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410 comments

meh (2, Interesting)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141107)

I always found humor in literature overrated. A few funny bits in any book is fine, but to read an entire book that was suppose to be funny. I dunno I can't see myself enjoying it that much. Even if the jokes were intelligent and witty.

Re:meh (2, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141147)

I always found humor in literature overrated.

Just because everyone praises the Emporer's new clothes, it doesn't mean he's wearing any.

Also, the new /. appearance is very confusing. Why would you put a separation line *before* the link to the comments?

Re:meh (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29141155)

An early review of part of the Eoin Colfer-penned seque

On the plus side, Eoin Colfer has won the Ambiguously Pronounced Name Award!

Re:meh (5, Insightful)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141639)

Really,

What was left unsaid, unexplored, unpadded, etc. in the original Doug Adams volumes? As a series, they were one book too long as it stood, really.

The creme was in the two BBC radio series, and the material was presented it its most delightful and appealing way in this format.

The books were little more than these programmes, padded with the narrative required to contextualize in written form. It's my belief that they suffered under this treatment. Certainly, they labored the humor - without the excellent timing and auditory cues, which were integral.

So. A good author now contributes a mediocre and unnecessary addition to an entertaining body of work, derived with some encumbrance from a superior and lively original radio play. To reiterate my original question, what had not yet been mined from that vein? What had not yet been wrung and worried from that corpus?

Oh, yes. More publishing revenues.

I think the Python's were quite good at satirizing this sort of thing - and Adams would have a good turn at it, himself: "The Contractual Obligation Beyond the Reasonable End of the Universe", or so.

Re:meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29141785)

Agreed.

Re:meh (1)

philljcool (1085873) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141893)

It is a strange, slightly pretentious way to write Ian. I think it is from Gaelic.

Re:meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29142023)

It is a strange, slightly pretentious way to write Ian. I think it is from Gaelic.

And Ian is, from the perspective of an English speaker, a strange, slightly pretentious way to write John.

Re:meh (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 4 years ago | (#29142115)

And John is a thrice-translated way to write Yochanan.

We could do this for hours! :D

Re:meh (0, Offtopic)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141273)

Also, the new /. appearance is very confusing. Why would you put a separation line *before* the link to the comments?

Way offtopic, but I was just wondering the same thing. It's like they're trying to bookend the story, but possibly the most relevant part of the whole thing (the Read More link) is just hanging around outside the whole blocked off area.

Re:meh (2, Insightful)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#29142033)

Absolutely. Everyone's crazy except you.

Re:meh (5, Funny)

BenihanaX (1405543) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141149)

I always found spinach in food overrated. A few tasty bits in any dish is fine, but to eat an entire dish that was suppose to be spinach. I dunno I can't see myself enjoying it that much. Even if the spinach was quality and well prepared.

Re:meh (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29141873)

I always found anchovies in food overrated. A few tasty bits in any dish is fine, but to eat an entire dish that was suppose to be anchovies. I dunno I can't see myself enjoying it that much. Even if the anchovies were quality and well prepared.

Re:meh (5, Funny)

mh1997 (1065630) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141183)

I always found humor in literature overrated. A few funny bits in any book is fine, but to read an entire book that was suppose to be funny. I dunno I can't see myself enjoying it that much. Even if the jokes were intelligent and witty.

Tell me about it, I hate when I read a really good book that keeps me entertained for hours.

Re:meh (1)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141709)

I enjoy listening to reruns of classic "My Word" episodes; laughing an=t the verbal antics of Denis Norden and Frank Muir, while punctuating the pauses in in banter by loudly breaking wind.

But I wouldn't want to do so for very long at a time. Surely the weekend is sufficient for this!

Re:meh (5, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141187)

You didn't read Discworld, then? Is not that the entire books means to be funny, but have a lot of good laughs, and that in a story interesting enough that have a bit of everything. When i have to classify the secondary genre of those books, i doubt between fantasy, terror, sci-fi, philosophy and others, but the first one is humor definately.

Re:meh-Discworld (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29141503)

You didn't read Discworld, then? Is not that the entire books means to be funny, but have a lot of good laughs, and that in a story interesting enough that have a bit of everything. When i have to classify the secondary genre of those books, i doubt between fantasy, terror, sci-fi, philosophy and others, but the first one is humor definately.

