The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams is the second book in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. This sequel may not be the gem that its predecessor was but it’s still an interesting and funny read.
I would call the genre of the book comedy science fiction. While some jokes will have you chuckling instantly, the majority are long, complicated situations that are very strange and insanely hilarious. Numerous jokes come from entries in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which in the book is the highest selling encyclopedia and book in the universe. The book is very eccentric and a bit weird in certain places and if you don’t pay close attention you can get a bit confused, but with this kind of book that’s half the fun.
It takes place after Arthur Dent and his cohorts leave the planet producing planet of Magrathea and decide to find a place for dinner, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe. But like most things in the book things don’t go directly to plan. On their way there Arthur hilariously manages to give the their ship’s computer a problem. How to make a good cup of tea which was so difficult and yet so trivial it shuts down everything in the ship just as they need to escape a deadly alien ship hunting a member of the ship’s crew, Zaphod Beeblebrox Ex-President of the Galaxy. Zaphod manages to escape through strange circumstances and goes on his own wacky adventure for about a third of the book. Arthur Dent and the rest of the crew eventually meet back up with Zaphod at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe. After a delectable and comedy-rich dinner they find themselves in even more trouble.
All the characters are memorable and unique. There’s Arthur Dent an Englishman who is the sole male survivor of Earth; Trisha McMillan known as Trillian the sole female survivor of Earth; Ford Prefect Arthur’s best friend and alien from a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse; Zaphod Beeblebrox ex-President of the galaxy and Ford Prefect’s semi half-cousin. The great main characters are backed up by strange and interesting minor characters such as Marvin the depressed android with a brain the size of a planet.
The people who will enjoy this book are those who are looking for a book that is funny, interesting and a bit strange. An interest in science-fiction will also help you enjoy this book.
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe is a funny and interesting book with likable characters and a surprising story that’s hard to put down. 8/10.