it might as well be Mars. And speaking to trees, to keep from becoming, insane?
The only excitement, in the five stranded years here or is it four? A spaceship landed in front of the cave of Arthur's, coming down the ramp, a tall gray green alien stranger, and said, "You're a jerk , Dent". The flabbergasted Arthur, mumbled some incoherent noises, that should have been words, before the alien went up the ramp and left as quickly as he arrived. This mysterious creature, is an immortal, so lacking in things to do, that he devised an activity, maybe not the most worthwhile, he himself acknowledges, and quite impossible also.
To go and see everyone in the Universe, and insult them," A man can dream, can't he? Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged, every man needs a hobby. At last Prefect, returns from Africa, and tells the caveman about his bloody adventures there. More importantly of instability in the fabric of Space-Time. As a sofa magically appears and disappears, before their eyes. Ford Prefect says to Dent, for their salvation , go after it. Running wildly down the hill, the two, jump, fall, roll , trying to capture the piece of furniture, as it gyrates, fades in and out, always moving, up and down.
At last jumping on the sofa and presto, their back home, immediately. In Slartibartfast, ironically, the old retired planet builder's spaceship but first landing on a cricket match, in London , only to discover, that the Planet Krikkit, wants to destroy the whole Universe, again They must prevent them, somehow, but how? It seems the unfortunate inhabitants of this sad world, at the edge of the galaxy, have the worst night sky anywhere. Blackness, no stars or other planets, even moons, nothing to see, a complete, gloomy darkness.
A gigantic space cloud, precludes any view. Which really ticks them off, you can imagine. A previous war, just ten billion years before, had devastated the galaxy, thousands of warships, millions of killer white robots, sent by Krikkit, before it was stopped. The sequel could succeed in their deadly mission. The five "friends", need to get together again, very soon indeed True fans of the series. A series losing steam, and it's a real shame given the potential of the first two books--both fun, quick reads. This title is less focused on the sci-fi and philosophical underpinnings of the first two books.
Instead, Adams here maintains sequences that hinge on bizarre chains of events and silly, ponderous exchanges between characters who have less and less of an idea as to what exactly is happening around them. The bon mots and clever passages are fewer and A series losing steam, and it's a real shame given the potential of the first two books--both fun, quick reads. The bon mots and clever passages are fewer and further between than the previous two installments. In fact, much of this book is rather uninspired and infuriating; the Krikkit robots, the Bistromathematics, the reincarnations of the hapless multiple-murder victim Agrajag Much of what aims to pass for characteristic Adams whimsy feels perfunctory, and the string of coincidences that form the crux of the plot are truly slapdash.
The highlights for me here are Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged's perpetual misanthropy and what amounts to the only real meat of the book--the story of the reason why the ultimate question and answer of the universe are putatively mutually exclusive. But nothing here matches the humor of, for instance, the truly inspired chapter containing the Hitchhiker's Guide's entry on The Universe in "Restaurant at the End of the Universe".
When Adams is working with less inspired ideas, his inability to write characters as anything but vehicles for punchlines and guttural confusions is trying. Vonnegut, while a weak painter of convincing personalities, instills a sense of humanity and pathos in the proceedings that eludes Adams. Some sense of feeling and sympathy, perhaps, plays foil to the general absurdity of exposition and content in Vonnegut. This is why he's a better read if you're comparing the two as I feel prone to do, and one of several reasons I'm not too concerned with making it through last installments in this series.
All of that being said, I have to say that the ending is pretty simpatico with me. Maybe Adams should have left it all at that. People may have noticed that I've recently become very interested in theories of physics which involve multiple universes. I've spent a fair amount of time over the last few weeks reading about them and discussing the ideas.
Since it's buried in one of my other reviews, let me present my conclusions explicitly. To my surprise, I discover that there is a great deal of evidence to support the claim that we are only one of many universes, and, moreover, that we know what these other universes are. T People may have noticed that I've recently become very interested in theories of physics which involve multiple universes. The theory isn't particularly flaky or speculative. Or, to be more exact, there is an abundance of flaky and speculative theories, but there is also one which is rooted in mainstream science and already comes close to explaining Life, the Universe and Everything.
The idea is simple. There is a way of looking at quantum mechanics - the so-called Many Worlds Interpretation - which, roughly, means that everything which might have happened actually did happen in some alternate universe. These alternate universes are as just real as ours. Now, one's first reaction to this ought to be that it's nonsense, or at best no more than playing with words.