Hey mister can I have one of those sausages? Oh I mean Bark Bark.

Re:meh (5, Insightful)

MacTO (1161105) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141341)

> A few funny bits in any book is fine, but to read an entire book that was suppose to be funny. I dunno I can't see myself enjoying it that much. Even if the jokes were intelligent and witty.

Normally I would agree with you, except Douglas Adams was the guy who introduced me to the pleasure of laughing. After all, he was the guy who figured out humour for the geek.

Re:meh (4, Interesting)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141351)

A few funny bits in any book is fine, but to read an entire book that was suppose to be funny.

I'm not sure how we're supposed to take your opinion on literature seriously, after you wrote that sentence.

Re:meh (5, Insightful)

Peter H.S. (38077) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141413)

I always found humor in literature overrated. A few funny bits in any book is fine, but to read an entire book that was suppose to be funny. I dunno I can't see myself enjoying it that much. Even if the jokes were intelligent and witty.

Humor in literature is in fact vastly underrated because a lot of insecure people have the primitive feeling that if it is fun, then it can only be inferior art. Humorous books aren't wall-to-wall jokes, but often subtle literary works employing a wide array of literary devices to convey the authors intentions. Joseph Heller's "Catch 22", Cervantes' "Don Quixote", Jaroslav Hasek's "The Good Soldier Svejk", Franz Kafka's "The Castle", Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" are all humorous works of the highest literary grade.
Try a funny book someday, you may like it.

--
Regards

Mark Twain (5, Insightful)

scribblej (195445) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141663)

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Funny, geeky, fantasy.

He told me he was a page. "Go on," I said, "You ain't no more than a paragraph!"

Re:meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29141811)

Humour in literature (movies, music, other arts, etc.) is often a device to make you think without asking you to, with the side effect of making the reading process also funny.
If you want gratuitous terrible humour where only 1% of the book makes you actually laugh and the rest lets you crave for the last page, get any book from Ron Goulart; only then you will realize why Adams was so great.

Oh, come on... (5, Insightful)

schon (31600) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141119)

They said the same thing about the Hollywood movie, and look how that turned...

Oh, CRAP!

Re:Oh, come on... (1)

rogueleader25 (1593033) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141401)

Yeah, really. Now I want to go watch the movie again...

Re:Oh, come on... (5, Informative)

Abreu (173023) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141457)

However, all the major changes in the movie script were penned by Adams himself.

The radio, book and movie versions of HHGTTG were all supposed to be different in their own way.

Re:Oh, come on... (5, Insightful)

sayfawa (1099071) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141555)

I didn't know that but, in retrospect, it makes sense. I knew, as I watched it, that there were significant deviations from the book. But it was still funny and entertaining in the same way that I expected a Douglass Adams work to be.

Re:Oh, come on... (2, Funny)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 4 years ago | (#29142015)

And had he said Carrot Top was who authored them, you'd have said "It makes sense. It was cheesy and retarded all in the same breath"

Re:Oh, come on... (1)

yoshi_mon (172895) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141841)

Correct me if I'm wrong here but I also remember Adams saying that he never thought the HHGTTG could really work in anything but print. And because of a lack of trying on his part either. Just that whenever he worked at trying to make the whole idea behind HHGTTG in another medium even he thought it was lacking.

Even when I was watching the movie I tried to keep an open mind because I knew it could not be the same as the book(s). But even with me trying to accept it on that different format and what I thought was a honest effort on the part of the movie it just fell flat for me. (And most everyone else.)

There are just some things you can't change very much without having it lose what was special.

Re:Oh, come on... (5, Informative)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141923)

Correct me if I'm wrong here but I also remember Adams saying that he never thought the HHGTTG could really work in anything but print. And because of a lack of trying on his part either. Just that whenever he worked at trying to make the whole idea behind HHGTTG in another medium even he thought it was lacking.

The problem with this theory is that HHGTTG didn't start its life in print. It was originally a radio play. And he was more than happy to try it out in other media formats.

