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review 2018-02-26 12:00
Go Gently into the Dark...
The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul - Douglas Adams

At the outset of this short book by the author of 'The Hitch Hiker Trilogy', I was hopeful for a blissful return to the cosmic mayhem of yore. I came upon the book on a hospital shelf and it seemed like a dead ringer to lift the gloom and restore spirits and that it did.

As a random choice, it did mean my introduction to Dirk Gently – ‘Holistic Detective’ - came at the character's second outing (originally published in 1988), but this didn't seem to detract from the story (and I will go back to check on "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency", 1987, through my tbr list). In any event, Gently's fundamental belief in the interconnectedness of all things provided a delightful proof for the anarchic stream of glorious gibberish served up by Adams here. Leastways the inbuilt laugh-out-loud moments are also a fairly reliable indicator of an intact funny bone and a sign that dependent on one's perspective, we do continue to mill about in a curiously mysterious world.

 

Like a well-honed stand-up routine, the author highlights some of the ambiguities and illogical nature of human behaviours and starts at the fertile territory of an airport, with an American traveller, Kate Schechter, bewildered by the inability to get pizza delivered in London. There follows an inexplicable incident, labelled an 'act of god', but what if Kate's path has indeed crossed with a god of old Norse mythology, also in transit to Scandinavia? The possibilities that flow from Asgardians walking the Earth might, in other hands, be threatening, yet Adams shows even super-humans might suffer the similar frailties of mortals, driven to extraordinary lengths to secure well laundered bedding. Throw in a gory murder, awaiting the kismet influence of the hapless detective and giggle-laden chaos is assured. Still, not too much of a spoiler I hope, to reveal, Gently does it....

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review 2017-10-01 14:57
Review: Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently Book 1 of 2)
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency - Douglas Adams

I liked this a lot more than I expected to.  I had read the author’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy about 20 years ago and, while I remember finding it mildly amusing and clever at times, I also found it too unrealistically silly to take seriously and didn’t much care for it.  My memory of that book is too fuzzy for me to say if this book is significantly different in style, or if I’ve just become more tolerant of the type of humor.  I do think Pratchett’s Discworld series taught me how to enjoy silly books now and then.

 

I really didn’t find this book overly silly, though.  It was very funny and I giggled madly through quite a bit of it, but the humor mostly felt like an integral part of the story.  In the past, I've had more trouble when the story just feels like a vehicle for the humor.  The electric monk was the only part I considered to be completely absurd, but he was funny so I forgave him. :)

 

This is a science fiction story, set mostly in the present day on our world at around the time it was published in 1987.  A computer programmer named Richard seems to be having a lot of strange things happen lately.  There’s a couch stuck in the stairwell to his flat that nobody can figure out how to move up or down, he has an odd visit with a former university counselor, and a rather shocking experience while he’s driving, and so on.  If I attempt to give any more detail than that, I think it would spoil the story. 

 

There are a lot of different elements packed into a fairly short book, but it was all coherent and easy to follow for the most part.  I did think the resolution was very fuzzy.  I understood the gist of it, but I think it was stretching things a little and failed to take into account other possibilities.  Overall though, I enjoyed the book and I loved the humor.

 

Next Book

I have the above book in an omnibus which includes the sequel, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, so I’m moving on to that next.

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review 2017-06-25 00:00
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency - Douglas Adams A mostly interesting story but I found it not as funny as expected (or maybe the humor just was not my cup of tea). I will probably have to read the next in this series as this one really did not have a satisfying ending...
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review 2017-06-25 00:00
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency - Douglas Adams A mostly interesting story but I found it not as funny as expected (or maybe the humor just was not my cup of tea). I will probably have to read the next in this series as this one really did not have a satisfying ending...
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text 2017-03-18 17:34
I'm so confused.
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency - Douglas Adams

 

Life on Earth has been saved and I have no idea how.

 

Time travel was involved.

And, I think The Ryme of the Ancient Mariner, which I am not familiar with.

Or maybe the poem about Roland (Xanadu??), which I am also not familiar with.

And a dodo and an albatross.

And music.

 

So what was the point of the sofa.

And what about Mozart?

 

Ya know... guh.

That was an exhausting read.

And I have no idea what it was.

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