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1. The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide
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2. The Time Traveler's Wife (Harvest
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3. The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide
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4. Star Wars Labyrinth of Evil (Star
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5. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the
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6. The Art of Star Wars: Episode
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7. Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge
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8. Into the Looking Glass
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9. Fahrenheit 451
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10. The Restaurant at the End of the
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11. Shadow of the Giant (Ender)
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12. Life, the Universe and Everything
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13. So Long, and Thanks for All the
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14. Slaughterhouse-Five
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15. The Rivers of War
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16. The Making of Star Wars, Episode
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17. Dressing a Galaxy: The Costume
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18. The Way to Glory
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19. Ender's Game (Ender Wiggin Saga)
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20. The Franklin Affair : A Novel

1. The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide
by DOUGLAS ADAMS
list price: $14.99
our price: $14.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0517149257
Catlog: Book (1996-01-17)
Publisher: Wings
Sales Rank: 1033
Average Customer Review: 4.79 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

It's safe to say that The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is one of the funniest science fiction novels ever written. Adams spoofs many core science fiction tropes: space travel, aliens, interstellar war--stripping away all sense of wonder and repainting them as commonplace, even silly.

This omnibus edition begins with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, in which Arthur Dent is introduced to the galaxy at large when he is rescued by an alien friend seconds before Earth's destruction. Then in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Arthur and his new friends travel to the end of time and discover the true reason for Earth's existence.In Life, the Universe, and Everything, the gang goes on a mission to save the entire universe. So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish recounts how Arthur finds true love and "God's Final Message to His Creation." Finally, Mostly Harmless is the story of Arthur's continuing search for home, in which he instead encounters his estranged daughter, who is on her own quest.There's also a bonus short story, "Young Zaphod Plays It Safe," more of a vignette than a full story, which wraps up this completist's package of the Don't Panic chronicles.As the series progresses, its wackier elements diminish, but the satire of human life and foibles is ever present. --Brooks Peck ... Read more

Reviews (257)

4-0 out of 5 stars A comic genius!
Douglas Adams is possibly the funniest author I've read. His "Guide" is a wacky, crazy, hilarious tale of a totally clueless human's (Arthur Dent) travels in the big bad galaxy out there. Arthur, like millions of other humans, is totally ignorant about the Universe. Indeed, until the day the Earth is demolished (to make way for a hyperspace bypass!), he doesnt even know that his close friend Ford Prefect belongs to another planet - and is a researcher for the hugely successful book The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy.

But Ford & Arthur escape from Earth, and set out on a journey of a lifetime, spanning 5 novels so far, where time and space are equally trivial barriers that can be crossed at a leap. Along the way, Arthur finds out a lot he didnt know, and lots more than he ever wanted to know, from hitching rides on passing space ships and teaching their computers to make tea, to the real history of his planet and the knowledge that his is the third most intelligent species on earth(and not, as was widely believed, the second) He also grapples with scientific concepts way beyond his grasp like the Infinite Improbability drive, Somebody Else's Problem field, discontinuities along the probability axis, not to mention the End of the Universe(the universe's most spectacular & profitable catering venture) Douglas Adams serves up one wacky idea after another, a universe wildly beyond our imagination, yet very familiar in its core values of crass commercialization and tasteless marketing hype. The reader is hurled through a series of increasingly improbable events, all held together by equally crazy characters and brilliant, witty(and ofcourse crazy) dialogs.

So if I'm raving so much about the book, why do I give it only 4 stars? Because, like all artists, Adams has his highs & his lows, both of which are present in this collection. I would wholeheartedly recommend the first two novels - Hitchikers guide & Restaurant at the end of the universe. But coming after them, Life, the Universe & Everything is somewhat of a letdown, and So Long & Thanks for all the Fish even more so. Mostly Harmless is better, but still doesnt meet the standards set by the first two. All in all, this book is a collectors item for Adams fans - and I dont regret buying it. But for those just starting out on Adams, I'd recommend they try individual copies of the first two novels.

5-0 out of 5 stars Don't Panic! A long review means much good things to say...
This collection deserves to be read in one continuous read. It refers to itself backwards and forwards, sideways and down, so it's a real treat (and quite a convenience) to have the whole tangled mess between two covers. However, each of the six sections deserves its own sub-review.

'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' is the name of both the most popular portable comprehensive galactic encyclopedia, and the book that begins Douglas Adams hilarious space saga. It neatly sets up the tale by giving away the answer to the meaning of life! Don't panic, it's not all it's cracked up to be, because they don't have the question! We meet a great cast of eccentric characters, get to fly around on the 'Heart of Gold' (powered by the ludicrously simplistic Improbability Drive), and discover that planet Earth will be destroyed to make way for an interstellar roadway.

'The Restaurant at the End of the Universe' builds on the logic of the first book, and tweaks it enough to keep things really interesting. Milliways (the aforementioned restaurant) is a great comic creation, walking a grossly absurd existential tightrope to become a fascinating setpiece. There's a great moment about how Zaphod Beeblebrox's great-grandfather is named 'Zaphod the fourth' while he's 'Zaphod the first' ("An accident involving a contraceptive and a time machine"). The whole gang narrowly escapes flying into the sun, and are saved by a piece of specious bureaucracy. The whole mess ends with Ford Prefect and Arthur Dent landing on a familiar planet, and discover that evolution ain't all it's cracked up to be.

The strength of the first two books is that when Adams goes off on these incredible leaps in logic and flights of fancy (two of my favourite modes of transportation) they always seem to follow some kind of narrative thrust. In 'Life, the Universe, and Everything', they seem like non-sequiters, or at most just interesting tangents. I enjoyed the concept of the poem that was never written due to a reckless time travel expedition, and the guy who was injected with too much truth serum and now told The Truth. But they seemed more ornamental than consequential to me. Maybe I just didn't understand the plethora of cricket references (although I did get a kick out of them). Furthermore, the installment was hurt by a serious deficiency in Zaphod Beeblebrox.

A grand comeback is made in 'So Long and Thanks for all the Fish'. This manages to be a really touching love story, interlaced with grand questions about the nature of existence and what happened to all the dolphins. Arthur Dent and Fenchurch (don't call her Fenny) slowly but surely realize that the universe has a higher purpose for them, and they have no choice but to fall in love. And the scene describing their first consummation of that love is actually quite original, and very beautiful. That all being said, the story still manages to be a strong link in the overall chain of events, periodically keeping track of Ford Prefect until it becomes necessary for him to swoop in near the end (deux es machinas-style) and save the cosmic day. Adams also manages to include several more comic illogicalities (probably not a word, but whose rules am I following here?), the standout being the description of Wonko the Sane's inside-out house. A great little interlude, that.

'Young Zaphod Plays it Safe' is a confusing little mess, that I hope gains some meaning in hindsight, once the entire book is complete (**I've just finished reading 'Mostly Harmless', and I'm still in the dark over this one. Oh well.)

'Mostly Harmless' is a little less frenetic than its predecessors are, and a little more assured in its narrative structure. Its story is one of those that begins with three different plots, and as time goes on the plots slowly begin to converge into one final conclusion (kind of like an episode of Seinfeld, now that I think about it). Arthur and Ford get into some seriously mixed up situations, but they are perfectly explained through some more of that demented Douglas Adams logic. Ford actually jumps to his death, miraculously escapes, and then jumps again. And he has a perfectly good reason for doing it both times. My one complaint is that the book doesn't give each plot equal attention, so when you haven't read about one of the characters in a while, you tend to forget what they were doing when last you met them. On a positive note, the whole enterprise actually validates the mess that was 'Life, the Universe, and Everything'.

The series can be read in two ways: as comic fluff (albeit high comic fluff), or as a satire on the nature of existence. A third way, and probably the most effective, would be to read it as both. Or neither. Just read it!

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the Funniest Series Ever!
When you've just finished a book that's as thick & heavy as a dictionary, it is all too tempting to write pages and pages in review of it. However, I will spare you as much as I can.

The basic premise of the novels is that Ford Prefect is a hitchhiker and writer for "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." He hitches rides all around space, writes up his experiences and sends them in to his editors. As the novel opens up, it's roughly 1980 in England, and he's been stuck on Earth for 15 years because Earth (as we know) has not really made contact with other planets and so he can't find a ride out of there (here). In that time, he has made friends with Arthur Dent, one of the absolutely most endearing characters I've ever come across in literature (even more than a Hobbit).

When we first meet Dent, he thinks his greatest battle for the day will be to lie in front of the bulldozers which want to knock down his house. Little does he know that Earth is also about to be knocked over (obliterated really) for a hyper-space by-pass. Prefect, however, catches on and rescues Dent at the very last minute...Whether or not this was a good thing is up to the reader to decide.

While Adams shows his literal genius for comedic timing and absurd humor within the bounds of Earth at the beginning, once he is freed of all constraints his writing style blazes with unique talent. Every page is so filled with parody, dry wit, perfect timing, and mind-boggling fictitious science that it leaves you laughing aloud and reeling at the same time. I realize that his humor is not for everyone...but for anyone who enjoys satire and for anyone who is frustrated with the insanity of life, this book brings the proverbial comic relief.

From what I've read from hard-core Douglas Adams fans (and there seem to be quite a few of those), books #1, 2, and 4 in this series are Adam's purest works. #3 and 5 are a bit heavier in tone. #6 (Young Zaphod Plays It Safe) is simply baffling.

For those who don't like science fiction, I would say that that shouldn't really be a problem here. While Adams does invent some very funny alien races (like the race with 50 arms that was the only one to invent deodorant before the wheel), his focus clearly isn't imagining how different life can be. Everything in his novels is a satire of humanity - from the bureaucracy to the androids to the laws of physics.

Of all the wonderful things I could dwell on in Adam's work, the last thing I would like to mention is that of all action/adventure stories I have ever read, I think Adams has created a few of the most realistic heroes. Dent, Prefect, and Zaphod - though somewhat resourceful - aren't particularly strong, bold, courageous, intelligent or smooth. They bungle any number of situations, and only Trillian has a real moment of brilliance. And yet, no matter how much they might want to simply run and save their own hides, a sense of duty to man/life nags at their conscience and keeps bringing them to help save somebody. Ultimately, I think this balances out so much of Adams ironic humor about how stupid life can be. Yes, life is absurd at so many levels, but Adams never abandons our Western Civilization ideals of the value of life and our duty to help each other.

Oh, and the dialogue is priceless!

5-0 out of 5 stars Wit and ridiculousness.
There are those who don't get "The Far Side" by Gary Larson. It's too wacky and weird. There are those who don't like the wit of "Calvin and Hobbes," passing it by for simpler humor.

There are those who hate "Monty Python" because it's "stupid" or "ridiculous." And there are those who hate the humor "A Midsummer Night's Dream" or "Pride and Prejudice," as its wit is deep and veiled.

Now try and envision an amalgam of these two approaches to comedy. Witty lines, and wordplays, combined with floating penguins and Vogon poetry. You have to be pretty quick to understand some of Adams' jokes regarding quantum mechanics, yet silly enough to laugh at the manic depressive robot, and the apathetic mention of the destruction of Earth. Douglas Adams is simply the best at combining wit with irony and absurdity. And this is simply the best book in which to find his genius.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best comedy writer since spike milligan.
If you are an Adams fan then this is for you, My copies of the 5 books are all in a rotten state after years of reading and rereading, and I wanteed a tome to keep. Apart from the additional Zaphod story I will not read this for many years. i know it verbatim. Those raised on Pratchett and Rankin might find Adams' humour a little dated to be fair, but he was first and he cannot be replaced.

