13th October 2009
The final book of Douglas Adams' H2G2 series follows the random style of the fourth, with no particular overriding plot to tie together what's happening. It's execution however is much improved. While the book doesn't seem to have any particular story to tell, it hides the fact so well that unless you think about it too much, you wouldn't notice.
This is the longest book in the series (so far) and yet it's length seems perfect - neither too much nor too little happens to round off the series. Adams' writing style seems to have matured since the earlier books, and the characters seem more real, as do the bizarre situations that they find themselves in. There is a lot less use of random events to get the characters out of peril, which is something I have complained of previously, which helps the plot to flow better.
Personally I'm glad that Zaphod declines to make an appearance. The characters of Arthur, Ford and Trillian each get a nice chunky bit of action and their own plots up to a point, which is nice as up until now I've felt that there was far too much focus on Arthur.
Overall I think this may well be my favourite Hitchhiker book. It's the smoothest, most satisfying of the lot, and I'm only left looking forward to, although slightly dreading, what Eoin Colfer is going to do with the story next.