Home Forums Ganymede & Titan Forum Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy – ‘And Another Thing…’ (Part 6 of 3)

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  • #5088
    Alex
    Participant

    Today saw the release of Eoin Colfer’s addition to the series, though trying to find one this morning was difficult with many bookshops telling me that it didn’t exist. When I eventually found a place that had a copy the long search the staff had to make for it felt as if it needed a sign saying ‘Beware of the leopard’)

    Personally, i’m enjoying it. The writing varies from quite like Douglas to a bit different but all the ideas Colfer has used are very much like Douglas. Won’t say much more about it yet as there may well be some planning on reading it. Has anyone else picked up of copy of this yet?

    #104410
    Rad
    Participant

    It’s Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime at 10:45 for the next two weeks.

    #104416
    Tarka Dal
    Participant

    The only saving grace is that no matter how low, paranoid or depressed an individual may get in their life they will now always be secure in the knowledge that they aren’t the most pointless thing in the history of human civilization.

    #104425
    Seb Patrick
    Keymaster

    LA LA LA NOT LISTENING DOESN’T EXIST

    #104433
    Alex
    Participant

    The only saving grace is that no matter how low, paranoid or depressed an individual may get in their life they will now always be secure in the knowledge that they aren?t the most pointless thing in the history of human civilization.

    That?s a bit of an over reaction. Of course we could live without it but it doesn’t mean it’s not nice to have. Douglas’ intentions to write a sixth book are well documented and we know he wasn’t happy with the ending of ‘Mostly Harmless’ so it’s not as if the creation of the book is absolutely pointless. If you want the series to end there though it still can, but if you give it a chance you’ll be presently surprised. I was sceptical when I saw the announcement but I?m glad I gave it a chance as it is pretty good. If this was the start of a new series I might look at it differently, but as a one off the wrap up the series (and it does make some nice link between bits in previous books) it seems justifiable to me.

    #104440
    Seb Patrick
    Keymaster

    The thing is, there has (to my knowledge, someone feel free to correct me) never been a telling of part of the Hitchhiker’s story, in any medium, that didn’t have Douglas’ hand in it SOMEWHERE. This is the first thing that is not in any way drawn from his mind. And that just makes it feel WRONG.

    Other people have adapted his work (with varying degrees of success), or co-written, or the rest of it. But Hitchhiker’s without Douglas isn’t Hitchhiker’s. Simple as that. I don’t object to this because I don’t feel there should be a sixth book (as you say, it’s well-documented that Douglas wanted to somehow undo the end of Mostly Harmless – besides which, story canon in H2G2 is as loose as it gets) – I object because not a single word of it (er, besides the character names) belongs to DNA.

    AND they couldn’t even get the title right – ALL the previous books had titles drawn from the first one.

    … and yet I’m still probably going to have to buy and read the fucking thing.

    #104441
    hummingbird
    Participant

    I generally try to think of the later books the way I think about series VII and VIII of RD …. i.e. as little as possible.

    #104445
    si
    Participant

    >It?s Radio 4?s Book at Bedtime at 10:45 for the next two weeks.

    Two weeks? Damn, I’m going to have to find another tape for next week’s instalments.

    I’ve been reading The ‘Trilogy’ from the beginning for the last couple of weeks. I’m currently up to chapter 20 of ‘So Long…’, and will go out and buy ‘And Another Thing…’ later this week, though I won’t read it till I’ve finished ‘Mostly Harmless’. And although I’ll be taping them (I’m old fashioned, see), I won’t be listening to the Radio 4 jobbies till after I’ve done with the reading.

    #104446
    redhead85
    Participant

    I really didn’t like the ending to ‘Mostly Harmless’ – in fact the whole book felt a bit too disjointed. I LOVED the first two though – fantastic.

    #104449
    Alex
    Participant

    The thing is, there has (to my knowledge, someone feel free to correct me) never been a telling of part of the Hitchhiker?s story, in any medium, that didn?t have Douglas? hand in it SOMEWHERE. This is the first thing that is not in any way drawn from his mind. And that just makes it feel WRONG.

    Other people have adapted his work (with varying degrees of success), or co-written, or the rest of it. But Hitchhiker?s without Douglas isn?t Hitchhiker?s. Simple as that. I don?t object to this because I don?t feel there should be a sixth book (as you say, it?s well-documented that Douglas wanted to somehow undo the end of Mostly Harmless – besides which, story canon in H2G2 is as loose as it gets) – I object because not a single word of it (er, besides the character names) belongs to DNA.

    AND they couldn?t even get the title right – ALL the previous books had titles drawn from the first one.

    ? and yet I?m still probably going to have to buy and read the fucking thing.