Cleverer than Pratchett and nowhere near as predictable, Adams seems to start at the beginning and then just bimble along through the narrative, but previous issues reemerge to show that the first three books, at least, were all part of a masterplan. ... Read more


2. The Time Traveler's Wife (Harvest Book)
by Audrey Niffenegger
list price: $14.00
our price: $9.80
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Asin: 015602943X
Catlog: Book (2004-05-27)
Publisher: Harvest Books
Sales Rank: 40
Average Customer Review: 4.16 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A dazzling novel in the most untraditional fashion, this is the remarkable story of Henry DeTamble, a dashing, adventuresome librarian who travels involuntarily through time, and Clare Abshire, an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course. Henry and Clare's passionate love affair endures across a sea of time and captures the two lovers in an impossibly romantic trap, and it is Audrey Niffenegger's cinematic storytelling that makes the novel's unconventional chronology so vibrantly triumphant.

An enchanting debut and a spellbinding tale of fate and belief in the bonds of love, The Time Traveler's Wife is destined to captivate readers for years to come.
... Read more

Reviews (370)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Great and Believable Sci-Fi Love Story.
I am not an avid reader by any means, but the premise of this book really caught my attention. The love between the main characters Clare and Henry was very well laid out throughout this novel. The happiness in finding one another, the acceptance of a guy who travels thorugh time uncontrollably, and the never ending tension that arises when Henry disappears for hours or days at a time.

The only thing that kept 5 stars from being put on my review, is the overwhelming sadness throughout the book, that at times was making you think "What could possibly go wrong NOW?" I am all for a good drama, but at times the multitude of doom and gloom was a bit too much to bear. Good thing some humor was sprinkled throughout the book though to balance these macrabre occurances out.

All in all, though, a great read!

5-0 out of 5 stars I loved this book
This is a truly a masterpiece. The characters and the plot is simply astounding. It tells a story about the lives of two people through a series of episodes. I found this book entertaining, and a good book to pick up on a rainy afternoon. Any day as a matter of fact. A wonderful journey, which is recommended for anyone to enjoy.Also recommended is "Don't Call That Man", and "He Never Called Again". Back to the book, "The Time Traveler's Wife", read it, it's quite fascinating.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Vacation Read
At first I wanted to put this book down becuase it seemed too insipid and a waste of time for over 500 pages. After I got into it, I finished it in a matter of days. The author is able to let you get to know the characters while living a far fetched science fiction story that you actually believe. A great read for a summer beach vacation.

5-0 out of 5 stars The time traveler's wife
This is such an amazing book! This is not the type of novel I would usually pick up, however after hearing how great it was I decided to give it a try. I can't stop thinking about this story. The characters will haunt you long after you have finished.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best in a long time
I passed by this book several times before deciding to read it. When I finally made it through the first 20 pages, I was hooked. This is one of the best books I've read in a very long time. The author does an excellent job of alerting the reader to the time and place and the appropriate ages of the characters, and contrary to other reviewers, I found it very easy to follow. The characters, Clare and Henry, are well developed and believable - well, at least as believable as can possibly be when someone suffers from chronodisplacement. The story moved me to tears, made me laugh, and totally consumed me while I read it. I was captive and lost all sense of time as I traveled with both Henry and Clare, and was very disappointed that the book had to end. Niffenegger has made me rethink my relationships and the time that I give to them. I love this book. ... Read more


3. The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
by DOUGLAS ADAMS
list price: $18.95
our price: $13.26
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345453743
Catlog: Book (2002-04-30)
Publisher: Del Rey
Sales Rank: 931
Average Customer Review: 4.72 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

At last in paperback in one complete volume, here are the five classic novels from Douglas Adams’s beloved Hitchiker series.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Seconds before the Earth is demolished for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is saved by Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised Guide. Together they stick out their thumbs to the stars and begin a wild journey through time and space.

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
Facing annihilation at the hands of warmongers is a curious time to crave tea. It could only happen to the cosmically displaced Arthur Dent and his comrades as they hurtle across the galaxy in a desperate search for a place to eat.

Life, the Universe and Everything
The unhappy inhabitants of planet Krikkit are sick of looking at the night sky– so they plan to destroy it. The universe, that is. Now only five individuals can avert Armageddon: mild-mannered Arthur Dent and his stalwart crew.

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
Back on Earth, 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 conspires to thrust him back to reality. So to speak.

Mostly Harmless
Just when Arthur Dent makes the terrible mistake of starting to enjoy life, all hell breaks loose. Can he save the Earth from total obliteration? Can he save the Guide from a hostile alien takeover? Can he save his daughter from herself?
... Read more

Reviews (39)

3-0 out of 5 stars Cosmic comedy
Part humor, part science fiction and part philosophy; that's how I'd sum up the Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy. There are five novels in this collection with a 'bonus' story which is a really a waste of space. I liked the first three stories the best as these were pretty funny. Adam's humor is similar to Terry Pratchett's (Don't read Pratchett) and having read Pratchett at a much earlier age I could appreciate the weird twists and turns and the countless non-sequiturs. It's the kind of book you'd enjoy if you're used to the type of Monty Python humor. Douglas manages to poke fun at nearly all the professions on earth, and he never lets up in his 'attacks' against the church, most noticable in the last book 'Mostly Harmless'.

If you are looking for logical connections between the books, you may be disappointed as these stories seem to develop on their own, with explanations of unexpected twists and turns provided as the book proceeds. Along the way though, Adam's does provide some interesting food for thought about our place in the universe, and about the nature of the universe(s) themselves. His classic thinking-outside-of-the-square style shows when he describes the difficulties faced when dealing with the grammar of time travel.

The tone of the last book 'Mostly Harmless' was a bit too serious for my liking, especially after some of the sidesplittingly funny lines in the earlier books. He really did bring the book down to Earth on the last one. All in all, not a bad effort, though as a Christian I had to constantly remind myself that his attacks on religion were his views alone. Even though it's a comedy, this book made me realize the enormity of the universe and our own insignificance in it.

Read this book, if you like out of this world comedy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply Amazing
wow. this book is one of the best science fiction books i have read. humourous and wacky, it's the kind of book you don't want to miss. it's amazing how Douglas Adams can mix science fiction and humour in such a good package. it's an excellent read for any day, anytime, with or without tea. the whole thing includes the 5 books from the series and a short story. it can keep you entertained for a few weeks the first time and after your first read you won't be able to put it down.

5-0 out of 5 stars A humorous review for the too serious science or techno:
These books are wonderfully hilarious. You can immediately recognize new friends if they have read and loved these books. I have read all of Adams' books but this 4 book series is the best. While chaperoning a bus tour of England with my students, I began reading the series again. Even at 52, it kept me giggling throughout the tour. Everyday objects and events take on new possibilities of the absurd. You will laugh out loud even in the most serious places-NYC subway

5-0 out of 5 stars Crazy Insane
Starting out with a guy from Betelguese and a file cabinet locked in an unused lavatory with a "Beware of the Leopard" sign, the first book blasts off into one of the best series I've ever read. Only other book that can compare to this in its insanity is Catch 22 and currently I'm trying to find more book's like these. Adams does an awesome job of laying out an intricate story with tons of random bits that make it so extreme. If you don't know if you want to buy this book then go ahead and buy it. Otherwise go be boring. The only people who won't like this are those non-fun people who get kicks out of working in an office or at a school like that awful CONAface of an english teacher.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
I read this book after my friend recommended it to me. A t first I as a bit confused with the description of the setting and characters but as I read on it was great. It's absolutely hilarious and a book everyone should read. ... Read more


4. Star Wars Labyrinth of Evil (Star Wars: Episode III (Hardcover))
by JAMES LUCENO
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
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Asin: 0345475720
Catlog: Book (2005-01-25)
Publisher: Del Rey
Sales Rank: 27339
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5. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
by DOUGLAS ADAMS
list price: $7.50
our price: $6.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345391802
Catlog: Book (1995-09-27)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 656
Average Customer Review: 4.61 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Join Douglas Adams's hapless hero Arthur Dent as he travels the galaxywith his intrepid pal Ford Prefect, getting into horrible messes and generally wreaking hilarious havoc. Dent is grabbed from Earth moments before a cosmic construction team obliterates the planet to build a freeway. You'll never read funnier science fiction; Adams is a master of intelligent satire, barbed wit, and comedic dialogue. The Hitchhiker's Guide is rich in comedic detail and thought-provoking situations and stands up to multiple reads. Required reading for science fiction fans, this book (and its follow-ups) is also sure to please fans of Monty Python, Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, and British sitcoms. ... Read more

Reviews (458)

5-0 out of 5 stars The BEST Hitchhiker's guide book
This novel is Douglas Adams' best ever. Here is his true wit, his British humor, his, well, hoopiness! The book picks you up, drives you to the movies, and never lets you go! Ford is hilarious with his insane logic. Trillian is a wonderful as the only really sane one on board the Heart of Gold. Marvin is so pathetic that he makes you cry every time you read the book. And through it all, the hapless Arthur Dent just tries to understand what is happening. The plot involves the earth being blow up to make a hyperspace bypass, which everyone should have known about if they had checked the record hall in Alpha Centauri. The plans had been on display for fifty years. Can't complain about it now, can you? Anyway, throw in an ancient race of planet builders, some towels, a stolen space ship, and a restaurant at the end of the universe, and you get the first novel in one of the best sci-fi series ever. A must read for any science fiction fan or fans of British comedy

