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Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency Box Set: Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

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Discover the hilarious and beloved Dirk Gently novels from legendary science fiction author Douglas Adams—now the basis for the all-new TV series on BBC America! Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency Douglas Adams, the “master of wacky words and even wackier tales” (Entertainment Weekly), once again boggles the mind with a completely unbelievable story of ghosts, time trav Discover the hilarious and beloved Dirk Gently novels from legendary science fiction author Douglas Adams—now the basis for the all-new TV series on BBC America! Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency Douglas Adams, the “master of wacky words and even wackier tales” (Entertainment Weekly), once again boggles the mind with a completely unbelievable story of ghosts, time travel, eccentric computer geniuses, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the end of the world, and—of course—missing cats. The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul When a check-in desk at London’s Heathrow Airport disappears in a ball of orange flame, the event is said to be an act of God. But which god, wonders holistic detective Dirk Gently. And how is this connected to Dirk’s battle with his cleaning lady over his filthy refrigerator…or to the murder of his latest client? Or are these events just another stretch of coincidences in the life of the world’s most off-kilter private investigator?


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Discover the hilarious and beloved Dirk Gently novels from legendary science fiction author Douglas Adams—now the basis for the all-new TV series on BBC America! Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency Douglas Adams, the “master of wacky words and even wackier tales” (Entertainment Weekly), once again boggles the mind with a completely unbelievable story of ghosts, time trav Discover the hilarious and beloved Dirk Gently novels from legendary science fiction author Douglas Adams—now the basis for the all-new TV series on BBC America! Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency Douglas Adams, the “master of wacky words and even wackier tales” (Entertainment Weekly), once again boggles the mind with a completely unbelievable story of ghosts, time travel, eccentric computer geniuses, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the end of the world, and—of course—missing cats. The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul When a check-in desk at London’s Heathrow Airport disappears in a ball of orange flame, the event is said to be an act of God. But which god, wonders holistic detective Dirk Gently. And how is this connected to Dirk’s battle with his cleaning lady over his filthy refrigerator…or to the murder of his latest client? Or are these events just another stretch of coincidences in the life of the world’s most off-kilter private investigator?

30 review for Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency Box Set: Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jan-Maat

    I suppose it's some of the ideas that I have enjoyed most in Adams' books. In Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency the ghost leaving a voicemail message, the sofa stuck in the stairwell, the professor using his space and time travel machine to try and amuse a child at a formal dinner. At best the ideas can be so funny that you can ignore the plot which can become safely incidental (view spoiler)[ or an allowable weakness as I might say if I was feeling unaccountably technical one fine day (hi I suppose it's some of the ideas that I have enjoyed most in Adams' books. In Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency the ghost leaving a voicemail message, the sofa stuck in the stairwell, the professor using his space and time travel machine to try and amuse a child at a formal dinner. At best the ideas can be so funny that you can ignore the plot which can become safely incidental (view spoiler)[ or an allowable weakness as I might say if I was feeling unaccountably technical one fine day (hide spoiler)] , purely a device for delivering jokes and tall stories. Here though I can't help noticing that the plot depends on one person telling another to 'shoot off'. But as that's not idiomatic the whole thing falls apart, and more importantly, I noticed the author trying to stick his story together badly. The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul I found less amusing than the first Dirk Gently book, still however a nice read that has some fine moments including a fridge as the battleground of wills between Gently and his cleaner. The business of the Norse gods living in reduced circumstances reminded me of Heine's story about the gods in exile except stretched out to become the backdrop to an entire novel. Oddly enough when I remember reading the Heine story I recall the feeling that the story was even then too long and it might have been better just as a very short joke...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mont'ster

    It is a real shame that Mr Adams has stopped writing. Owing to his absence of a belief in the afterlife, we cannot, in all probability, expect any future Douglas Adams novels; but this is a natural consequence of the fact that he is now, in fact, quite dead. But his books are still very funny and, if you can find the recordings cheap enough, you should listen to him reading his books.

