Customer Reviews


189 Reviews
5 star:
 (32)
4 star:
 (55)
3 star:
 (36)
2 star:
 (29)
1 star:
 (37)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


245 of 266 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And Yet Another Thing
I've been reading Eoin Colfer's book 'And Another Thing' and I'm pleasantly surprised to discover that I happen to like it. That's a biggie, really unexpected, as I'm one of those people who can't accept the possibility that anyone could measure up to Douglas Adams in his own (reflection of this) universe.

Let's state the obvious, shall we? Eoin Colfer isn't...
Published on October 13, 2009 by Review Shop

versus
47 of 54 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars okay, but why?
The never ending trilogy.

A surprising choice to add to the famous Douglas Adams five part trilogy, the author being a children's/YA writer.

But in order to review this we need to go back in time to when Douglas Adams was to SF what Terry Pratchett was to become to Fantasy. Clever and inventive and a very nice guy. Somewhere at home I have the...
Published on October 19, 2009 by Nick Brett


‹ Previous | 1 219 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

245 of 266 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And Yet Another Thing, October 13, 2009
By 
I've been reading Eoin Colfer's book 'And Another Thing' and I'm pleasantly surprised to discover that I happen to like it. That's a biggie, really unexpected, as I'm one of those people who can't accept the possibility that anyone could measure up to Douglas Adams in his own (reflection of this) universe.

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. As with Shakespeare, the prologue became a character in its own right. The second book used fewer notes from The Guide and then the rest of the series dropped them. If you ask the fans which books they prefer, you will generally find that they like the books in direct proportion to the number of Guide footnotes they include. Eoin has probably spotted this (or at least enjoys the footnotes) as he's dropped in lots of them. The difference is...

Douglas would write a footnote which was imaginative, surreal and then made a huge arching observation about the nature of the Universe, our perception of life itself or a cutting critique of human nature. He'd ask us to look at the thing from a new perspective, to open our eyes and shine a light in our minds, then he'd follow that with a silly twist at the end (the comedy pay-off). Eoin's footnotes are surreal, imaginative, they even use planet names, species and locations from the original books, but... the guru-like thinking, the great idea, the divine revelation isn't there. the footnote is funny, it's true, but Douglas had more insight into the human condition.

4. Imagination and escapism: Douglas wrote 'alternative world fiction', also called 'alternative reality' or 'what if?' fiction. He based his universe in science, never magic, and tried to find an engineering solution for each piece of alien strangeness. The only exception to the rule, as far as I can remember, was when his characters started flying (mind over physical laws). Eoin Colfer came to HHG as a magic writer (leprechauns etc). He has successfully made the transition to Douglas's way of thinking.

5. Douglas was a cynic and sometimes even depressive. His worst book was Mostly Harmless, in which he blows up the Earth, observes Marvin's death, kills all his characters, turns his back, shakes the blood off his hands and walks away feeling relieved. HHG followers generally didn't like Douglas's final HHG book. Eoin's advantage was that he's an upbeat writer and, as an ex-fan, his book couldn't possibly be as sickening to the loyal readers as Mostly Harmless. We didn't expect him to write something as good as the Hitch-Hiker's Guide, that's too much to ask, but there was hope he couldn't cock it all up (as they did in the film version by dropping all of the best lines). I'm delighted to report that Eoin has produced a book that is much closer to Douglas's best titles than Douglas's worst ones.

I expected 'And Another Thing' to be soul-less, mid range and uninspired, just another commercial fan-fiction vehicle for the characters. I expected it to stray from Douglas's rules of writing. I anticipated that Eoin might not know Adams' universe in any great detail or 'hear the music' in his lilting prose.

Those expectations have been confounded. The book rocks.

Adam Corres
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


60 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Give It A Chance, October 24, 2009
I'm just going to get this all out on the table. Give this book a chance. It's good. Colfer was asked to do this book by Adam's widow because she wanted to introduce Adam's writing to a whole new generation of readers. Colfer is a successful authour. He could make a lot more money writing and publishing a children's book in his Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl, Book 1) series. He wrote And Another Thing out of respect for Adams and as a favour to Adam's widow. Give the guy a break. Put aside the punter politics. And Another Thing is a great read. I'm thrilled that someone as funny and imaginative as Colfer took up the challenge. I hope that his audience will use this excuse to pick up Hitchikers and the tale will stay alive for another generation.

Adams did not want to write the last two books in the The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series but had to because of contractual obligations. But his true feelings of boredom with the series show in the last two novels. They are dark and forced. Characters die somewhat suddenly and with little explanation. Before Adams could get back into his characters and end the series in a way fans would enjoy, he died, suddenly, on a treadmill in California at the age of 49.

And Another Thing is well written and entertaining and leaves readers left high and dry by Adams sudden death somewhat satiated. Eoin Colfer is touring with this book. He recently visited the Denver Tattered Cover and his explanations and manner quelled even the staunchest of critics. If you remain a doubter, I recommend listening to him speak and then reading And Another Thing with an open mind and heart.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


47 of 54 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars okay, but why?, October 19, 2009
By 
Nick Brett (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
The never ending trilogy.

