And Another Thing

In contrast to the review I posted yesterday, I really wouldn't waste your Waterstones vouchers (or spend any money) on this. It is a disappointing addition to Douglas Adams', 5 book "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy", but then I suppose that makes Eoin Colfer the perfect inheritor of Adams' mantle. The original 3books were nothing short of brilliant, but Adam's famous disregard for deadlines and (in my opinion) the contempt that he and his publishers had for his loyal readership, meant that his last couple were merely exercises in commercial cynicism devoid of wit or original narrative... This is actually slightly better, though it only makes it an average read. Like Adams' work before it, it is shot through with some brilliant lines such as when asked whether the god Thor is omnipresent, his agent, Zaphod Beeblebrox replies

"No, but he's pretty fast!"

and I will remember Prefect's description of how he likes his steak cooked the next time I order one

"So rare a vet with shock paddles could revive it."

However, this series should not have been revived, it should have recieved an honoured burial after the first 3. As I have said, this is a slight improvement on Adams' own last 2, with a better storyline, but Colfer relentlessly mines the earlier books for characters and references, forgetting that the fleeting nature of some of them (including Wowbagger) is part of their joy. The satirical, sly social comment, element also seems to have been lost (with the exception of the repeated references to the Sub-Etha videos which are clearly a dig at the You Tube phenomenon... And finally, I'm just not certain he got the characters entirely right... he paints Zaphod and Ford as stupid, which I had never taken from the earlier books... previously I had taken them as the ultimate slackers, but clearly Colfer thought otherwise. Anyway, I hope that there will not be a 7th part of this trilogy.


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