Re:Oh, come on... (1)

drosboro (1046516) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141951)

That would seem like an odd thing for him to have said, since the book came AFTER the radio series.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hitchhiker's_Guide_to_the_Galaxy [wikipedia.org]

And, let's not forget about the text adventure game! Possibly one of my favourite ways to enjoy the story, and you can play online too:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/hitchhikers/game.shtml [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Oh, come on... (1)

AlHunt (982887) | more than 4 years ago | (#29142009)

>The radio, book and movie versions of HHGTTG were all supposed to be different in their own way.

Mission accomplished.

Re:Oh, come on... (5, Insightful)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141493)

I think it's more pertinent to point out that one person has said that he didn't find it funny. Now, call me old-fashioned, but since when did it warrant an entire Slashdot story based on one person's opinion of a book that hasn't even been released yet? Maybe I'm not with the times.

So, in a bit of an experiment, I did try and tell the BBC that I watched a pre-release version of 'Avatar' and I thought it was average, but oddly enough they didn't want to screen my interview...

Re:Oh, come on... (1)

philljcool (1085873) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141929)

I believe Slashdot has an entire type of story dedicated to this: reviews. I agree that multiple data points would be better, but there is a bit of a tradition around this "review" thing.

Re:Oh, come on... (4, Funny)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 4 years ago | (#29142079)

Except that isn't what this is. What it is, is a link to a story which links to a review.

It's 2 orders of stupidity away from actually reviewing a book - if you spoke to a friend of yours, and they said "Oh yeah, I know this guy who knows this other guy who's read the book and he totally says it's boring and stuff", you'd laugh at them and possibly break their ankles for wasting your time.

Re:Oh, come on... (4, Interesting)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141645)

They said the same thing about the Hollywood movie, and look how that turned...

You know, the movie is definitely not as _funny_ as the books, but I think they definitely made the main characters more _likeable_, especially Arthur. If you paid attention, they showed Ford using a towel in many of the appropriate ways, they just didn't call attention to it, which, to me, wasted a great opportunity.

For me, the funniest parts of the books are the excerpts from the Guide (especially the part about how the Babel Fish has been used for the non-existence of God). If they had added just a couple of minutes to put those into the movie, I think I would've liked it much, much more.

I love how they slipped the Marvin costume from the old tv show into the scene where there're a lot of people standing in line. Plus you've got to admit Alan Rickman *IS* Marvin. Who knew Marvin and Professor Snape had so much in common?

Re:Oh, come on... (2, Informative)

Wannabe Code Monkey (638617) | more than 4 years ago | (#29142089)

For me, the funniest parts of the books are the excerpts from the Guide (especially the part about how the Babel Fish has been used for the non-existence of God). If they had added just a couple of minutes to put those into the movie, I think I would've liked it much, much more.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I specifically remember excerpts from the book being presented in the movie. Didn't they have a voice over by Stephen Fry?

Re:Oh, come on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29142103)

Sure you're not thinking of the series?

Surprise? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29141135)

I only found the first two books funny. The rest... not so much.

Re:Surprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29141289)

I found the first several chapters of the The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy to be very funny. Much like Family Guy.

Then - repetition ad nauseam.

Re:Surprise? (1)

bradgoodman (964302) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141497)

I liked the first book so much I ran out and bought the series. By the time I got about half-way through the third? fourth? - I just gave up...

Re:Surprise? (5, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141805)

I only found the first two books funny. The rest... not so much.

Third was pretty good. Not as good as the first two, but pretty good (in my opinion).

The fourth was OK. Definitely a "OK, here's your damn book, get off my back." The best parts seemed self-referential - the supposedly final book is "so long, and thanks for all the fish?" Cute move.

The fifth was hilarious in a way because it seemed to be a genial "fuck you" to forces that insisted on a new book. He closed the book in a very clever way that resulted in the main character being killed off.

Then of course he died himself, which if he could have written it would have been hilarious. I mean no disrespect, but I think he'd have appreciated the symmetry.

it doesn't matter (4, Insightful)

greymond (539980) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141137)

No matter what author at any level of talent that had picked up the books and decided to continue them would be met with heresy or at very least a review of "not as good as the original".

As a writer I know how to mimic the words of others, but it doesn't mean that a person with a significant and highly educated fan base wouldn't pick up on the subtle differences, because no matter how good someone try's to imitate another person, in writing, it's just not the same.

Besides the fact that the expectations, especially those of slashdot's community, are so high you have little chance of being honored with anyone other than "mainstream" media who may have water on the brain, but enough money to throw at people to make them happy, even if slashdot or many fans don't approve.