A surprising choice to add to the famous Douglas Adams five part trilogy, the author being a children's/YA writer.

But in order to review this we need to go back in time to when Douglas Adams was to SF what Terry Pratchett was to become to Fantasy. Clever and inventive and a very nice guy. Somewhere at home I have the first three HitchHiker books all signed and I remember how down to earth and friendly Douglas Adams was, despite half the queue being in dressing gowns and holding towels. But those fans will all be about 50 today, so Eoin Colfer had to write to appeal to the nostalgia of that generation but also those younger fans who have discovered the HitchHikers Guide over the years. There is also the point that how will the humour of the late 70's translate 30 years later when having a hand held information provider is no longer science fiction?

Well, in my view, it was okay. It raised a smile now and then as Colfer does manage to replicate some of Adams' style. It was a nice reminder of how fresh and exciting the first few HHGTTG books were but I was not overly grabbed by the story and I did wonder what the point of this actually was. This doesn't really add anything to the five book trilogy (and accepting that the last original book was by far the weakest). I was surprised to find that Colfer was a reasonably safe pair of hands in this endeavour, even if one might question the endeavour itself. I was slightly worried that it might be me, what was so fresh 30 years ago has not dated specifically, but is was 'of a time' and this new addition seems strangely out of place.

So there are some nice touches, but I am not sure it was worth the effort or fuss.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mostly Pointless, November 16, 2009
The quote from which Colfer pulls his title rather says it all: The storm had now definitely abated, and what thunder there was now grumbled over more distant hills, like a man saying "And another thing..." twenty minutes after admitting he's lost the argument.

And Another Thing... is the written embodiment of that quote: it's too little, too late. It neither accomplishes anything useful nor does it add anything other than an unsatisfying addendum to a long finished conversation. Ultimately, it's as disappointingly pointless and just plain self-indulgent as rehashing a dead and lost argument. It makes one rather wish he'd left it as it was.

While I do think Colfer caught the general flavor of Adams, that's unfortunately about as far as he was able to go. Worse yet, Colfer seems to have missed who these established characters are. None of the familiar leads seem to be anything but an unforgivably generalized impression of who their earlier incarnations were.

And while I was amused at times, I found myself more irritated than anything by how labored the humor was. Colfer will often mention something in dialogue/description, only to stop and explain with the excessively copious GUIDE NOTES why the reader should be amused by the vaguely wacky (Hey! Spacey name + absurd = comedy!) thing he's written. At one point he even calls attention to how disruptive this is by writing that a particular GUIDE NOTE needs to be short so as not to disrupt the flow. Too late.

Had Colfer written a book utilizing his own characters but set in the Hitchhiker's universe, perhaps it would have been a much more enjoyable experience. But this isn't the book he's written, and as a sequel to a well-loved series, it falls miles short of the mark. Next time, I'll know better and ignore the grumbling.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sad waste of time, December 14, 2009
By 
brt712 (Massachusetts) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have used Amazon for years and have never written a book review... until now. The reason being is that this book was so disappointing and lame that I felt it would be cathartic to write a review expressing my displeasure.

As I read all the other 1 star reviews here, I realized they pretty much beat me to the punch in terms of describing all that is wrong with this book, so by all means please read those reviews next. It is a unfunny, poorly written, rambling mess. The insertion of meaningless "guide notes" breaks up any flow the author attempts to establish. There is a whole new set of characters introduced -- transplanted humans living on a nano-planet elsewhere in the galaxy -- that is dull beyond belief. And Colfer insists on extending scenes far longer than necessary (there are pages and pages devoted to dry exchanges between the Vogons and some incomprehensible discussion between Zaphod Beeblebrox and some heretofore unknown representative of the Nordic gods.

Worst of all, though, is the authors insistance that every other sentence (or so it feels) is a babbling non sequitor. Descriptors that come out of nowhere or parenthetic comments that make no sense whatsoever. Really, this technique truly makes the entire book feel like the ramblings of an idiot.

Sorry, Mr. Colfer. I think you're best off sticking with children's books.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Mehhh, November 23, 2009
By 
Svlad Cjelli (APO, AP United States) - See all my reviews
I had hoped that someone who could create Artemis Fowl could do a much better job than this. I don`t expect him to BE DNA, but I do expect him to remain true to the characters. Nobody really rings true to me, and Arthur, at times, is completely unknowable as the original everyman. Ford is now a joke, Tricia is eliminated, with only the weak Trillian from the 5th H2G2 present and barely that. It is a very disappointing book. I think Terry Pratchett would have been a much better choice. While DNA`s books weren`t exactly coherent, they did get you where you were going (as Dirk Gently would put it). And you had a good time along the way, and you could tell you were in the presence of real intelligence and wit. I don`t get that at all with this book.

