An Englishman's continuing search through space and time for a decent cup of tea . . . Arthur Dent's accidental association with that wholly remarkable book The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has not been entirely without incident. Arthur has travelled the length, breadth and depth of known, and unknown, space. He has stumbled forwards and backwards through time. He has been blown up, reassembled, cruelly imprisoned, horribly released and colourfully insulted more than is strictly necessary. And, of course, he has comprehensively failed to grasp the meaning of life, the universe and everything.
Arthur has, though, finally made it home to Earth. But that does not mean he has escaped his fate. For Arthur's chances of getting his hands on a decent cuppa are evaporating along with the world's oceans. Because no sooner has he arrived than he finds out that Earth is about to be blown up...again.
And Another Thing...by Eoin Colfer is the rather unexpected, but very welcome, sixth instalment of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy. It features a pantheon of unemployed gods, everyone's favourite renegade Galactic President, a lovestruck green alien, an irritating computer and at least one very large slab of cheese.
©2009 Eoin Colfer; (P)2009 Penguin Books Limited
Eoin Colfer has done a splendid job of keeping the goofiness alive, and Simon Jones should be congratulated for a superb narration.
Listening to this book brought back fond memories of listening to the previous Douglas Adams H2G2 books, and I enjoyed the wacky stories and the sense of deja vu created by the plot. I enjoyed the humour but felt that the god-bashing was a little overdone, but not gratuitous. I guess it was required by the plot, and raised some interesting philosophical questions, which I enjoyed.
This book doesn't feel like a sequel or a "keep the successful formula going" effort. It has plenty of original ideas and feels fresh and froody. I think it brings the series to an elegant close, and it will take a brave man to write part 7.
If you love the original HGttG works by Douglas Adams so not spoil your impression of them by this horrible parody of his genius. The story makes no sense, the jokes are pasted on with Superglue and the thought in my mind were when it was going to end.
I was skeptical at first when hearing of Eion's entry into the HG2G series, but this was easily up there as one of my favorites. I highly recommend it to any fan.
I love Arthemis Fowl, and I do own all of them, but Eoin Colfer is not Duglas Adems and the story is not as intriguing or as wonderful.
Not at all. I am sorry to say
Yes he is abel to make a good difference between the characters and it is fun to listen to him.
It is worth it if you walk ore do housework, but not if you sit down only to listen to that.
It helped to get a closure of the prevues books, but not if you want to have a perfeced book.
The use of Simon Jones as the narrator goes some way to making this work and feel like a familiar pair of slippers all be it slippers that were bought by your old maiden aunt in Winnipeg and have been languishing unloved in the bottom of your wardrobe for 17 years. I can't help but believe that Douglas would have felt a little cheated as he clearly wished to lighten the despair that for personal reasons dominated 'Mostly Harmless' and this simply doesn't, early promise seems to falter towards the end of the book and it feels like this became an ever increasing challenge for Eoin as the book progressed. What it does do is leave things open for next book!? Could this become an annual event with a new writer each time, after all Eoin Colfer has already ruled himself out.
I have just finished this absolute gem of a story. I approached this book with a certain amount of trepidation ? how could someone match Douglas Adams unique style and sense of humour. Within minutes all of those worries had evaporated and I was totally captivated. It just kept getting better and better!
Eoin Colfer has done a wonderful job of writing a new story set in Douglas?s original universe ? he populates it with all of the original characters. The main characters (Arthur, Ford, Zaphod and Trillian) make a return, but also many of the ancillary creatures and items get a mention. Pan-Galactic Gargle Blasters, the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal and the Triple-Breasted Whore of Eroticon Six, all get a mention - Hitchhiker fans will feel right at home. The guide entries ? which for me, was one of the best parts of the original books, are back; funny, clever and as pun laden as ever. These little guide gems are liberally pepper throughout the book and seem to appear every couple of minutes.
The pace of the narrative is impressive and never seems to drag. The return of one of my favourite characters from the original books (Wowbagger, the grumpy immortal alien whose mission is to insult everyone in the universe) is a real treat and Eoin takes Adams minor character and fleshes him out into a very interesting and comical character as well as being a love interest for one of the original characters. There is also a very interesting weaving of some of the characters from Adams Dirk Gently books into the story, which worked flawlessly and just added to my admiration for Colfers literary skill.
Colfer also introduces his own new character, the wonderfully named Hillman Hunter - a great character in his own right but also as the perfect foil for Zaphod.
In brief a good plot and a great read with many laugh out loud moments! Hitchhiker fans will not be disappointed.
"A very good homage to Douglas Adams Work"
I loved this extension to the H2G2, Simon Jones (Arthur from the original radio and television series) does an excellent job of rendering all of the characters' voices differently enough that the listener can differentiate between them, and actually well enough that they are different characters in their own right (a very hard thing to do) and surprising to me as the only voice I have heard Simon do is 'Arthur'. He used pretty much the same one in Blackadder as Sir Walter Raleigh, but here his range is broad, from the laid back Ford and almost horizontal Zaphod, to the grunting slosh of a Vogon and other numerous characters.
SPOILER Warning: below is an exposition of a plot point of the story, but I think it is important, so there.
