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Summary

If you’ve done six impossible things this morning, why not round it off with breakfast at Milliways, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe? Which is exactly what the crew of the Heart of Gold plan to do. There’s just the small matter of escaping the Vogons, avoiding being taken to the most totally evil world in the Galaxy and teaching a space ship how to make a proper cup of tea. And did anyone actually make a reservation?

©1980 Serious Productions Ltd (P)2006 Macmillan Digital Audio

What listeners say about The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent book ruined by lacklustre narration

After Stephen Fry's excellent narration of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the swap to Martin Freeman for this second book was a big disappointment.

Freeman's inflection is at times so off that I wondered whether this was his first ever read through, and his narration is lacklustre and monotonous enough that it's often hard to tell where the narration ends and Marvin the Paranoid Android's speech begins. Oh, Zaphod Beeblebrox suddenly has a bizarre parody of an Italian American mobster accent.

Adams' writing is of course still excellent, but I struggled to finish this audiobook because of the poor narration and likely shan't bother purchasing the rest.

54 people found this helpful

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Ruined by narrator

This superb piece of humouronus science fiction written in the wonderful, inimitable manner of Douglas Adams is absolutely destroyed by the bland, lack lustre efforts of Martin Freeman who might as well be reading the telephone directory as this book. His narration lacks commitment, vigour and enthusiasm; to say nothing of the feeble efforts made to distinguish characters by voice tone and inflection. Will be paying particular attention when purchasing in future. Mr Freeman will himself be by-passed.

14 people found this helpful

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Great book, narrator made me scream

What did you like best about The Restaurant at the End of the Universe? What did you like least?

Like all the 'Hitchhikers' books, this is great. But Martin Freeman's voice when doing the characters drove me crazy. When he was speaking as Zaphod's older ghost relative, the screeching went on and on, and made me give up listening for a while - in the end, I could only continue by fast-forwarding.

It's hard to do good narration while also doing different voices for characters. Freeman's voice is good as a normal story-teller. But someone should've stopped him, cos he made me hate this audio book.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Terrible, screechy voice characters

28 people found this helpful

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Martin Freeman is sending me to sleep

loved the first one this one however is very disappointing. Martin Freemans voice is boring and makes me tune out. really wish I hadn't bought two now..

11 people found this helpful

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Shame it's not Stephen Fry

I loved the first book read by Stephen Fry, however, Martin Freeman cannot portray zaphod in a way I can even listen to it. it is so annoying and I really can't get past chapter 6

7 people found this helpful

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Didnt enjoy characters

Big fan of the series but didnt enjoy Martin Freemans characterization, to aurally harsh in my opinion

5 people found this helpful

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Disappointing

This is a review for lovers of audio books only and not on the book itself.

Do not buy if you loved the Hitchhiker Guide to the Galaxy, as narrated by Stephen Fry you will be very disappointed.

I really like Martin Freeman as an actor but as a narrator, a story teller, I'm afraid he just does not do it for me. His style is very halting, as if he is reading for the first time.

I would buy it again and the other three books in the series if narrated by Stephen Fry. He just has a way of bringing the characters alive.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

A fantastic edition to the series

I rarely find a book that can send me into fits of laughter on public transport but The Restaurant at the End of the Universe had me in hysterics from start to finish. The wonderfully British humor and the random spiraling tangents will keep any well respected gentlemen giggling throughout the duration of the book.

5 people found this helpful

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freeman has amazing voice acting!

there was only one voice I wasn't sure what to do with, but every single character was consistantly and believable, and when you look at lots of other audio books, that's hard to achieve. a great read for a great book!

4 people found this helpful

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  • S
  • 06-03-15

Not as good as HHGTTG

Considering that I wished HHGTTG would never end, I found myself wishing away most of the tedious minutes of The Restaurant...Characters I didn't much care for, a story that never seemed to be going anywhere, and attempts at humour which all too often fell flat. Martin Freeman's narration was amusing, but not a patch on Stephen Fry's Hitchhiker's Guide. Not sure if I will bother with the next in the series, in case this ship is on a downward trajectory. .


9 people found this helpful

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  • Peter
  • 29-05-19

A food for your brain

I am a fan of Douglas Adams, so I might be biased. I like this book and narrator's performance included gives you wonderful entertainment.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Trekcats
  • 09-10-19

Could be better

The long passages of narration really need to be performed, like someone is speaking, or it is just too boring. The voices for the characters are good though.

1 person found this helpful

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  • sjouke
  • 20-09-15

Martin Freeman ruined this book series for me

Any additional comments?

The interpretation of the characters I found really off, especially following Stephen Fry's interpretations for the first book. While I've read the books previously and thoroughly enjoyed them - the story is brilliant - Martins reading put me off and i couldnt even get through it.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-05-22

A little panic!

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was my first audiobook experience ever and it played an important role in me gaining this habit. I was so excited to start the second book. I was a bit disappointed to find out that the narrator was not Steven Fry but Martin Freeman. Although not as magical as Fry, I believe Freeman did a good job and was sentimental since he played Arthur in the movie.

Storywise, it felt like nothing really happened. I did enjoy the funny dialogue but it did not meet my expectations considering how much I enjoyed the first book.

Overall, it is still entertaining but I expect more from this series. Hopefully, it will pick up in book 3.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 29-09-21

Sound balance issues

The volume difference between the narration and character voices is too great. With Mr Freeman swallowing his words and Zaphod screaching I'm missing half the story.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 13-08-21

Twist after twist

What do you get if you read this book? You'll know Arthur played some scrabble with some ape-men in a pre historic world.

Martin Freeman's narration: just like a hot cup of tea made by the Heart of Gold after consulting the history of whole history of tea - brilliant!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 30-12-18

Brilliant

Loved it. An absolute awesome book and read in a super enjoyable way.
Definitely worth it

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  • Annique Smith
  • 29-12-18

Enjoyed it

Martin Freeman was not as good as Stephen Fry but not bad at all. The only voice I didn't like was that of Zaphod's. Otherwise, I think it was a great performance.

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  • BAM
  • 21-12-18

Great Sequel

It's a fun book. Very clear though that women in this series are under utilized. They're basically cardboard cut outs and no personality. it might be a problem of the books from this time. Aside from that, this is really well-written and I enjoyed a break from Steven Fry's voice for the sequel (mostly kidding). Fry does a WAY better job than the narrator in this version.

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  • Miareadsbooks
  • 06-03-18

Always 42

It may not be Stephen Fry narrating book 2 but by the gods, it's Martin Freeman and he does an equally brilliant job narrating this classic!

1 person found this helpful