May 11, 2001 marked a sad moment in time. We lost Douglas Adams, the noted author of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. We thought our hitchhiking was done……… Fast forward to October 12, 2009.
Eoin Colfer has picked up the towel and moved the story farther down the spiral into madness. I have never read his previous works, the “Artemis Fowl” series, so I had no idea what to expect of this story. “And Another Thing” picks up right at the end of “Mostly Harmless”, which I admit had a weak ending. Douglas had been quoted as saying he wanted to continue the story a bit farther, not leaving the bleak state of affairs at Stavro Mueller’s Beta. What we have here is a charming mix of Vogons, Grebulons, Deathrays, and “Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged”. Arthur Dent and Company careening from improbability to the truly bizarre.
This is the first of two series that are being taken on by a new author after the original passed away. I expected that this book would not sound like Douglas. Feel like Douglas. The best description of the writing style I can think of is that here we are looking in on our old friends, but through a different window. The characters are well portrayed, and familiar. The writing style is certainly different, but comfortably weird.
I particularly liked “Left Brain”, and his odd relationship with Zaphod. The side trip to Valhalla was certainly entertaining, and almost links to Douglas’ other main character “Dirk Gently”. One thing I have noticed, the “Heart of Gold” is no longer described as a sleek running shoe. In fact, the shape of the vessel seems to never be specified at all. I wonder if that is an effort not to distance this novel from the portrayal in the movie. I also picked up on the absence of Marvin, the Paranoid Android. Why was he left out?
I will stop here, so as not to spoil it for you. If you have enjoyed the other stories about the guide, then I think you will enjoy this one too. I got mine through Audible.com, and Simon Jones’ reading was excellent. Good voicing of the characters, and conveys a sense of being there that reading from a page does not. It helps that Simon Jones was the guy who played Arthur Dent in the radio broadcast back in the day.
“And Another Thing” gives us a little more insight into the whole sort of general mish-mash. Get it. I plan to listen to it again soon. I expect I didn't catch every weird reference the first time through, and I am looking forward to it.
I give it a solid 42 stars out of 10!