Kate Schechter would like to know why everyone she meets knows her name - and why Thor, the Norse god of thunder, keeps showing up on her doorstep. It takes the sardonic genius of Dirk Gently, detective and refrigerator wrestler, to get to the bottom of it all. Was the passenger check-in desk at Heathrow's blasting through the roof really an Act of God? (And if so, which?) What's going on at Woodshead Hospital? And why is a severed head spinning on a turntable, its body sitting amiably nearby? Only the sleuthing of Dirk Gently can uncover these mysteries, and only the absurdist wit of Douglas Adams can recount them with such relentless humor.
Copyright ©1988 by Douglas Adams
I had so much fun with this book I nearly crashed the car. When I first read the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" I thought it couldn't get any better, but I actually enjoyed "Dirk Gently" even more. This story has absolutely everything you could ask for and more: mystery, comedy, science fiction, science fact, murder, suspence, ghosts, robots, aliens, demonic posession, theology, evolution, time travel, and an electric monk. You'll have to listen to it to know what that last one is. I strongly recommend it.
Out of the two 'Dirk Gently' titles written by Douglas Adams this is probably the weaker. Don't get me wrong, it is incredibly funny in his usual style, the detective logic is spot on and some of his observations are genius. The problem is that Adams sometimes can't find good ways to finish his books and I feel this is especially true with this title (I won't give away the ending). Also a plus is Adam's reading as his dry wit fits perfectly with the tone of the book and he obviously understands how his material should be read. Overall I would say this is definitely worth a look as although the ending is weak, the story is one hell of a funny journey.
Douglas Adams (DNA) is rightfully famous for the Hitchhiker's Guide to the galaxy and all its configurations. There are two novels introducing the incomparable holistic detective, Dirk Gently. One is The long, Dark Teatime of the Soul, a gem of a story that weaves together Adams' English dry wit, a murder mystery and the Norse gods mythology.
Who else would think of the fact that gods are immortal, but maybe in need of a rest home and linen sheets while hoping for a career in soft drink commercials?
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, of course and maybe a few of the Terry Pratchett Disk World novels.
Besides laughing out loud, you mean? The scene with the murdered man's son in the attic room is priceless.
If you like this novel, there is a good chance you will also love Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.
This is a book that follows the style of The Hitchikers Guide but with a complete different subject. For insiders...I like "the battle around the lurking the frigde". If you like Douglas Adams style this will fit as well.
Absurdity Making Sense
Dirk Gently's unique stance on life.
He inhabits this character, and makes me believe it's him to some extent... Arthur was him too, but less obviously so.
Lot's of laughs all the way through... too many to single out one.
I was led to the Dirk Gently saga via my love of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Finding out Mr. Adams himself narrated this one made it an obvious choice. It does not disappoint, and hearing him narrate Dirk tends to make me believe he is significantly closer to his true voice than Arthur Dent. The main difference being that Arthur has no idea why the world is out to get him, but Dirk has a pretty good idea...
I haven't finished the book yet (about 60% through) but it's already repaid me in absurd fun!
Douglas Adams excellent reading, his lively, fun interpretation of this bizarre and intriguing story.
When Kate Schechter is walking toward her apartment and each streetlight goes out as she proceeds along the road... the time when Thor wakes up glued to the floor of a warehouse... Dirk waking up in the morning.
Dirk Gently is the best, but Kate runs a close second.
I really really wish that Audible would carry the rest of the Douglas Adams readings of his own work: the other Dirk Gently book, the entirely of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (five books) and Last Chance to See. I would buy them all, as would many of my friends. The CDs are getting hard to find.
I'm a bonafide Douglas Adams fan. I've read everything I could find that he wrote, I've listened to all the dramatizations that the BBC did for H2G2 and I played his computer game and watched his talks on Youtube.
That being said I'm sad to have to write that this book "The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul" was not his finest effort. Don't get me wrong, it's not bad, just not up to his snuff. Normally he ties up all the loose ends quite neatly and quite imaginatively but here I felt that there was a bit that wasn't quite finished. If I was to guess I would say that he was rushed to finish the book and just didn't have the time to polish it to his usual high luster.
Douglas reads this and he reads it wonderfully. His tone, inflections and rhythm makes the story so wonderful to listen to that I found myself sitting in my car lost to where I was and just listening to him read. Quite wonderfully hypnotic.
If you a Douglas Adams fan you'll HAVE to listen to this because ... well ... you know why, but if you're new to Douglas' work then you might want to skip this and listen to either "The Hitchhikers Guide ... " or "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency".
Not better but excellent.
Nothing completely compares, but the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is very good too. Another Douglas Adams book.
Everything he touched was wonderful
Some things do not lend themselves to the the movie format. The abomination that was the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Movie will attest to that. A wonderful book tainted but the horrible movie.
I love the fact that these haven't disappeared from my library like some other books have. Douglas Adams wasn't only a brilliant writer but is a brilliant reader as well. I definitely prefer the Holistic Detective Agency to Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul. But it's still Adams, so what's not to love.
The Scene in the Coffee shop
I love listening to Adams read. There are great narrators in the Audio world, but Adams (like Gaiman) is one of the few Authors who you HOPE are reading the book that they wrote because the love of their characters and their stories come through so well in the telling.
I always want to listen to anything written and read by Adams in one sitting.
I have long been a great fan of Douglas Adams. His style and sense of comedy being fantastically different to any other authors works that I have read.
The stories or Dirk Gently take a little detour from the better known stories from the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.
I have read the books and heard the radio plays etc... So when I had the chance to download and listen to the unabridged book read by the Author I leapt at it...
My first impression was that I had downloaded the story using the wrong quality... Then I realised that the mistake was not mine, but that the recording itself sounded like it had been recorded from a cassette playing over some earphones into a microphone and extra emphasis placed on the sssssssss's and the recording made to sound as thin and ethereal as possible.
I have other Audiobooks read by Adams and have been very pleased by the sound of the Authors voice bringing the story to life. Giving meaning to passages that other narators would miss, or fail to understand to the same extent.
Adams was a genius and his stories are testament to that. The quality of this recording does not do justice to the Author though. I think that the original recording would have sounded far better since Adams himself was an Audiophile and would not have allowed a poor recording to go out with his name on it.
In short, it sounds thin, reedy and excessively sibilant.
Great story, Well read, Poorly recorded.
I'd forgotten how good Douglas Adams was until I listened to this, the second book featuring Dirk Gently and his Holistic Detective Agency. It's narrated by Douglas Adams, which means that all the subtlety and nuances are exactly how the author intended. The story itself is darkly funny and utterly surreal, and has some of the best comic lines I have heard in a long time. I don't want to give plot details away, but Dirk is a somewhat unusual private detective who believes in the interconnectedness of all things, and who practices an unusual form of navigation whereby he follows someone who looks like they know where they are going. Gods are involved, and so is crisp, freshly laundered linen. And an eagle.
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