My copy of “The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide” occupies a space on my desk that is exclusive to it. Nothing else I own is permitted to take up its space, although my copy of “Johnny the Homicidal Maniac” seems rather intent on doing so when I’m not paying good enough attention. I regard the Hitchhiker’s books in the way that rabid Tolkien fans froth over the “Lord of the Rings” books (and I should note that there is nothing wrong with this).
Now, as I have a Borders card and a Barnes & Noble membership, I receive plenty of e-mails from each. Barnes & Noble at least has the sense to tempt me with coupons that will invariably result in me spending a considerable amount of cash that I would otherwise not be willing to part with. However, I digress. One such e-mail, not too long ago, arrived during one of my late-night Stumble!Upon sessions. I opened it up, curious to see what Borders thought I should buy, so that I may laugh at how wrong it was, only to see this:
My immediate response consisted of something to the tune of, “What the [expletive removed] is this?” Having never read any of the “Artemis Fowl” books, I had no idea who Eoin Colfer is. However, as I have some level of reading skills, I can tell it isn’t “Douglas Adams”, and this is what I take issue with.
Let’s participate in a hypothetical exercise. Imagine taking your copy of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, in whatever incarnation that you own it in. Now grip it by the spine and hold it so the open side of the book is parallel to the floor. See that? It’s a book so laden with brilliance that it drips from the pages. Now, if you actually did this, and your copy is as well-loved as my original copy, you may also see some pages fall out.
As I have not read any of Eoin Colfer’s writing, I’ve had to depend on what I hear from others. The “Artemis Fowl” books have been deemed the apparent heir to “Harry Potter”, which I found enjoyable enough. Sure, I imagine that the final installment in the series could be classified as a potentially lethal weapon, but this is beside the point.
Perhaps I’m overreacting, but I would love to know what made Eoin Colfer even think to add to Douglas Adams’ masterpiece that is The Guide. Writing a fantasy series reminiscent of Harry Potter qualifies him to complete this task no more than my ranting about George W. Bush in the past qualified me to be President (though it should be noted that I have already bestowed the title of “Emperor of the Mother-Effin’ Known Universe” upon myself).
There are two authors I feel are even slightly qualified to undertake this task, which I feel was surely botched in “And Another Thing…” and those would be Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Perhaps Neil Gaiman moreso, although I’m willing to concede both writers are far better alternatives. I am willing to admit that I could be entirely wrong here, mind you, which is historical enough on its own.
I’ve asked for this book for Christmas, and intend to buy it should I not receive it that way. I’m going to give it a chance, despite wanting to find Eoin Colfer and beat him with this book. Maybe it’ll be good. Or maybe I’m right.