5-0 out of 5 stars "The Hitchhikers guide is the greatest book of all time..."
Above is a quote directly from the novel. The book follows Arthur Dent, an Englishman, or former Englishman I should say as the Earth has just been destroyed to create a galactic bypass, and his Betlegeuseian friend Ford Prefect as they traverse the galaxy with their supplies: a towel(the most widely useful object ever to be invented) and of course the fabulous Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, a book in the form of a computer because if it were in regular page form, the carrier would have to lug around seven inconveniently sized buildings full of paper. The pair meet wierd aliens, robots, and other creatures. Don't be confused at first with the names: Zaphod Beeblebrox, for example, is a main character who's name you'll easily catch on to. This book is just flat out hilarious. It's Brazil (the 1984 spoof, not the country) meets Star Wars. Douglas Adams is more or less the master of confusing but hilarious plot as well as dialouge. Now, I'm not just writing this review because I love all sci-fi books. In fact, I read very few, about 20%, sci-fi books, although I still like the genre. So you can see I'm not a Die Hard sci-fi comedy fan. This book is extremely funny. Adults as well as children (teenagers really) will find the material and dialouge side splitting.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Splendid Trip
I picked A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy off of a list of classic novels or something like that, having no idea who Douglas Adams was or how significant the book was. I was pleasantly surprised, and now know where several popular phrases originated.
The book begins with humanoid Arthur Dent waking up and finding a bulldozer in his yard about to demolish his house to make room for a highway. Arthur is understandably upset, but this doesn't really matter considering the fact that unbeknownst to the human race, earth is about to be destroyed to make room for a hyperspace bypass. Arthur is rescued from the fate of earth by his friend Ford Prefect, who it turns out is an alien who knows how to hitch rides on spaceships. With their jump into space, Arthur and Ford are launched into a round of interstellar escapades, accompanied by the egotistical but lovable Zaphod Beeblebrox, his girlfriend Trillian (who happened to have come from earth), and Marvin, the perpetually dismal android with a "brain the size of a planet".
A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy makes an interesting combination of two genres- science fiction and comedy- and it works marvelously. The plots moves along quickly, making it an easy read, and also providing opportunities for multiple readings to catch all the humor. A Hitchhiker's Guide is imaginative, witty, and in places downright hilarious. In addition to this, the writing is very intelligent without being overbearing; the book gently prods at several of our own silly social conventions in a comical and lighthearted way. A Hitchhiker's Guide was a delightful read, and I heartily recommend it- to sci-fi lovers and non.
One word of advice; don't waste precious mental energy trying to understand how an Infinite Improbabily Drive works, or any of the many other gadgets in the book, because this isn't the sort of book where it matters whether you understand how things work or not. I realized about a quarter of the way through the book that I was taking things much too seriously and that the ludicrous descriptions were placed there mostly for comic effect.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unbelievably Witty
With Douglas Adams it really doesn't matter if your a miserable old bat who hates fiction or a fun loving freak who loves it; his books can appeal to all. They have a bit of everything in them, a bit of sci-fi, a bit of nature conservation, a little bit of adventure and LOTS of humor. They even have the nice little moral at the end to boost up your spirits when you finish the book.
I first found this book years ago and I'm still unable to figure out how i lived without it. the seqeuls and other books that come next in the series are just as fun and Adams has managed to spread his wit evenly out throughout the whole series. any other author would've given up and returned, mentally exhausted, to dry writing after the first page.
The characters are original and fun, the scenery and setting ever-changing, the plot dances around and the dialogue will leave you in tears. Marvin the Paranoid Android ended up being one of my favoirte characters, as did the Vogons and psycologists, and their unique outlooks on life and 42 are new.
There are only a few things readers attempting to read this book must have:
-a sense, however lame it might be, of humor
-a large mug of really hot tea
-a few packets of peanuts
-and, finally, a really comfortable sofa

5-0 out of 5 stars Eyorre needs Paxil
Just came off reading the Dune series & needed a bit of a break. And this book provided a perfect, entertaining read.

I had planned on reading only the first in the series before embarking on Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver jouney. But now, I plan to read the remaining four in this series first.

Anyway, if you like dry humor and brilliant characters, such as a gloomy robot that makes Eyorre's disposition seem as sunny as Richard Simmons', you will LOVE this book. ... Read more


6. The Art of Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
by JONATHAN RINZLER
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345431359
Catlog: Book (2005-04-02)
Publisher: Del Rey
Sales Rank: 284478
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7. Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (Au Star Wars)
by MATTHEW WOODRING STOVER
list price: $49.95
our price: $32.97
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Asin: 0739318330
Catlog: Book (2005-04-02)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Sales Rank: 515560
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8. Into the Looking Glass
by John Ringo
list price: $24.00
our price: $16.32
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Asin: 0743498801
Catlog: Book (2005-06-01)
Publisher: Baen
Sales Rank: 1458
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

When a 60-kiloton explosion destroyed the University of Central Florida, and much of the surrounding countryside, the authorities first thought that terrorists had somehow obtained a nuclear weapon. But there was no radiation detected, and, when physicist Dr. William Weaver and Navy SEAL Command Master Chief Robert Miller were sent to investigate, they found that in the center of the destruction, where the University's physics department used to be, was an interdimensional gateway to... somewhere. An experiment in subatomic physics had produced a very unexpected effect. Furthermore, other gateways were appearing all over the world-and one of them immediately began disgorging demonic visitors intent on annihilating all life on Earth and replacing it with their own. Other, apparently less hostile, aliens emerged from other gateways, and informed Weaver and Miller that the demonic invaders-the name for them that humans could most easily pronounce was the "Dreen"-were a deadly blight across the galaxy, occupying planet after planet after wiping out all native life. Now it would be Earth's turn, unless Weaver and Miller could find a way to close the gateways. If they failed, the less belligerent aliens would face the regrettable necessity of annihilating the entire Earth to save their own worlds. . . . ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars humorous action-packed science fiction
Thirty seconds after the president learns the news, the country is stunned as the media reports an explosion devastated the University of Central Florida.However, no radiation or electromagnetic pulse is detected; the NSA eliminates terrorists using an unheard of WMD, a non viable option.Everyone soon agrees that something happened in the lab of Dr. Ray Chen.They dispatch the only available physicist with a top secret clearance, the poster boy for absent minded Professor Dr. William Weaver accompanied by Navy SEAL Command Master Chief Robert Miller to investigate.

William and Robert reach ground zero where Chen's former lab was; they find an interdimensional doorway that works from both sides.This enables invading aliens to enter planning to conquer the earth.Only Weaver and Miller with rednecks and some real army stand in the way of the deadly Dreen who annihilate life on planets.Non-Dreen ETs follow who are not malevolent towards earth, but plan to blow the place up if William fails to close the door.

INTO THE LOOKING GLASS is a humorous action-packed science fiction that will remind readers of the opening of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as the not so bad ETs want to blow up the planet though no malice is intended.William is terrific as he cannot remember to pay his cell phone bill or call his irate girlfriend, but the President knows this Huntsville resident must save the world.Weaver's partner Robert is real military struggling to accept that he needs the nerd to succeed.John Ringo is at his most amusing best with these doorways to and from other dimensions leading to a wonderful save the earth sci fi.

Harriet Klausner

2-0 out of 5 stars Not up to snuff, John
In the first four Posleen books and the Empire of Man series, Ringo made his characters amusing, human (even when they weren't) and made readers *care* about what happened to them.Sad to say, "Into The Looking Glass" while full of action and imagination, just didn't make me really care if any of the characters survived.
Too much got glossed over, there were too many loose ends and Ringo's usual deft sketches of people descended into careless stereotype all too often.
Just not up to past efforts.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not to shabby!! A darn good read
Well this is definitely better than Doc Travis's two book. I found this to be a darn entertain'n read boys and girls! Definitely one for the collection. There are of course the parts of the book I would have done differently, but JR manages to pull off yet another great yarn.

I especially liked the StarShip Troopers reference and I'm sure you will too once you read the tail and figure out what its all about. This tale has it all science experiment gone terribly wrong, alien invasion, allies and back-stabbers, new tech showcased, and a possible sequel hinted at, another good read from Baen Publishing.

I do appreciate the authors realism as opposed to Doc Travis. Yes, I'm a proud American, but even I don't think the boys in uniform are gonna kick those nasty aliens back off planet without a single lose... Something Doc Travis for all his enjoyable tails needs to take to heart.

I definitely recommend this, pretty darn good!

3-0 out of 5 stars Starts great, peaks in the middle, then goes downhill
Before reading this book I was not a fan of John Ringo. Having been in the military, I am somewhat familiar with what he writes about, but I definitely do not have "NCO mentality", and do not identify with most Ringo's characters. Also, I never cared for aliens who attack Earth for completely illogical reasons and use weapons ridiculously below their technology level. Hence Posleen books left me cold -- I tried to read first and second one, and could not finish either one. Not so "Into the Looking Glass."

The characters in this book are much more varied and sympathetic, the aggressive aliens are much more believable, the references to various SF books and role-playing games are very clever, and spoofs of government bureaucracies are understandable by everyone, not just by soldiers. The "OSHA safety briefing" given to a man about to step through a dimensional gate is absolutely priceless.

Yet I give the book only 3 stars -- because sometime in the second half it ran out of steam. First, bigger and bigger bangs got repetitive. I would prefer a more subtle way of closing the gates. Second, leaving the alien "Tuffy" in care of an ordinary family with no government oversight is completely implausible. Third, the device friendly aliens give to humans in the epilogue is not connected to the plot, serves no purpose other than "WOW" factor, and breaks more laws of physics than the rest of the book put together; you'd think the physicist protagonist would at least mention THAT. And fourth, the book leaves a huge loose end. How huge? About the size of Boca Raton, FL. Or, you could say "Cthulhu-sized" :) Even if that loose end is a hook for the sequel, again, someone should at least mention it after main alien threat is defeated.

4-0 out of 5 stars Ringo at his best
Ringo novels are a particular taste.Those who like them tend to love them.They are can do attitude novels in the sense that Heinlein's YA's were.If this is you [and it is me] you will love this book.Read it in one sitting and do not regret the HC price.A Ringo universe is a special place where smart NCO's run the universe and gaming and pop culture references abound [think Buffy in a universe without girls and the Shakespeare references].Any book where characters mentally doing SAN checks as if you were in an RPG is well worth the time and money. ... Read more


9. Fahrenheit 451
by RAY BRADBURY
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.29
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Asin: 0345342968
Catlog: Book (1987-08-12)
Publisher: Del Rey
Sales Rank: 976
Average Customer Review: 4.06 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Nowadays firemen start fires. Fireman Guy Montag loves to rush to a fire and watch books burn up. Then he met a seventeen-year old girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid, and a professor who told him of a future where people could think. And Guy Montag knew what he had to do....
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Reviews (969)

