Friday, June 30, 2017

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams and read by Martin Freeman

Summary from Goodreads:
Facing annihilation at the hands of the warlike Vogons is a curious time to have a craving for tea. It could only happen to the cosmically displaced Arthur Dent and his curious comrades in arms as they hurtle across space powered by pure improbability and desperately in search of a place to eat.

Among Arthur's motley shipmates are Ford Prefect, a longtime friend and expert contributor to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy; Zaphod Beeblebrox, the three-armed, two-headed ex-president of the galaxy; Tricia McMillan, a fellow Earth refugee who's gone native (her name is Trillian now); and Marvin, the moody android who suffers nothing and no one very gladly. Their destination? The ultimate hot spot for an evening of apocalyptic entertainment and fine dining, where the food (literally) speaks for itself.

Will they make it? The answer: hard to say. But bear in mind that the Hitchhiker's Guide deleted the term "Future Perfect" from its pages, since it was discovered not to be!
"What's such fun is how amusing the galaxy looks through Adams' sardonically silly eyes."
These books have been the light at the end of my incredibly hectic/busy days. They are probably hands-down the funniest books I’ve ever encountered. I wish I can say I loved this one as much as book 1, but I think I enjoyed it just a little bit less.
The humor, thank goodness, was still there front and center. And so were the fantastic characters. I again would occasionally find myself laughing so loud that it was almost embarrassing. I did have some strangers looking at me funny, though that could have been because my volume was rather high and not because I was alone in my car, heaving in laughter.
The story/plot was a little more loopy and not quite as fluid as I’d like. Granted, there is time travel and that tends to mess up a story’s fluidity. I’m of a mind at the moment to occasionally zone out and focus on something that’s not the story, and well, this doesn’t work with this book. You can’t zone out because the characters then can be millions of years in the future, or all of a sudden on planet Earth around the time of its creation. And I found myself hitting the back button a bit in this one. The transitions between chapters and sometimes different character arcs was a little sloppy and not well-defined, particularly for readers like me. However, this could just be me.
I like that important things from the first book are still in the background. What is the ultimate question? Why is Zafod so important? Why are these characters consistently thrown together? Will Marvin ever be happy? And I liked getting to know some of the other characters a little bit better. I found the whole concept of the restaurant to be fascinating. And I loved that the author spends a nice amount of time talking about grammar.
Also, in between the absurd humor, the sci-fi adventures, and the wonderful characters, was get some actual, deep philosophical stuff. Meeting the ruler of the universe was such a great scene. I find myself still thinking about that scene, days after finishing the book.
Overall, I loved this book. My only qualm was with the transitions, and frankly, that could be more a result of my state of mind right now than anything else. I loved it. I loved having something so funny to look forward to listening to every day.
It took me a little bit of time to get used to the new narrator. Martin Freeman is no Stephen Fry. He’s nowhere near as skilled in humor. And I kept picturing Watson reading the story to me…However, he grew on me. And I had no idea he could do so many different voices/accents. He really does a great job. I really enjoyed this one. Though, not quite as much as book 1. I give it an 8/10.

1 comment:

  1. I liked this one less than the previous instalment too! It just didn't have the same flow as the first book. While I enjoyed the entire series each instalment varied for me in terms of how much I liked it LOL!

    I adore Martin Freeman but it took me awhile to get used to his narration after Stephen Fry too! He grew on me with each new book though :) And honestly I didn't mind thinking of Watson reading the story to me LOL!