Re:it doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29141175)

Question: Was Mostly Harmless as funny as the other ones? I didn't find it particularly funny, so perhaps the new author continued down the non-funny path started in mostly harmless and may have written it much as Douglas Adams would have?

stupid (4, Insightful)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141141)

Adams was a genius and having someone else pick up where he left off with anything makes no sense. If they are that good - they should be writing their own stuff.

I'll never forget the night I was baby-sitting some neighbor kids. They were in bed and I was watching PBS. A show came on and it was hilarious - that's how I found out about HHG - and once I got the books it was all over - I loved reading everything he wrote, even the unedited bits published after his death.

Re:stupid (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141225)

Agreed. Douglas Adams was a very unique writer, in terms of his sense of humor. It's an insanely difficult act to follow.

And to be honest, I'm not sure I really want to read any attempts to do so. Why can't they just let a great series be a great series, instead of trying to extend it?

Re:stupid (1)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141345)

And to be honest, I'm not sure I really want to read any attempts to do so. Why can't they just let a great series be a great series, instead of trying to extend it?

If that thought were applied to movies, we'd have never had DS9 or the JJ Abrams Star Trek movie. Why is it OK for TV and movies but not novels? It's a common thought and I don't get it.

Re:stupid (3, Insightful)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141397)

Perhaps it would have been for the best had we not had the JJ Abrams Star Trek movie.

Re:stupid (1, Flamebait)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141489)

Bull. It was the best in the series. The lense flares were overused but that does not invalidate it was a very well crafted movie.

Re:stupid (1)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141917)

The movie was terribly crafted. The only part of it that was at all well done was the fact that there was no sound in space, but other than that the movie had holes you could drive a tractor-trailer through- plot holes so large they actually detracted from the enjoyment of the movie, by making one seriously consider the writer's sanity.

Re:stupid (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#29142039)

The movie was terribly crafted. The only part of it that was at all well done was the fact that there was no sound in space, but other than that the movie had holes you could drive a tractor-trailer through- plot holes so large they actually detracted from the enjoyment of the movie, by making one seriously consider the writer's sanity.

Agreed. But I liked a lot about it, too. I think they developed Kirk and Pike quite well. Also, those two actors really did a good job in their roles. That's a lot more than I'd come to expect from other Trek movies.

Re:stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29141561)

Not having had DS9 would have been a good thing.

Re:stupid (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141575)

If that thought were applied to movies, we'd have never had DS9 or the JJ Abrams Star Trek movie. Why is it OK for TV and movies but not novels?

Who said it was ok for TV and Movies? Few sequels in those media are any good. As your examples prove.

Re:stupid (1)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141625)

Slashdotters criticising things that were financially very successful. I'm shocked. No wait, I'm not. I sense jealousy.

Re:stupid (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141439)

It's an insanely difficult act to follow

Adams' gift (or one of them) was the unexpected. I think anyone trying to write "as" Adams will inevitably fail because no matter how good a writer they are in their own right if they try write as they 'expect' Adams to write then it will be expected by the reader too.

If case any one reading this likes HHGTG and hasn't read Adam's Dirk Gently novels I can only recommend to get them and read them.

Re:stupid (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141689)

The weird thing is that Adams himself said he spent the early part of his life trying to be John Cleese, until he realized that John Cleese was John Cleese, and that Adams should try being himself.

Someone literally stole my copy of Salmon of Doubt from a coffee shop before I could finish reading it. I am a little curious. This new book, is it a continuation of what he started there, or something completely else?

I'm also not sure the series needs continuation. The plot was never good. Adams never wanted more than three books. He spoke a length about being pressured into the fourth and fifth books. The fifth ended so definiteively that is REALLY hard to imagine further sequels. Honestly, the best parts of the books were the HHG entries and random asides.

Re:stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29141269)

Adams was a genius and having someone else pick up where he left off with anything makes no sense. If they are that good - they should be writing their own stuff.

Exactly when Frank Herbert's Dune should have been left alone.

Re:stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29141411)

I've enjoyed what I read of the newer Dune books personally, although I've only read two of them as far as I remember.

Actually I haven't read past God Emperor in the original series. Should scrounge up the followups in both at some point.