It's easy to say that what might have been is real, but does that actually mean anything? Well, it turns out there is a strong argument which supports the claim that many universes exist. When you look at the different physical constants - things like the strength of gravity, the strength of the electromagnetic force, the relative masses of the proton and the electron, and so on - a weird pattern emerges. There is no known reason why any of these constants should have the values they possess.
They appear to be arbitrary numbers. But, if these numbers were even slightly different, life would be completely impossible. The most straightforward way to explain this fact is to suppose that there are many universes, with many different settings for the constants; we happen to live in one of the very few universes where the numbers came out right for life to happen. This argument is presented in detail in Martin Rees's Before the Beginning. Everyone who reads SF novels has heard of this, but I had always dismissed it as a fringe theory with little credibility.
I was surprised to learn from Brian Greene's The Hidden Reality that the MWI has steadily been gaining ground over the last 30 years, and is now considered completely respectable. People know how to do the calculations, and these calculations work spectacularly well. The disagreement is about what the equations actually mean. Greene, and other people you can easily find on the Web, say that the MWI is in fact the simplest and most natural way to give intuitive significance to the mathematics of quantum physics; the traditional "Copenhagen interpretation" due to Niels Bohr and his colleagues is close to mysticism when you try to pin it down, since it makes the human observer an integral part of physics.
Quantum physicists are sufficiently uneasy about the choices that the most popular approach is not to ascribe any meaning to the mathematics, but just perform the calculations without asking what they refer to. This is evidently an unusual way to do science. To summarize, the most natural way to interpret our mainstream scientific theory is to say that there are many alternate universes.
The physical evidence also suggests that there are many alternate universes. If the notion weren't so startling, one would just conclude that, since theory and experiment coincide, there must be many alternate universes. There are plenty of loose ends to tie up, and you can question the logic in several places. Robert has done a good job of presenting the case for the defense in the comment thread to my Greene review.
I still can't quite bring myself to believe it emotionally, but the more I think about it, the more sense it makes. The other explanations are even more far-fetched; as Sherlock Holmes says, once you've eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be true.
Check it out for yourself and see if you agree. The author can only think of one: The apparatus is a "quantum gun" which each time its trigger is pulled measures the z-spin of a particle. It is connected to a machine gun that fires a single bullet if the result is "down" and merely makes an audible click if the result is "up". The details of the trigger mechanism are irrelevant an experiment with photons and a half-silvered mirror would probably be cheaper to implement as long as the timescale between the quantum bit generation and the actual firing is much shorter than that characteristic of human perception, say 0.
The experimenter first places a sand bag in front of the gun and tells her assistant to pull the trigger ten times. This time the shut-up-and-calculate recipe is inapplicable, since probabilities have no meaning for an observer in the dead state, and the contenders will differ in their predictions. In interpretations where there is an explicit non-unitary collapse, she will be either dead or alive after the first trigger event, so she should expect to perceive perhaps a click or two if she is moderately lucky , then "game over", nothing at all.
In the MWI, on the other hand, the state after the first trigger event is [ When her assistant has completed his unenviable assignment, she will have heard ten clicks, and concluded that collapse interpretations of quantum mechanics are ruled out at a confidence level of If she wants to rule them out at "ten sigma", she need merely increase n by continuing the experiment a while longer. Occasionally, to verify that the apparatus is working, she can move her head away from the gun and suddenly hear it going off intermittently.
Note, however, that almost all terms in the final superposition will have her assistant perceiving that he has killed his boss. Many physicists would undoubtedly rejoice if an omniscient genie appeared at their death bed, and as a reward for life-long curiosity granted them the answer to a physics question of their choice. But would they be as happy if the genie forbade them from telling anybody else? Perhaps the greatest irony of quantum mechanics is that if the MWI is correct, then the situation is quite analogous if, once you feel ready to die, you repeatedly attempt quantum suicide: But is Tegmark really correct in saying that the experimenter would not convince anyone else of the correctness of the MWI?
Imagine that you are the assistant in the universe where the experimenter succeeds in cheating death times in a row, after having explained what she is about to do. I, at least, would find this convincing. I wouldn't be able to repeat the experiment only the person risking their life can do that , but it would still seem way too strange to ascribe to pure chance. It seems to me that the argument about lucky settings in the physical constants making life possible is related to Tegmark's thought experiment with the quantum gun.
We have all been the beneficiaries of, in effect, a long string of clicks, as opposed to bullets.
