And Another Thing ...: Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Part Six of Three (Hitchhikers Guide 6) Paperback – 27 May 2010
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Douglas Adams is reborn in Eoin Colfer's masterful prose (Observer )
I haven't read anything in a long time that made me laugh as much (The Times ) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Eoin (pronounced 'Owen') Colfer secured the largest ever advance for a children's novel by an unknown author in October 2000. He cast a spell on the publishing world with Artemis Fowl, and hasn't looked back since. Colfer lives in Wexford, Ireland, with his wife, Jackie, and their two sons.
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Top Customer Reviews
I confess I have never read any of Mr Colfer's previous books, so had no idea what to expect. I also remember that tHHGttG is a patchy affair: radio excellent, TV good, book four disappointing and recent movie abysmal. So I was quite open minded as I approached this book. But, I confess to being quite, quite disappointed. Around half-way through I started counting pages-read and pages-to-go. It moved into the loo as a read-as-you-sit book. I forgot to read it for a few days. I trudged the last few pages, almost skimming in a zuzz-zuzz kinda way until - hallelujah - it was over!
Just why does this book not work? I reckon there are several reasons. Firstly it is juvenile whereas Adams books were undergraduate. It tried to tell a story where the originals were rambling, incoherent and very, very funny. The previous books dragged you back, almost like scripture, to squeeze out further meaning and coherence.
As to the characters, none of them retained any of the colour or features of the previous books, excepts perhaps Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz. Zaphod was thin. Ford was ethereal. Arthur was far too sympathetic and reminded me too much of me! Trillian was someone entirely new I had never met before. Only the god, Thor, was well drawn. It felt like a plot, plus well-kent characters' names, plus some new ones, recipe-ed into a novel.Read more ›
Let's state the obvious, shall we? Eoin Colfer isn't Douglas Adams. If he'd tried to clone Douglas's work, this book wouldn't have floated. Eoin (I think I can call him that, having shaken his hand) hasn't tried to be Douglas Adams, but he has tried to satisfy Douglas's supporters by writing in a very similar style. It reads well without sounding like a cheesy attempt to mimick the original.
I don't want to be hyper-critical (oh, gwaaan, gwaaan), but these are notes on Douglas's style and what's remained the same or changed:
1. Douglas might have been writing about aliens, but he was really talking about us. The Vogons are human bureaucrats, planning officers, for example. Douglas criticised, but never attacked his targets too hard, never losing hearts and minds. Eoin has understood this and does it very well. From an Irish writer, just following the EU's capture of Ireland, this line is Douglas at his cutting best: 'If we win, then you will join our happy group; if you win, then we keep coming back until we win.'
2. Douglas was a script writer and he specialised in dialogue. In the first two books, the proportion of quotes is very high, compared to description. In a novel, the use of witty script makes it read like a fast television show. Eoin does use speech, clearly, but the proportion has moved, i.e. more toward description.
3. The first HHG book used footnotes from 'The Book' at regular intervals and readers loved them.Read more ›
Take the overuse of the word "froody" for "cool". Adams first used it in the sentence "hoopy frood", so surely "hoopy" would have been a better choice of word to rip off and overuse...
Then there's little things like using Mom instead of Mum... oh come on! An Irish guy impersonating and English one by using American spelling? The mind boggles, the blood boils.
And where Adams' books are pretty much timeless (apart from references to digital watches), Colfer here has crammed in thinly-veiled refernces to YouTube, eBay, websites and mp3 players.
The plot is weak and predictable from the Bobby Ewing-style resurrection of the characters to the very end: there's nothing new or random (apart from Arthur's daughter) in the whole book, everything ties in with everything else, everyone knows everyone from before.
Reading this was a thoroughly miserable experience. It's the first time in my life I've ever considered writing hate-mail. It was a great inner battle to overcome my disappointment and not throw the book in a bin, I ended up leaving it on a train instead. But only because of the respect I have for books in general, despite travesties like this.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Unluckily a poor imitation of Douglas Adams original book, using the world he created to attempt to create a story. Read morePublished 16 days ago
I love the originals and this is a bitter disappointment.
He tries very hard but fails to be funny or to capture the feeling of DA's writing. Read more
Already have micro travel towels for boating holidays. Good size, dry one off well and dry quickly when hung on line.Published 6 months ago by MG