Monday, August 9, 2010

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker's Guide, #2)The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After having listened to the commentary at the end of the Primary Phase recording of The Hitchhiker's Guide (where I found out some neat info about production of the series as well), reading the print version made so much more sense. Two things helped: One, I was able to compare the text with the audio version I've heard many times; and two, understanding where Douglas Adams came up with some of the material he brought to the story. In the commentary of the Primary Phase, the narrator (who also does the voice of the book) talk about how the producers of the radio program never knew where Adams was going to take the story. I knew it was a satire, but didn't realize that Adams was satirizing everyday regular life. I should have, and now feel quite silly for not having thought of this when, at the beginning of the series, the book commented on green pieces of paper making everyone unhappy. From this particular installment of the "increasingly inaccurately named Hitchhiker's Trilogy" I pulled out one bit that stuck with me. Before Zarniwoop, Zaphod Beeblebrox and Trillian meet the guy who runs the Universe, the book tells us that "it is a well known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job" (197). And that about wraps it up.

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