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And Another Thing... (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) Paperback – June 29, 2010
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
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"I would love to finish Hitchhiker on a slightly more upbeat note, so five seems to be a wrong kind of number, six is a better kind of number." -- Douglas Adams
"My first reaction was semi-outrage that anyone should be allowed to tamper with this incredible series. But on reflection I realised that this is a wonderful opportunity to work with characters I have loved since childhood and give them something of my own voice while holding onto the spirit of Douglas Adams and not laying a single finger on his five books." -- Eoin Colfer
From the Author
Eoin Colfer is the author of the internationally bestselling Artemis Fowl series, which has been translated into forty languages, most of them human. His books have won several awards, including the British Children's Book of the Year, and the German Children's Book of the Year.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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For example, in one section it went like this:
* Character: ...just like the alien race X.
* Guide: Well actually alien race X wasn't like that.
* Character: Further, this is why I'm write.
* Guide: That's a lie.
The author doesn't understand the difference between the Guide and a snarky, all-knowing narrator.
Another example of this is when the Guide has a bunch of background information on A. Dent and all of the various ways he died across all of the various realities. How is that even possible? The Guide isn't a god and no Guide researcher would have wasted time and effort researching this one person of no importance.
I tend to break down the series in my mind like this:
- The original Hitchhiker's Guide and Restaurant At the End of the Universe form an inseparable pair (being halves of the same story, really).
- Life The Universe and Everything is a fun encore reviving all the familiar characters.
- So Long and Thanks for All the Fish would have made a terribly satisfying conclusion, finally giving, as it did, a measure of happiness to hapless traveler Arthur Dent that made up to him for all the very weird things the Universe had been doing to him all this time.
- Mostly Harmless blows that happiness away again, not once but twice, taking away first the love of Arthur's life, then the one place he managed to feel completely successful and happy, which could have been fine anyway, if the sixth book felt more like a companion piece that restored it all, but alas, it doesn't.
Eoin Colfer is a fine writer, and the story he's put together here is fairly entertaining in its own right. I will say the style is a just a bit mismatched to Douglas Adams' own native writing style, but you can overlook that and simply enjoy the story well enough. Alas there are a few niggling issues that tarnish it for me:
There are trivial continuity errors (like the Vogons having used nuclear weapons to destroy the first Earth --- I clearly remember Jeltz saying "Energize the demolition beams! Apathetic bloody planet --- I have no sympathy.") There is the ongoing lack of explanation for how the Grebulon weaponry was able to destroy every Earth in every parallel universe when the Vogons could not. And of course Arthur recovers neither the girl or the home he lost, loses the current and all other Earths, and isn't even allowed to settle on a new world in peace, which frankly begins to get annoying since we already have the impression Arthur would have been better off if the series ended two books ago. If your name is Agrajag, or you simply hate Arthur Dent for some other reason, this book is for you. If you were hoping for some closure for Arthur --- well, just pretend the last two stories didn't happen.
Overall, I'd have to say it was OK, and a fairly fun read, but this book joins "Mostly Harmless" on my list of Hitchhiker books that didn't strictly need to be written.
Now, having said that I have to say I enjoyed it, but only after getting to about chapter 3, stopping for a couple of months and then starting over at the beginning. When I opened my mind and just took it for what it is, I enjoyed it. All the main characters are there and he does capture the resigned anger of Arthur Dent.
If pressed I would suggest that nobody get into the series by starting with this one. You will be lost almost immediately and that is not only not a good thing, it is avoidable. Like the Guide itself, readers new to the six-box trilogy need the roadmap that is the first three books, and then the fourth and fifth as well. And maybe, just maybe if I had begun by re-reading the other books and then jumped right into this one I would have found it to be fine.