And Another Thing… by Eoin Colfer [Review]November 2, 2009
Eoin Colfer’s “And Another Thing…” is, on the face of it, a strange book. It’s the sixth instalment of Douglas Adams’ Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. According to the blurb in the back cover “Douglas Adams always intended to write a sixth Hitchiker’s book, but his unfortunate early death in 2001 meant he never got the chance. Now, acclaimed humorist and bestselling author Eoin Colfer, creator of the widely acclaimed (and much-misunderstood) anti-hero Artemis Fowl, has been invited to once again set Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect adrift in space and time.” A Hitchiker’s book not written by Douglas Adams? Hmm, we’ll have to see about that.
One of the characterising features of the Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has always been a sense of silliness – bizarre plot twists that leave you feeling slightly lost whilst still marveling at the cleverness of the story. I remember listening to the radio play of the first book and wondering what on earth was happening when Arthur and Ford first encountered the Heart of Gold, but then realising the whole thing was actually a very clever plot device. So there’s a definite feeling to a Hitchiker’s book, and Eoin has actually managed to capture that pretty well in And Another Thing…. He’s got the balance right between keeping the reader on their toes with unexpected twists, but not straying into the completely ridiculous! In short, this definitely feels like a Hitchiker’s book.
I don’t want to give away any major spoilers, but the story has all the usual characters we’ve got to know in the other Hitchiker’s books, including those jobsworth Vogons. The story cracks on at a fast pace and is brilliantly enjoyable. It’s not absolutely necessary to have read the first five books in the series to enjoy this one, but doing so will definitely help you understand more of what’s going on.
If you’re a fan of the Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy you definitely won’t want to miss this. And if you’re not a fan… well, either get hold of the first five books and build up to this one, or just jump straight in and enjoy it!
And Another Thing… is available from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.