• The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Book 2
  • By: Douglas Adams
  • Narrated by: Martin Freeman
  • Length: 5 hrs and 47 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (13,134 ratings)

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The Restaurant at the End of the Universe  By  cover art

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

By: Douglas Adams
Narrated by: Martin Freeman
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Publisher's summary

Now celebrating the 42nd anniversary of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, soon to be a Hulu original series!

“Douglas Adams is a terrific satirist.”—
The Washington Post Book World

Facing annihilation at the hands of the warlike Vogons? Time for a cup of tea! Join the cosmically displaced Arthur Dent and his uncommon comrades in arms in their desperate search for a place to eat, as they hurtle across space powered by pure improbability.

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. Their destination? The ultimate hot spot for an evening of apocalyptic entertainment and fine dining, where the food speaks for itself (literally).

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’s sardonically silly eyes.”—Detroit Free Press

Listen to the rest of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy "trilogy."

Want to learn more about the new Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie? Listen to this interview with Robbie Stamp, close friend of Douglas Adams and executive producer of the film.

©1980 Serious Productions, Ltd. (P)2006 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

Featured Article: Best Book Trilogies to Listen to Right Now


Here's why good things come in threes! Everyone knows the famous expression "Three's a crowd!"—but that sentiment doesn't ring true when it comes to books. But what are the best trilogies of all time? With thousands of amazing trilogies out there, it's hard to narrow it down. We’ve compiled some book trilogies that represent the best of the best—and don’t worry about spoilers; we’ve only described the first book of the series in each entry.

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

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

A good book tainted

First off, if you've listened to the Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy by downloading it from Audible, then you were probably pleased with the voice acting. It was superb. If you expect the same quality in subsequent books....well, you're in for a shock. The voice acting is, in my opinion, atrocious. Granted, it's a different actor, but that's where the problem is: Zaphod Beeblebrox. It is the most annoying voice ever. The narrator's voice is fine. But not his Zaphod Beeblebrox. It is the exact opposite of the Hitchiker;s Guide voice and 100 times more annoying. Trust me, you will be cursing Douglas Adams for every moment he decided to include Zaphod in the book, and not because Zaphod is annoying. No. It is because the narrator's Zaphod is jarringly stereotypical. After listening to the voice and then seeing the producer's name, it's a wonder he didn't prevent this bad portrayal.
In short, then, I had every intention of listening to the complete series but then was convinced by the narrator not to. The closest experience to this book was a very bad rendition of Tom Sawyer where the the voice of Tom was so...I can't even describe it. It just made me want to wretch.
Douglas Adams is great, though. Don't confuse my review as a scathing criticism on Adams. Oh no. It's all about the narrator in this one and apparently in subsequent audio releases of the series.

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69 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

awesome... except for the voice of Zaphod

This book is beautifully read with the screeching halt exception of Zaphod Beeblebrox. For unknown reasons the narrator chose to read this character as a stereotypical New York thug. Think Rocky Balboa and you'll have it. Other than that, the book is excellent.

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42 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

It’s just not fun anymore

I miss Stephen Fry.
I hate Martin Freeman.
The books are great.
That is all.

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31 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The narrator is mostly harmless

I was worried by the comments on the narration, but I actually loved this Zaphod. The narrator is no Stephen Fry, but he's quite good and I found the book to be quite enjoyable. I think it boils down to different preferences, so if you loved reading these books don't let the naysayers scare you off. I plan to get the next three.

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27 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I love this book!

Would you listen to The Restaurant at the End of the Universe again? Why?

Yes, it's a classic, and listening to it aloud makes it even more fun.

What did you like best about this story?

All of the Hitchhiker books are hilarious, and this one is no exception.

What about Martin Freeman’s performance did you like?

I liked his voice for Marvin the paranoid android.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me laugh.

Any additional comments?

I hate Martin Freeman's Zaphod Beeblebrox voice. He sounds like Joe Pesci.

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21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Still funny!

I have no idea why people are complaining about the narration. It's high quality and each character sounds unique. If you want a monotone boring narrator like the people below, then I guess this isn't for you. The narration in this book is very comparable to the great job Stephen Fry did in the first book.

The book itself is pretty good and makes me want to continue the series. I love the world, or should I say "universe" created by Douglas Adams in this series. It's refreshing and exciting.

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21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Great book, horrible narration.

I love Douglas Adams and have read the series several times through. The version of the first book available on Audible has a great narrator and I was thoroughly pleased with my purchase. I have no idea why the rest of the series has a different narrator, but I am not nearly as pleased with this audiobook.

First of all, as the other reviewers have said, the Zaphod voice is absolutely horrible. I mean, Zaphod is supposed to be annoying, but sheesh. Also, there is some serious overuse of digital voice manipulation. I like it much better when the narrator can give the impression of several different characters without having to resort to computerized voice changes.

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17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Great, But not as great as book one

I thought this book was great. The first one was a bit better, but that is only because it has the natural advantage of being a bit more shocking to the reader making it slightly more exciting. By now your a little more used to, as is Arthur, the impressively random and outlandish events that stretched your brain in the first book. But there are still just as many random and outlandish adventures to be had in book two.

I'm not sure why everyone thought the narrator was so awful. I thought he was fine. I had a different reader for the first HGTTG. He was fine too.

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16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Zaphod sounds like Joe Pesci

The reader in this book reads the text flatly. He buzzes through spectacularly described scenes or events and gives no feeling of weight to their absurdity or vastness. This was disappointing after coming from an excellent reading of the first book done by Stephen Fry. The real deal-breaker was that Zaphod sounds like Joe Pesci in "My Cousin Vinny". Zaphod's lines were so distracting that it made the book unlistenable.

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15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Doesn't really do the book justice

I'm a big HGTTG fan, and over the years I've listened to all the radio dramatizations and at least 3 or 4 different versions of the audiobooks (Stephen Fry, Douglas Adams, Martin Freeman and I think Simon Jones, who played Arthur Dent in the original radio series).

Martin Freeman played Arthur Dent in the 2005 HGTTG movie, so he's familiar with the material, understands most of the characters, and a couple of his characterizations are pretty good - I thought he did a great Marvin. And he's a good actor, too - he plays Watson in the new BBC version of Sherlock Holmes that everyone loves so much.

But his Zaphod is bad, it's inconsistent with the radio series, and I found myself wanting to give him either a cup of strong coffee or a couple of anti-depressants, because he just doesn't seem to have much enthusiasm. And HGTTG is supposed to have a lot of zip.

My recommendation is: Don't buy this version. Try to track down the Douglas Adams or Simon Jones versions.

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13 people found this helpful