4-0 out of 5 stars Burning on the mind
Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, a thought-provoking book about censorship centered around book burning, seemed to get off to a slow start by following the life of the main character, Guy Montag, a firefighter who does not put out fires, but rather burns books for a living. Some of the descriptions given at the beginning of the book were confusing at first, like those of the parlor walls, which really turned out to be futuristic video screens, and the mechanical hound, a robot which is used to track and kill people by the chemical scents they leave behind. However, as I got into the book more, I felt that the almost boring way Bradbury wrote the introduction helps give the reader a sense of what Montag's life was normally like, and allows the reader to see the vastness of the changes he encounters in his lifestyle.
I also felt that as the plot thickened, Bradbury did an excellent job of giving Guy human qualities, such as making him impulsive and sometimes hot-tempered, and showing how he strove to do what he thought was right. His interactions with other characters are very real, especially those with his boss, Beatty. When Montag starts to regret burning books, and starts to perceive that there is more to the books he burns for a living than he and most other people believe, Beatty senses Montag's change in emotion, and does his best to set him straight, telling him that books are only filled with useless thoughts and people and places created by writers that are long gone. This is the main conflict that leads to the rising action of the novel. Montag is told that books are bad, and thus by human nature becomes even more interested in them. However, the conflict is greater than this, as it is not just Montag versus Beatty. Besides also trying to get his ditsy wife interested in books, Montag faces an internal battle with himself. He has to weigh the consequences of getting caught with books with the rewards of what he could possibly gain by reading. I especially appreciated the effort Bradbury went through to bring the feelings and emotions Montag goes experiences to the reader by his word choice, and the way he showed the reader how Montag was playing a sort of tug-of-war in his mind.
I think Bradbury did a good job surprising the reader whenever possible, such as with Montag's actions. Just when you begin to think that you might see how Guy will act in a situation, Bradbury twists the outcome, keeping you on the edge of your seat in some cases, or at least wondering what will happen next. Such is the case with Faber; a man Montag becomes friends with who also has interests in the forbidden world of books. Just as Bradbury leads the reader to believe that Faber will be somewhat in control of how Guy responds to the remarks of his boss Beatty, Montag leaves Faber in the dust, taking matters into his own hands and acting on impulse.
Bradbury uses a serious tone throughout the novel, which helps to bring forth the importance of the subject at hand. I liked the serous way in which Bradbury presents the world Montag lives in, a world without books or leisure reading material. This made me question what I would do if I were in Montag's situation, even though in this day and age it is quite unlikely that books would suddenly be totally banned. It really got me thinking about censorship in general, and how at times in the past we made steps toward making Montag's world a reality by banning books from libraries and bookstores. On the other hand, in brought to light the fact that the bans placed on many books were lifted after such acts were declared unconstitutional, which somewhat renewed my faith in the ability of our government and society to recognize and correct some of its mistakes.
The novel is still thought provoking, however, because no matter what kind of society we live in today, we can all imagine living in one that is totally different, one we do not feel comfortable in, one that we let our imaginations run wild in creating it, making it painful to think about let alone live in. I enjoyed how the novel made me realize how many freedoms we have nowadays, and how they can easily be taken away.
Without spoiling the ending, I just want to say that I thought it was very fitting. As Granger says near the end of the novel, "You're not important. You're not anything." Montag and his group would have appeared to be insignificant to any unsuspecting stranger, even though they were the keys to a vast world of knowledge, one they hope someday the world will get to experience again.
Though I do think that Ray Bradbury did a very good job of writing Fahrenheit 451, I feel that it has a few weaknesses. First would have to be a shortness of description, especially at the beginning of the novel when the reader is trying to form an image of the world Montag lives in. His short initial description of things such as the parlor walls and the mechanical hound left me somewhat confused about what they really had to do with the novel. Another case of confusion occurred with the mechanical snake that was used to empty Montag's wife's stomach and change her blood while she was sleeping after Montag found out that his wife, Mildred, had swallowed some thirty sleeping pills. It is not so confusing how this event happens but rather why it happens, and it does not seem to be important later in the story.
Despite some weaknesses, the main point of Fahrenheit 451 is clear, and makes the book a definite "must-read."

4-0 out of 5 stars A Prophetic Novel of Censorship
Guy Montag is a firefighter who burns things. Specifically books, and the houses they are found in. He lives in a state where books, and possesion of them, is illegal. Guy enjoys his job until the day he meets Clarisse McClellan.

Clarisse makes Guy doubt his motives and he soon becomes daring enough to break the law and read a book. He finds he loves litereature, he keeps steals books from the houses he's burning and reads them at home. He finally goes as far as to skip work one day, and his Fire Department Captain, Captain Beatty, shows up at his home. He tells Montag that it's normal for a Fireman to go through such doubts at a stage in his life. Then proceeds to go through a long monologue as to the history of banning books. According to him, special interest groups objected to books that criticized, belittled, or undermined their causes. For this reason, books became more and more neutral in order to avoid offending anyone. However, this still wasn't enough. So society agreed to outlaw books.

Montag is not convinced and begins to plot with a professor he had previously met named Faber. They plan on planting books in the houses of Firemen as a way of discrediting the profession and destroying the governments unit for censorship. However, thing go when the alarm sounds at the firestation and Montag goes to the last house he'll burn in is career, his house.

Unlike its fellow dystopia-themed predecessor, 1984, much of Fahrenheit 451's depiction of modern society came true almost prophetically. Although not outlawed, literature now holds a narrow audience. And the brainwashing televisions Ray Bradbury depicts aren't far off of today's one-eyed-boxes.

Ray Bradbury's adjectival descriptions in this book are strong, even at times; on occasion, one could even say they became monotonous. However, the books never crawls forward for to long; the progress, although not quick, still moves fast enough to keep the reader's attention.

Overall a strong novel censorship. Although not perfectI would recommend Fahrenheit 451 to any reader interested in either mere science-fiction, or one actually interested in a political criticism of censorship. Both will find their time well spent, the latter will definitely get more out of it, as for the previous. . .
Maybe you would enjoy Star Wars??

5-0 out of 5 stars Definition of a classic...
I've heard so many people say they've been influenced by Bradbury (writers and others) and I can see why--this is simply a great novel. Bradbury is really a national treasure. If you ever get the chance to hear him speak, don't miss him. His stories are priceless. (Especially the one about his anger at people telling him for years that he was crazy to believe man would set foot on the moon in his lifetime. He said he called up every person who laughed in his face the night Neil Armstrong did--and pretty much laughed in their faces!) There is a fantastic one-on-one interview with him in the Walt Disney Tomorrowland-Disney in Space and Beyond DVD (interviewer is Leonard Maltin). His friendship with Disney (a fellow futurist) was fascinating. But it's the sense of wonder and child-like curiosity and optimism (not childish or blind optimism as he clearly understands what can create a dystopia) that make you realize why he is a national treasure. He's inspired me to look to the future, to look up, to look forward, to always be wary and alert to what can go wrong, (and the dangers of closed or lazy minds) BUT not to let any of that stop you--that anything is possible in a world willing to believe, in a free world with open and curious minds.

5-0 out of 5 stars A book that continues to touch on modern life
Though I was long familiar with many of Bradbury's works, I had put off reading "Fahrenheit 451" in favor of other books until a friend lent it to me recently. After reading it, I'm angry with myself for having taken so long to pick it up. This book is a fantastic tale of a future society that abandons intellectual development and destroys its books. Like all great literature, it offers insight into our society today despite having been written over a half-century ago, and it continues to reward reading today.

This book is more than a seminal work of dystopian literature, however; it is also one of the most elegant meditations on the value of literature in modern society that I have ever read. In envisioning a society that destroys books, Bradbury has to explain what is lost as a result. His answer, as we see in Faber's expositions during Montag's visit, is the exact thing which makes this book worth reading - the insights we gain into our own world and our own lives through reading. Integral to this process, of course, is the fact that people must read them and put what they take from them to good use for a society to thrive; as Bradbury notes, the first step towards the world of his novel was taken when people stopped reading. It is this message which makes "Fahrenheit 451" essential reading, especially in a society where entertainment today bears an ever-closer resemblance to the noise-dominated media depicted in Bradbury's nightmarish future.

1-0 out of 5 stars Reply to a response
How does someone miss the point of a REVIEW by such a vast margin? I agree with your and Mr. Bradbury's alarm about the state of politics and culture, but my review was not concerned with his message, but with his storytelling. Just because one agrees with an author's stance does not mean that one has to like the way in which the author conveyed that stance. Mine was a literary critique, not a political one, and those who rate this book so highly simply because of the gravity of the message are deeply misguided. Message aside, it's an awfully cheesy and childish book. Admit it.

Anyway, I said the DIALOGUE was wooden. The characters were flat. ;) ... Read more


10. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker's Trilogy (Paperback))
by DOUGLAS ADAMS
list price: $7.50
our price: $6.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345391810
Catlog: Book (1995-09-27)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 1753
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"DOUGLAS ADAMS IS A TERRIFIC SATIRIST."
--The Washington Post Book World
Facing annihilation at the hands of the warlike Vogons is a curious time to have a craving for tea. It could only happen to the cosmically displaced Arthur Dent and his curious comrades in arms as they hurtle across space powered by pure improbability--and desperately in search of a place to eat.
Among Arthur's motley shipmates are Ford Prefect, a longtime friend and expert contributor to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy; Zaphod Beeblebrox, the three-armed, two-headed ex-president of the galaxy; Tricia McMillan, a fellow Earth refugee who's gone native (her name is Trillian now); and Marvin, the moody android who suffers nothing and no one very gladly. Their destination? The ultimate hot spot for an evening of apocalyptic entertainment and fine dining, where the food (literally) speaks for itself.
Will they make it? The answer: hard to say. But bear in mind that the Hitchhiker's Guide deleted the term "Future Perfect" from its pages, since it was discovered not to be!
"What's such fun is how amusing the galaxy looks through Adams' sardonically silly eyes."
--Detroit Free Press
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Reviews (84)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hilarious Sequel
Picking up right where "The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy" left off, Douglas Adams' "The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe" continues the hilarious intergalactic adventures of earthman Arthur Dent, his alien chum Ford Prefect, the two-headed freakazoid Zaphod Beeblebrox, earthwoman Trillian, and Marvin The Paranoid Android. When we last left this ragtag bunch, they were still on the run from the intergalactic authorities in their stolen souped-up spacecraft, The Heart Of Gold. Book 2 includes Zaphod's outrageous adventure to find the man who rules the Universe, a memorable stop at Milliways, The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe, the gang's close shave with having their ship plunge into a sun (all part of a rock concert spectacle put on by the rock group Disaster Area), and finally, Ford & Arthur's adventure onboard an Ark ship manned by a clueless bunch from the planet Golgafrincham. Oh, a startling revelation will also be made, and The Ultimate Question to the Ultimate Answer of "Forty-Two" will also be revealed! (Well, sort of....). Once again, Adams' brilliantly clever wit & writing style shines through on every page, and the book, like it's predecessor, is a real gutbuster.If you have enjoyed the adventures of Arthur Dent & Ford Prefect & company so far, why stop now? Please go to Book 3 in Adams' marvelous sci-fi comedy series, "Life, The Universe, And Everything"....

5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Follow-Up
Often follow-up projects are a let down, especially when the original is as successful at The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Well, this one lives up to expectations. While looking for the question to the answer of life, the universe, and everything, our lot of characters experience more unpredictable (should I say improbable) events. Traveling through time, or even understanding how to talk about it, will really blow your mind. The restaurant at the end of the universe and the total perspective vortex are also worth the visits, although for very different reasons. And don't worry, it appears that the universe is in good hands - at least so says Trillian. Arthur and Ford's encounter with the Galgafrinchens also puts them a step closer to the ultimate question.

I wouldn't start with this book. Adams has written it in such a way that the background of the first book (as I mentioned above) is really good to know. I would have given this 4 3/4 stars if possible, as the ending isn't quite as tidy as the first book; but rounding forces us up to the top mark. This book is another fun, quick read, which I think is the way Adams intended it.

5-0 out of 5 stars As great as everything else Douglas has written. But still..
This is a review of the Restaurant At The End Of The Universe
(AUDIO CD rendition).

The Book is fantastic! Totally hilarious. A welcome sequel to
any first-time reader of HGTG. The CD set consists of five (5)
CDs, and the story is read by Douglas Adams (the author) himself.
For anyone not familiar with the voice of DA, his reading,
inflections, and ease in switching voices during dialog passages
adds greatly to the presentation. The CD does have some
'electronically-modified' voices (Marvin & the ship's computer,
for instance), but they're all Douglas Adams, and he makes
it quite difficult not to laugh out loud while listening.
It's also pretty hard not to consume the whole book at one
sitting.

My two complaints on this media presentation are that it is
simply a straight transfer to CD of Douglas Adams'
CASSETTE-TAPE recordings. They didnt even remove all of the
'End of Side' notations from the original. Imagine that
you're listening to the story, and in the *middle* of a
disc, you hear Douglas say "End of side TWO". Then the story
continues. I also have to mention my biggest
beef with this presentation (as with ALL of the CD renditions)
which is that each disc is comprised of only ONE track!
You cannot jump forward or backward by chapters. If you
cannot listen to an entire disc at one sitting (about an hour),
then you cannot resume midway if you happen to stop the disc.
In this regard, the cassette-tapes excel over the CD renditions.

