14

I'm rereading the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in one volume. It is 815 pages long.

There is a point, where Arthur has defeated Agrajag and learns how to fly at which his character changes. He is no longer afraid of the Universe and becomes more confident. (e.g. Standing up to Thor at the party and winning Trillian back, knocking the Krikkit Robot's head off etc.)

That episode is on page 407-408, the exact midpoint of the book.

Earlier, the chapter explains the Holy Lunching Friars of Voondoon who

...claimed that just as lunch was at the centre of a man's temporal day, and man's temporal day could be seen as an analogy for his spiritual life, so Lunch should be seen as the centre of a man's spiritual life..."

Page 407-408 is sort of the "lunchtime" of the book, where Arthur has his spiritual epiphany. Was this intentional?

  • 6
    That'd be a helluva thing to pull off, considering how often the author put off actually writing. I don't think a decades long plan was in the works, just for an omnibus edition trick. – Radhil Nov 27 '16 at 3:28
13

As you can see from this answer, Adams never intended to write a fourth and fifth book when he wrote the third book (in which your quote appears). He evidently considered the trilogy to be complete but then his publisher offered him a pile of cash for a fourth one and an even bigger pile of cash for a fifth one. Your book also contains an incomplete short story, but not the elusive "sixth book" that Adams had apparently plotted out shortly before his death.

Douglas Adams: "People have said, quite rightly, that Mostly Harmless is a very bleak book. And it was a bleak book. I would love to finish Hitchhiker on a slightly more upbeat note, so five seems to be a wrong kind of number, six is a better kind of number."

Eoin Colfer to write sixth Hitchhiker's Guide book

As such, the placement of any specific phrase in the omnibus edition of five original works (plus one extra shorter work that was never expected to be included alongside the main books) is simply a bizarrely improbable coincidence which some might construe as final and clinching evidence for the non-existence of God.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.