  3. 5 out of 5

    aPriL does feral sometimes

    I am a member of a Goodreads club which selected 'Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency' to read. Here is a link to my review of that book (four stars): https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... I was curious about the sequel, 'The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul', so I discovered this ebook with both books included on Amazon for only a couple of dollars. I bought it. If one is looking for a light read which is not about anything serious (or even having much of a plot), but instead is full of the I am a member of a Goodreads club which selected 'Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency' to read. Here is a link to my review of that book (four stars): https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... I was curious about the sequel, 'The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul', so I discovered this ebook with both books included on Amazon for only a couple of dollars. I bought it. If one is looking for a light read which is not about anything serious (or even having much of a plot), but instead is full of the type of humor and goofy off-kilter characters comedian Steve Martin used to do in performance, then the Dirk Gently books might suit you. 'The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul' (three stars for the humor and writing) isn't as good as the previous Gently book, 'Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency' but it is funny. That said, its plot reminded me of Neil Gaiman's doorstopper novel American Gods. However, Douglas Adams handles the same subject - ancient Norse gods sparring with each other even while their relevance to modern society has diminished to a point much like that of an elderly person with dementia - with pure nonsensical and randomized action, having nothing meaningfully symbolic happen and very little mythology included except basic stripped-down elements. I think the main objective of Adams in writing the Gently series is mostly just for fun and entertainment. There is perhaps an undertone of pointed (like a Dirk?) snark reminding readers of how we often ignore wondrous natural things all about us on one hand, yet maybe these wonders do not effectively mean anything but entertainment for us in their existence on the other hand. Gods definitely are playing with dice in every Douglas Adams book, also. Douglas Adams wrote 'The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul' before Neil Gaiman wrote 'American Gods', so I can't help but believe Gaiman got the idea for his book after reading Adams' short silly novel. That's ok with me. I enjoyed both books.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mark Foster

    I want an electric monk.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Abbie

    Wow, I remember Hitchhiker's Guide being difficult to read, but this was nearly impossible. I only finished it because it was a book club book! The first half is disjointed, confusing, and does not inspire you to care about any of the characters (and there are many). They begin to intersect with each other about halfway through, when the title character is introduced, but things don't improve much. Don't bother unless you're a big Douglas Adams fan! Wow, I remember Hitchhiker's Guide being difficult to read, but this was nearly impossible. I only finished it because it was a book club book! The first half is disjointed, confusing, and does not inspire you to care about any of the characters (and there are many). They begin to intersect with each other about halfway through, when the title character is introduced, but things don't improve much. Don't bother unless you're a big Douglas Adams fan!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Collin Reynolds

    I could not finish this. The clever and witty circumlocution was killing me. It's like getting in a car and wanting to go somewhere but the driver keeps talking and missing his exit. Well written, just not my thing. I could not finish this. The clever and witty circumlocution was killing me. It's like getting in a car and wanting to go somewhere but the driver keeps talking and missing his exit. Well written, just not my thing.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Molokov

    Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency: I tried reading this one aloud to H - she'd not read it before, apparently! However, as a read-aloud book it doesn't go so well as the description is convoluted and it's more amusing than laugh-out-loud funny (like the Discworld books). However, from my point of view, it's an astoundingly clever book and if you are re-reading it for the Nth time like me, spotting all the interconnectedness of all things before the explanation just proves how very clever A Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency: I tried reading this one aloud to H - she'd not read it before, apparently! However, as a read-aloud book it doesn't go so well as the description is convoluted and it's more amusing than laugh-out-loud funny (like the Discworld books). However, from my point of view, it's an astoundingly clever book and if you are re-reading it for the Nth time like me, spotting all the interconnectedness of all things before the explanation just proves how very clever Adams was when he wrote this. The technology mentioned by name (computers, mostly), of course, is severely dated but was quite cutting edge in the late 80's when this was published. A wonderful clever read, but you've really got to read it twice (and knowing your Coleridge poetry also helps) The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul: We didn't read this aloud, I just read it by myself. This book is not quite so twistedly clever as the first one, but it's got a rollickingly good story that although being more linear that DGHDA still has enough unusual mysteries to keep you wondering. I do think the resolution is somewhat weak and not having Dirk & Kate meet up at the end again is a bit disappointing. However, it's still quite enjoyable and reading these two books together is certainly worth it. It also makes me feel somewhat disappointed that the two Dirk Gently TV series that were made strayed so wildly from their source material. They were both good in their own way but they missed so much of the extreme cleverness of these two books.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Peter Doughty