My one gripe with the story, however is the beginning; The last book ended with all the characters on Earth II in the nightclub, as Earth is destroyed by the Grebulons. In order that this book not be blank and boring (or even afterlife-y), Eoin gives the characters a breather and they all go about their business and grow old. However, this breather is nothing more than a simulated existence provided by the Guide MkII, where the characters do what they want; Random becomes Galactic President, Trillian becomes a successful correspondent, Ford is at an exceptionally expensive spa, getting drunk every night, but with no hangover the next morning, and Arthur is in a hut on a beach, with tea. However, to me it felt eerily similar to Better Than Life, a simulated existence game in the Red Dwarf franchise, which allows you to live your hearts desires.
Other than that, the book is great and lovely to listen to on long journeys.
"A great follow up to the Douglas Adams series."
the next best thing to Douglas Adams writing it himself.
Ford Prefect. his smarmy attitude and scheming make him a very interesting character.
Arthur Dent. The original part of Arthur was written for Simon Jones so his performance is spot on perfect.
the book was as funny as the previous series. it made me feel like i was in a new adventure with the hitchhikers.
Would recommend to anyone who enjoyed the original series.
"Almost as if he is still here..."
I was sceptical about whether another person could continue where DA left off - well I shouldn't have worried. When one is happy with the concept of parallel universes, black holes, time/dimensional travel - there had to be someone who could describe hypotheses, discuss alternative realities, argue in a spiral, and amuse in full dose - well done Eoin Colfer.
Up there with the originals for invention, humour and fairly biting satire on the perennial obsessions of sentient beings; war, religion, money and sex.
A great listen, due in great part to Simon Jones' masterly reading. Lovely to hear the original Arthur Dent, and he gave every other character life and animation with a unique voice. I look forward to the rest of the series.
"Not quite life, the universe and everythig"
As far as this series goes, there's somthng missing... mostly Douglas Adams, it must be said.There's an AWFUL LOT of back references that die-hard fans will pick up on, most of which are enjoyable, and many tie up ends within ends.
Fine narration does not necessarily fill the boots of the full radio drama that went before, but at least it's reassuringly familiar to hear the tones of he original Arthur Dent taking us on to the outer reaches of all possible existences.
If you're a fan of Dent, Prefect, Beeblebastard (ibid), Trillian and Random Frequent Flyer Dent, as well as the likes of Thor, Vogon Geltz and the rest of the decidedly unearthy characters, this may well appeal to you as it did to me.
Enjoyable, and certianly in the spirit of the Adams, I'd recommed to followers (not for the first time dabblers).
"A Very Decent Effort"
Like many people I approached this with some trepidation. For me the first three Hitch Hikers Guide books were seminal works of my youth. There's no doubt that the concept deserved to breathe again but it had seemed to me that even the wonderful Douglas Adams was struggling a bit with the last one.
What swayed me to buy it was the involvement of Simon Jones, his portrayal of Arthur was always going to be worth listening to again! And so it proved, hearing Arthur's almost permanently confused voice once more was pure gold and overall he does a very good job of narration.
The book itself and the story? I think it was a fine effort, gloriously silly in true HHG style and Colfer managed to capture the Adams humour nicely. The side notes are humourous just like the guide entries in the original stories but possibly were a bit too frequent for my taste and could have been toned down a little. The further development of the Vogons was a particular highlight for me.
I'm in the category of fans that believes Adams produced an absolute masterpiece with the Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy and no-one is going to match it. But I'll admit that master Colfer has made a thoroughly decent job of breathing new life into these characters.
For anyone new to the series I can't imagine starting here would be the best advice . . . I'd strongly suggest going back to read the previous books first and if still enjoying them you'll get much more our of this one.
"Almost but not quite entirely unlike Douglas Adams"
Some parts of if was like listening to what Douglas Adams wrote.
There were in general too many references to caracters from the other books, like someone trying a bit to hard to live up to the expectations.
"Lacks Douglas Adams' Wit"
Ive tried to listen to this book a number of times but have never managed to finish it. Which is a real shame as i absolutely love Adams' novels,
Unfortunately Colfer is ill equipped to fill Douglas' rather sizable shoes, resulting in more of a confused ramble than the whacky adventure i hoped for.
"Really wanted to enjoy it..."
I feel like more than just a fan of the original series - I knew every square inch of the stories, the characters and the universe of H2G2, so was intrigued to hear about this. However I'm about 3/4 of the way through and have largely lost interest. It would have been difficult for Douglas Adams himself to write another sequel - it's not clear one was really necessary - and while this volume visits just about every character and references every funny line from the original books, it feels like that's all it does: there's little wrong with Colfer's use of the source material, or his writing, but it does feel like much less than the sum of its parts. For one, a rather aimless story makes heavy use of the power of Infinite Improbability and other technologies; while they enable plenty of imaginative soujourns and set pieces, they do so at the expense of any real tension in the events. Also, the Babelfish, the Vogons, the flobbling mattresses and the other exotically improbable beasts from the original books were both imaginative and used to great effect, here the joke is stretched a little thin with the Guide noting new creatures rather too regularly. On the positive side, there's definitely some satisfaction in the in-jokes, there are some great lines, and Simon Jones's performance is really excellent. Overall, though, it feels like five books might have been enough for this trilogy.
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