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on 8 April 2011
What a massively disappointing book. Unlike some Adams fans, I really rate SLATFATF (book 4) and thought that MH (book 5) was pretty dire (not a patch on the Dirk Gently novels I come back to time and time again. I'm only half to two thirds of the way through, but looking at the reviews here, I'm not sure I can go on much more. The style is odd (flitting from setting to setting with sub-headings), even referencing the views and feelings of different characters (again with curious sub-headings which I find slightly insulting).

The plot seems very thin and weak - I have yet to see any connection between some of the events and had completely forgotten that Zaphod had come from Wowbagger's ship to find Thor and had to re-read, and still have no idea what the hell Hillman Hunter has to do with anything (oh yeah - just remembered earthlings on Magrathean-made planet), but it just doesn't hold together as a piece.

And seriously - Ford Prefect one of my most beloved literary characters has been minced, mashed, buried in peat for three weeks, dug up, cut into small pieces and danced upon, AND THEN resurrected as a sad reflection of his former self. I remember reading some bits of Adams' works as quick as I could so I could get to the next part. With this, I find myself wishing the chapters away.

Choosing Hillman Hunter as the name of one of the characters really does show that Colfer was seriously lacking in new ideas and has stolen what was one of the funniest things about my first read of the guide (The fact that Ix took the name Ford Prefect believing it to be nicely inconspicuous) and ruined it by using the same means of naming one of his eminently forgettable characters. If this is supposed to be a nod towards Adams in a respectful way, again I feel slightly insulted that as a reader I am supposed to think it's a funny name the second time around.

Sorry Mr Colfer, I'm sure your original books are great, but you're no Douglas Adams. Please don't do this again.
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This book is OK, it raises the odd smile here and there, it is reasonably faithful to Douglas Adams' universe but one has to think that the only reason for writing it is to attempt to wring some more cash out of the franchise.

Eoin Colfer is a reasonably successful writer, so one wonders why he bothered, other than if he was offered a tremendous quantity of zlotys. He would have been much better spending his time coming up with an original work of his own.

The plot, such as it is, sees our usual heroes, Arthur, Ford, Zaphod, and Trillian travelling to a colony of rich refugees from earth at the same time as the Vogons are attempting to destroy it in their ongoing mission to wipe out all versions of earth in all dimensions. Along the way there is a romatic interlude with Wow-bagger the infinitely prolonged, a visit to the home of the norse gods and the whole thing is peppered with the adolescent stroppiness of Arthur and Trillian's daughter, Random.

The main problem with the book is that it is like a copy of an old master by a lesser artist. Everything (except the sadly missed Marvin) is there and in the right place, but its all a bit wrong and lifeless. Most of the characters seem to have become less sympathetic. Arthur has deteriorated from a bemused everyman to a rather dull whinger. Trillian is deeply unpleasant. Ford rather than being entertainingly irritating, is just plain irritating. In fact rather than being the universe seen through the hapless Arthur's eyes, this is more the Zaphod story.

The new characters are even less successful. Random is just yet another stroppy teenager, all of those gags have been done before. And what possessed Colfer to call a character "Hillman Hunter"? The Ford Prefect gag was only worth a smile in the first place.

Oh and one final thing, there is a reference to Arthur's prep school. Now I may be wrong and there may, in Adams' books, be a reference to his being a public schoolboy, but this just feels wrong, Arthur feels more like a bog standard comprehensive everyman.

So in summary, its not bad, but it didn't really need to be written and your time and money could probably be better spent elsewhere.
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on 22 January 2010
This is not a good book.

It is not worthy of the "trilogy" and it is not well written like Douglas Adams produced in the first parts of the series.

The hardback version has unusually large print and has lots of adverts in the back - this suggests the publishers were trying to spin the number of pages out.

Eoin should go back to children's books and this tale should be removed from the trilogy.

Avoid - not worth the cover price so use the time for something more useful.
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on 31 July 2010
The book has its funny moments, but, IMHO, Simon is definitely the wrong Jones for the job of narration. He reads without passion and when listening in the evening, all I want to do is doze off - it is a monotone performance.

The "wrong Jones"?. Compare this with the earlier books narrated by Peter Jones and later by William Franklyn - there's no comparison. This is the book's biggest problem.

