Life, the Universe and Everything

Douglas Adams

Introduced by Jon Canter
Illustrated by Jonathan Burton

More inspired lunacy in the third of Adams’s ‘trilogy of five’, here introduced by his friend, the acclaimed comedy writer Jon Canter.

Published price: US$ 53.95


Life, the Universe and Everything

Shortlisted for the 2017 BBPD Awards

Stranded in a damp cave on prehistoric Earth (specifically, what will one day be Islington), Arthur Dent is suddenly hurled through an eddy in the space–time continuum. He lands, with Ford Prefect and a sofa, on Lords Cricket Ground – swiftly followed by a gang of robots who steal the Ashes before departing. From thereon in, things only become more complicated as we encounter Arthur’s nemesis, Agrajag, the unhappily immortal Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged, and the people of Krikkit, ‘a bunch of sweet guys … who just happen to want to kill everybody’.

Production Details

Life, the Universe and Everything book
  • Bound in cloth
  • Set in Sabon
  • 208 pages
  • Frontispiece and 7 colour illustrations
  • Book size: 9" x 5¾"

So long and thanks for all the washing-up

As with the other books in Douglas Adams’s trilogy of five, the ‘plot’ of this third novel is above all an opportunity for the author's pyrotechnic displays of wit and erudition. Delightful examples abound, whether it is Arthur leaping to his feet ‘like an author hearing the phone ring’, or the invaluable acronym SEP (‘Somebody Else’s Problem’). We also learn the art, or rather knack, of flying (simply aim for the ground, and miss). Above all, this is the book in which we find out why the Earth has been shunned by the rest of the galaxy (essentially, it’s down to cricket).

'Lovingly illustrated by Jonathan Burton, The Folio Society edition of Life, the Universe and Everything is a thing of great beauty. It immediately cheers you up, which may be something to do with the sparkly effect on the front, spine and back. The sparkles evoke all the stars in the universe. But they also make you think of party dress material, not to mention the big ugly men – Bowie and Bolan excepted – who used spangliness to express their supposed glamour and sexual ambivalence in the era of Glam Rock. So. Nice one, Folio Soc. You didn't just evoke the Universe. You got Life in there and Everything.'
Jon Canter

Jonathan Burton, in his third Hitchhiker commission, has created an inspired visual interpretation of moments such as Marvin the Paranoid Android talking to a mattress. This edition is newly introduced by Jon Canter. Hailed by the Independent as ‘arguably the finest comic novelist working in Britain today’, he also shared a flat with Adams while this book was being written. In a wonderfully funny and personal tribute to his friend, he writes: ‘Reader, enjoy yourself. You’re in for a treat. And Douglas: so long, and thanks for all the washing-up.’

Inside the book

Click to read an extract from Jon Canter's introduction

Comic novelist Jon Canter describes living with Douglas Adams as he was writing Life, the Universe and Everything(© 2014 Jon Canter).

Click here to read an extract from the Folio edition

It begins in Islington, North London – two million years ago.


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Review by amstorey on 14th Jul 2015

Text: Illustrations: Binding: Rating: 5/5

"Douglas Adams is one of my favorite writers. I thoroughly enjoy the hitch hiker series. These editions are of excellent quality. Very well done."

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