    Clearly, Douglas Adams is a genius. But actually, I don't like these very much. I found them much easier reading than when I first read them as (relatively speaking) a child, and I thought that, for this reason, I would like them more than I did then. But no. Part of the problem must be that almost nothing could live up to the Hitchhiker's Guide, but even considering that, the Dirk Gently novels just don't seem all that good to me. They are funny in places, and made me laugh out loud a couple of Clearly, Douglas Adams is a genius. But actually, I don't like these very much. I found them much easier reading than when I first read them as (relatively speaking) a child, and I thought that, for this reason, I would like them more than I did then. But no. Part of the problem must be that almost nothing could live up to the Hitchhiker's Guide, but even considering that, the Dirk Gently novels just don't seem all that good to me. They are funny in places, and made me laugh out loud a couple of times. But they are flawed. Both of them seemed to me to suffer from being hurried (I've heard that Douglas Adams often wrote in a hurry, and, according to rumour, after his publishing deadlines, but I don't think it normally showed). Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency is apparently a re-work of an unfilmed Doctor Who script that Adams wrote in the eighties. That is probably why its story seems more intricate and coherent than The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul, but it doesn't appear to have changed much in the re-work. We have Dirk/Doctor, a bizarre, larger than life character who is prepared to look beyond the ordinary, who is able to see further than others, and we have clients/companions, swept along in his wake, playing the bumbling Watsons to Dirk's Holmes (well, the usual stereotype of Watson and Holmes, anyway). And we have a mystery beyond the ken of any of the characters but the hero. And actually, that is where my problem is, I think. In both of the Dirk Gently novels, the central mysteries defy any kind of logic at all. I have the same problem with the TV series 'Medium', which has a US District Attorney's assistant able to solve crimes by psychic powers, but unable to share her secret with anybody outside her immediate friends and family. The problem is that this is internally inconsistent. If she had the powers, and was able to solve crimes in the way depicted, there would be no problem telling the world about it, because she would simply be able to prove herself right. Dirk Gently is a little like that, in that the whole universe has to be bent around the character for him to be effective. The solution to the mystery in the first novel relies on (some of these probably count as a spoilers...) the existence of ghosts, the possibility of time travel, the invention of a time machine on Earth hundreds of years in the past, the existence of aliens able to cross interstellar space to reach Earth yet unable to prevent all of their deaths at the hands of a simple mistake, the ability of the ghost of one of those aliens to possess the mind of humans, and on the design of a machine on another entirely alien world sufficiently resembling a human that it can pass off as one without comment. Its a huge stack of ridiculous improbabilities that needs the Heart of Gold back in order to make sense of it all. To get to the point; my problem with it all* is the whodunnit thing: there is nothing clever about having your character find the solution to a crime/mystery that you yourself have invented. Whodunnits must be told very well to draw you in and preserve the illusion that the world they inhabit is not the creation of an author who can pass the answers to the central character. Which is where (for me) the Dirk Gently novels failed. It's all too much. There is a lot of entertaining writing in there, but as a whole, the novels don't really work. Incidentally, The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul suffers from another insurmountable problem: a novel called 'American Gods', by Neil Gaiman. Same premise, handled slightly differently... * Other opinions are available.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    1) The Holistic Agency introduces us to Dirk Gently. He believes that his cases are solved holistically in all areas. We follow him as he unravels a case involving Samuel Coleridge, ghosts, time travel, horses, and couches. 2) Dirk gets involved with a case that involves a missing girl, Thor and the gods, a Coke machine, and advertisers Very quirky and a little hard to understand at first, but very delightful to read. The author has a great turn of phrase. Examples: "Reg was having difficulty in f 1) The Holistic Agency introduces us to Dirk Gently. He believes that his cases are solved holistically in all areas. We follow him as he unravels a case involving Samuel Coleridge, ghosts, time travel, horses, and couches. 2) Dirk gets involved with a case that involves a missing girl, Thor and the gods, a Coke machine, and advertisers Very quirky and a little hard to understand at first, but very delightful to read. The author has a great turn of phrase. Examples: "Reg was having difficulty in finding the key from a collection which looked like something that a fit Ninja warrior could hurl through the trunk of a tree." "Kate's spirits sank to the very bottom of her being and began to prowl around there making a low growling noise."