Re:stupid (4, Insightful)

SoupGuru (723634) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141285)

Exactly. I'm going to record the next Jimi Hendrix album AND paint the next Picasso.

The reason these guys are so successful is that their views of the world are so skewed from everyone else's and we love them for it.

Re:stupid (2, Informative)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141651)

Hey, just because *you're* not as good as Jimi Hendrix or Picasso doesn't mean that there is NOBODY in a planet with approx 6 Billion people that could make music in the same style as Jimi Hendrix, and do a good job of it. Or paint in a similar style to Picasso and be brilliant at it.

The difference here is that, with music, there's no point is calling your album the "next Jimi Hendrix" album (unless you just want to be ridiculed by people), because music is essentially stand-alone. With fiction, you can certainly go write you own completely original (well, ok, there's no such thing as a *completely original* work of fiction, but you know what I mean), but that doesn't mean other people can't write perfectly good stories using your character and setting. I hear there are some pretty good Star Wars books that weren't written by George Lucas. I also hear there are some good Star Trek books which weren't written by Gene Roddenberry. Go to any bookstore, and you will find a whole shelf full of Forgotten Realms books, by a cadre of different authors, and they seems to be, for the most part, well received by fans of Forgotten Realms.

Re:stupid (2, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141829)

I hear there are some pretty good Star Wars books that weren't written by George Lucas. I also hear there are some good Star Trek books which weren't written by Gene Roddenberry. Go to any bookstore, and you will find a whole shelf full of Forgotten Realms books, by a cadre of different authors, and they seems to be, for the most part, well received by fans of Forgotten Realms.

There weren't any good Star Wars books written by George Lucas, nor Star Trek books by Gene Roddenberry. As for Forgotten Realms, as novels they were conceived as a sort of shared world. I'm not a Douglas Adams fan, but none of the Star Wars, Star Trek or Forgotten Realms books are in the same class as The Hitchhikers' Guide series.

Re:stupid (4, Insightful)

ari_j (90255) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141383)

I look at it this way ... if George Lucas himself can't come back a couple decades later and make another good Star Wars movie, why would you expect someone other than Douglas Adams to be able to revisit the series a couple decades down the road and do anything good with it?

Re:stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29141431)

A fair amount of people should be able to, but the writing process would be incredibly difficult.

The problem here isn't writing a good book. It's writing a good book that's nigh indistinguishable from the original author's.

Train a person to read all works penned by Douglas Adams and all his notes, listen to interviews by the man, and so on and so forth. Eventually that person will be able to write and think in a manner similar to the original...provided that the sources don't paint a wildly different picture due to changing opinions over time. Once you do all of that, you could create another "Douglas Adams" book.

Re:stupid (4, Funny)

chromatic (9471) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141627)

I expect that there may be a few people in the world better at telling a consistent and coherent story than George Lucas.

Why? (0, Redundant)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141153)

Why Eoin Colfer? All of his books have been, meh. And what is with the general trend of taking classic, decent works and making crappy sequels? Its most evident in Hollywood (Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, all the half-hearted Disney made-for-DVD sequels of major works, etc), but now even books are?

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29141629)

The answer is simple. Money.

This is where I get to say (-1, Troll)

basicio (1316109) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141223)

"I told you so" to a whole lot of people.

Re:This is where I get to say (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#29142073)

Here's a hint: wait until you actually read it, or at least until you see more than one person's opinion.

The ending? (3, Insightful)

Hunter0000 (1600071) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141257)

I don't understand what drives people so crazy about the ending of Mostly Harmless. Even Adams said he didn't like the bleak ending. Am I alone in thinking this was the best ending of a book I have ever read?

Sure it's bleak. I don't care. Nearly every other novel I've read that I enjoyed the ending always has seemed abrupt. I get attached to the characters and now the story just 'ends'. Mostly Harmless fixed that. Their dead. The Earth is gone. All of them. There are no 'what now?' questions left. The end of Mostly Harmless had closure - somthing I have failed to find in any story since.

Now comes this crap, off to ruin it.

You *liked* it?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29141713)

10 karma points say you also liked BSG (not necessarily the ending, but the "new" series).

I enjoyed The Guide at first, but it got bleaker and bleaker the longer I read. By the end, it just felt bitter and hopeless, which I didn't find very enjoyable.