    Well yes, I?d agree there is something that feels a bit odd, but Douglas’ sudden death means that this couldn’t have been done any other way (bar using Salmon but that is about to become a Dirk Gently series and seeing as it has been published in it’s incomplete form it seems a bit pointless). Of course it does raise the argument of ‘well why bother at all then?’ However, as I said before I can see reason for it, however strange it feels not to have Douglas have written any of it.

    That said while the way it’s written can vary from what you might expect (though Colfer has always said he wrote it in his own style as it would be pointless copying Douglas) it still feels a lot like Douglas’ work in terms of story and ideas and while he hasn?t had a part in it he might as well have due to the elements drawn together, specifically 2 returning minor characters with bigger parts to play. I know this still isn’t going to appease the objection to it on terms of him not having had a hand in it, I?m just trying to convey that while I went in with rather similar feelings (though being a Hitchhikers fan I had to read it,) the further I get the more that is settled and instead I find myself taking it for what it is and now it sort of feels like a natural idea. I can certainly see why Colfer was picked to write it.

    As for the title though, considering Douglas talked about turning the Salmon of Doubt into a Hitchhikers book and retaining the title it doesn’t bother me that much to be honest. In the context of the quote it’s taken from it seems quite apt.

    #104451
    Rad
    Participant

    I prefer the radio series to the novels anyway. ‘Let’s go the restaurant at the end of the universe’ is a rubbish ending to the first novel. Yeah I know it ends where it does because DNA was in the bath most of the day but the first part of Hitchhikers should start before the Earth gets blown up and end with Ford and Arthur on prehistoric Earth. One of the problems of the film was its attempts to turn the first novel into a complete story giving us that Humma Kavula subplot which only slowed things down.

    I really wish the film had been more successful because Zaphod on Ursa Minor Beta and the Total Perspective Vortex are my favourite parts of the series.

    #104453
    Somebody
    Participant

    I agree that the radio series (well, Fits 1-12, anyway) are mostly superior to the books.

    And I also agree that this is absolutely pointless. And unlike Seb, I have enough self-control not to bother with it.

    #104482
    Seb Patrick
    Keymaster

    The first half of the Secondary Phase is easily the best Hitchhiker’s there is. EASILY.

    It’s a crime that the stuff with Ford and Arthur on prehistoric earth (the whole Schrodinger’s Cat idea about the ship coming to rescue them) never made it into any other telling. And the Guide entry about What To Do When You’re Trapped Under A Massive Boulder That You Can’t Move With No Hope Of Rescue is my favourite, favourite bit of any of it.

    And yeah, the TPV/Ursa Minor stuff is great, too – although it drags a little when he’s on the Frogstar ship, I think.

    #104519

    My library has this book on order, so I just placed a request for it once it comes in. (And I might even be first in line for it, because I didn’t get that “[X] people have also requested this title” message.) Have I mentioned I love my local library? It’s a great way to try out books and things I don’t want to blindly spend my cash money on.

    As for me, while I’ll always love the novels, I also have a soft spot for the TV miniseries. (Mark Wing-Davey will always be my favorite Zaphod, even in spite of the rather lame second head.) I know it just puts together stuff from the first few books or so in a slightly new configuration, but I like the way it does it nevertheless. (Particularly the Guide segments, which are beautifully done.)

    I was kind of frustrated by the film, because parts of it seemed to work so wonderfully well. I really liked Mos Def as Ford Prefect and Alan Rickman’s Marvin, f’rinstance, and I liked parts of the soundtrack (but not “So Long and Thanks For All the Fish”). But their other characterizations, to me, failed utterly–Zaphod in particular, I thought, with his raging out at Arthur when I thought staying cool and quippy was at the core of his personality–and as far as I can tell, that’s the one thing in every iteration of h2g2 that more or less has to stay constant.

    #104520
    Seb Patrick
    Keymaster

    I know it just puts together stuff from the first few books or so in a slightly new configuration, but I like the way it does it nevertheless.

    No it doesn’t – it’s a straight adaptation (with a few changes, especially near the end) of the first radio series. The first book is also an adaptation of the radio series, but only the first four episodes.

    #104523
    Trena
    Participant

    I read a fair chunk of it yesterday in Waterstones, waiting for the train home, AFTER Dimension Jump fact fans…

    I thought it was quite silly and endearingly energetic in the Douglas Adams tradition, but it reminded me of a puppy who just wants to please its master, and ends up pooing on the floor and subsequently drags said poo around the living room, all the while paying tribute in a series of oddly placed and cumbersome backhanded fan-favourite quotes, themes and images and pooing just a tad more for good measure.

    Pity.

    #104526
    Dave
    Participant

    >Pity.

    I do.

    #104529
    Trena
    Participant

    Am I the only person who enjoyed Mostly Harmless?