  10. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Two great books with one awesome character that I may need to be for Halloween for another obscure unknown costume.

  11. 5 out of 5

    A.V. Dalcourt

    Don't come into this expecting the same level of enjoyment as the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Consisting of two novels, overall they were an enjoyable reads. They had the signs of Douglas Adams' humour, complete with anamorphic objects and events. The story back drop is set in London and area and has the side effect of being written very british - notable particularly in the dialogue. At times I got the impression that though this was a Douglas Adams story, I felt like it had been written b Don't come into this expecting the same level of enjoyment as the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Consisting of two novels, overall they were an enjoyable reads. They had the signs of Douglas Adams' humour, complete with anamorphic objects and events. The story back drop is set in London and area and has the side effect of being written very british - notable particularly in the dialogue. At times I got the impression that though this was a Douglas Adams story, I felt like it had been written by someone else. In both books we follow Dirk Gently, a not-psychic investigator. Actually, we don't really follow him so much as follow every other character who has some sort of tie into the story. Dirk is very much a secondary character in his own books. Perhaps this was done because overall, Dirk isn't a particularly likable character and even his methodology, which he has none though he claims he does, left me thinking very low of this character's overall intelligence. I kept wanting that moment of genius when all the pieces fell into place, and when that moment came it fell flat. In the first book "Dirk Gently Holistic Detective Agency" the grand reveal was the best 10 chapters or so, but it was so out there that i struggled to connect the consequences of what they had chosen to do. In "The Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul" the last 10 or so chapters drew on a out of this world scenario that was impossible to guess at. When the big revealed happened, I asked: HOW? WHen? In both books the ending felt rushed. Dirk Gently Holistic Detective Agency By far the better of the two books. Not the sort of content matter that typically interests me as a reader, but I do enjoy the author's work. We are first introduced to Reg and Richard, two characters I couldn't keep straight until the middle of the book. Through Richard we are introduced to his boss (whose name I've forgotten) who plays a surprisingly minor role in the overall plot development, but through which we are introduced to Susan, Richards girlfriend, who in turn introduces us to the spoiled... antagonist (or so we're lead to believe). We're introduced to Dirk via dialogue early in the book, almost like an excuse for not having a genuinely interesting character to follow as our hero. Dirk himself is introduced about 1/3 of the way in. If the above is not a clue, it takes a while for the story to get rolling. Not that stuff doesn't happen, it's just a lot of stuff that could have been left out, but i suspect was included to add some life to an otherwise slow read. By the time we meet Dirk, the story shifts to have us explore how Dirk does his thing, which is in essence a series of long winded explanations that the reader just has to accept, but not necessarily understand. This is one of the reasons I don't much care for dialogue driven narratives - they underestimate the value of illustrating the idea. The best part is definitely the last 3rd of the book when all of the key characters come together to confront Reg. Worth reading? If you're a fan of the author, yes. If you're looking for a quirky tale in the realm of science fiction, maybe. Keep in mind that this particular science fiction story is set up in modern day london (1980's i think) set up through the lense of a mystery novel. The Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul This story started off fairly strong for me. The consequences for dirk being well, dirk, were established pretty early on, after some incident at an airport involving some woman who was chasing after some absentee boyfriend. kate (who I thought was Jane for most of the book) is some hot blond career woman who writes a column for some high-end magazine, but sux with da-guys. Beyond her initial role in the airport, she could have remained off screen for the rest of book while dirk explored Woodshed Hospital, but I guess the author needed to give her something to do. The whole sub-story between Kate and Thor meandered to serve very little purpose. Even now, I'm struggling to see where the character development occurred that Thor hadn't managed to do for himself in the end. Why was Kate required at all? her last contribution to the plot was, how many rocks were there in Wales? Why that was relevant, I have no idea. Unlike the previous the climax here only heavily illustrates just how much information wasn't shared with the reader. I get the sense that we're supposed to be in awe of how Dirk put it all together, but I left the revelation feeling like he just bumbled his way through it with just as much understanding of what was happening as i had. I don't like leaving a book feeling confused, but this one I did. Overall, this book is a supernatural story set in modern London that delves into Norse mythology. Both books have their faults and their strong points. Again, unless you're a fan of the author, I probably wouldn't recommend these books. Especially, The Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul. That one is a clear miss.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Gina

