The Big Bang Burger Bar begins where Mostly Harmless ended. Ford and Arthur are, as they are surprised to find out, very much alive and in places where they don’t want to be.
The plot revolves around Ford and Arthur and a mission that they are sent on to retrieve an item of value from a nonexistent place. There are other characters too, of course, but if i told you any more, i’d spoil it. And if you don’t want anything spoiled, for zark’s sake, don’t scroll down this page. Just go download the book and read it!
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“And Another Thing” vs. “The Big Bang Burger Bar”
|Title||And Another Thing||The Big Bang Burger Bar||Personally, i think “And Another Thing” is a little too much of a grasp at credibility… like “Here’s MY book, take it seriously!”. Not saying that the BBBB is GREAT, but i think it fits better with the other books. Although, the argument could certainly be made that it’s just a rehash of “The Restaurant at the End of the Universe”. I can accept that.|
|Place in the Series||Part Six of Three||The five-and-a-halfth book in the Hitchhikers Trilogy||I wrote mine first.|
|Slant||British||American, but with a british accent.||I was originally going to call the vertical transport devices in the HHGG offices elevators and the ones in the BBBB lifts, but then i just went with the American elevators everywhere.|
|Author||Eoin Colfer||Adam S. Douglas||Worst anagram ever. Not his real name.|
|Chapters||12||65||Douglas Adams wrote nice short chapters. I think Eoin’s are a tad long.|
|Structure||Long chapters, liberally interupted with “Guide Notes”, which are explanations of things, presumably from the HHGG.||Short chapters, some of which are explanations of things from the HHGG and/or the Encyclopedia Galactica||AAT has a little TOO many little explanatory things, some of which work, some of which just kinda interrupt the narrative.|
|Plot||Ford, Arthur, Trillian, Zaphod, and Random escape another destruction of Earth, fly to the planet Nano, and save it with the help of Thor. Ummm… not much else really.||Arthur and Ford (and Trillian later on) escape another destruction of Earth and visit the galactic headquarters of the HHGG, where they’re sent to rescue Fenchurch from the FIRST destruction of Earth. They visit the Big Bang Burger Bar, revisit Earth, wander around, get stranded on planets, find some beer, and… geez, there’s a whole lotta stuff going on…||OK, plot-wise, the BBBB has more.|
|Continuity||Starts right where book 5 ends.||Starts right where book 5 ends.||Mr. Colfer seems almost painfully determined to put in as many of the minor people, place, and thing references from the earlier books. I didn’t think that he’d mention the floopy mattresses, but there it was.|
|Words||Froody||Hoopy, Slammy, Cool||Frood was just a noun in the original books. Mr. Colfer has opted for Froody over Hoopy. The BBBB uses cool, which probably isn’t cool.|
|Conclusion||Everyone but Arthur flies off to explore the galaxy. Arthur poofs out of dimensional existence to who-knows-what.||Everyone including Arthur flies off to explore the galaxy.||While the BBBB steals its ending quite severly from one of the earlier books, at least it’s not as much of a downer as AAT.
I wrote this book because, after re-reading the whole series, i found that i was dissatisfied with how “Mostly Harmless” ended. I felt that the characters deserved to be set a bit free with the assumption that they could go on roaming the galaxy in any fan’s mind. Also it was disappointing that Mr. Adams simply dismissed Fenchurch into the ether.
