Tag Archives: absurd

And Another Thing… by Eoin Colfer

And Another Thing… by Eoin Colfer (unabridged audiobook read by Simon Jones; 10.5 hrs on 9 discs): As a longtime fan of the series, I approached this book with some trepidation. After all, I had pretty lukewarm feelings about Colfer’s Artemis Fowl books. I am pleased to report that I was not disappointed. This book is hilarious. And, in a lot of ways, it makes up for the rather disappointing end to Mostly Harmless. All your favorite characters are here: Trillian, Zaphod, Arthur, and assorted other characters. No Marvin, but I’m pretty sure something final happened to him in a previous book. The Guide notes are marvelous and I did quite a lot of laughing throughout the story. The ending wraps up more or less satisfactorily while still left wide open for any future installments. To be honest, I did not expect to recommend this book to fans of the series, but I definitely do. It’s a pile of fun.

A note on the audio: Simon Jones played Arthur Dent in the original incarnations of the Hitchhiker’s Guide, and indeed I read somewhere that he was Adams’s inspiration for the character, so it was pretty durn nifty to have him read this book. He also has joined Prebble and Vance on my list of beloved audiobook narrators named Simon.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (original BBC radio broadcast)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Original BBC Radio Broadcast): Before the movie, before the television series, and even before the book, there was the radio play. Of course, all versions and adaptations were written by Douglas Adams, so it’s hard to call any of them the Real Version, but they all follow more or less the same story. Either way, this was the First Version.

As you know if you’re at all familiar with HHGTTG, the story begins with hapless human Arthur Dent and his alien pal Ford Prefect escaping the Earth moments before it is destroyed to create an interstellar bypass. Shortly thereafter they meet up with multi-headed alien Zaphod Beeblebrox, his female companion Trillian, and depressed robot Marvin. The whole thing is absolutely ridiculous and utterly marvelous. I would suggest reading the book first as a sort of warm-up, because the radio show is even more random, if you can believe it. Things just sort of happen and you have to just go with it. There are plenty of wonderfully quotable lines and if you’re already a fan of the books, this is a fun walk down memory lane. The voice actors are marvelous, though I confess there were times when I wasn’t sure whether it was Ford or Arthur speaking. Not that it mattered much. All in all, it’s a great time, and well worth it for any fan of absurdity.

Note on my version: A friend taped this off the radio when it was originally broadcast back in the late 1970s and recently digitized it. There’s a fair bit of tape hiss but I had almost no problem hearing and understanding everyone. One thing he noted, however, is that the version that was offered commercially had different sound effects and music due to copyright issues. Evidently the interstitial music played on the radio version was fair game, but all sorts of rights needed to be purchased in order to sell the recording. I have not listened to the commercial version, so I cannot comment on those differences. I linked to the remastered CD because the version I have, rather by definition, is not available for purchase.

P.S. – Happy birthday to my sweetie!

The Meowmorphosis by Franz Kafka and Coleridge Cook

The Meowmorphosis by Franz Kafka and Coleridge Cook: Continuing the classics-with-extra-bits trend that began with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, here we have the tale of The Metamorphosis where instead of turning into a giant bug, Gregor Samsa awakens to find himself transformed into an adorable kitten. It’s been a long time since I read the original, but I think there were also portions from The Trial included as well. Either way, it doesn’t work very well. There are a few good lines here and there, but by and large you’d be better off just reading the original, which is absurd enough on its own. I did, however, very much enjoy the appendices: a snarky biography of Kafka and some hilarious discussion questions. Those are worth reading on their own merits.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

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