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And Another Thing... by Eoin Colfer
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M_50x66
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Jan 11, 12

Read in January, 2012

With the tragic Author Existence Failure of the late Douglas Adams, it seemed as if his Hitchhiker's Guide series was doomed to end on a tremendous downer. Enter Eoin Colfer, taking on the daunting task of stepping into the shoes of the galaxy's hoopiest frood to give H2G2 fans a more fitting farewell for their beloved characters.

What's immediately apparent is that Colfer is not Adams, and for the first fourth or so of the book I had the unsatisfying feeling of reading a work that felt almost, but not quite, entirely unlike a Hitchhiker's Guide novel. For every bit that expertly channels Douglas Adams's sublime grasp of the absurd, there's another lurking around the corner filled with a sort of oblivious awkwardness, like a grandfather trying too hard to be hip to another generation's style. The effort to reproduce Adams's astute silliness occasionally leads Colfer into juvenile silliness and even a few instances of potty humor. (I never expected to see the term "doo-doo" in a Hitchhiker book.) The characters speak and act in ways that feel forced and contrived and not in keeping with the personalities developed in the first five volumes.

Somewhere in the middle of the book, though, Colfer finds the right voices for the characters, and the quirky language and off-the-wall asides start to click. Although his style is not identical to Adams, I finally felt as though he was writing about the same characters I had come to know in the first five volumes, and with that came interest in the fates he had devised for them. Somewhere along the way, I stopped unconsciously comparing him to Adams at every turn, and started to enjoy his writing on its own merits.

The ending purposely leaves a couple loose threads untied, but it ultimately gave the satisfaction of seeing Arthur, Ford, Trillian, Zaphod, and Random ending their literary careers alive and well, and even with a measure of happiness, which was the whole point of the book, after all.

I would have liked to see Slartibartfast make an appearance somewhere along the way, but I suppose one can't have everything.

Conclusion: Mostly entertaining.
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message 1: by Jenny (new)

Jenny Author Existence Failure - LOVE IT!
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