Discover the sixth book in the ludicrously inaccurately named Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy, as broadcast on BBC Radio 4.
Arthur Dent led a perfectly ordinary, uneventful life until the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy hurled him deep into outer space. Now he's convinced a cruelly indifferent universe is out to get him.
And who can blame him?
His life is about to collide with a pantheon of unemployed gods, a lovestruck green alien, a very irritating computer and at least one very large slab of cheese. If, that is, everyone's favourite renegade Galactic President can get him off planet Earth before it is destroyed . . . again.
'A triumph, fabulous. Colfer has given us a delight' Observer
'I haven't read anything in a long time that made me laugh as much' The Times
'Chock-full of fanciful, inventive one-liners and asides, brimming with a burning sense of the ridiculousness of life' Independent on Sunday
'The best post-mortem impersonation I have ever read' Mark Lawson, Guardian
Customer ReviewsSee All
Eoin Colfer is a brave man. He's taken on a franchise from the much-loved author Douglas Adams, who, together with John Lloyd, made pretty darn sure that writing sequels would be tricky by killing off every character in the end. So for the first part of "And Another Thing..." we have to endure Colfer's contortions as he tries to avoid "it was all a dream" or "alternative reality / parallel universe" cliches and broadly fails on at least one front if not both. That's not so much his fault though, as his legacy, and it is initially pleasant to be back in the HHGTTG universe. And to be fair, Eoin replicates the style of Adams pretty well; but there is something odd going on. The characters seem like cardboard cut-out versions of themselves. Arthur still wants a good cup of tea, Ford is still jaunty and distracted, etc. But they are almost incidental to the plot, when it actually gets going. The HHGTTG universe suddenly seems tiny, with the effigies of the same old characters saying what we expect them to in a tired sort of way. The same old wackily-named planets pop up in the Guide vignettes. The Vogons are still wasting planets, including the Earth (again again). Zaphod is still a vain ignoramus but now has only one head. And so on. Familiar, perhaps overly so. Colfer is constrained not just by previous plot, but by fan expectation. There is little scope for deviation from the formula and so he is beholden to the parochial plot and cast we loved, but who are hard to develop and largely unkillable. As for being funny, well it's hit-and-miss, though there are many misses. But there are saving graces that keep the reader if not glued, then at least moistly adhered to the tale, which Eoin has, for better or worse, left glaringly open for further sequels.
And another thing...
What a shame... This book takes on the original characters very skilfully but the story line is very disappointing. The satirical look at life in our real world has mostly gone, concentrating on making a new language and poking fun at religion. I was particularly disappointed at the dismissal of all the other books by using the dreadful 'Bobby Ewing' dream idea (for those who remember Dallas!) and the lack of the satirical look at politics.
If you have read the original books, you may well be disappointed, if not you may enjoy the wackiness.
Having read all preceding 5 books by D Adams, I am slightly disappointed by this not quite as witty sixth instalment. It's not terrible but neither is it brilliant.