Back on Earth with nothing more to show for his long, strange trip through time and space than a ratty towel and a plastic shopping bag, Arthur Dent is ready to believe that the past eight years were all just a figment of his stressed-out imagination. But a gift-wrapped fishbowl with a cryptic inscription, the mysterious disappearance of Earth’s dolphins, and the discovery of his battered copy of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy all conspire to give Arthur the sneaking suspicion that something otherworldly is indeed going on. . . .
God only knows what it all means. And fortunately, He left behind a Final Message of explanation. But since it’s light-years away from Earth, on a star surrounded by souvenir booths, finding out what it is will mean hitching a ride to the far reaches of space aboard a UFO with a giant robot. But what else is new?
This one didn’t quite work for me. It would probably have been fine as a standalone, or an entirely different story, but it just doesn’t fit in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. Taking place almost entirely on Earth, it seems to be much more about Arthur’s rather strange love story than anything else.
I’m not sure if I’ve lost interest in the series or if maybe it’s just going on longer than it should have. As I’ve said before, brevity is key in wacky narratives. And while the books continue to be on the short side, the cumulative story may be dragging on.
I think I’ll leave it in Douglas Adams’ own words:
There was a point to this story, but it has temporarily escaped the chronicler's mind.