    "Why haven't I heard of this book before? I mean, he's written Hitchhiker's!" You may have asked yourself this question before, and the answer is because this book isn't within the same league as THHGTTG. It's not even within the same solar system (I know they're different units of measurement, but you know what I mean) the main point is that the two Dirk Gently books are a huge letdown. Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency is largely forgettable sluiced with vague annoyance and a strong urge "Why haven't I heard of this book before? I mean, he's written Hitchhiker's!" You may have asked yourself this question before, and the answer is because this book isn't within the same league as THHGTTG. It's not even within the same solar system (I know they're different units of measurement, but you know what I mean) the main point is that the two Dirk Gently books are a huge letdown. Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency is largely forgettable sluiced with vague annoyance and a strong urge to punch Dirk in the face throughout the whole thing. Lots of random paranormal stuff happens that seem to be loosely connected, then it all ties up at the end which was enjoyable only because I finally knew what happened after 200 pages. Seriously still want to punch Dirk in the face. The Long Dark Tea Time Of The Soul was much more enjoyable than the former since it seemed to be shorter (they're both about 246 pages long) and that's because the story is much more connected and I didn't have to wait until the very end to know what was going on. Also, there were Norse gods and I'm somewhat familiar and fond of those - and they didn't act as randomly as the characters of DGHDA. Kate was a refreshingly sharp and put-together woman who managed well despite the confusion of having to travel with Thor (not quite like Trilliam from THHGTTG; Kate's much more human). Dirk got punched in the face in this one, so that desire was sated. Anyone who has read THHGTTG is familiar with Adams' style - he tends to stray a little off-topic and provide inconsequential details throughout the whole narrative which may or may not become relevant later on in the story. More often than not, they're funny, quirky, and enjoyable. That same tendency is present within this omnibus, only I had to skim over them because they were decidedly not as enjoyable and only provided lengthy descriptions of a single point and wasted time and effort of concentration. If you had to pick between the two, go for The Long Dark Tea Time Of The Soul. You don't really have to read DGHDA to continue to this book. All you need to know is this: Dirk Gently is a "private holistic detective" who "detects and triangulates vectors of the interconnectedness of all things" which is to say that he finds the solution to the problem even if it means that the solution includes the impossible (ie. ghosts and shit) - and he's right. He's extremely lucky in many areas except for money - for example, if he were to give a quack fortune for a quick $20 the universe would somehow make it true even though he isn't psychic. All in all I'm glad I finally read this since it's been on my bookshelf for years and I had never tried to read it. Time to shuffle it to a lower shelf and give its previous spot to a more-deserving book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lee Broderick

    I was first given a copy of The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul to read many, many years ago. It was great but when I noticed that it was the second in a series I was a little surprised I hadn't been given the first one to read. Now, I think I understand why. Douglas Adams is often compared with Terry Pratchett but it's a very lazy comparison. Both authors wrote a very British kind of comic speculative fiction at the end of the twentieth century but there, arguably, the similarities cease. Whe I was first given a copy of The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul to read many, many years ago. It was great but when I noticed that it was the second in a series I was a little surprised I hadn't been given the first one to read. Now, I think I understand why. Douglas Adams is often compared with Terry Pratchett but it's a very lazy comparison. Both authors wrote a very British kind of comic speculative fiction at the end of the twentieth century but there, arguably, the similarities cease. Where Pratchett has evolved into a top novelist, Adams was a brilliant writer of radio screenplays. Often, it must be said, his brand of joyous wordplay and comic meditations did not translate terribly well to the written page. Perhaps this is because he wrote sketches linked by a narrative, rather than writing a narrative encompassing occasional sketches, as Pratchett does. The first of the books in this omnibus then, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency very much fits that pattern. Reading the novel, (view spoiler)[with its devices of time-travel, spaceships and alien planets (hide spoiler)] , is very much like reading another episode from Hitchhiker's and the key character of Richard MacDuff, in particular, could simply be Arthur Dent. Basically, this story was amusing but not entirely satisfying. 3/5 The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul , on the other hand, was even better than I remembered. Here, Adams leaves his Sci-Fi security blanket and writes a well-structured tale of Norse Gods coming to terms with life in modern Britain. Some of the themes, such as how belief effects gods, how they come into being and how they die, are covered in Pratchett's Small Gods , too, but here they are treated less earnestly as Adams at last lets the narrative come to the fore. The characters, even the gods, are well drawn and believable and this is probably the author's greatest written work. 5/5

