Thursday, March 31, 2011

"And Another Thing..." By Eoin Colfer [Jeff's Preview]

Let me make one thing clear: I love Douglas Adams.

His "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy" was one of the first books I'd ever read that was not a chore to get through. At the time - 5th grade, to be exact - I capital h Hated reading. But Adams had a pleasantly humorous writing style that I latched right onto.

The bewildered looks on my 10-year-old classmates' faces as I described the action and characters of the book - in my own, meandering, 5th-grade way, none the less - must have been very amusing to see. (Except, I guess, if you were my teacher at the time, who did not grade my presentation very favorably (though I've always been convinced that that was because of a conspiracy involving my teachers and their dislike of this boy-child who was so unlike the smart (and dull) older sister who they'd had just three years earlier.))

But I was hooked. He fit right into my conception of high comedic art. (On a crooked shelf crammed between Monty Python and Abbot and Costello) And, unlike so many other things you come to at the age of 10, he continued to be a source of mirth and inspiration throughout my life.

And when he died, I cried.

And when they announced that the guy who wrote "Artemis Fowl" was going to pen a new book in series, I was livid. "How DARE they?!" I raged. The pain of realizing I'd never get to read another new word by one of my favorite authors was compounded by the fury of being given impostor's words and told "here's more of the same". As if writing like Adams was something that could be figured out and passed on to another.

Next thing I knew, the book had been out for nearly two years and I realized I wasn't as mad about it anymore. Funny, that, eh?

So I'll pick this one up and give it a fair shake.

At its best, it'll read like it was written by someone doing a very good impression of Douglass Adams. At it's worst, I'll feel like I've invited a stranger over to my house and given him crayons and a first edition copy of "Dirk Gently" and said, "Go to town!"

But one thing that I won't allow this book to do is change how I feel about Douglas Adams.


BUY IT: "And Another Thing..." By Eoin Colfer

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