|Arthur Dent||Bringer of worldy destruction||Trapped and confused a lot||The BBBB Arthur is definitely more central to the story. AAT Arthur is almost a minor character, really.|
|Ford Prefect||Glib and talkative||Shows a little bit more sanity, but still on the limits of control||One could argue that the AAT Ford is closer to the original and there’s slightly too much humanity in the BBBB Ford.|
|Zaphod Beeblebrox||Has removed a head, which sits in a vat of gel and pilots the Heart of Gold.||Has removed a head, which sits on the body of Marvin and runs a planet-sized brewery.||I find this really interesting that both authors decided to split Zaphod in two. AAT split him into Zaphod Beeblebrox and Left Brain. BBBB split him into Zaph Beeble and Od Brox. Nice to have Zaphod retain his full name in AAT, but “Left Brain” is kinda lame.|
|Trillian||Conflicted reporter/mother who falls in love.||Survived the destruction of Earth, had part of her brain removed, hangs with Od.||Hmmm… the love angle twixt Trillian and Wowbagger? I dunno, doesn’t work for me.|
|Fenchurch||Only exists in this book as an extension of Arthur’s thoughts, although the possibility that she’s alive in another dimension exists.||Major character, around which the plot revolves.||In the BBBB, she gets a last name.|
|Random Dent||Pouty teenager or saavy career woman…||Not in this book.||Admittedly, Random is a tough character to write, but it’s been in the back of my mind that she survived the latest destruction of Earth as well and certainly may show up in the six-and-a-halfth book…|
|Marvin||Not in this book||Plays a pivotal role in using his “brain the size of a planet”.||If Marvin rusted to death in one of the original books, how could he still be around? Well, he HAS existed for something like two-and-a-half times the lifespan of the universe, so him being around the other characters in this go-round is certainly plausible.|
|Wowbagger||Not insulting people any more||Still trying to insult everyone.||The BBBB Wowbagger only makes a token appearance. AAT’s Wowbagger is a major character, and he gets a first name.|
|Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz||Major character, in charge of the latest destruction of Earth, and subsequently escaped Earthlings||Not really in this book, although he does get one small chapter to himself.||Firstly, why did the Earth need to be destroyed again when it could’ve been reversed temporally engineered out of existing in the first place? Second, how did Vogon Jeltz figure out that the escaped Earthlings escaped?|
|Slartibartfast||Not in this book.||Working for Zaph.||Eh, not terribly important.|
|Rob McKenna||Not in this book.||Working for Zaph.||Who’s Rob McKenna? He’s a rain god, and in the BBBB he’s saved from the imminent destruction of Earth.|
|New semi-major characters||Thor, Hillman Hunter, Constant Mown||Fonk, Squinkles, Ergo, Nnngk||It’s a wash.|
|New minor characters||A handful||A handful||AAT’s minor characters skew a little too much toward bad puns. Perhaps the BBBB’s minor characters skew towards the very dim-witted. Although it must be said that ALL of AAT’s minor characters are pretty much humans (‘cept the chess pieces). Lotsa robots and very strange non-humanoids in the BBBB.|
|The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy||Omnipresent, modernized.||Omnipresent, relatively modernized.||The internet didn’t exist when the original books were written and i made a conscious effort to not overly modernize the technology of the Guide. Mr Colfer equates the Sub-Etha with a galactic internet, which is fine. Personal choice.|
|The Encyclopedia Galactica||Not mentioned.||Usually mentioned in comparison with a better definition from the HHGG.||Perhaps overly used as a “the HHGG is better” tool.|
|The Heart of Gold||Piloted by Zaphod Beeblebrox and Left Brain||Not in this book.||Seems to me that the Cricketers disabled the Heart of Gold when they stole that piece from it…|
|Robots||Not really any…||Plenty.||Wow, yeah, the BBBB not only has Marvin, but many other ‘bots and automated things with varying levels of intelligent programming (and evilness). With Left Brain piloting the Heart of Gold in place of Eddie, there’s really NO robots in AAT.|
|Dieties||Thor and other Norse gods||Just a guy named God.||Thor is a major character in AAT. BBBB’s God is just, well, see next…|
|Deus ex Machina||The Heart of Gold inexplicably shows up to save Arthur, Ford, Random, and Trillian from the destruction of Earth. Wowbagger then inexplicably shows up to save them all right after that.||Arthur finds a ship to get him off a planet that he’s stranded on.||There may be more to God and his spaceship Machina X in the next book…|
|Earth||Destroyed by big lasers.||Popped out of existence with reverse temporal engineering||OK, the earth is gone, but it took TWO out of twelve chapters to slowly peel it out of existence in AAT. The BBBB just starts with it being gone.|
|Planets||Earth, Asgard, Nano||Earth, Fred, Tiofftu, Beeble, Thumar 4, Bleen||More planets = more fun.|
|The Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything||42?||42.||Is it even mentioned in AAT?|
|The Question to the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything||It’s different for everybody.||It’s different for everybody.||Interesting…|
|Typos||Page 144, 10th line: “I feeling something…” should be “I’m feeling something…”
Page 203, 3rd line: “I did it steal it and…” Extra “it”.
|There were many, most of which have been fixed. Contact me if you find one. Oh, and i don’t capitalize my “i”s.|
|Well?||This book seems to be mostly about Zaphod and Thor||This book centers on Ford, Arthur, and Fenchurch.||Does more plot = more fun?|