And Another Thing… is the sixth book in the Hitchhiker’s Guide trilogy, and the first to be penned by Eoin Colfer (the first five books in the series were written by Douglas Adams before his passing). Colfer is best known for his work in the Artemis Fowl books, a great Young Adult series that takes on the fantasy world in an exciting manner. The task of continuing a much beloved sci-fi series with a large dedicated following was not helped by the way the fifth book, Mostly Harmless, ended (where the main characters in the series find themselves on a planet about to be blown up).
The book continues the tale of Arthur Dent and the assorted companions he has met through his travels in the galaxy. After a quick summary of the events from the previous books (kind of a “…previously on Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy…”), the characters find themselves in mortal peril, their only escape being an immortal alien with a death wish. While the group travels through Dark Matter to a human colony on Planet Nano, Zaphod Beeblebrox, the ex-President of the Galaxy, goes to find Thor in Asgard to ask him for a favor. The adventures on the alien ship, Asgard and on Nano follow similar theme from the other Hitchhiker’s Guide books; that life (regardless of where or how alien it is) can be absurd and that the galaxy is not that different from life on Earth.
The science fiction community has been curious as to how Colfer would be able to continue the Hitchhiker’s storyline while staying true to Adam’s humorous style. After reading And Another Thing…, I have to think that he’s done a great job in both areas. Colfer’s story is very much in the spirit of Adams’ past offerings and is written in that great style where the humor comes out very easily in the narrative. The focus on the other characters in the story (especially those that just appeared in the fifth book in the series) and not so much on Arthur helps to flesh out the characters and provide a richer backstory. The only area I found some issue with was a lack of anything in the book (style or story wise) that I could point to and say “This was Colfer’s influence to the storyline.” This may be due to his efforts to stay true to the original series without rocking the boat too much, but I expect to see more of Colfer come through in future books in the series.
This book is well suited for sci-fi fans or even those who tend to like the British comedy (think Monty Python) and is a definite must for those who like previous books in the series. If you have not read the previous books in the series you will likely be a little lost, but reading the first book in the series, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (you can read my review here ), will help introduce you to the majority of what’s going on. Its age appropriate for late teens and on, the storyline and writing is very open without being overly complicated.
I purchased my copy of And Another Thing… from Amazon , though Audible has the audiobook version, narrated by Simon Jones (who did an awesome job in the dramatized version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – also available through Audible). Like the other books in the Hitchhiker’s Guide series, a radio version was produced by the BBC in London and aired just recently hopefully it will also become available on Audible in the near future.
Publisher: Hyperion, New York | Pages: 273 | Buy on Amazon