Considering that Douglas was pretty-much a techno-hound, I think
he'd be pretty disgusted that his works were being stamped-out
in such a shoddy fashion.

All-in-all, the book is as good as, if not better than,
the HITCHHIKERS GUIDE. Adams fanatics will love it. It's a
book that demonstrates that DA was an accomplished wordsmith,
and that he spent considerable time and effort to add hundreds
of subtle cross-references between passages that cannot be
caught at first reading (listening). In this regard, you'll
find something new each time you consume this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Secong helping of classic series
"Restaurant" is the follow-up to the first one, and it doesn't disapoint. Hilarious bits like the universe's loudest band, and of course, the scene at the Restaurant is great. The ending is a bit ironic, but funny. You can quite tell that there was going to be a sequel. We still wonder at this point was the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything is though.(The next books tells us). Another great book that you'll laugh with.

2-0 out of 5 stars A definate let down
After reading the first volume, I was looking forward to this one. What a disappointment! This book went around and around and ended up no where.

Save your money. If you enjoyed the first volume, be satisfied. That's as good as it gets. ... Read more


11. Shadow of the Giant (Ender)
by Orson Scott Card
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312857586
Catlog: Book (2005-03-01)
Publisher: Tor Books
Sales Rank: 47561
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Book Description

Bean's past was a battle just to survive.He first appeared on the streets of Rotterdam, a tiny child with a mind leagues beyond anyone else.He knew he could not survive through strength; he used his tactical genius to gain acceptance into a children's gang, and then to help make that gang a template for success for all the others.He civilized them, and lived to grow older. Then he was discovered by the recruiters for the Battle School.

For Earth was at war - a terrible war with an inscrutable alien enemy. A war that humanity was near to losing.But the long distances of interstellar space has given hope to the defenders of Earth - they had time to train military geniuses up from childhood, forging them into an irresistible force in the high-orbital facility called the Battle School.That story is told in two books, the beloved classic ENDER'S GAME, and its parallel, ENDER'S SHADOW.

Bean wasthe smallest student at the Battle School, but he became Ender Wiggins' right hand, Since then he has grown to be a power on Earth.He served the Hegemon as strategist and general in the terrible warsthat followed Ender's defeat of the alien empire attacking Earth. Now he and his wife Petra yearn for a safe place to build a family - something he has never known - but there is nowhere on Earth that does not harbor his enemies - old enemies from the days in Ender's Jeesh, new enemies from the wars on Earth. To find security,Bean and Petra must once again follow in Ender's footsteps.They must leave Earth behind, in the control of the Hegemon, and look to the stars.
... Read more

12. Life, the Universe and Everything (Hitchhiker's Trilogy (Paperback))
by DOUGLAS ADAMS
list price: $7.50
our price: $6.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345391829
Catlog: Book (1995-09-27)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 3202
Average Customer Review: 4.06 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"HYSTERICAL!"
--The Philadelphia Inquirer
The unhappy inhabitants of planet Krikkit are sick of looking at the night sky above their heads--so they plan to destroy it. The universe, that is. Now only five individuals stand between the white killer robots of Krikkit and their goal of total annihilation.
They are Arthur Dent, a mild-mannered space and time traveler, who tries to learn how to fly by throwing himself at the ground and missing; Ford Prefect, his best friend, who decides to go insane to see if he likes it; Slartibartfast, the indomitable vicepresident of the Campaign for Real Time, who travels in a ship powered by irrational behavior; Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed, three-armed ex-head honcho of the Universe; and Trillian, the sexy space cadet who is torn between a persistent Thunder God and a very depressed Beeblebrox.
How will it all end? Will it end? Only this stalwart crew knows as they try to avert "universal" Armageddon and save life as we know it--and don't know it!
"ADAMS IS ONE OF THOSE RARE TREASURES: an author who, one senses, has as much fun writing as one has reading."
--The Arizona Daily Star
... Read more

Reviews (71)

3-0 out of 5 stars Decent Entry In The Hitchhiker's Saga
After being marooned on prehistoric Earth for several years, Arthur Dent and his alien chum Ford Prefect are rescued by the sudden appearance of a runaway sofa, which transports them millions of years into the future to a cricket game in England, a mere days before the Earth is due to be demolished by the evil Vogons. From here, the duo are reunited with their old friend Slartibartfast (from the first book), with whom they must embark on a mission to save the Universe. And yes, Zaphod Beeblebrox, Trillian, and Marvin the paranoid android all have roles to play, too.... Book 3 in Douglas Adams' "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy" series, "Life, The Universe, And Everything," is certainly an amusing, occasionally hilarious entry in the zany intergalactic adventures of Arthur Dent and friends. Unfortunately, it falls short in comparison to the briliantly funny pair of books, "The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy" and "The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe," that preceded it. This may be because Books 1 & 2 were adapted from Adams' hilarious BBC radio play that started the whole "Hitchhikers" saga, while "Life" is a "Hitchhiker's" work that's not based on any previous material. Therefore, Adams' writing style for "Life" feels very different from the first two books, and doesn't flow as well. It's still funny, it's just not AS funny. The jokes are more fragmented, and Adams breaks apart *many* of the sentences that the characters speak in Book 3, which gets tiresome after awhile (ex: "The difficulty with this conversation," said Arthur, after a sort of ponderous look had crawled slowly across his face like a mountaineer negotiating a tricky outcrop, "is that it's very different from most of the ones I've had of late."). Therefore, some of the jokes miss the mark. Also, there's less excerpts from the Hitchhiker's Guide book itself, so often quoted in the first two books, so that's missed as well.And yet, "Life, The Universe, And Everything" still has some great comic moments, such as Zaphod Beeblebrox's drinking binge, Arthur's encounter with the creature Agrajag, the chapter on how to play Brockian Ultra Krikkit, and a pretty outrageous dinner party in space that Arthur & the gang crash. Overall, "Life, The Universe And Everything" is a decent entry in the "Hitchhiker's Guide" saga, and it's funny enough for me to give it a passing grade. Thankfully, though, Douglas Adams gets things right back on track with the brilliant fourth book, "So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish"....

5-0 out of 5 stars Life, the Universe and Everything
Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect, Zaphod Beeblebrox, Slartibartfast, and Trillian are back in the third novel of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Trilogy, Life, the Universe and Everything, published in 1982. After being stranded on prehistoric Earth, Arthur and Ford find a rip in the space-time continuum that catapults them through time to one day before the Earth's destruction. Luckily, however, they are rescued by an old friend, Slartibartfast. Once aboard Slartibartifast's ship, Arthur and Ford find out from Slartibartfast that the people of Krikkit are out to destroy the Universe. Their motive: they are sick of looking at the sky above their head, which, according to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, is the "...least interesting sight in the entire Universe."
When Arthur is diverted while teleporting to a strange planet, he discovers that he is inside a giant mountain dedicated to the people he has killed. However, these thousands people are, coincidentally, all the reincarnations of the same being named Agrajag. This being was finally going to get his revenge when, accidentally, Arthur killed him yet again. With his last ounce of strength, Agrajag managed to set the countdown for the demolition of the mountain. During his escape, Arthur tripped and, while falling, his attention was drawn by a bag on the ground, which he recognized as his own. He then realized that he was hovering a few inches off the ground and had successfully thrown himself at the ground and missed, and was in fact, flying. Arthur later meets up with Slartibartfast and Ford at the Universe's largest party in search of Trillian. Upon finding her, the head out to Krikkit to try and stop them from using a small bomb that will destroy the entire Universe.
Adams' writing style is extremely humorous and descriptive. He uses many literary devices such as simile and personification. Adams colorfully describes a strange being out to kill Arthur Dent, "Each of his three eyes was small and intense and looked about as sane as a fish in a privet bush." I thought that the book was great and lived up to its legacy, the same wacky adventures and all-out mayhem in the previous books is all here. For all of those who couldn't get enough of the craziness of the first two Hitchhiker's books, this one is a must read.

5-0 out of 5 stars 42!
I have no idea why no one seems to give this book good reviews! It is uber funny, just as much as the first two. I liked the exclusive terms for the actions of matresses and the whole Agrajag thing, which was honestly the funniest thing I have ever read! As for the Krikkit peoples, this line is one of Adam's most memorable, besides the number 42: "It's got to go." Also, I have established Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged as an all time favorite literary personality, because, well, seriously people, his dream is to insult the universe! Original. Personally, I don't see what all the fuss is about.

3-0 out of 5 stars Third book starts Hitchhiker slump..
"Life, the Universe, and Everything" is the third book in the five-book series, and it feels that away. It is not quite as great as the first two, but still enough to be good. The puns are great, as Dent and Co. go up against the evil Crikket aliens. Brit-isms abound, and some great moments of humor here, but doesn't get you rolling around in the seats. 42!

4-0 out of 5 stars I love the Universe
Life, the Universe and Everything was interesting to follow the first two. The main theme is obvious same the universes, unlike in the other books it was kind of hidden under what was going on in them. The book was great with the whole time traveling. Plus you get to see what happens to every character one at a time then they all come together at the end to complete a nice third book.

I would have to say I like this book for the plot twists. Also I like how it flowed with the other books nicely unlike some, trilogies if you will, done have a lot to do with each other just the characters. You find out more about the white robots and cricket....

This book, its great... sorry but I believe it is. It doesn't follow the typical style of book writing most people are used too. But I loved the couch (you'll see why if you read the book), also that poor rabbit... so sad. This and many other interesting twist's and turns await you in this book. ... Read more


13. So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
by DOUGLAS ADAMS
list price: $7.50
our price: $7.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345391837
Catlog: Book (1999-03-29)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 3534
Average Customer Review: 4.07 out of 5 stars
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Book Description


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?
... Read more

Reviews (58)

5-0 out of 5 stars a Hitchhiker's love story
"So Long, and Thanks For All the Fish" is without a doubt the best book in the entire Hitchhiker's trilogy (even though its book four).

This book strikes me as having a very similar tone to Adams' Dirk Gently novels--of which I am a huge fan. While there is every bit as much hilarious caper going on in this book as there was in the previous three, we get the added bonus of some great character development, a few of the most poignant moments in the entire series, and Marvin's moving farewell to life, the universe and everything.

We also discover God's final message to his creation.

Woven throughout all the other stuff of this story is a tale of Arthur falling in love. I was surprised by Adams' ability to write a great love story. Rarely have I encountered one as powerful in any form of popular fiction (the only other that deserved to stand with it is Stephen King's "Wizard and Glass"--but that's apples and tank treads).

Now that I've managed to blather ineffectively about this great book...just take my word. Get it. It is more than worth it.

5-0 out of 5 stars just as good as the original trilogy
This is the fourth volume in the Hitchhiker's Trilogy and it is just as good as the first three books of this increasingly inaccurately named trilogy. Douglas Adams brings Arthur Dent back to Earth after a long trip hitchhiking across the universe. Yes, Arthur Dent is back on the same Earth that was destroyed by the Vogons to make an intergalactic highway. Exactly how the Earth and all of its original inhabitants are recreated is teased and hinted at and if you pay attention to what you're reading you'll easily figure out why (more why, than how).