I much prefer Babylon 5's "Faith manages" to BSG's "Everyone sucks".

Re:The ending? (3, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141717)

Orson Scott Card said he battled with this when he finished the Ender's Game quartet. People wanted more sequels. He killed the main character, but others felt he still left a door open. Orson Scott Card said in future series he would have to make sure the door was firmly closed shut when he ended something so that people knew it was over.

Bad choice really. (1)

PBoyUK (1591865) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141261)

No offence to Mr Colfer, but they really should have gone with a more appropriate writer. Someone in the same vein of writing, or at least comedy. I wonder if Pratchett would have been a preferred candidate before his diagnosis?

Re:Bad choice really. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29141333)

If you think Eoin Colfer isn't a comedy writer, then you've clearly never read any of his stuff.

Re:Bad choice really. (3, Funny)

PBoyUK (1591865) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141631)

I have...which leaves me even more baffled. That was comedy?

Continuing the trend (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29141267)

Well, it's not like 'Mostly Harmless' was very funny either.

Not Surprised (3, Insightful)

Rehnberg (1618505) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141357)

While I am a huge Artemis Fowl fan, I'm not surprised that Colfer isn't able to pull off the Hitchhiker's universe as well. Adams and Colfer just have a completely different style of writing, and Colfer's does not fit the Hitchhiker's universe.

The originals were funny? (4, Insightful)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141363)

I realize there is plenty of dry and black humor, in the most British sense of the words, but the triumph, in my opinion, was that he told a compelling story in spite of that, not because of it. Obviously if you found them humorous as well, then that probably lent something to the subjective quality of the novels. But the HHGTTG series had a much wider audience than British comedy does, so clearly it wasn't the humor alone that drove the popularity, and I think that focusing on that alone is missing the appeal of the books. It's missing the forest for the trees, the way George Lucas did with his prequels, assuming that the popularity of the series had something to do with the special effects, when they were really just a footnote in a story and universe (ok, galaxy) that we loved.

Re:The originals were funny? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29141521)

Adams' sense of humor (and also his "humour") was unique, and not merely of this supposedly interchangeably British humour that you posit.

I would also say that a humorous take on life was integral to the philosophy that underlies his work. Don't panic just because the world is ending, let's go have a drink at the restaurant at the end of the universe.

It is funny, but not only funny. The humor is just a sherpa for the sense of humanity in the midst of absurdity and awe, which must be taken without too much seriousness in order to be fully appreciated.

Re:The originals were funny? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29142107)

Nah, we really did love the effects in Star Wars. The story was always stupid, and it became even more so in the fucking prequels.

TELL HIM NO!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29141373)

If you like Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and respect Douglas Adams' legacy... TELL HIM NO!!!! Eoin Colfer 1 Priory Hall, Spawell Road Wexford 00000 IE 353 53 24119

Re:TELL HIM NO!!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29141465)

suck my cock and stop acting like a little social fundie.

Doesn't hurt Adams' (2, Insightful)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141533)

People get all bent out of shape about other authors stepping in and writing works in a dead (or sometimes living) authors 'universe', but I don't understand how the Colfer guy writing a book makes Adams's books any less good than they already were? Nothing this guy can do can hurt Adams's legacy, so just go sit down, and maybe take some valium or prozac or something.

Sorry, but the LAST book wasn't that funny, either (4, Interesting)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141395)

Sorry, but the LAST HHGTTG book, "Mostly Harmless", wasn't all that funny, either - and that WAS written by Douglas himself.

Considering that it ended with the destruction of pretty much EVERYTHING, I don't see how the new book could even BE - let alone BE FUNNY, unless the do a complete reboot of the HHGTTG universe.

("...with younger, edgier characters!")

Re:Sorry, but the LAST book wasn't that funny, eit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29141469)

Adams himself felt that the last book was a downer, written during a rough period of his life, and expressed a desire to write more than one book in the series to avoid having it end on such a negative note.

Maybe it's a different type of humor (3, Interesting)

harmonise (1484057) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141451)

Maybe the reviewer didn't appreciate the type of humor in the book. I read Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy years ago and didn't find it to be very funny, so maybe I will find this one funny instead.