As a sidenote, for those who really hated the tone and ending of Mostly Harmless, check out Phase 5 of the H2G2 radio series. They did a very nice job of rescuing the gang and made you feel good at the end. Thank goodness for dolphins!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Hamlet, March 23, 2010
You know the story where if you have a million monkeys typing on a million typewriters, eventually, you'll get Hamlet? This is not that story.
It's more like what would happen if you gave a single monkey a word processor, copy & paste, 5 previous novels, and the end result would not be wholly indistinguishable from the sixth book.

Colfer's stale, derivative and wholly unremarkable book is a completely unworthy addition to the H2G2 mythos, and if there were a zero star rating, this book would merit it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Maybe the Vogons were right, January 17, 2011
Chapter 11 begins with the following image: "Hyperspace cleared its throat and hawked out a Vogon bureaucruiser..." Before the next Hitchhiker's Guide entry, we are presented with this simile: "a Vogon without its hostile edge is about as much use as a pooh stick in a bartle bodging contest." It is hard to be both boorish and incomprehensible on one page but Colfer manages here.

I present these selections not because they are Colfer's worst but because they are typical. Cosmic irony is difficult to achieve. Adams was a master in the first Hitchhiker books as was Vonnegut in his early Tralfamadore entries (Sirens of Titan, Slaughterhouse 5). Here, however, in place of original plot concepts or of character development beyond caricature, the book devolves into an endless string of unfunny one liners. At one point, even Arthur Dent has had enough, responding to a particularly leaden quip by Ford Prefect: "Is this the time for jokes, Ford? Is it really?" Probably not. But, the reader is left to wonder, what took Arthur and Colfer so long to notice.

The list of successful sequels by new writers is a short one. And Another Thing won't join that collection. It is the longest 273 pages I have read in a quite a while. Adams had an obvious love for his characters. His light touch allowed them to remain fully realized even as they endured increasingly absurd and original situations. Colfer seems to quickly tire of the gang he inherited. He keeps them on a spaceship for most of the book (like an under financed, original series Star Trek episode.) The characters expend all of their efforts laboring through conversations that we have all heard before. Just before the close, Colfer gives up completely: "Now, that's something you don't see every day, (Dent) thought, resorting to cliches in his amazement."

Arthur waits until the book is almost over to attempt to move the plot with a cliche. The author begins well ahead of him.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Only Quite Liked It., November 12, 2009
I had no idea this book was in the pipeline, and was shocked, not to mention wary, when my husband bought it this week. Recent additions to the H2G2 oeuvre, from Mostly Harmless through to the film, have been disasters. All these years after Douglas Adams' death, how good could someone else's attempt at a new Hitchhiker's book possibly be?

Reasonably good, it turns out. Eoin Colfer has produced a book that very nearly satisfies the longtime Hitchhiker's fan. I really didn't think that was possible, but somehow he managed it. The characters are recognizably themselves, and it's great to see them again. The story itself works, carrying the reader along with several related plot threads that tie together rather well. There are many semi-amusing references to familiar people and planets and creatures - too many, really, enough to skirt the edges of pastiche territory. But no matter. It may not be quite an Adams Universe (of which there are several), but it's close enough.

Best of all, And Another Thing... goes a long way toward redeeming the travesty that was Mostly Harmless, credibly rescuing our cast from Certain Death. Eoin Colfer's solution to their predicament affects Arthur, Trillian and Random in interesting and life-changing ways, far beyond the fact of their mere survival. Arthur gets a few moments of near-happiness, something the character surely deserves. Colfer also finds new things to do with Zaphod, particularly his business relationships and extra head. Minor characters Wowbagger and Thor make a triumphant, non-gratuitous return.

This will never be my favorite Hitchhiker's book. How could it be? But it's not my least favorite, either, and that's saying quite a bit. I am prepared to accept this as the real, canonical continuation of these character's stories, and by extension, finally make my peace with the ending of Mostly Harmless. All things considered, that makes And Another Thing... a real triumph.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Painful to read. Absolutely dreadful. Tortured page after tortured page, January 29, 2011
Colfer managed to completely miss the mark on this one. The characterizations were all wrong, there were far to many (and unfunny) Guide entries* and instead of following Arthur as a haplessly shuffled through life in a perpetually confused state, Eoin chose to follow Zaphod for 90% of the novel. The books were always about Arthur the everyman, he represented us. When we saw the universe through his eyes, we were seeing it with our own. Zaphod may be cool you could store meat in him for a month, but he isn't central character material. Douglas didn't even use Zaphod in So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish.

Why didn't they ask Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett or Terry Jones to write it? They would have made so much more sense and I can only guess at how much better the book would have been. Maybe someday...

*I think someone got there hands on an unfinished copy and told Eoin there were to many entries. If you notice 3/4 of the way through the book they get worked into the narrative rather than being traditional Guide entries.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 219 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

And Another Thing... (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)
And Another Thing... (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) by Eoin Colfer (Paperback - June 29, 2010)
$14.99 $6.00
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.