Arthur Dent is back on Earth and pretty confused as to exactly how there is an Earth to be back on. Throughout this novel we learn that all the dolphins are gone (which is old news and no longer newsworthy), and we meet a Rain God, find out what God's Final Message to Creation is, revisit Marvin the robot, and find out that Arthur finds love with a woman named Fenchurch. That's a whole lot to fit into one book. On top of that, we have levitation, a small house that walled in the entire ocean, Ford Prefect, and the world's stupidest dog. All of this is handled with the offbeat humor that we expect from The Hitchhiker's Trilogy.

This novel, for a change, focuses on Arthur Dent and takes place almost entirely on Earth. In this way, it is different from the Universe hopping we got in the first three novels. In both quality and content, this is a worthy addition to Douglas Adam's Hitchhiker's Trilogy.

3-0 out of 5 stars The series curveball..
"So long.." is the fourth in the classic series, and it seeks to twist you up and down. It blatently contradicts what was learned in the first three, so we can be introduced to new, odd characters. Arthur's romance with Fenchurch is good, but we do wonder what the point is. Wonko's philosophy is interesting, but that's the only real laugh in it.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Great Escape to...Our Own Planet!
Oh, Douglas Adams! What humor! It's been a really really long time since I read him, and I honestly don't remember which books in the Hitch-Hiker trilogy I've read. However, I recently picked up "So Long, and Thanks..." without much trouble. I knew I was missing some references and character development, but it seemed like I could gather enough threads in this random plot to get a gist of his story.

The basic idea of "So Long, and Thanks..." is that Ford Prefect and Arthur Dent both suddenly realize that earth still appears to exist - even though last they knew it was to be demolished for a hyper-space bypass. Neither understands, but both hitch-hike their way back there (er, here) to check it out.

While Prefect gets hung up along the way nabbing free meals, fighting aliens, and setting up inane pranks, Dent makes it back to England fairly quickly. As he walks towards his home, which he hasn't been to in roughly 8 years and a bizillion miles, he hears the phone ringing and so rushes into his house to get it. Just as he picks up the receiver, it stops ringing. And so begins his adventures back on his own planet.

From there, you roughly stay with Dent as he settles back in on eart, falls in love, and reconciles the past 30 years of his life. He meets Wonko the Sane, who really does seem quite sane, and learns what happened to all the dolphins. He finishes this installment with a journey to see God's final message to his creation. It probably took guts for Adams to come up with something that's supposed to be God's final message, but he pulls it off quite well.

Overall, I would say that Adam's story-telling nature seems to be so erratic, so creative, so outside the normal bounds that you get transported to another dimension in reading his work. Even though most of this story takes place on earth, you begin to see physics, dolphins and junk mail in a whole new light. You feel witty just catching on to his allusions and subtle writing quirks. For instance,
"["The Hitch Hiker's Guide"] is, essentially, as the title implies, a guide book. The problem is, or rather one of the problems, for there are many, a sizeable proportion of which are continually clogging up the civil, commercial and criminal courts in all areas of the Galaxy, and especially, where possibly, the more corrupt ones, this.
The previous sentence makes sense. That is not the problem. The problem is: Change. Read it through again and you will get it. The Galaxy is a rapidly changing place..."

If you are looking for a good laugh and/or a good escape that essentially deals with the questions of your own world, this book would be a good fit.

5-0 out of 5 stars The REAL Conclusion To The Hitchhiker's Saga
Still hitchhiking his way through the galaxy on an alien spaceship, Arthur Dent passes by the area in the Solar System where his home planet of Earth used to be (before it was blown up by the evil Vogons), and is absolutely astonished to discover that the Earth is still there. He's dropped off by the spaceship nearby his home, where he slowly but surely comes to grips with being back on his home world. Arthur soon discovers that the demolition of Earth by the Vogons has now been written off by the planet's population as a great big, possibly government-induced "hallucination." Arthur also discovers that all of the planet's dolphins have mysteriously vanished. However, there's also love in the air for Arthur, as he soon meets a beautiful young woman named Fenchurch, who may hold the key to the mysterious re-appearance of Earth, and the equally mysterious disappearance of the dolphins. Meanwhile, Arthur's old alien friend Ford Prefect, hitchhiking in a different part of the galaxy, also discovers that the Earth has suddenly re-appeared, and plots a course for Earth to rejoin Arthur. And, for the coup de grace, God's Final Message To His Creation will also be revealed by the book's end...."So Long And Thanks For All The Fish" is Book 4 in Douglas Adams' popular five-part sci fi/comedy series, "The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy." Call me a "Hitchhiker's" purist, but as far as I'm concerned, "So Long" is the final "Hitchhiker's" book, as Douglas Adams *originally* intended. I've completely disowned Book 5, "Mostly Harmless," which Adams, by his own admission, only wrote on a whim, and, in my opinion, is the worst book of the bunch, an incredibly disappointing and totally unnecessary extension of the saga. Now, if Adams had stuck to his original plan and left the "Hitchhiker's" series alone after "So Long," it would've been perfect, for "So Long" is a brilliantly funny book that's just as hilarious as Books 1 & 2, "The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy" and "The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe," and picks up the slack that Adams left with the unspectacular Book 3, "Life, The Universe And Everything." Adams revisits his clever, witty writing style from the first two books, with all of the jokes squarely hitting their targets, and his amusing love story for Arthur and Fenchurch is very nicely done as well (hey, it's about time Arthur got himself a woman!). Many great scenes throughout, such as Arthur's initial road-accident courtship of Fenchurch, the plight of Rob McKenna (who has rainclouds follow him everywhere he goes), Ford Prefect's attempt to pay for a gargantuan drinking bill on another planet with a credit card, Arthur & Fenchurch's flying escapade, their meeting with Wonko The Sane, Ford's drunken reunion with Arthur, the re-appearance of Marvin the android, and, of course, God's Final Message, which really does seem to put all of Arthur's misadventures throughout the galaxy in context in a single sentence.I have an old, leather-bound edition of the "Hitchhiker's" saga, printed in 1987, that only goes up through "So Long," with a forward by Adams in which he refers to "So Long" as the "last" book. I, personally, have chosen to honor Adams' original intentions, and simply refuse to read Book 5, "Mostly Harmless," ever again. In my opinion, "Mostly Harmless" is a hallucination, a hologram, a figment of everybody's imagination. It does not exist. For me, "So Long And Thanks For All The Fish" is the TRUE final "Hitchhiker's" book, a wonderfully funny & touching conclusion to the adventures of Arthur Dent & friends, as Douglas Adams originally intended it to be. ... Read more


14. Slaughterhouse-Five
by KURT VONNEGUT
list price: $7.50
our price: $6.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0440180295
Catlog: Book (1991-11-03)
Publisher: Laurel
Sales Rank: 701
Average Customer Review: 4.39 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Kurt Vonnegut's absurdist classic Slaughterhouse-Five introduces us to Billy Pilgrim, a man who becomes unstuck in time after he is abducted by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore. In a plot-scrambling display of virtuosity, we follow Pilgrim simultaneously through all phases of his life, concentrating on his (and Vonnegut's) shattering experience as an American prisoner of war who witnesses the firebombing of Dresden.

Don't let the ease of reading fool you--Vonnegut's isn't a conventional, or simple, novel. He writes, "There are almost no characters in this story, and almost no dramatic confrontations, because most of the people in it are so sick, and so much the listless playthings of enormous forces. One of the main effects of war, after all, is that people are discouraged from being characters..." Slaughterhouse-Five (taken from the name of the building where the POWs were held) is not only Vonnegut's most powerful book, it is as important as any written since 1945. Like Catch- 22, it fashions the author's experiences in the Second World War into an eloquent and deeply funny plea against butchery in the service of authority. Slaughterhouse-Five boasts the sameimagination, humanity, and gleeful appreciation of the absurd found in Vonnegut's other works, but the book's basis in rock-hard, tragic fact gives it a unique poignancy--and humor. ... Read more

Reviews (448)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Absurdity
This book is as fascinating as it is strange. It takes an important and normal concept like W.W.II, and through narration, repetition, and dark humor, turns it into a strong political statement before you realize what it is really saying.
Vonnegut writes this so that it is easy to read and it moves quickly. When he talks about violence or death, he points it out so blatantly and casually that it is disguised, and the reader quickly passes over it.
It is very serious and well thought out, despite its casual narration and humor. Kurt Vonnegut uses strange ideas like aliens to help paint a clear picture of the main character Billy Pilgrim's life, and provide a way to break up the war story and the horror of the Dresden bombing with other information.
The alien concept of time is also very interesting and provides something to think about for quite some time after reading the novel.

5-0 out of 5 stars Logical and confused
When the movie based on the book was presented in Italian cinemas, I was in my pre-teens and, being it rated NC-14, all I was allowed to look at was its trailer. Even it, alone, left me a strange impression, as a result of an usual mix of war, science fiction and sex (very few, however, but then considered enough for rating). The book has been a full confirmation of that boyhood memory: strict language, dark humour, plenty of references (The Execution of Private Slovik is an interesting historical note), an underlying structure uncorrelated events are attached over, build up an environment logical and confused at the same time. All books by Vonnegut I have read so far are someway related to previous references or boyhood memories, so I sensed a hint of completion of old knowledge by their reading. So considering him as the best author in science fiction may be an exaggeration, but I am glad I have read this book now: I think I could have not appreciated the random jumps in the thread when I was used to the "fairy tale" SF.

5-0 out of 5 stars Read it again
I know this novel fairly well having read it several times (once aloud to my students). It is about all time being always present if only we knew, or could realize it, or had a sense about time in the same way we have senses for light and sound.

It is also about the Allied fire bombings of Dresden which killed more people than the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. (And so it goes.) Kurt Vonnegut begins as though writing a memoir and advises us that "All of this happened, more or less..." Of course it did not, and yet, as with all real fiction, it is psychologically true. His protagonist, Billy Pilgrim, an unlikely hero, somewhat in the manner of unlikely heroes to come like Forest Gump and the hero of Jerzy Kosinski's Being There, transcends time and space as he bumbles along. This is a comédie noire--a "black comedy"--not to be confused with "film noir," a cinematic genre in which the bad guys may win or at least they are made sympathetic. In comédie noire the events are horrific but the style is light-hearted. What the genres have in common is a non-heroic protagonist.

This is also a totally original work written in a most relaxing style that fuses the elements of science fiction with realism. It is easy to read (which is one of the reasons it can be found on the high school curriculum in our public schools). It is sharply satirical, lampooning not only our moral superiority, our egocentricity, but our limited understanding of time and space. And of course it is an anti-war novel in the tradition of All Quiet on the Western Front and Johnny Got His Gun.

Vonnegut's view of time in this novel is like the stratification of an upcropping of rock: time past and time present are there for us to see, but also there is time future. Billy Pilgrim learns from the Tralfamadorians (who kidnapped him in 1967) that we are actually timeless beings who experience what we call the past, present and future again and again. And so Billy goes back to the war and forward to his marriage, and to Tralfamadore again and again. He learns that the Tralfamadorians see the stars not as bright spots of light but as "rarefied, luminous spaghetti" and human beings as "great millepedes with babies' legs at one end and old people's legs at the other." So time is not a river, nor is it a snake with its tail in its mouth. It is omnipresent, yet some things occur before and some after, but always they occur again.

