And Another Thing

Seamless, said someone in the audience last week, when talking to Eoin Colfer about his new Hitchhiker novel. And she’s right. After a year of Eoin saying he wasn’t going to try and be Douglas Adams, he has got much closer than you’d imagine possible. And that’s good. Seamless means that we don’t really notice the change from one writer to another. I’ve read other sequels where the style is very different, and with good reason. You can’t be someone else.

I feel that Eoin could be some kind of honorary little brother of Douglas’s. Like most others, I found And Another Thing to be more Hitchhikery than I’d thought possible. It’s very enjoyable. Someone said he’d not laughed reading this one, unlike with the other five Hitchhiker books. I agree to some extent, but wonder if that’s because we are not only older now, but the concept is less new and we have come to expect certain things, so don’t laugh out loud. But I could be wrong.

Eoin Colfer and And Another Thing

It’s good that Eoin didn’t seek to write this book. I think you do a better job when a little reluctant. So I was surprised at the Guardian reviewer’s comment that Douglas’s family allowed Eoin to write this sequel. They asked him to! There is a big difference.

To be perfectly honest, I couldn’t totally remember how we left Arthur and Co in book five. It’s been a while. But it was easy to get back into the flow, and it’s good that Eoin came up with his own plot, rather than use the notes Douglas left. I daresay we wouldn’t have had an Irish character without an Irish author, so Hillman Hunter is a fun invention.

The use of Norse Gods is also good. Would quite like people to settle on the spelling of Leif, however. I like it correct, and I don’t want both spellings competing with each other. And is it just my background, or is there some deeper meaning in Thor’s appearance and the fact that Arthur has some dislike for Thursdays?

Random Dent is quite lovely, really, particularly given the weird adults she’s surrounded by. Zaphod is better with the one head, but still stupid. Nice to see Trillian finding love. And I suspected Fenchurch would turn up, somehow.

Eoin hasn’t written a definitive ending, just really carried the story on a little. He’s left it so that we can stop here, or his idea of other relay authors taking over would be a feasible project. I would like to see poor Arthur sorted. He’s really a most unfortunate man. At least he’s getting used to his bad luck.

And there is something almost loveable about Vogons.

7 responses to “And Another Thing

  1. Well, as you know, I though there was a bit too much Random and that Trillian had been dumbed down. But thanks for the thought about Thor and Thursdays. Douglas Adams had a thing about Thor, didn’t he? He turns up in the Dirk Gently books as I recall.

  2. Well, it could be accidental. I assume the connection between Wednesdays and Odin is even less obvious?

  3. Haven’t read this sequel yet, but I’m going to. And remember Mr Chew, Mr Wedding and Mrs Fry in Diana Wynne Jones’s Eight Days of Luke?

    Incidentally, there used to be a place near Boggart Hole Clough in Manchester called Woden’s Den. They built houses over it in the 1930’s…

  4. Ah yes, Diana Wynne Jones at her most sublime!

  5. I really must tackle Diana Wynne Jones! Everyone mentions her. Where should I start?

  6. Graham L. Wilson

    The book was okay however I disagree with much that is in the review. The book, unlike Colfer’s other works, bounced around and was not plotted out well enough. Not a criticism of the author per say, he just could have used an better editor. It had the absurdity of Hitchhikers but not the intelligence – no clever math or philosophy jokes for example. The characterization was a bit off, Zaphod seemed a little slow witted rather then clueless, Ford’s motivations seemed off, and what the hell is “froody”? Random was annoying, but she was from day one, and the gods bit was overdrawn as was the Nano plot. Still, he had big shoes to fill and didn’t do that bad a job.

  7. Trying to work out if you dislike my ‘review’ more than you dislike the book?

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