All very flat.
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on 24 January 2010
Eoin Colfer is a braver man than me. Can you imagine the sheer nerve of the guy? Continuing the saga of The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy just when Adams had tied off all the loose ends and concluded the final chapter. How dare he? Actually, "And Another Thing..." is pretty good. It begins with the obvious cliff-hanger, which takes almost a quarter of the book to resolve properly. I fell off my chair laughing when I realised what was going to happen, barely a paragraph before Arthur reached the same conclusion ("...? You have got to be joking!"). All the gang's here except Marvin, may he rest in peace, along with cameo appearances from some unexpected characters. It's a thoroughly original and engaging story which sees our heroes facing certain death on several occasions, along with an unusual cliff-hanger ending. I'll be interested to see how the next brave soul to shoulder Adams' mantle gets us out of that! The only criticism I can make is that it isn't Adams writing. Colfer writes differently to Adams, but that's not a bad thing. He brings his own style and some remarkable ideas to the forum. Butterfly storms, for example. Genius. Your Hitch-Hiker's collection is incomplete without it.
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on 2 February 2010
This book is just not up to par. Douglas Adams had a knack of making the ridiculous somehow normal and funny. Totally alien characters still always managed to remind you of someone you once met, possibly down the pub. Unfortunatly this book just doesnt ring true, and rambles along with only a few amusing interludes (which make you wonder if these are the few bits that Douglas Adams did write).

Oh well..
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on 30 August 2011
Forget "Do Not Panic" it should read "Do Not Buy"!
Having read many times and enjoyed the original 5 HHGTTG books, i was very scepticle about this 6th book but eventually decided to try it - And now wish I had not wasted my time and money on what is a very poor attempt at trying to emualte Douglas Adams excellent stories.
This book is just full of rubbish with no interest nothing gels.

Don't waste your money...
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on 23 August 2010
After reading other reviews of this book, I was intrigued to find out what my view would be. As an avid Adams fan, I had my reservations. First and foremost, Colfer is a brilliant author. I like his writing and I liked the pace of the book. The idea that he is continuing the series is a good one, Adams himself stating many times that he wanted to write a 6th book. You can tell by reading it that Colfer is fan and that he really wants to do Adams' work justice. This is a good book in itself.

HOWEVER,

this is not a good Hitchhiker's book. Not in any sense. Colfer has taken the characters, settings and places and made them his own, this is a real problem. The book has many highly amusing passages, it's very entertaining, but as a fan I was often left wondering why Colfer felt the need to change things.

The biggest example of this is the introduction of a personality to Wowbagger. Like the Silastic Armourfiends, he was merely a character that added to the feel and read of the story. Another example is the removal of Eddie, I don't understand why for no good reason Colfer chose to take him out of the story and replace him with an inferior idea.

On many levels I feel this book is trying too hard, in effect using too much of Adams at some points and yet not enough in others. The book as a read is very hit and miss with the humour and to be honest, not a lot happens.

I don't think this is a worthy sequel to Mostly Harmless, but having said that it is worth a read to make up your own mind. Colfer has tried too hard to reconcile his own writing with that of Adams and has failed.

Worth a read, but not worthy to be a Hitchhiker's sequel.
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on 8 September 2010
Simply put: a weak story in my opinion, but wonderfully written. The h2g2 novels were always idea-driven as opposed to plot-driven and so, just as with the film adaptation, the attempt to shoe-horn Adams' characters and universe into a traditional story structure falls somewhat flat.

That said, Colfer got the tone just right and his words were a pleasure to read even if I didn't dig the action. I'd love to see him take another crack at it.
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on 19 January 2010
I have been a fan of H2G2 since I first heard it late at night on the BBC world service as a student. I even own the vinyl albums!! Hence I was thrilled when this turned up in my xmas stocking.

I didn't expect it to be as good as Douglas Adams but it does have some funny moments with some clever writing but it introduces too many new places and seems to stand alone from the previous 5 books in the trilogy.

If you are a completely hoopy frood with your towel in your satchel and a gargleblaster to hand then by all means read this but don't expect too much.

However if you are new to H2G2 and a fan of Eoin Colfer (I am a fan) then you will probably enjoy this book and want to go back in time to the originals volumes to see how it all began and that is surely a good thing.
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