And so it goes.

What I admire most about this most admirable novel is how easily and naturally Vonnegut controls the narrative and how effortlessly seems its construction. It is almost as if Vonnegut sat down one day and let his thoughts wander, and when he was through, here is this novel.

In a sense, Vonnegut invented a new novelistic genre, combining fantasy with realism, touched by fictionalized memoir, penned in a comedic mode as horror is overtaken by a kind of fatalistic yet humorous view of life. Note here the appearance of Kilgore Trout, Vonnegut's alter-ego, the science fiction writer who is said to have invented Tralfamadore.

Bottom line: read this without preconceptions and read it without regard to the usual constraints. Just let it flow and accept it for what it is, a juxtaposition of several genres, a tale of fiction, that--as fiction should--transcends time and space.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Satire, Sad Implications
This book though one of the less artistic from Vonnegut, it however, is one of the most poignant. The great adventure of a WWII veteran seeking both a story to tell in his book and a rationale for all the people who died there. "So it goes." Vonnegut takes us in the psyche of many a soldier who served in that fateful war. His characters are so human and realistic that it is not hard to get involved with the story. The author, since he found wars to be utterly and shamelessly stupid and pointless, found a rationale and consolation in an explanation given to one of the character in a planet millions of light-years away. Among other things, Vonnegut shows us how time travel is already possible and we all can achieve it by just thinking about it.
This books is a great satire and quite funny at times. What forbids it from being funnier is the fact that the subject matter is indeed very serious and depressing. A must for modern meta-fiction readers.

5-0 out of 5 stars Poo-tee-weet
That the victims of the Dresden firebombing were, by and large, innocent
bystanders caught in the cogs of a grisly machine called 'war' is irrefutable.
That a man named Kurt Vonnegut was there, witnessed it from the ground-level
(and below), and carried the psychological burden of it around with him for
years is obvious. That he was able to write such a brilliant book on such a
dark subject is, quite frankly, amazing.

On the surface, 'Slaughterhouse-Five' deals with the trials and tribulations of
one Billy Pilgrim, ophthalmologist and erstwhile WWII chaplain's assistant,
whose life is apparently filled with more death and destruction than his mind
has the capacity for. At least, that's what his daughter thinks when Billy
starts behaving erratically. Little does she know that he has become unstuck
in time, experiencing his life in a random, non-linear fashion forever. Since
Billy has no way of knowing what will come next, all he can do is enjoy the
good moments when they come, and deal with the bad as best he can.
Who can make sense of a life like that?

And in a larger sense Mr. Vonnegut asks us, who can make sense of a world where
people blow each other to bits for arbitrary reasons? What is there to say?
It really is for the birds: poo-tee-weet.

Truly a masterpiece of 20th-century literature. Should be required reading for
every high-school student. ... Read more


15. The Rivers of War
by ERIC FLINT
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345465679
Catlog: Book (2005-05-17)
Publisher: Del Rey
Sales Rank: 2713
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent alternate history,... but not "1632"
Excellent, like all of Eric Flint's books, but this one didn't grab my interest as quickly as the others. It's a fascinating idea for an alternate history, but the first chapters merely serve to introduce the characters (and the entire book seems to be an introduction to the REAL story, presumably to follow in succeeding volumes).

Once you get into it, it's hard to put down. And, as usual, Eric Flint's characters are better people than real-life has led me to expect (though not unrealistic, for all that). You care what happens to them, and I'm anxious to see what comes next.

To be honest, it's hard not to feel some disappointment, simply because I was hoping for the next volume in the "1632" world. That's not fair to this work, of course. And now I can eagerly anticipate yet another sequel.

5-0 out of 5 stars Solid alt-hist on a period not often looked at
In _The Rivers of War_, Eric Flint takes a break from his hugely successful "1632verse" to write what I might call a straight alternate history - one, that is, which doesn't depend on what alt-hist fans like to call "Alien Space Bats" (such as his own _1632_ or Harry Turtledove's seminal _The Guns of the South_).Instead, Flint decides to see what might have happened if the Cherokees had struck out on their own to found their own nation west of the Mississippi instead of waiting around to be driven out by the U.S. government in the infamous "Trail of Tears".To do this, he starts out by making a _very_ small change in the life of a famous American; Sam Houston.Houston, who had been adopted into the Cherokee tribe as a young boy, was serving in the U.S. Army as an ensign (a rank that doesn't exist any longer in the Army; it's basically the lowest officer grade, lower than lieutenant) in the War of 1812, assigned to the forces under General Andrew Jackson, who was at that time putting down the rebellious Creek tribe.In our "real-world" history, Houston was severely wounded at the Battle of the Horseshoe in 1814 in what is now eastern Alabama.Flint changes that incident so that Houston is only slightly wounded instead, and all else follows from that one small change - the "butterfly effect" in action.This book, the first in a series, concerns itself strictly with the events of 1814, first the Creek War, then the last campaign in Canada, then the British raid on Washington, and finally the Battle of New Orleans, so, in a sense, Flint is setting up everything for the main event.Personally, I can't wait!

5-0 out of 5 stars You hit a home run with this one!
Oh My God, Eric! - This may be your best work to date. I've giggled, laughed, cried out loud, been proud to be an American, and proud to be a country boy.... and I'm only on page 46 !

To the reader: Do you like History? Do you like military fiction? Do you like fiction that makes you FEEL? Do you like fiction that brings historical figures into your presence and makes them feel alive? If you like any of the above - Buy this book! ... Read more


16. The Making of Star Wars, Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
by JONATHAN RINZLER
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345431383
Catlog: Book (2005-04-02)
Publisher: Del Rey
Sales Rank: 2740
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (10)

3-0 out of 5 stars Ends well short of the films completion
Beware! If you buy this book the final chapter must to be downloaded as a 56-page .pdf (complete with ads for other Del Ray Star Wars products) from www.readstarwars.com. This is a decent book, but it's really bothersome that it was published well before the movie was even completed!

The information in the book, presented diary style, ends in the summer of 2004 with months of post-production work still to be done on Episode III. (The online chapter ends at the end of February 2005.) Unless you download the final chapter you will not be able to read about such "minor" things as John Williams musical score, final effects work, sound design, and editing the final film.

Sorry, but this book was a rush job. A `making of' book should take the reader right up through a films completion, not leave them hanging somewhere in the middle.

What is there is well done and the first chapter that documents the artists designing new characters, vehicles, and entire worlds before Lucas even supplies a rough draft of the script is very interesting. Throughout the book there are nice on-set photos and artwork from the production. The diary entries will most definitely give the reader an insiders' view of what its like to work on a Star Wars film.

There are some amazing artists that bring these films to the screen, too bad this book stops short of giving us the complete picture. I'd rather spend a few more dollars for a completed book than have to waste the time (and the ink in my printer) to get what should have been included to begin with.

If the final chapter were included, this is a four or five star review.

5-0 out of 5 stars A superb eyewitness account of a technological masterpiece
If you're the type of person who enjoys the behind-the-scenes documentaries of moviemaking, this book will make you feel like a Hollywood insider.Regardless of your opinion of the movie itself, most can successfully argue George Lucas has once again managed to raise the bar in the realm of visual effects and digital production.

You may be surprised to know the entire movie was shot in less than two months.The book is laid out like a diary, with day-by-day discussions of the various scenes and what the actors and crew were going through as the movie was being shot.Considering over half the movie was digitally animated, the book is also chock full of art and photographs from initial concept to finished product.

Beware, this book covers the movie inside and out, so there are plenty of spoilers.However, once you've seen the movie, this book will likely make you want to see it again to catch everything you missed.

5-0 out of 5 stars ANOTHER MUST HAVE ITEM FOR STAR WARS FANS
you really have to give George Lucas a lot of credit.I mean maybe he's just looking at more dollar signs but he, and many other filmmakers, are doing a great job these days in documenting the making of their films from day one.Whether it be for a making of book like this or for extras on the eventual DVD release, I think it's wonderful that they are taking fans into consideration.This book isn't just some fluff piece like some others that's desgigned to make a few bucks.This is a comprehensive, daily journal book written by Mr. Rinzler who was along for the entire movie-making process from the creation of storyboards and animatics to post-production editing and final touches.Rinzler lets readers become a fly on the wall to watch the entire creative process unfold.You'll see first hand the hard work and incredible pressure placed on everyone involved to not only get the movie completed, but to get it done right since this will be the last chance (as far as we know).Throughout the book there are behind the scenes photographs and conceptual drawings showing the development of various characters from initial renderings to the final, on-screen look.This is just a fascinating look inside movie-making, well worth it for Star Wars fans or anyone interested in working in film.

5-0 out of 5 stars Magic and Mayhem behind the scenes....
As thrilling as the movies themselves, these accounts of making them add to any hardcore "Star Wars" fan's enjoyment. Mishaps, inside jokes, the pressure of deadlines, meticulous attention to detail, the intricate choreography of the space battles and duels, and how those fabulous special effects are done are almost as exciting as the finished product. The demands placed upon the actors, who must "interact" convincingly with characters and weaponry that isn't even there (added later by special effects artists and computer animators) is astounding. The reader gains a new appreciation for the genius of George Lucas and crew...as well as a hope that this won't REALLY be the last of this magnificent saga.I also recommend the excellent "Once Upon a Galaxy" which is the making of "The Empire Strikes Back."

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing!!
This book is everything i expected and MUCH MORE!

It gives a great insight into the making of Ep. III, and i gotta say i always wondered how everything comes about when making a Star Wars movie: this book details it!!

Amazing pictures, great stories and a lot of details into the movie making process.

I got this book with The Art of Episode III one, and they complement each other beautifully.

This book is a must for any Star Wars fan!! ... Read more


17. Dressing a Galaxy: The Costume of Star Wars Limited Edition with DVD
by Trish Biggar
list price: $295.00
our price: $185.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 081095964X
Catlog: Book (2005-10-01)
Publisher: "Harry N. Abrams, Inc."
Sales Rank: 3834
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Book Description

· While the Star Wars saga is famous for its elaborate sets and for revolutionary visual effects, it also features some of the most unique and ornate costumes in modern film. In this exquisite volume, the intricate and beautiful fashions that have appeared in all six Star Wars films are on display-from military gear to royal gowns and the iconic garbs of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader. Every costume is brilliantly displayed in intimate detail, from preproduction sketches to the final creations. Actors, including Natalie Portman and Samuel L. Jackson, provide commentary on their experiences during principal photography, while writer-director George Lucas and producer Rick McCallum contribute their thoughts on this exploration of Star Wars costume design. Accompanied by an exhibition at the The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) Museum & Galleries at FIDM in Los Angeles, this unique visual treat is a must-have for any Star Wars fan. This limited-edition run of this book will be released with lavish gatefolds, fabric swatches, a special dvd, and a cast replica of a Wookiee belt-buckle, sure to be the ultimate Star Wars collectible.