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The question is whether this is good evidence of the existence of other quantum worlds. I can see that opinions are divided! That CERN shrug again. It's starting to look familiar. View all 45 comments. I'm feeling some series fatigue after binge-reading this and the second book over the weekend. Either way, I had some difficulty finishing it and I think I won't be reading the 4th and 5th book anytime soon. It gets 3 stars 2,5 actually because despite it being really confusing and at time frustrating, it still had a lot of fun and hilarious moments.
View all 4 comments. The book gives us the chance to laugh at ourselves in going back to prehistoric earth and Adams alternate view of how we ended up the creatures we are, that was extremely clever. But Krikkit was the best part, this story was amazing and I can't help but wonder if Adams religous views are at work here. A group of people that just can't accept the idea that there might be anoth this is the last book in the series that I really enjoyed and I almost wish Douglas Adams would have called it quits here.
A group of people that just can't accept the idea that there might be another group of people besides them in the universe, and the only way they can deal with it is to kill anyone who is not them. But the time paradox starts to become a real problem at this point and utterly undoes the series from here out, and the fact that the cast of characters spends most of their time split apart and that is not as much fun.
Also, the characters flaws have become exagerrated by this time and the things that made them interesting characters but people you wouldn't want to know, has now made all of them a little annoying. As a continuation of Douglas Adams' famous The Hitchiker's Guide Series this was, as indicated by the foreword, one of the most plotted in the series. But as also indicated by the foreword, you don't read The Hitchiker's Guide Series for the plots. So, you ask me, what do you read it for? You read it for the sense of wonder about the crazy place the universe is.
You read it for the comedy of Douglas Adams, for his creative and zany use of made up people, places, words He is a wizard, transforming words into wit to power a laugh within the inner sanctum of your mind as a reader. When you think you've got him figured out, that's when you realise that actually you haven't. I read elsewhere when attempting to discover what I could about the literary idea of 'deus-ex-machina' that while it is generally frowned upon as poor storytelling that Adams was able to use it brilliantly for humour. Reading this third instalment of his series I saw again that yes, he was able to do exactly that!
And at the same time his use of deus-ex-machina also contributes ultimately to the plot which we as readers of Adams do not care for. In many ways, perhaps unintentionally, Adams therefore shows that he can also use the literary device of 'Chekhov's gun'.
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Characters and plot ideas introduced earlier in the piece never really go away. Some may be simple ideas thrown in their for an occasional laugh, but if you see Adams mention a fact or a character specifically, especially in a way that's out of the story's usual context then that character or fact will appear later. Such as the idea in this story of flying and the re-incarnated character - which I thought was brilliant! I won't bother with a plot summary. I doubt anyone can sum up the plot in any way that makes much sense. I will say that if you've read the previous books and enjoyed them then this is a similar continuation.
If you haven't read any of the previous books don't jump in now. I recommend going back to where there's Vogon poetry and the destruction of the world with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The immortal Wowbanger the Infinitely Prolonged gave himself the task of insulting everyone in the universe - individually but nearly did Arthur twice. It has the usual wonderful Adamsness: The "knack" of learning to fly is to "throw yourself at the ground and miss". Slartibartfast, who has on Hitchhiker's, volume 3. Slartibartfast, who has one of the best names in literature, "wrote a monograph to set the record wrong about one or two matters he saw as important".
History is being polluted. The past is now truly like a foreign country. They do things exactly the same there". To attack a transdimensional planet you need to work out how to "fire missiles at 90 degrees to reality".
Brief summary and favourite quotes from the other four of the five books, as follows: Hitchhiker's Guide vol 1: Restaurant at the End of Universe vol 2: So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish vol 4: Mostly Harmless vol 5: As fun and silly as the previous instalments. The best part was that random guy going around insulting everyone.
Oct 28, Olga rated it liked it Shelves: Half the time I didn't understand what the hell was happening. These books are usually a little crazy and over the top, but this one was specially weird. I'm giving it a 3 star rating, because of the audiobook. Martin Freeman's narration made this really enjoyable and I laughed out loud a lot of times. Arthur is still an amazing character, not much change about the way he's written but still my favorite. Jan 02, Katie rated it it was amazing Shelves: I appreciate Douglas Adams a bit more each time that I read him.
This was unsurprisingly lovely and funny and very enjoyable. It's a wonderful thing to read if you're having a bad day and it's rainy outside or hey, even if it's sunny. I don't think I really noticed it before, but reading through this I kept finding myself thinking that Douglas Adams could easily have been a very successful "serious" writer too, if he had wanted to be one.