Illustrated by Jonathan Burton
If aliens were watching us, what would their favourite TV show be? What’s next for that unique publishing phenomenon, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy? And how do you make the perfect sandwich? These and other unlikely questions are answered in the final volume of Adams’s universe-spanning odyssey.
‘All it said, in small, alarming letters was a single word: PANIC’
Having lost Fenchurch in an incomprehensible hyperspace accident, Arthur Dent has settled on the remote planet of Lamuella, finally doing something he’s halfway decent at: making sandwiches. His peace is shattered by the unexpected arrival of his daughter Random, and then made infinitely worse by Ford Prefect, who has learned of something even more unpredictable than a teenage girl – a new, sinister version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The Guide MK II is slick, endlessly helpful and may just destroy the multiverse. No time for sandwiches, then.
The final book in the Hitchhiker series finds Adams’s prescient genius in overdrive, proposing mind-bending theories of time-travel and alternate realities. As ever, his conjectures about the future of technology are extraordinary, but Mostly Harmless also addresses another of Adams’s interests. Two years before writing the novel, Adams wrote and presented a BBC documentary series called Last Chance to See, in which he travelled to various locations in search of animals on the brink of extinction. His passion for endangered species is apparent in this final book, as Arthur encounters all manner of strange animals, from boghogs and pikka birds to Perfectly Normal Beasts – wildlife that is often unpleasant and baffling, but always, Adams suggests, worth saving.
Jonathan Burton, who has illustrated the entire Hitchhiker series for Folio, completes the collection with eight typically surreal colour illustrations. The novels are bursting with strange and wonderful incidents, and Burton has risen to the challenges presented by each one. Whether depicting Random’s initial brush with the surprisingly avian Guide MK II, or Arthur and Ford riding a Perfectly Normal Beast into territories unknown, his witty images are the perfect guide to the Guide.
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