Limited Edition Special Features

Hardcover with French-fold jacket encased in an elegant clamshell box with an Obi Wrap cloth overlay. Special features include six bound-in booklets and eight 6-page gatefolds, a costume index by character for all six films in the Star Wars Saga, 16 additional pages of color photographs and fabric swatches cut from the same bolts as the Saga's actual costume material originating from the Lucasfilm archives including swatches made from the same fabric used for Darth Vader's cape as well as a cast replica "Wookiee Belt-Buckle" symbolizing the valor and loyalty of these ferocious warriors. Also includes a Certificate of Authenticity for the Wookiee Belt Buckle replica and Costume Swatches.

Package Features
*Clamshell box wrapped in Japanese silk
*Wookie beltbuckle replica
*Darth Vader cape material
*Fabric samples (includes piece of Darth Vader's cape)

*Limited Edition Lucasfilm DVD

Edition Features
*Gatefolds (Six 6-page gatefolds)
*1.Jedi council
*2. Royalty: fabric details (embroidery, edgings, beading, sewn-in embroidery sheet)
*3. Military (featuring the Wookiees)
*4. Senators incl. Padmé outfit
*5. Rogues Gallery (Jawas, Ewoks, Cantina, Jabba's place)
*6. Farmers: Padmé outfit

Additional Signature

*Costume Archeology" (antique fabrics and pieces) | "Trisha's Scrapbook" of her travels w/passport stamps; 16 additional pages. Special Insert (accordion-fold )

"Building 37" - workroom, inspirations, pictures of JAK folders, pictures of fabricsamples, etc. of top 20 costumes, fabric samples. This special insert depicts costume evolution inside Trisha Biggar's workshop.

Eight (8) Bound-in Booklets and Inserts (loose)


1. Headresses
2. Classic character costumes
3. CG "Costume Booklet"
4. Footwear (in silhouette)
5. "Dressing Bail Organa"
6. Costume breakdown with transparent overlays
7. Jewelry
8. Darth Vader
... Read more


18. The Way to Glory
by David Drake
list price: $25.00
our price: $16.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743498828
Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
Publisher: Baen
Sales Rank: 262071
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Book Description

Violence racks Cinnabar. The fleets of the tyrannical Alliance are on the move, and at home class riots threaten to rip apart not only society but the Republic of Cinnabar Navy. Lt. Daniel Leary has earned promotion, but the needs of the Republic and the RCN require that he serve under an officer whose paranoia has already led him to execute crewmen out of hand. Signals Officer Adele Mundy has repeatedly proved her skills and loyalty as Cinnabar's most accomplished intelligence agent, but now elements within the Republic want to draw her into a conspiracy like the one that led to her parent's massacre. Leary and Mundy battle their way from riot-torn streets to spies in an outlying base and an anarchic planet where violence is the only law, but if they succeed at every stage, one test still remains: a space battle against an overwhelming Alliance force. Even for Daniel Leary it will be a difficult fight to win-and almost impossible to survive. ... Read more


19. Ender's Game (Ender Wiggin Saga)
by Orson Scott Card
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812550706
Catlog: Book (1994-07-15)
Publisher: Tor Science Fiction
Sales Rank: 867
Average Customer Review: 4.68 out of 5 stars
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New York Times

Intense is the word for Ender's Game.Aliens have attacked Earth twice and almost destroyed the human species.To make sure humans win the next encounter, the world government has taken to breeding military geniuses -- and then training them in the arts of war... The early training, not surprisingly, takes the form of 'games'... Ender Wiggin is a genius among geniuses; he wins all the games... He is smart enough to know that time is running out.But is he smart enough to save the planet? ... Read more

Reviews (2010)

5-0 out of 5 stars This is the best sci-fi book I've ever read.
This book is one of my all-time favorites. I first read it in eighth grade on a recommendation by my english teacher. I figured, "Oh yeah, this will be good." I was wrong. "Ender's Game" grabbed my attention from the beginning and hurdled me through to the very end. I loved it. Orson Scott Card's description and detail of his world of the future was always riveting and left me spellbound when I finally finished the book. Andrew "Ender" Wiggin is a very likable character that keeps the story flowing. And he is one tough kid. This book has a great fight sequence that puts Alfred Hitchcock's shower scene to shame. Zero gravity battles in an enclosed dome, space rides at close to light speed, and instant message transmission across the galaxy are just some of the things we experience while we're reading this masterpiece of science fiction literature. The screenplay and film are under negotiation to be made now. I, for one, can't wait.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ender's Game
I am not an avid reader. So when I received Ender's Game, it was quickly plopped onto a shelf to wait for a rainy day. Well the rain came. And the rain left, yet I still could not put down the book. Within only a few days (a speedy rate for me), the book was read. The character's lack of emotions, and what few he has left being so strong shows how writing really is as artistic as painting and composing. A fantastic work by Card.

Ender, at age six, is taken away from family and friends to join the army of the future, to go to a space station where he will train for years before he is sent off to defend his world. He arrives a shy and lonely boy, with suspicions that nothing is like it should be. Training (disguised as games) is difficult, and he is disliked by too many. Ender advances ranks years before he is due. Which encourages the other soldiers to hate him more. Back at home, the population (including Ender's family) create their own ideas of the truth to the battle. It is predicted that as soon as the inter-galactic war ends, the "old-fashioned" land wars between countries will take place again.

However, Earth takes a back-seat in the story of Ender. The book focuses on the feelings within Ender as he advances to the next rank, and the practices within the games (of which Ender participates in every day). The book is as emotional as they come but still keeps its action-oriented plot. There is not a single page of dull. The age of characters can sometimes be misleading and confusing, but it is mentioned little and is easily ignored.

Ender's Game is a masterpiece, a guarenteed favorite to all who read it. My recommendation can be no higher.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ender's Game
I have just a read Ender's Game. I'm reading it in a summer school class and we are dicussing many ideas and we came up with the conclusion this book is AWESOME. I also am half way through Ender's Shadow and that one is great so far. Honestly i think I like Ender's Shadow a bit more then Ender's Game, but only slightly. Orson Scott Card is an excellent author. Ender's Game makes you feel like you're up in battle school with them. If you like Ender's Game I defiantly recommend Ender's Shadow. I think it's a good idea to pick which one you like better and go along with that series and then finish the other one. Hope you enjoy this wonderful series.

4-0 out of 5 stars yes, it¿s a good book and people adore it¿ but honestly it¿s
Why You Should Read This

If you regard(ed) yourself as a gifted child you will find the reading cathartic. If you're a parent of a gifted child then you should regard this book as non-fiction. Anyone looking for a very good book to read over the weekend or during some other short interim of time then there are really no finer books. Ender's Game is an excellent book to give or recommend to someone unfamiliar with the genre who isn't desirous of much in the way of high-brow literature. If you've read other books by Card and are (rightly) puzzled and disgusted at his iconic status then you should give this one a try.

Why You Should Pass

There is an extraordinary amount of hype surrounding this book. Do not flip the cover open expecting to have your life changed. Have realistic expectations for what it is: a decent book with mass-market appeal. If you're looking to have your life changed or affirmed, seek other books. Do not expect heavy philosophy here, you won't find it. If you're looking for heavy philosophy likewise seek elsewhere.

READ MORE AT INCHOATUS.COM

5-0 out of 5 stars If you like Harry Potter, you will love Ender's Game
ENDER'S GAME is my all time favorite book. Having been introduced to this book roughly 20 years ago, I have read and worn out many copies, and couldn't even tell you how many times I have read it. I have given away many copies as well, buying new ones as I use up or give away the old. At 226 pages (hardcover) the book is so compelling it can easily been read in one sitting.

It always amazes me when I run accross people who list this book as their favorite because to me the Sci-Fi genere has always seemed too obscure, and there are not many Sci-Fi books I enjoy reading.

As the Harry Potter series has successfully emerged, I have often drawn some comparisons between the two series and why they have attracted so much attention.

Both Ender's Game and Harry Potter have attracted an audience that would normally not indulge in the generes of Sci-Fi, Fantasy, or Children's books. While the Harry Potter series had attracted many adult readers, Ender's Game (which is not a children's book) has attracted many adolecent readers and acts as a bridge moving them into adult literature. Both Harry Potter and Ender's game tell the story of a young child (Ender is only 6 when the book starts)entering a dark and scary world, with a power neither one of them knew they possess. Both have enemies that they as children must conqure, with the fate of the world on their shoulders.

As a child (I believe I was eight or nine when I started reading Ender's Game)I believe it was those themes, along with the powerfully written characters that drew me to the book. As an adult I particularly enjoy the social issues the book raises, and seeing some of the science fiction become reality (the internet plays a heavy role in the book, even though it was non-existant at the time). Over time I have only grown to love and appreciate this book and would recomend it to anyone who loves to read fiction of any genere. ... Read more


20. The Franklin Affair : A Novel
by JIM LEHRER
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400061989
Catlog: Book (2005-04-26)
Publisher: Random House
Sales Rank: 22658
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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Download Description

PRAISE FOR JIM LEHRER

The Franklin Affair

“This is an amazing as well as delightful novel. Historically savvy and revealing, it captures some fascinating controversies about Franklin’s life and provides a deft satire of the world of academic writers. Yet it’s also a fun tale of mystery, sleuthing, and romance done with great literary flair.”
–WALTER ISAACSON, author of Benjamin Franklin

Flying Crows

“[A] touching novel about lost souls, loneliness, and life’s small triumphs . . . Lehrer’s fourteenth novel is an expertly researched, warmly told tale, rich in suspense and drama. . . . A highly personal story, quiet in tone and scope, yet booming in emotional intensity.”
Publishers Weekly

The Special Prisoner
“[Lehrer] runs through his plot deftly. He springs surprise after surprise on the reader.”
–Los Angeles Times

No Certain Rest
“[Lehrer] writes quirky thrillers, swiftly paced with a cleverly concealed solution. . . . [No Certain Rest is] a rousing tale of intrigue.”
–St. Louis Post-Dispatch

White Widow
“Tender and tragic . . . entirely satisfying.”
–The Washington Post


From the Hardcover edition.
... Read more

Reviews (2)

2-0 out of 5 stars Great premise, ultimately disappointing
How do you write a mystery starting Benjamin Franklin and make it inconsequential?

This book started out well enough, plenty of neat "I didn't know that!" moments about the founding fathers but especially about Franklin, but the book fell far short.the villain was incredibly one dimensional, the many threads of the story were left unraveled and the whole exercise seemed contrived and forced.The mystery was trie.I am bvery disappointed.I am big fan of Mr. lehrer's but this book left me cold.

3-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I'm surprised to be the first reviewer, and apprehensive about giving it a negative review, as I expect this will be a pretty popular book.

The idea seemed great, a modern day mystery mixed up with a historical mystery surrounding one of the most famous people in history. I'm afraid that the execution of this idea fell short of expectations.

Without spoiling anything, let me just say that I was extremely disappointed with the ending. I recall being within 5-6 pages of the end and thinking "there are not enough pages left to finish this story". Well, I was right. The most important question of the whole book, in my opinion, NEVER GETS ANSWERED! Instead, the "climax" of the book involves a secondary, modern day, controversy, which is really uninteresting.

By the way, does anybody else notice a trend in Leherer's books in which the bad guy's are always right-leaning politically?

Luckily, I borrowed this from the library rather than spend money on it. If you haven't read a Jim Lehrer book, read "White Widow" instead of "The Franklin Affair". It's slow, but at least it has a memorable ending.

Matt ... Read more


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