Synopses & Reviews
Many are familiar with Douglas Adams's classic "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, but few know that these books started out as a multi-part series performed on BBC radio. This installment, part four, is a robust radio dramatization of "So Long and Thanks for All the Fish. The Earth has miraculously reappeared and Arthur Dent is in love with the otherworldly Fenchurch, but Ford Prefect has an idea that might burst Arthur's happy little bubble. What is really going on with Arthur's dream girl, where have all the dolphins gone, and what was their departing message to mankind?
"This quick little addition to the series, far more subdued than the previous 'phase,' is paradoxically a better introduction for newcomers to Adams's often imitated brand of satire. Arthur Dent, the series' protagonist and straight man, returns home to a destroyed and rebuilt Earth (identical to the one he left but for the lack of dolphins) and promptly falls in love. The object of his clumsy affections is Fenchurch, a young woman who had been on the verge of comprehending the secret to eternal contentment when Earth was destroyed. In order to recover her lost revelation, Fenchurch and Arthur (and some of his old hitchhiking friends) seek out God's final message to his creation, written in fire on the top of a mountain in a distant part of the galaxy. The story is straightforward by series standards and depends little on previous (and, as yet, unreleased) episodes of the radio program; the humor is decidedly low-key and the running time surprisingly short. All of this allows easy access for first timers, but won't leave a big impression on fans, especially after the promise of the perfectly zany Tertiary Phase." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)