    #104533
    si
    Participant

    I haven’t read it in such a long time, but, being 3/4 of the way through ‘So Long…’, I’m currently of the opinion that the romance between Arthur and Fenchurch may well be the most beautiful love story ever written.

    #104534
    Trena
    Participant

    ‘Tis.

    #104536
    Jonsmad
    Participant

    LA LA LA NOT LISTENING EITHER.

    My campaign to sticker a load of copys of this book with the words “fan fiction”
    begins today.

    #104537
    Trena
    Participant

    It did remind me of fan fiction, but then again, any derivative work that tries to capture the original can be considered a wholesome fanwank of obscenely published and promoted proportions.

    More so for ‘And Another Cash-in / Thing’.

    #104545
    Steve Harris
    Participant

    I’ll reserve my comments until I’ve read it, which I will..

    It’s never going to be Douglas Adams, but hopefully in can be good in its own right

    Many hated the movie, I really enjoyed it and I’m not entirely alone in that, therefore in my mind at least, it’s justified.

    #104551
    Somebody
    Participant

    Re: Trena

    I think “Mostly Harmless” really was mostly crap. The books, for me, go 1, 2, 4, 3…. 5 in terms of quality (and I agree entirely with Seb that bk2 would have been far better if it had adapted Fits 7-12 far more literally than the heavily-chopped-down version, topped with Fits 5 & 6, that saw print).

    #104552
    Dave
    Participant

    Mostly Charmless?

    #104558
    Trena
    Participant

    Faustly harmless and another cash-in (Part 8 of 1).

    #104600
    hummingbird
    Participant

    > My campaign to sticker a load of copys of this book with the words ?fan fiction?
    begins today.

    Yes. This.

    #104609
    Tarka Dal
    Participant

    *Applauds*

    #104690
    Phil1034
    Participant

    Euan Ferguson of the Guardian rather enjoyed it:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/oct/11/and-another-thing-douglas-adams

    You know, I think I’m going to give it a shot.

    #104872
    Steve Harris
    Participant

    He’s sold it to me

    #104901
    si
    Participant

    Despite the fact that Waterstones and WHSmiths have both got ?6 off, it’s still too expensive for me at ?12.99. I’m going to wait for the paperback.

    Also, I’ve been recording the ‘Book at Bedtime’ off of Radio 4 all week, and not been listening… but I’ve been to the pub with Karl tonight, and forgot to get it recorded. Yes, I know there’s always iPlayer, but that’s not the point. It makes the last four days’ recording somewhat redundant.

    #104906
    Phil1034
    Participant

    Bought my copy today- currently feels like Hitchhiker’s to me, atlthough it’s been sometime since I read all of them. I’m really enjoying the Book at Bedtime (Radio 4 listeners go to bed early don’t they?) Stephen Mangan’s reading and Peter Serafinowicz is the voice of the Guide. Anyone know if Dirk Maggs has expressed an interest?

    #104914
    Alex
    Participant

    The book at bedtime version has some VERY heavy editing of the book. It is especially noticable at the start and spoils it a bit, there is an audiobook read by Simon Jones that thankfully rectifies this. As for Dirk Magggs, he won’t be doing anything with this one or the third series of Dirk Gently as he has now formed his own company and is no longer associated with the project. But in any case there don’t appear to be any plans to adapt this for the radio.

    #104985
    Alex
    Participant

    Just seen some news on the third Dirk Gently series and it’s not being made anymore:

    Ed Victor revealed that Adams? estate had cancelled plans for a radio series based on the unfinished third Dirk Gently novel, A Salmon Of Doubt, saying ?there was not enough of Douglas? in the project to make it worthwhile.

    However, this is interesting:

    The BBC is developing a TV comedy-drama based on Douglas Adams?s Dirk Gently detective novels.

    Literary agent Ed Victor, who represents the author?s estate revealed the news at a Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy celebration in central London.

    He said he had seen ?a great script ? not just a good script? for the planned adaptation, but warned: ?With the BBC, it can take forever?.

    He said the producer attached to the project ? thought to be former Cosby Show executive Caryn Mandabach ? described the novels as ?the greatest storytelling opportunity for television since Star Trek?.

    Victor also raised the possibility of a remake of the original Hitchhikers TV series, saying the BBC had ?made noises? about returning to the successful franchise, but ?glaciers move faster?.

    Full article here:
    http://www.chortle.co.uk/news/2009/10/11/9767/bbc_plans_dirk_gently_tv_series

    #105027
    Jonsmad
    Participant

    I think im happy there is no third dirk series, when I read dirk maggs wasnt doing it, I was pretty downheartened with the guy taking over. As for “not enough douglas” great quality control statement, that sadly didnt extend to stop this fan fiction book being written in the hitch hikers series.

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