In one of the peculiarities of language, the 'ghostwriter' traditionally assists a living author, but this has been a year of more literal literary ghosts.
Ian Fleming published another Bond (The Devil May Care) book with the help of Sebastian Faulks, while a descendant of Bram Stoker has co-written a Dracula sequel and the A.A. Milne estate has licensed an official continuation of Winnie the Pooh (Return To 100 Acre Wood).
Eight years after the death of Douglas Adams and 17 years since the release of 'the fifth book' in the increasingly inaccurately named Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy trilogy, Eoin Colfer, author of the Artimis Fowl series, has been given permission by the Adam's estate to create 'And Another Thing .....', which he terms, in appropriate Adamsian fashion, 'part six of three'.
The creator made a sixth book difficult by destroying most of the familiar characters at the end of Mostly Harmless but with the subtle use of alternative universes, virtual worlds and Adams's 'infinite improbability drive', the substitute author is able to get players and narrative back together (and so), just as Faulks stayed close to Fleming in his new Bond, Colfer spins off from the original plot.
Some grumblers in the blogsphere, an aspect of the galaxy that didn't exist when Adams began the journey, will inevitably subject the posthumous ghostwriter to pedantic and resentful fury but I feel that Eoin Colfer has achieved a perfectly calculated adaptation: a novel which serves as a fitting memorial but also has a life of its own.
SOURCE: From a longer extract (Available by clicking HERE) by Mark Lawson, author of Enough Is Enough, writing in yesterdays Guardian newspaper.
PETTY WITTER SAYS: I took the decision to only use an extract from the article as I felt to reproduce the whole thing may have given away too many things about previous books as well as this latest to those of you who, like myself, are yet to read any in the series.
P.S. Hubby, a fan of the books, has 'And Another Thing ...' on order so may be persuaded to review it as some point, if not, then maybes one of you might like to.