The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Perhaps the most funny/strangest/best book series I’ve ever read. Written by Douglas Adams, they tell the story of Arthur Dent, a British man who is whisked away from Earth just as it is being demolished to make way for a hyperspace bypass. His humorous adventures in the weird recesses of space and time were chronicled in The Hitchhiker’s Guide Trilogy (5 books written over 13 years), similar but contradictory events happening over 5 radio series (recorded over 28 years), another set of events happening in a 1981 BBC TV series, and yet another in a 2005 film. To add more confusion, Douglas Adams died in 2001, claiming that he didn’t mean to end the series the way he did in Book 5 as he was having personal problems that reflected in the downer ending.
For the 30th anniversary of the original book, Adams’ estate commissioned Eoin Colfer (author of the “Artemus Fowl” children’s series) to write a sixth book. I was excited to hear that The Guide would continue without Adams, but curious as how the ending of Book 5 was going to be undone and if Colfer could keep the same sense of humor going that Adams started 30 years ago.
It turns out that he can. After spending the first couple chapters undoing the ending of Book 5, he moves on to another ridiculous adventure around the Cosmos. Colfer has formatted the book a bit different, putting the Guide’s (who apparently is telling the story) tangents in brackets almost like footnotes, but the tangents remain just as weird and full of puns as the originals.
While it retains much of what makes the series great, including a lot of references to past/future incidents and creatures (such as the cows who are bred to want to be eaten), the story seems a bit short, like a teaser of what it could be. Maybe its just me. If it is a teaser, it works, because I want more.
Overall, I think its required reading for a Hitchhikers fan (which have probably already read it), but if you haven’t read any yet, start at the beginning. Relatively, of course, due to the time travel aspects present in most of the books. You’ll know what I mean.