Sunday, November 29th, 2009
The Short Take:
Colfer picks up where the late Douglas Adams’ left his popular series, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. For a huge Adams fan like me, this is very dangerous territory. I almost hate to admit that Colfer largely won me over. Honest.
Colfer’s own Artemis Fowl series (aimed primarily at young adult readers) has it’s own sense of the absurd, so one can see why Adams’ widow and daughter asked him to continue the Hitchhiker series. Though I’m not so sure there was any reason to continue: Adams’ last book had a very final feeling to it. Still, the deed is done.
While Colfer doesn’t have quite the twisted wit of the late Adams (“The ships hung in the sky in much the same way as bricks don’t.” — Adams), but he does have an incredible imagination and peppers this “part six of three” with a wide range of bizarre creatures, cultures, and unexpected happenings. He is also quite sly with the names he gives random characters.
More important, Colfer stays true to the underlying theme of the Hitchhiker series of probability and improbability, the main characters continue to behave just as they should, and you still wonder what new craziness each turn of the page will bring.
So, don’t panic. After all, if we can’t have Adams on our planet any more, it is nice to have Colfer.
A Little Plot:
If you’ve never read any Adams, this is going to make no sense to you whatsoever. Sorry. (But it is kind of your fault for not reading Adams.)
The Vogons, who destroyed Earth at the beginning of the very first Hitchhiker, are intent on destroying Earth in every parallel universe as well as eliminating any stray humans in the galaxy. A reunited Arthur Dent, Trillian, Ford Prefect, and Random are on the next Earth to meet its doom when Zaphod Beeblebrox appears to rescue them.
Unfortunately the rescuer winds up needing rescuing. This gives rise to various deals being made that involve contacting the god Thor, transporting our refugees to a hidden colony of humans, ending the life of an immortal, and evading the hot-in-pursuit Vogons.
And that’s just the beginning. But that’s all you’re getting here.
There’s quite a website connected to this book that you might enjoy if you click here.