Bad title... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141471)

Should've been called: "It Is What It Is"

Like 4 and 5 (2, Interesting)

fyoder (857358) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141499)

If you read Hitchhiker to have a good laugh, maybe you're going to be disappointed,"

So its like books 4 and 5 then. I thought book 4 was the best in the series, though I think I'm in the minority since lots of people didn't like it because it didn't have a laugh a sentence.

I disliked the 5th book so much I seem to have successfully suppressed it in my memory to the point where I don't even remember what it was about. Perhaps there wasn't even a 5th book and I'm just confused.

Re:Like 4 and 5 (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141733)

The first few books were so happenstance that I honestly wonder if Douglas Adams had any idea of what was going to happen next. He said when writing the radio show, he had no major thought towards the direction of the show. I think in books 4 and 5, he did seem to have more plot in mind. The books move with more of a purpose. It is entirely possible that people prefered the madcap style of the first 3.

Cogent Gotcha (1)

mindbrane (1548037) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141583)

Humour shouldn't have a rigorous, robust and elegant definition. Humour is better served being defined reflexively, funny is just funny. Frame Analysis [wikipedia.org] gives a pretty good working analysis of humour as breaking frame, or, context, or, maybe just wind. Mark Twain's scene of a loud fart in church is pretty good humour, more so because, for many people, myself not included, farts and religious ceremonies don't go together. A good story is something very different than good humour because a good tale has to be engaging and cogent and both are matters of rhetoric and rhetoric is complex and touches upon matters of acquired taste. Good art is a work of genius and rightly beyond analysis.

Read Dirk Gently if you want more Adam (4, Insightful)

vistic (556838) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141593)

Seriously, if you want more Adams humor, and haven't done so already, go read "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency" and the sequel "The Long, Dark, Tea-time of the Soul". H2G2 isn't the only great series Adams made.

They are great books, and probably way better than anything in this new book.

Re:Read Dirk Gently if you want more Adam (1)

Improv (2467) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141895)

I think Gently's humour is a bit less accessible - I've had both series since my childhood and only recently did I really start to like Gently. Adams' writing for Dr Who was even more subtly funny.

I'd file it under (4, Funny)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141597)

Mostly Humorless.

B*lgium (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141669)

An appropriate tag if there ever was one.

Adams had the same problem (-1, Flamebait)

ed (79221) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141695)

Listen to the original radio series and then listen to every incarnation as it is refined, Douglas Adams just killed the humour our of it with every rewrite, the rawer script for the Radio Series worked best

Disclaimer, I gfot an A in an English exam on the book of Hitchhikers, the question on the peper was write about someone who finds himself in events over which he has no control, goodbye Huck Finn, hello Arthur Dent

Re:Adams had the same problem (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141763)

"I am having terrible difficulty with my lifestyle."

So it's the novelization of the movie? nt (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141769)

nt

Well in fairness... (1)

finkployd (12902) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141825)

The last Adams penned HHG2G was not really funny either. Cool, but not funny.

No harm.. (1)

Improv (2467) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141875)

We all define our own notion of the canon - we may orbit around the publisher or primary author, but we're not limited to that. I don't consider any Dr Who after the 7th Doctor to be canon, some of my friends consider everything but the movie to be canon, and there is disagreement about the books as well. People don't hold the same canon on Zelazny, Lovecraft, and plenty of others. I'm sure it'll be likewise with HHGTtG and this book. I don't think we should become too upset over new content unless we really need everyone on the same page.

Maybe he cheated? (1)

tufa.king.nerdy (1622029) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141899)

Perhaps Colfer only watched the movie.

Prolific? (3, Insightful)

RyatNrrd (662756) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141939)

From TFA:

Prolific British writer and comedian Adams

Is this the same Douglas Adams we're talking about?

So long (5, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141955)

so long and thanks for all the fiction.

done with hitchhiker (5, Interesting)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 4 years ago | (#29141971)

I think Mostly Harmless made it pretty clear that Douglas Adams was more than done with the series. If any further proof was necessary, I had an opportunity to talk with Adams shortly before his death, and got the same impression -- he was sick of the series, and wrote Mostly Harmless because he had to.

I would much rather have read a third Dirk Gentley novel than a half-hearted Hitchhiker novel, and might have but for rabid Hitchhiker fans. Not that I'm bitter.

It doesn't really matter what the new novel is like. I'm done with that.

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