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Not cool, man.


Not cool, my friend. I just got done reading the last book in the Hitchhiker's Guide series, and I am thoroughly disappointed.


Okay, all writer's joke about it from time to to time. We get frustrated, we snark at our own work and threaten our characters with the,"and suddenly, everyone was hit by a bus." ending. We never actually do it. It's pretty much author suicide. No one but Stienbeck can pull it off without becoming a writing pariah in the eyes of the majority, okay? Also, I - for one - did not suffer through the last three books of this series for that ending, sir.

I'm not even joking. I had to reread it to make sure that it actually happened, and then I wanted to hurl the book across the room. I didn't, because it's autographed, has Mssr. Adams's obituary in there, and belongs to my uncle, but god damn. I was momentarily furious, and at this point, I think it'd be a good idea to write an open letter to the spirit of Douglas Adams.

Dear Hitchhiker of the After-life,

Douglas, were you alive I would track you down this instant and we'd have to have a little chat. I suppose it'll have to wait. Yet, I must ask...what happened, man? Don't get me wrong. I still love you, and the recording you made of the first book is still my favorite audio book in the history of forever, even though some jokes really need to be read. Still, after the Guide it was a downward tumble, and I have to wonder if you had any real friends, or at least a stern editor to tell you the truth about your latter writings?

There are some things in your series that simply wouldn't fly nowadays. Main characters are dropped out of the story and never return. Zaphod completely disappears. Whatever happened to Slartibartfast? Why can't you just let Arthur be happy for awhile? Does he really need a daughter named Random dumped on him by Trillian?

Furthermore, your intricate connections in the stories simply ceased as the series progressed. The chapters became less witty, less thought out, and more random and unrelated. To put it nicely, your last two books make no sense as singular entities, jump all over the damn place, have a significant increase in the f-bomb droppage, weren't horribly engaging, and didn't really do much in terms of plot. You went on for four pages about making sandwiches. You repeated sentences repeatedly. Why? I really thought better of you. I love the first book. The second one was enjoyable, the third was arduous and after that you totally lost it, my friend. We never hear from Fenchurch again, and she was the only thing that made the fourth book even remotely interesting! Then, after the fifth book of sending our minds reeling into oblivion with talk about pandimensional time reversing whatsits that actually get Arthur home, you just blow everyone up? I find this deeply unsettling, and I will accept an apology and a thorough explanation at Wednesdays's seance [Now that LOST is over I have to find some way to spend the time...].

A Hoopy Frood Worrying About the Well-being of Your Towel.

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 31st, 2006 06:25 pm (UTC)
WORD. I think the guy was just scrambling to answer the #42 mystery and let his art go. :(
May. 31st, 2006 08:34 pm (UTC)
ARG. I know! I take comfort in the following, however. It proves he at least felt moderately guilty for - or at least was aware of - his error.

See here:
Adams on Mostly Harmless

In an interview reprinted in The Salmon of Doubt, Adams expressed dissatisfaction with the "rather bleak" tone of this book, and said that he "would love to end Hitchhiker on a slightly more upbeat note" by writing a sixth installment in the series. He blames personal problems, saying "for all sorts of personal reasons I don't want to go into, I just had a thoroughly miserable year, and I was trying to write a book against that background. And, guess what, it was a rather bleak book!" Nonetheless, the story does a good job of tying together most of the plot elements introduced in the previous novels, in a typically quirky fashion.

Being the fifth book in a trilogy, and Adams wanting to write a sixth one, it wasn't entirely granite that this was the concluding book in the series, until his death (due to a heart attack) on May 11, 2001 made it one.

Although the complete destruction of every version of the Earth in every possible timeline, along with the death of nearly all the regular characters would seem to make a continuation extremely unlikely, Adams had remarked that the afterlife-enhanced state of the regulars merely meant he would not have to waste time at the beginning of the next book gathering them together or explaining what they'd been up to in the intervening period.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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