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A great conclusion to the Hitchiker Series - Eoin Colfer was able to successfully almost replicate the same writing style as Douglas Adams. I was satisfied to see that Zaphod was returning in the series.
Overall great plot, great writing and really like the characters both new and old.
3.0 out of 5 starsIt's OK, but ultimately disappointing.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 23 December 2016
Three stars in Amazon means 'It's OK', and I think that does sum up this book.
As a massive H2G2 fan, I was dubious about this book coming out - did it really need to be written? I'm not so sure, though it is based on notes and plans made by Douglas Adams (as you will see if you read the Salmon of Doubt - highly recommended incidentally).
Eoin Colfer is a very gifted and able writer, but his main area is teen fiction, and unfortunately that shows in this book. There are some clever ideas, but the humour never really gets beyond the adolescent, which is a big let-down for Adams fans. It is this that is the major let-down, rather than the storyline, which holds up reasonably well but drifts into subject areas that as a Hitchhiker's reader, you're not totally comfortable with.
In short, it's an OK book, and I suspect most H2G2 fans will purchase to complete the set. Did it need to be written? By Adams, perhaps, but anyone else? No.
To be honest I was prejudiced against this book before starting it. I was a first generation devotee of the original in all its 3 formats the radio, tv and books. As the series grew into a 5 part ‘trilogy’ the cracks were already showing. The original radio/tv/2 volumes told a complete story that came to a tidy end with a clear point, it was clever, funny, reflective and refreshing. The subsequent volumes of the series struggled a bit with a coherent story, the fantastical plot twists in multi-dimensional-space-time were often too forced for comfort and some sequences were a bit long and tortuous (the Krikit Wars in particular). But Adams had a personal style of writing, the characters were his and told in his voice retained their humour and reflection, that was enough to make great reading.
Over 15 years after the last part of the ‘trilogy’ and a shortly after the death of Adams any new book written ‘from Adams’s notes’ was always going to look suspiciously like something done for financial gain by the publishers rather than for any artistic merit. And so it was. There is nothing terribly wrong with it but nor is there much to like about it either. Zaphod Beeblebrox needs to be written in the Big A’s voice anyone else writing the character, irrespective of their qualities, just isn’t going to feel like the real thing; the same is true of Arthur, Ford and Trillian. There is also the issue of the missing Marvin, come on if you’re going to do swan song you need the full cast.
Eoin Colfer was never going to win here, if he had tried to keep to Adams’s style it would have looked fake but imprinting his own dents the characters – a lose, lose situation (unless you are counting the cash). The strength of Adams’s work was always his characters and here they are not the same, Zaphod is smarter, Ford more hedonist, Arthur has become competent (even wise), Marvin is missing and Trillian – actually I wasn’t especially happy with the Trillian character by end of ‘Mostly Harmless’ the only female characters (Trillian and Random) in the series were less than positive images of womanhood (okay the males are hardly great representatives of maleness but they are utterly likeable in way that Trillian wasn’t in the end).
If you’re a devotee I guess you ought to read it but set expectations low and you won’t be too disappointed. I did after reading this try Colfer’s Artemis Fowl books and I can see why he was chosen to have a go at this gig, I know I’m a bit old for them but I am enjoying them, a lot more than ‘And Another Thing’ which really ought not to be a thing at all. It is however only a book and can’t do much harm.
Sorry but this just didn't work for me. About three quarters of the way through I could see a story falling into place but then it just fizzled out. It was a bit like a spin-off from a great sit-com but didn't work because of the absence of too many key elements: Arthur Dent was barely featured; Ford had lost many of his more "endearing" features; Random was unrecognizeable; no Marvin; no real Fenchurch... I began to think that I must have misunderstood the earlier parts. Just a lack of consistency - or maybe I'm getting too old and just don't get it. All credit to Eoin Colfer for keeping the whole thing alive but I think Douglas Adams was the only person who could get the balance just right. I was part of the radio audience for the first ever transmission of the first episode and enjoyed every second of all 5 phases. Perhaps my expectations were too high but this didn't inspire any of the delight I found in phases 1 - 5
3.0 out of 5 starsShows just how good Douglas Adam was.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 15 September 2020
Eoin Colfer is a good writer but sadly not up to Douglas Adams' standards. He does a good just of reproducing the style of the previous five books but lacks that way with works that made Douglas Adams so great. Adams had a way with the English language which allowed him, in a sentence or two, to encapsulated the absurdity of really and at the same time ridicule it. Thus his books as pack full of wonderful quotations while this lacked any. I believe Eoin Colfer took on this project with the best of intentions, sadly it was never going to work.
1.0 out of 5 starsDon't encourage them to write any more!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 9 December 2013
This book is just dreadful. I'm quite an avid reader, although never before have I given up half way through a book. I've persisted through some bad novels - either badly written or just plain boring, but this tipped me over the edge. I've been aware (and wary) of it since it was released, and only bought it as I recently re-read the original series, and the ending was so bleak that I wanted to see if this could cheer me up. It didn't.
Imagine your favourite characters from the original books (and a load of minor ones that you're not really interested in) all brought back together, given awful dialogue, and a painfully drawn-out narrative that is constantly interrupted by a new, boring, irritating, facsimile of the guide (i'm not talking about V2, that disappears almost immediately). It's really really bad.
At one point Zaphod stops halfway through a set piece because he can't remember what he's doing or why he's there. That's how I felt with this book. Please don't buy it. They'll only write more of them if you do. An insult to Douglas, and when you think about it, outrageously arrogant of the Author to think that he could chuck another instalment on the end. Sir, if you read this, you should be ashamed of yourself.