  14. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa

    Not my favorite Douglas Adams work I was extra interested in reading these books after barely liking the tv series. My frustration with both comes down to Dirk Gently. I much preferred the character as a main character in the 2nd book. When I think back on the first book, I see how he came in about the right time, but he brought this sense of chaos that made me dread whatever insanity was going to drag the story along. Characters don't have to be likeable, but I can't get over not liking Dirk Gen Not my favorite Douglas Adams work I was extra interested in reading these books after barely liking the tv series. My frustration with both comes down to Dirk Gently. I much preferred the character as a main character in the 2nd book. When I think back on the first book, I see how he came in about the right time, but he brought this sense of chaos that made me dread whatever insanity was going to drag the story along. Characters don't have to be likeable, but I can't get over not liking Dirk Gently. I don't know if I can add anything to help any other readers decide whether or not to read this. If you've seen the show and you liked it, you'll probably like this too. There's a similar spirit of the plots and Dirk Gently is basically the same in both. If you like Douglas Adams, read these books and you'll see more of his writing. If you want to read a really good series, maybe not this one. I was going to read this series no matter what I read. My curiosity has been satisfied, as has my completionism. I might reread passages because Douglas Adams, but I doubt I'll ever reread these books.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten Simkiss

    As I have left individual reviews on the individual books, this is more a review of the two books combined as a series. As always, I enjoy Douglas Adams's sense of humor. I truly love his funny, quotable anecdotes about the little things in society that just happen to be unspoken truths. He has a way of putting things into a particular perspective, if only for a moment, that is both so true and so funny that it really sticks in your mind. Overall, this book series was not one I particularly loved As I have left individual reviews on the individual books, this is more a review of the two books combined as a series. As always, I enjoy Douglas Adams's sense of humor. I truly love his funny, quotable anecdotes about the little things in society that just happen to be unspoken truths. He has a way of putting things into a particular perspective, if only for a moment, that is both so true and so funny that it really sticks in your mind. Overall, this book series was not one I particularly loved as much as I'd hoped. Dirk Gently is almost an idiot savant, in a way, and the plots are fairly non sequitur. If you're like me and you try to predict where plots are going from the beginning, good luck with that one because these plots barely come together in the end. I found the second book's plot to be more stable, but I enjoyed the characters less in that book than I did in the first. Still, there was plenty about them to enjoy and if Adams's style of humor is your long dark cup of tea, definitely don't give this one a miss.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kara Babcock

    Dirk Gently ... what can I say about Dirk Gently ... well, to be honest, I read this book only because it was written by Douglas Adams. As a huge fan of h2g2, I was expecting something awesome. What I got was ... okay. Not awesome, perhaps great, definitely okay. There are aspects of Dirk Gently that I find appealing. I enjoyed the geometric conundrum of the sofa, and the Electric Monk, but found other parts a little too bizarre to be enjoyable. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course Dirk Gently ... what can I say about Dirk Gently ... well, to be honest, I read this book only because it was written by Douglas Adams. As a huge fan of h2g2, I was expecting something awesome. What I got was ... okay. Not awesome, perhaps great, definitely okay. There are aspects of Dirk Gently that I find appealing. I enjoyed the geometric conundrum of the sofa, and the Electric Monk, but found other parts a little too bizarre to be enjoyable. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course. We are talking about an author once affiliated with the Pythons, who are a shining example of how bizarre British humour can be (and don't love them for it). It doesn't necessarily work as well in a book. So, I prefer h2g2 when I want to read something by Douglas Adams. Dirk Gently has its merits, but h2g2 feels more natural, more original, and just plain fun.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    The Dirk Gently books are absurd, entertaining and amusing - a combination that I truly enjoyed. Lots of laugh out loud moments, lots of mystery surrounding what's going on and the sci-fi/fantasy angle to each story was great. I have not read any other Douglas Adams books, so this is my first go and I really enjoyed them. His descriptions are comical and thoughtful sometimes. A way of looking at the world in a completely different way, and I found that endlessly interesting. A lot of people said The Dirk Gently books are absurd, entertaining and amusing - a combination that I truly enjoyed. Lots of laugh out loud moments, lots of mystery surrounding what's going on and the sci-fi/fantasy angle to each story was great. I have not read any other Douglas Adams books, so this is my first go and I really enjoyed them. His descriptions are comical and thoughtful sometimes. A way of looking at the world in a completely different way, and I found that endlessly interesting. A lot of people said they didn't care as much for Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency as much as The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, but I think I enjoyed the first one better. But they are both very much worth reading. If you want something light, fun and entertaining, then these books are definitely going to fit that bill.

