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Mostly Harmless
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New or Used: 2 copies from $14.90
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Ford Prefect, of the planet Betelgeuse, and Earthman Arthur Dent began their whimsical odyssey in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. In Adams' latest book, Ford relies on serendipity and his own quick wits to protect a powerful new edition of the Hitchhiker's Guide from the loathsome, sluglike Vogons. Ford's pal, Arthur, misses his planet and his old flame, Tricia McMillan. The rootless traveler from Earth finds his metier, however, on Lamuella, a world whose people subsist on Perfectly Normal Beast. Adams sets a rapid pace that becomes even more hectic when Arthur is unexpectedly joined by Tricia; her peevish teenage daughter; Ford Prefect; and the travel guide to the stars. The book once looked like a hand-held computer; now it takes the shape of a mechanical talking bird. Using new techniques, this floating device can whisk users through space and time. Thus the scene shifts back to Earth, where the past, present and future braid together. Adams may depend too much on the cliffhanger form. But his ingenious wit still captivates, and his characters frolic through the galaxy with infectious joy. (Oct.)

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