Subject: Mostly Harmful ( 20 of 25 )
Posted by Chevy Lumina
RAY DALEY: I happened to HATE Mostly Harmless; there were parts of it I liked but it all fell down when I got to the ending. GAH that shocked me. And I don't mean in a good way. :( It just somehow...didn't seem to BELONG...in a science-fiction _comedy_. Way too dark.
(Yes, I am aware that Mr. Adams was having personal problems in real life that year. My Writing Rule of Thumb is: If you're depressed, please, wait until you feel better before you attempt to write a COMEDY! I mean, it's not exactly the most appropriate time...)
It's not so much that I'll be mad/sorrowful if Mr. Adams never writes a sequel. I can live with a "five book trilogy". :P I just wish that the storyline had either (a) been left dangling, but not cliffhangingly so, or (b) ended, but in a more upbeat manner. I don't have to have a sequel, but I would have liked to be able to imagine, in my mind, that, somewhere out there in the Big Imaginary Universe, our galactic hitch-hiking friends were still at it. I dunno. That ending really DEPRESSED me, especially as it came seemingly straight out of nowhere.
Heck, parts of the book _before_ that depressed me. The Guide was bought out? The Guide ITSELF? The thing that the whole freakin' series is NAMED AFTER? Noooo....! The description from Ford's point of view of what _wasn't_ there in the building made me sad that such colour and silliness was gone. Boo to Infinidim! If I ever write a major, long fanfic with a real plot, they are the FIRST ones goin' down, and they are goin' down HARD...
So I guess on the one hand I'm actually complimenting his writing because the death of those characters (and even companies!) GOT to me so much...while saying that I hated the book itself at the same time...
Let's put it this way: Any time the death of a character either PISSES OFF an audience member (or makes them cry; but Hitchhiker's isn't a crying kind of series) you know you're a good writer.
Also, _death_ I could handle. But being wiped out of EVERY SINGLE UNIVERSE in all directions in time, forever and ever, and ever, is just a _bit_ extreme. Talk about dark... :(
Next time I read the trilogy, I'm stopping at So Long and Thanks for All the Fish. Arthur still has Fenchurch, they're together with Ford, and watching old movies on a bootleg signal while--guess what--HITCH-HIKING! Still alive, still having adventures, left open but not in a way where anything has to be answered immediately.
Now THAT'S how it should have ended.
This isn't the first time I've liked most of a series and then decided to just Pretend the Ending Never Happened, because I thought that what happened to my favourites was too extreme: I'm the same way with Babylon 5. What happened to the Centauri, my favourite race, and Londo, my favourite character, in Season Five was just TOO depressing, and, I thought, too harsh of a sentence for his/their crimes. And it's more than just the deaths and whatnot--it's that the whole series had this CLAUSTROPHOBICALLY depressing attitude of: You have no free will. See these bad things, in this future-vision? They are GOING to happen to you and there is NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT. I _really_ wanted to see the characters break out of the time-path and make their OWN future, by their own _free will_. Sigh...
Anyway, same thing: Five chapters, four of which I like, the fifth I don't! So I'm not picking on Mr. Adams here by himself.