Thursday, March 31, 2011

"And Another Thing" Eoin Colfer [Tim's Preview]


Douglas Adams was my childhood hero. i love the guy. i came to him through a series of audiocassetted radio plays, rented from my local library. And through an aggravatingly difficult word-based videogame that's now legendary. I think my friend John first told me to check him out. After listening to the plays i went out and read the books, all three in the trilogy. A few years later, while dropping my older brother off for his first year at college, i spotted it. bright blue cover, green smiling planet with his thumb out. the...what? the FOURTH book? in the TRILOGY? it was madness. And of course that wasn't the end. and apparently it's still not.

I don't know Eion Colfer well, but i did read one of those Artemis Fowl books (a graphic novel version of it) a few years ago. i liked it, but he didn't come across as particularly Adams-esque. And that's the big test for this book. will it come across as pure Adams, partly adamsesque, a pale imitation, or something altogether different? I've always held that, since he started in radio, Adams' voice is stronger than most modern writers. And really, as amazing as the plot or the "journey" or what have you might be, it's the voice that carries it all. And I think its safe to say that Adams could write the autobiography of a coffeepot and we'd be celebrating it years and years later. He was a spinner, one of the best.

I've seen pullquotes of Colfer's recently that tell me he's probably up to the task. he can be funny, and i've a feeling he'll ease into Adams' meter ok.

There's this documentary i saw about Philip k Dick. A friend of his is talking about how much he misses him. He says something like "when someone dies, i think what you miss most is just talking to the person. the sound of their voice". That's why i'm hoping, even if i know it's a trick, that i'll be fooled into feeling like this great voice is back in my life again, for a little bit. Because I know Adams is a famed atheist, friend to Richard Dawkins, and would probably be aghast if i suggested that his voice was somehow still "alive!". But i'm not asking for that. Not really. After all, the radio plays were his voice being spoken by other people, weren't they? So maybe this has a chance. I hope so. Because Adams was my childhood hero, but he's sort of my adult one as well. And i like listening to him.


FINAL PREVIEW SCORE (A to F): B+*

*(because B plusses always seem better to me than A minuses. A minuses are snooty perfectionists, but they're not even that great at it. They're low enough to to be seen sniffling their noses at the 'lesser grades')

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