  18. 4 out of 5

    John Franks

    For the first time, again. There is nothing, or mostly nothing, that can't be seen again after a considerable passage of time as if seen for the first time. It's not that it's startlingly new,because there's the lingering image from the first encounter,although faint and growing fainter by the day. The fainting image forms a weak template so that the reader.or at least this reader, has an interesting experience such as "funny, I didn't notice that before" or "so that's how it worked" to "nah, not For the first time, again. There is nothing, or mostly nothing, that can't be seen again after a considerable passage of time as if seen for the first time. It's not that it's startlingly new,because there's the lingering image from the first encounter,although faint and growing fainter by the day. The fainting image forms a weak template so that the reader.or at least this reader, has an interesting experience such as "funny, I didn't notice that before" or "so that's how it worked" to "nah, not this time." So you keep reading and wondering if you'll finish these books before more are published only to realize that the only time machine outside your mind that would allow you to think about Adams's future is in Reg's rooms at Cambridge and it broke at the same time as British Telecom fixed the phone.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jeroen

    The First Novel (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency) - ***: Funny in parts, but never draws you in. The interconnectedness of all things makes for seamingly unconnected chapters and characters. Only when the mystery is solved is it clear how everything is connected. Nowhere near as good and funny as the hitch hikers guide to the galaxy. The Second Novel (The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul) - **: After the first Dirk Gently novel you know what you are getting yourself into, and that things will The First Novel (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency) - ***: Funny in parts, but never draws you in. The interconnectedness of all things makes for seamingly unconnected chapters and characters. Only when the mystery is solved is it clear how everything is connected. Nowhere near as good and funny as the hitch hikers guide to the galaxy. The Second Novel (The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul) - **: After the first Dirk Gently novel you know what you are getting yourself into, and that things will make some sort of sense at the end even though things are weird and unconnected. In this one some of the connections are a bit more clear. There is less humour, at least for me. And the 'resolution' is not as satisfying as in the first novel, especially since I am not fully sure there was a full resolution.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ai Miller

    I was super unfamiliar with this work (I knew it had been made into a TV show but didn't watch it before I read this,) but I loved Hitchhiker's Guide and thought maybe this was going to be a funny twist on the noir genre. I wouldn't call it exactly that, though it is pretty funny. I found the first one (it's a two-book set, if that wasn't clear) a little difficult to get into, which is common for me, but the build up took a while. Once I kind of figured out the pattern, though, it got a lot easi I was super unfamiliar with this work (I knew it had been made into a TV show but didn't watch it before I read this,) but I loved Hitchhiker's Guide and thought maybe this was going to be a funny twist on the noir genre. I wouldn't call it exactly that, though it is pretty funny. I found the first one (it's a two-book set, if that wasn't clear) a little difficult to get into, which is common for me, but the build up took a while. Once I kind of figured out the pattern, though, it got a lot easier and I found more time for it to be funny. It wasn't as laugh-out-loud funny for me as Hitchhikers but it was sort of wry and dry in a similar fashion, and the tone felt familiar enough that I still really did enjoy it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    GONZA

    It was ok, but I must say that I don't find it particularly easy to read, so it's not pure entertainment, because I have to pay attention all the way trough the book. Moreover, I prefer the first novel to the second, even if there are Odin and Thor in the second one! Due belle storie, ma non particolarmente facili da leggere perché bisogna stare attenti tutto il tempo, quindi non proprio una lettura da ombrellone. Inoltre la prima storia mi é piaciuta piú della seconda, nonostante in questa fosse It was ok, but I must say that I don't find it particularly easy to read, so it's not pure entertainment, because I have to pay attention all the way trough the book. Moreover, I prefer the first novel to the second, even if there are Odin and Thor in the second one! Due belle storie, ma non particolarmente facili da leggere perché bisogna stare attenti tutto il tempo, quindi non proprio una lettura da ombrellone. Inoltre la prima storia mi é piaciuta piú della seconda, nonostante in questa fossero presenti nientemeno che Odino e Thor!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dava Stewart

