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And Another Thing... by Eoin Colfer
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's review
Jan 02, 2012

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Read in January, 2012

First some measurements for comparison between “And Another Thing. . .” and rest of the Hitchhikers series. I only give this three stars vs. the five I rate the rest as (and that's a bit kind 2.5). This one novel took me 20 days to get though, a desperate pace considering the first time I read the compilation of all five H2G2 novels I tore though it in five days!

To be fair who would want to be held up to Douglas Adams and measured. Right from the cover you are put on guard as the obvious literary heir of Adams, Neil Gaiman, who not only has much of Adams style, considers him one of his influences, and has also authored one of his biographies, is not the writer who decided to take on this challenge. But given the various forms the Hitchhikers series has appeared in and that even Adams himself has said “The history of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is now so complicated that every time I tell it I contradict myself. . “, I was prepared to entertain a wide varied of comic book style remake possibilities. Unfortunately Colfer doesn’t take this route and instead tries to imitate Adams, failing miserably; achieving the broad strokes you might use to describe Adams work but missing the fine detail that made it artistic and witty.

Trying to reassure the readers Colfer seams to dig up a reference to every character or plot event you might list in a ‘Best of’ fan conversation, all except conspicuously Marvin (who does happen to be a few times older than universe so although he has ‘died’ that’s not really a problem). All of the characters seam to be shallow versions of their former selves, even the already ‘shallow’ Zaphod seams to have lost depth.

Colfer is just not the wordsmith Adams was and it shows. At one point he writes “. . .from his plexiglas helmet. . ” which I just can’t imagine Adams ever writing plexiglas, I’m sure it would have been much more like ‘Crain-O-cave Subaqua Breath Buddy’, but worry not Colfer makes plenty of overuse the whatever-O-matic formula. (And at another point in the book I read a line and thought exactly at that moment “that would have been a ‘place holder’ line for Adams.”) Colfer also makes abundant overuse of asides in the form of ‘Guide Entries’, you can barley go two pages without one.

Well if your a fan of Hitchhikers I'm sure you’ll be reading this for yourself no matter what I write (and really fans should read it) but I hope I’ve lowered your expectations enough that you’ll find some enjoyment in this novel.

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