They were a double pair of Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive Sunglasses, which had been specifically designed to help people develop a relaxed attitude to danger. At the first hint of trouble they turn totally black and thus prevent you from seeing anything that might alarm you.

Only a child sees things with perfect clarity, because it hasn't developed all those filters which prevent us from seeing things that we don't expect to see.

I'm convinced that Bach is the greatest genius who ever walked among us, and the Brandenburgs are what he wrote when he was happy.

He pulled himself up short. He believed in a door. He must find that door. The door was the way to . . . to . . . The Door was The Way. Good. Capital letters were always the best way of dealing with things you didn't have a good answer to. Brusquely.

They claimed it was for the sake of their grandparents and grandchildren, but it was of course for the sake of their grandparent's grandchildren, and their grandchildren's grandparents.

You come to me for advice, but you can't cope with anything you don't recognize. Hmmm. So we'll have to tell you something you already know but make it sound like news, eh Well, business as usual , I suppose.

The world is a thing of utter inordinate complexity and richness and strangeness that is absolutely awesome.

It seems odd, don't you think, that the quality of the food should vary inversely with the brightness of the lighting. Makes you wonder what culinary heights the kitchen staff could rise to if you confined them to perpetual darkness.

Why doesn't anyone turn on this Improbability Drive thing? he said. We could probably reach that. What are you, crazy? said Zaphod. Without proper programming anything could happen.

Arthur could almost imagine Paul McCartney sitting with his feet up by the fire one evening, humming it to Linda and wondering what to buy with the proceeds, and thinking probably Essex.

I think the problem, to be quite honest with you, is that you've never actually known what the question is.

She was a rapidly rising anchor. She had what it took: great hair, a profound understanding of strategic lip gloss, the intelligence to understand the world and a tiny secret interior deadness which meant she didn't care.

And what's happened to the Earth? Ah. It's been demolished. Has it, said Arthur levelly. Yes. It just boiled away into space. Look, said Arthur, I'm a bit upset about that.

Zaphod felt he was teetering on the edge of madness and wondered if he shouldn't just jump over and have done with it.

The ship had come sweeping in over a dark and somber landscape, a terrain so desperately far removed from the heat and light of its parent sun, Sol, that it seemed like a map of the psychological scars of the mind of an abandoned child.

Mc Donalds he thought. There's no longer any such thing as a Mc Donalds hamburger. He passed out. When he came around seconds later he found he was sobbing for his mother.

I've been trying to... Having been an English literary graduate, I've been trying to avoid the idea of doing art ever since. I think the idea of art kills creativity.

When I hear Mozart, I understand what it is to be a human being; when I hear Beethoven, I understand what it is to be Beethoven; but when I hear Bach, understand what it is to be the Universe.

There was a terrible ghastly silence. There was a terrible ghastly noise. There was a terrible ghastly silence.

And do we also have, do we have … a party of minor deities from the Halls of Asgard? Away to his right came a rumble of thunder. Lightning arced across the stage. A small group of hairy men with helmets sat looking very pleased with themselves, and raised their glasses to him.

Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.

OK, so ten out of ten for style, but minus several million for good thinking, yeah?

And if you want to pop off for a quick one yourself later on, said Ford, we can always cover for you in return.

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I've ended up where I needed to be.

Do you want me to sit in a corner and rust, or just fall apart where I'm standing?

All you really need to know for the moment is that the universe is a lot more complicated than you might think, even if you start from a position of thinking it's pretty damn complicated in the first place.

He started to count to ten. He was desperately worried that one day sentient life forms would forget how to do this. Only by counting could humans demonstrate their independence of computers.

And the renewed shock had nearly made him spill his drink. He drained it quickly before anything serious happened to it. He then had another quick one to follow the first one down and check that it was all right.

He was clearly a man of many qualities, even if they were mostly bad ones.

Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There's a frood who really knows where his towel is.

It meant that the silently waged conflict between himself and his cleaning lady had escalated to a new and more frightening level. It was now, Dirk reckoned, fully three months since this fridge door had been opened, and each of them was grimly determined not to be the one to open it first.

As a child, I was an active Christian. I used to love the school choir and remember the carol service as always such an emotional thing.

The whole Poghril tribe had died out from famine except for one last man who died of cholesterol poisoning some weeks later.

Mostly harmless.

Yes. Five minutes later and it wouldn't have mattered so much. It was a quite shocking cock-up. Huh? said Arthur. The mice were furious. The mice were furious? Oh yes, said the old man mildly. Yes, well, so I expect were the dogs and cats and duck-billed platypuses, but . . . Ah, but they hadn't paid for it, you see, had they?

Thirty seconds into the conversation, and already he'd blown it. Grown men, he told himself, in flat contradiction of centuries of accumulated evidence about the way grown men behave, do not behave like this.

I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.

This bowl was brought to you by the Campaign to Save the Humans. We bid you farewell. And then the sound of long, heavy, perfectly gray bodies rolling away into an unknown fathomless deep, quietly giggling.

You're really not going to like it, observed Deep Thought. Tell us! All right, said Deep Thought. The Answer to the Great Question … Yes …! Of Life, the Universe and Everything … said Deep Thought. Yes …! Is … said Deep Thought, and paused. Yes …! Is … Yes …!!! …? Forty-two, said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm.

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have.

The ship did. All by itself. Huh? While we were in Improbability Drive. But that's incredible. No, Zaphod. Just very very improbable.

Earthman, the planet you lived on was commissioned, paid for, and run by mice. It was destroyed five minutes before the completion of the purpose for which it was built, and we've got to build another one.

After a while he played with the pencil and the paper again and was delighted when he discovered how to make a mark with the one on the other. Various noises continued outside, but he didn't know whether they were real or not. He then talked to his table for a week to see how it would react.

Oh, er, well the hatchway in front of us will open in a few moments and we will shoot out into deep space I expect and asphyxiate. If you take a lungful of air with you you can last for up to thirty seconds, of course.

In order to fly,all one must do is simply miss the ground.

I don't know what I'm looking for.

This man is the bee's knees, Arthur, he is the wasp's nipples. He is, I would go so far as to say, the entire set of erogenous zones of every major flying insect of the Western world.

We've arrived at another of those doors. There was a sliding door let.

The main reception foyer was almost empty but Ford nevertheless weaved his way through it.