18 Oct 2009

GHOSTWRITERS - A GUIDE TO A NEW GALAXY.

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.

10 comments:

brizmus said...

Despite all of the complaints I have about this sixth Hitchiker's Guide even being in existence, I am very excited about it.
I think I will love it if I can just think of it as a book apart.

Middle Ditch said...

I just hope that someone will continue what I began. There is nothing wrong with it as long as the original writer is not credited.

I watched a play the other day where Agatha Christie was credited but found out during the play (loads of mistakes, plots not followed up etc, me growing very suspicious as A C was such a stickler for detail) that it had nothing to do with her. It was someone else's story entirely. So why credit her? Hoping to get more viewers? How pathetic.

Dorte H said...

Well, I read some parts of the original Hitchhiker´s Guide, but it is not that often I get caught by funny books.

And I am not sure the idea of a book written by a ghostwriter really appeals to me. I tend to pick books by authors I know, not the other way round.

Kelly said...

I saw a review on 'Return To 100 Acre Wood' that wasn't very favorable.

Jenners said...

I think it is hard to take on a great author's works. And I don't get why a family member would necessarily be the one to continue a relative's writings ... I mean, give it to another proven writer not just a descendant but that is just me!

Alexia561 said...

While I think most ghosted books aren't very good, I have high hopes for "And Another Thing..." as I really like Colfer's Artemis Fowl books. Looking forward to hearing what your hubby thinks of the book!

themethatisme said...

I am a little wary of this, the original books having been a key part of my youth, but I can't leave it unturned.

Hazra said...

I've really high hopes with the 6th Hitchhiker book. Colfer is an author whose works I love and I really hope he does justice to Adams' work.

themethatisme said...

we shall see, as I have not read anything by Mr.Colfer I can't be influenced by his other works.

Sheila (bookjourney) said...

I havent read any of these.... hmmm....