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Book Review: And Another Thing… by Eoin Colfer

# Genre: Humor, Science Fiction
# Hardcover: 288 pages
# Publisher: Hyperion
# Publication Date: October 12, 2009
# ISBN-10: 1401323588
# ISBN-13: 978-1401323585
# Author Website: Eoin Colfer
# Book Website: www.6of3.com

Finding a worthy successor to Douglas Adams must have been a difficult job. Adams defined comedic science fiction, and his books are some of the most popular genre stories ever. When the name Eoin Colfer was announced as the writer of the sixth book of Adam’s trilogy, many adult readers asked, who, exactly? But Colfer was already a New York Times bestselling author with his Artemis Fowl tales for youngsters, and in truth, who better to build on Adams sophomoric, ridiculous, and fast-paced humor than a writer whose primary audience is between the ages of 8 and 13?

And Colfer delivers. And Another Thing… reads, feels and satirizes like an Adams novel. Colfer continues the fast-paced tale, and reboots the story in such a way that he comes to own The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy mythos as his own. All of characters are here, from morose Arthur Dent, Trillian the capable, to overconfident Zaphod Beeblebrox and happy-go-lucky Ford Prefect.

In this story, all that has come before is something of a dream, and Colfer brings the reader back to the moment when, for the second time, Earth is about to be bulldozed for a new galactic highway. Saved in the nick of time, Zaphod and crew find themselves beholden to Wowbagger the immortal alien. What ensues is an attempt by Zaphod to live up to a promise to Wowbagger in exchange for his help. It is impossible to know just where the story goes from there as reviewers were only provided with half of the book as a review copy. But if that half is anything to go by, the remainder of the story is going to be a real roller coaster ride of comedic fun.

Each character has changed not at all under a new writer’s pen. If anything has changed, it is that Colfer has actually made the story a bit easier to read. Adams original tales could get so ludicrous and convoluted that they could be hard to follow, but Colfer keeps his story cleanly plotted and easy to follow. It is still full of the ridiculous and the insane, but reading And Another Thing… is much easier on the brain.

Especially enjoyable is the way that Colfer uses “guide notes” from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to explain the various terminologies with typical British wit. Colfer also continues the tradition of poking fun at modern culture. Colfer has even kept the writing style of Adams intact, using verbal surprises and odd character reactions to keep the tempo up and the flood of zaniness coming.

And Another Thing… is a most worthy successor to the work of Douglas Adams. While maintaining the best of Adams, it charts some new territory, allowing Colfer to put his own stamp on the universe without compromising what made The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy such great reading in the first place. I highly recommend this novel to everyone, without reservation.