Wednesday, April 07, 2010

And Another Thing ...

I took a semi-impromptu vacation and went to visit my parents after church Sunday. I took my computer, but I guess I never got around to posting anything. I think I wrote one sentence of a potential post before becoming sidetracked. But now I'm back, although my internal calendar is all messed up because it feels kind of like a Monday even though it's a Wednesday. I'll need to put Post-It notes around the house to remind myself what day it is so I don't forget to go to choir.

While I was gone, I learned that yet another one of those "fight your allergies all day without feeling drowsy" medications doesn't really work on me (I don't like to try new medications when I'm at home alone, since I react badly to so many, so I tried it while with the folks). Sadly, this one neither worked on the allergies nor allowed me to remain awake and functioning. Plus, it was "12-hour" so I couldn't take anything else to help with the allergies for quite some time, and it zonked me out for a long time. It looks like I'm stuck with Benadryl. If something's going to make me sleepy, it might as well work.

I also may have discovered why I've had trouble coming up with ways to cook all those pinto beans I found in my pantry. It's because beans are evil.

Meanwhile, I managed to get the sixth book in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy from the library, and that was my holiday reading. So, what did I think about Eoin Colfer's take on that universe in And Another Thing ...? I guess I'd have to classify it as Mostly Harmless, but better than Mostly Harmless. Adams at his best was never all that great about producing a coherent plot or complex characters with any depth to them. But at his best, he did come up with the most inspired bits of absurdist satire, peppered with hilarious one-liners. At his worst, you got generally amusing with a few good lines, while noticing that he wasn't much on plot or character. I would say that this new book is closer to Adams at his worst in the sense of generally amusing with a few good lines and some nice bits of satire, only with an actual plot where all the threads come together and with the characters actually being developed and maybe even some (gasp!) character arcs. So in some ways it's better, but in the ways that matter -- the reasons you read a Hitchhiker's book -- it doesn't come close.

I will say that I enjoyed it, for the most part, I did laugh out loud a few times, but the best parts all seemed to involve a continuation of something Adams started. I probably would have found parts of it funnier if I had more than the slightest passing knowledge of Norse mythology (yeah, I appreciate the irony of that, given my last name -- maybe I should rectify that). It picks up after Mostly Harmless, which is the one book I don't own and have only read once, so I didn't remember a lot of that set-up. A lot of the book actually kind of felt like Adams, especially his later books. The one part that felt "off" was the Guide entries that are interspersed throughout. It took me a while to realize they were supposed to be Guide entries because the tone was so wrong.

I guess in summary I would say that if you're a fan of the original series, this one won't retroactively kill your love for it (if Mostly Harmless didn't do so already). I'm not sure it's a must-read, but it's worth looking at.

And now I must go fling myself head-first back into my work.

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