The Salmon of Doubt

Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time
Length: 8 hrs and 2 mins
4 out of 5 stars (1,062 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Rescued from his beloved Macintosh, The Salmon of Doubt provides us with the opportunity to linger and frolic one last time in the uniquely entertaining and richly informative mind of Douglas Adams. For the millions of readers who expressed their grief and shock at his untimely death, this is a treasure; his final book and our last chance to see new work from an acknowledged comic genius.
©2005 Douglas Adams (P)2009 Phoenix

Critic Reviews

"Edited by Peter Guzzardi and with an introduction by Christopher Cerf, this bittersweet collection comprises letters, fragments of ideas for books, films and TV, ruminations on a diverse array of subjects and a good bit of a final unfinished novel by the author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series....Included are a letter to the editor of a U.K. boy's magazine (written in 1965, when Adams was 12); a reminiscence about his lifelong love for the Beatles, written when he was in his 40s; a 1991 piece from Esquire entitled "My Nose"; and an undated article for the Independent espousing his preference for whiskey." ( Publishers Weekly)
"It's hard to classify this cornucopia, selected by Christopher Cerf from Adams's papers after his untimely death, but Hitchhiker fans will want it." ( Library Journal)

What listeners say about The Salmon of Doubt

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This is not the book you are seeking

Would you try another book from Douglas Adams and/or the narrators?

I have read all of the Douglas Adams books from when they were first published.

Would you ever listen to anything by Douglas Adams again?

Yes and No. I greatly enjoyed the Hitchhilers Guide to The Galaxy and have don since its first publishing. It is part of my education.

Would you listen to another book narrated by the narrators?

I was hoping that Stephen fry was going to do more of the narration but sadly not the case.

Do you think The Salmon of Doubt needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

This is the final of the printed works of Douglas Adams. It is a collection of the newspaper columns and thoughts on a disparate topics.

Any additional comments?

Fast forward through the introductions. They are the friends of Douglas Adams telling us what a talented author and great guy he was. While these were great words for his funeral they add nothing to the otherwise great collection of the thoughts of Douglas Adams.

I particularly love the definition of what it takes to ignore someone.

21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

enjoyable but not well described

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, even though it leaves you dangling. I had only known Adams for his novels and enjoyed seeing his other sides. The book loses a star for its inadequate description. It consists of an anthology of columns articles and notes by Adams with added eulogies. It includes a brief hitchhikers piece (Young Zaphod plays it safe, which I think was published before) and half of a Dirk Gently novel (i.e. the novel ends abruptly half way through). If you are looking for hitchhikers material (as the title implies) you may be disappointed, but finding myself a kindred spirit to Douglas I was happy with it.

47 people found this helpful

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A life lost too soon

This book is a fantastic collection of writings of the late, great, Douglass Adams. It should be noted, however, that the Salmon of Doubt (the work this collection gets its name from) was cut short when Adams unexpectedly passed away.

If you want a collection of writings on science, technology, religion, Adams' life and a bit of fiction as well as a snapshot of Adams' final work, then this collection is for you.

However, if you are looking for a full story for Salmon of Doubt, you won't find it here. Adams' unexpected end brought an end to his final Dirk Gently novel, and we will never know whether he would have finished it out as is, or transformed it into the 6th Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy book.

5 people found this helpful

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As close to meeting him as it gets

What made the experience of listening to The Salmon of Doubt the most enjoyable?

All of this stuff was collected by his wife and closest friends off his hard drive and lovingly put together into one final book including the first few chapters of a Dirk Gently book.

If you are a fan of his books The Salmon Of Doubt Lets you meet him in person and get to know him in an amazingly amusing way. What an amazing life and a great loss. I will always wonder where that last novel would have taken me however after reading this I kinda like it that way. I think it was his way of getting the last laugh by making us all think about his unfinished last story and smile from time to time.

6 people found this helpful

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A sweet rememberance

I lovely summation of Douglas Adams, his life and his way of thinking. RIP Douglas.

8 people found this helpful

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Hodgepodge

Consists mainly of a hodgepodge of Adams' speeches, articles and interviews, with far too much repetition.

3 people found this helpful

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Douglas Adams makes for some awkward situations.

What made the experience of listening to The Salmon of Doubt the most enjoyable?

My review title may be a bit strange, but I really mean it. This book made me laugh loudly on public transport, making several people stare at me, but I don't care. This book is full of Adams's clever writing, and the other contributors to the book also produced some amazing text wizardry.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Douglas himself. Hearing people like Steven Fry and Richard Dawkins describe him, gave me a great sense of what a great man (in more than one sense) he was.

Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

The nerator of the main story, Simon Jones, also narrates all of Dan Arielli's books, which I really enjoyed.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Id made me lmao, as chatters would say, although it also made me sad that a man with such a great mind had to leave us so early.

3 people found this helpful

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Brilliant narrator, excellent moments!

Obviously this is a mixed bag of interviews, essays, magazine pieces and leftover things. Some of it is not great, but much of it sparkles with Adams's trademark wit. There is some priceless stuff here which as a longtime Adams devotee I am so happy to have. The narrator was great. He was completely genuine in delivering interview transcripts as if he were speaking the words fresh from his own mind.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Bittersweet

A must have for Douglas Adams fans. A glimpse into what was and what might have been. So long and thanks for all the laughs.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Well worth the money

Even though this is only snipits of stories it is well worth listening to

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-28-17

not what i was expecting from the description

i enjoyed it.
but its not another hitchhiker book
more a good tribute to adams, thats ok but its not decribed as such.
there is about a hour of material and its such a shame it wasnt made into i finished book.
the tributes are good though and i would recommend it. just be nice to know what your buying.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Paul B
  • 10-28-15

A mix of emotions

Being a collection of old letters, notes, lectures and unfinished stories, The Salmon Of Doubt feels a little like a wake for the late Douglas Adams. But if it is a wake, it's a knees-up, jolly Irish style remembering and celebration of his life and work.

