The full title is actually: “And Another Thing … Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Part Six of Three” If you are living under a rock and know nothing at all about The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, you should be able to discern the type of humor contained within the pages just by re-reading the last four words of the full title. Go ahead… yeah – not a typo.
The world lost a wonderful source of laughter in May 2001 when Douglas Adams died of a sudden heart attack. But luckily for us he wrote lots of good stuff before he died. And books don’t disappear when their authors do, which is really nice, don’t you think? Douglas Adams wrote five books in the trilogy and left the last one on a bit of a cliff hanger ending.
Sort of. Or not at all really. Actually, it was a rather definitive end. One where everyone died, and so, you know, that’s it.
But HGTTG is the kind of book where, when you turn a page and read that the last twenty pages, where everyone died, were part of a dream, you think to yourself, oh, well that’s nice, lets keep going then, shall we?
And that is exactly how Eoin Colfer starts off book number six of the trilogy, published in 2009. Adams’ publisher and his widow hired Colfer for the job, noting that Adams himself had always thought book five had ended on kind of a downer. Of course a few purists complained. They always do. But as Colfer said in a 2008 interview, “You’re not actually messing with the original books. You’re just doing a highly publicized bit of fan fiction.”
I only just read it now because, well I’d forgotten about it. And then Google did the Doodle for Adams birthday last week and I said, hey – I think there was a sixth book I never read… so I read it. And it was good.*
If you like that sort of humor.
Which I do.
Here is a test to see if you will like it. Please read the following aloud and note your reaction:
- Gazing up at a god’s crotch can do wonders for a person’s lack of low self-esteem.**
- A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.***
- There is no such thing as a happy ending. Every culture has a maxim that makes this point, while nowhere in the Universe is there a single gravestone that reads, He Loved Everything About His Life, Especially the Dying Bit at the End.**
If any of those lines made you chuckle – then go read the whole six book trilogy – I promise you are in for a treat you can enjoy over and over again. If however, you did not find the lines funny, perhaps you should have a doctor check to see if your brain has been removed without your consent. And if you are now utterly confused, suffering from a blinding headache or feeling dizzy, stop reading this immediately and go back to enjoying your Twilight fan fiction – you’ll be happier in the long run.
* I’m really crap at book reviews
** From And Another Thing…
*** From Mostly Harmless
- Interactive Doodle Pays Tribute to Douglas Adams’ ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ (mashable.com)
- Makes Me Mad: Writers Who Don’t Write (jillannhoffman.wordpress.com)