It may behoove you to first read my review of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
The Restaurant At the End of the Universe is the second book in the Hitchhiker’s Guide… trilogy, named after a particular plot device (or plot distraction) in which the characters visit a restaurant suspended in a temporal bubble at the end of the universe as we know it.
Milliways (the aforementioned restaurant) really serves no particularly good narrative purpose, except as a starting point for a lot of jokes and eventual plot twist concerning time travel. There are no dramatic moments with Doc Brown zooming out of nowhere in a DeLorean, or of Ashton Kutcher looking desperate that he turned his girlfriend into a crack whore. No, Adams decides that the most pressing concern about time travel will be the dramatic increase in grammatical tenses require to cover all the bases. That is British humour, my friends.
As I mentioned earlier, the fabled restaurant is the central (largely irrelevant) plot piece, there mainly to shake things up and provide fodder for what promises to be an interesting rest of the series. As one might expect, there are still a great many highly improbable events happening, which, besides being very generally a comment upon the improbability of such stories, also offers Adams a way to write one chapter without any concern at all for anything he’s written in the chapter previously. It’s a good racket. In true “part two of a trilogy” style, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe really leaves off without much conclusion at all. I’m more or less forced to read the next book. Not that I wouldn’t have done so anyway.
The only other relevant qualitative judgment I could make about The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, especially compared to its predecessor, is that it’s a bit…. weirder. The plot is more abstract, there are fewer identifiable strings of narrative; Adams begins to delve more deeply into the kind of random, disparate plot plot that take over Hitchhiker’s Guide by the end of the series. That, however, we shall observe as this string of reviews continues.