Needless to say, his wit, intelligence and knack for story writing shines through here, despite the longing for more when the audiobook comes to a close.

Simon Jones (Arthur Dent in the radio and TV Hitchhikers series) does a good job of portraying Adams in his notes and interviews, though maybe less so as some of the characters in the later stories. That's no fault considering the wide range of characters he has to contend with here. Despite this, it's a highly recommended listen even if, like me, you've previously read the book several times.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Gryfynn
  • 09-12-17

So long and thanks for all the words

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

If that friend loved the work of Douglas Adams, I absolutely would. Possibly not for the unfinished quality of the Dirk Gently story included, but more for the wonderful collection of articles and thoughts that take up the first few hours. There are some real gems in there that any fan of Adams needs to read. They contain his thoughts on a variety of subjects and every single one of them has that unmistakable Douglas Adams touch that simply no other author could have. Noone will make you look at Bach, The Beatles or exciteable dogs the way Adams does.

What did you like best about this story?

Each little snippet of thought in the collected material from the harddrive of Douglas Adams is like a friendly wave from a long lost friend. He left us far too soon and it's such a wonderful thing to have all these articles of writing together in one great audiobook. Many of these collected works had me giggling my head off in public places, just as the Hitchhiker books did. It was a real pleasure to read them all.

What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Simon Jones is literally the only person who I see as Arthur Dent. Not only that, but he was also one of Adams' friends and worked with him closely, so if anyone has the ability to read these things how they should be read, it's him. He does a wonderful job and I am looking forward to visiting this book again in the future.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

I wouldn't. because films that aren't done by the bbc have a history of screwing up his work. Leave it alone, damn it!

Any additional comments?

This audiobook is just all kinds of wonderful. I grew up listening to the hitchhikers radio plays and the books as well. I and my friends could quote them word for word in some places, so for me this is a wonderful treasure and I am so glad it was performed so brilliantly in audio. Thank you!

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Alan
  • 04-24-11

A hint of what was still to come

Sequels to THHGTTG seek, not too successfully, to expand upon the 70's mindset of Adams. This book gives a hint towards what Adams himself would have done. His humour had definitely moved on and showed his obsession with the frustrations of computers (although he was obviously an Apple bore). I'm sure this would have fed into a sequel to keep the franchise fresh.
As the blurb points out, this is a collection of bits & pieces taken from letters, magazine articles etc and therefore is best listened to in small parts.
It's rather odd that Simon Jones is now the voice of Douglas Adams, but it's very fitting and evokes the unique atmosphere of Adams' humour in the character of Arthur Dent.
I'd have given it 5 points but for the misleading impression that there is more than one narrator. There isn't. Dawkins, Fry & Cerf, however, do provide amusing introductions to the book.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Graham G Grant
  • 12-24-19

Holistic tribute to the ultimate galactic hitch-hiker

This is one for the hardcore Douglas Adams fans. It’s a collection of his journalism, fragments including speeches and even faxes, as if the content of his desk drawers has been raided and committed to audio. The overall effect is varied: it does give an insight into Adams’ philosophy and world-view. But it’s perhaps a little too unfocused, a kind of sprawling miscellany of Adams-related trivia. The draft of the unfinished Dirk Gently novel - The Salmon of Doubt - is relatively short. It’s an intriguing premise, and there are some very good jokes. At secondary school, Adams responded to a letter I wrote to him, looking for a contribution to a charity joke book. He replied with: ‘What do you call a chicken that only goes halfway across the road? A Rhode Island Red.’ Not all of the celebs I tried did respond (Peter Cook sent a blueprint of some very detailed plans for a toilet block for the CIA headquarters, full of spying jargon; I asked for his picture and he declined, saying one joke was enough ...) This is a warm tribute to a fantastic writer, and worth sticking with to the end: it’s also likely to inspire you to revisit the Adams canon, which is perhaps its greatest strength.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ian
  • 07-21-19

Like listening to the inside of Adam's head.

Funny, poignant, funny, a little disjointed at times , a very familiar narrator and lastly very funny.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Neil Armstrong
  • 01-31-20

a good insight

a good book and a good insight to the author, it is not a 'hitchhikers guide' book but a series of essays, interviews and discussions and half a 'Dirk Gently' stoty

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-19-20

good but confusing?

I was rather confused, when the book started with lots of interviews with D. Adams. But it was actually really good. then suddenly characters from hitchhiker's was introduced and it didn't really make sense. the same thing when dirk gently was introduced. The stories were good, but it would have made more sense to keep them separate.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Simmo
  • 08-14-19

D.n.a

Not too bad,though I though it may have been more of an i insight into his thoughts about liff,the universe and everything.shame he died

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-01-19

Neither fish, nor foul - one for the converted

Erratic and shambolic, and somewhat repetitive - this outline of an Adams novel (with extras) will probably disappoint.

His wit and wisdom do shine though, but I was left feeling a void for what might have been - that Dickens Mystery, that unfinished Symphony or that last Stone Roses album.

My feeling a void, however, is no reason for you to avoid though - DNA devotees should battle upstream for this one.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-24-19

wonderful. Just as all his books have been .

Adored it and shall again I'm sure. Never is once enough.
Please listen and enjoy.

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  • Simon
  • 03-31-18

What is this rubbish?

Has The Salmon of Doubt put you off other books in this genre?

The rest were fine

Any additional comments?

I don't know what this is about, it is boring and I'm returning it. I loved the earlier books.