And Another Thing, by Eion Colfer (Michael Joseph, RRP $45):
Yes, this is it, the latest instalment in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series: part six of Douglas Adams’ trilogy in four parts.
Sadly, Adams died before he was able to write the sixth book himself, although he once said he expected he would write a sixth because “five seems to be a wrong kind of number, six is a better kind of number”.
And now here we are, an unbelievable 30 years since the first book introduced us to our favourite pessimist Arthur Dent and his alien sidekick Ford Prefect, with book No 6.
Eion Colfer’s main qualification for taking on the task of writing this is the fact that he is a big fan of the series. And what’s not to like? Aliens, the destruction of the world as we know it, Galactic President Zaphod Beeblebrox and his two heads and all the other inter-galactic excitement come together to give the reader an adventure of epic proportions.
Poor old Arthur Dent, he’s had a rough time over the previous five books.
He’s had to contend with the destruction of the planet Earth by Vogons in order to make way for a hyperspace bypass, he’s been imprisoned, travelled through time, been blown up himself, insulted and much, much more. Now he’s back with more adventures to suffer through because, really, all he wants in life is a nice cup of tea and a lie down. But no, he finally gets back home after all his ordeals only to find that Earth is about to be blown up. Again.
For Colfer, taking up the reins for this sixth book was no easy task. I mean, how do you write a sequel when the last book finished with such a massive cliffhanger? The small fact that everyone was dead at the end of book five didn’t stop him, though, and the result is something that I’m sure Douglas Adams would be proud of.
Actually, Colfer’s main qualification for writing this book is a toss up between him being a fan and just being a damn good writer.