    I feel like three stars is being stingy. This is a well-written book; it just either isn't my thing or I wasn't in the mood for it. I found myself only reading when I went to bed (a sure sign I'm bored with a book), and I never really felt connected to the characters. The humor is dry, but is definitely there. If you like stories about existential crises approached with humor, you will probably enjoy this story. I feel like three stars is being stingy. This is a well-written book; it just either isn't my thing or I wasn't in the mood for it. I found myself only reading when I went to bed (a sure sign I'm bored with a book), and I never really felt connected to the characters. The humor is dry, but is definitely there. If you like stories about existential crises approached with humor, you will probably enjoy this story.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Shawn Cooke

    A great series, even if it was overshadowed by the Hitchhiker's Guide. It's a shame that Salmon of Doubt was never finished, because these characters definitely deserved their completed trilogy. In a sense, Dirk Gently is more coherent that Hitchhiker's Guide, more like Life, the Universe, and Anything in the setup and payoff running throughout. It was Douglas Adams at the height of his powers. A great series, even if it was overshadowed by the Hitchhiker's Guide. It's a shame that Salmon of Doubt was never finished, because these characters definitely deserved their completed trilogy. In a sense, Dirk Gently is more coherent that Hitchhiker's Guide, more like Life, the Universe, and Anything in the setup and payoff running throughout. It was Douglas Adams at the height of his powers.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Hypatia

    I do enjoy these ones, although the HHGttG is definitely better. I decided to re-read these ones because we started watching the Netflix series. I could tell it was at best inspired by the books, but couldn't remember the plots clearly enough to be sure. There really isn't a lot in common between the books and the series, although I suppose they're both good in their own way. I do enjoy these ones, although the HHGttG is definitely better. I decided to re-read these ones because we started watching the Netflix series. I could tell it was at best inspired by the books, but couldn't remember the plots clearly enough to be sure. There really isn't a lot in common between the books and the series, although I suppose they're both good in their own way.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Vitaliy Hristyuk

    Before American Gods there was... this. Douglas Adams was one of the best writers of his generation. Most famous for his "Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy" he nevertheless also wrote two classy, witty and weird books about holistic detective Dirk Gently... And it's a pity there are only two of them. Sigh. Before American Gods there was... this. Douglas Adams was one of the best writers of his generation. Most famous for his "Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy" he nevertheless also wrote two classy, witty and weird books about holistic detective Dirk Gently... And it's a pity there are only two of them. Sigh.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Richard H. Giesige

    Quirky but a great read These two books together were a really good and fun read. The mystery was more in how does the story come together than a true mystery. I enjoyed every second of the stories and found the plots very enticing. Highly recommend this for anyone who loves Douglas Adams writing.

  27. 4 out of 5

    ((Silver O. Smith - I was born to be you.))

    This book is just hilarious! I loved the style of writing, the characters, and the plots. My favorite book would have to be the second one since it is about Norse mythology. Now whenever I go to a hospital, I look a little for Odin and get all excited when I find a room labeled 'Linen'. Mr. Adams did a marvelous job and I loved these books. This book is just hilarious! I loved the style of writing, the characters, and the plots. My favorite book would have to be the second one since it is about Norse mythology. Now whenever I go to a hospital, I look a little for Odin and get all excited when I find a room labeled 'Linen'. Mr. Adams did a marvelous job and I loved these books.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mark Buckmaster

    Extremely clever albeit a bit slow. Adams is an startlingly good storyteller, who can give even the most inanimate of objects a winning personality and at times make them even more likable than his deeply flawed characters. Recommended for fans of comedic fiction with magical realism elements, fans of Douglas Adams and hesitantly recommended to fans of urban fantasy. Cheers! Mark

  29. 4 out of 5

    Odhran

    I'm quite a fan of Douglas Adams, but I thought that both of the stories in this collection were quite weak. They bumble along good-heartedly, then the end happens, with no real solution to the problem presented, just a sort of "It happens offscreen" feeling. I'm quite a fan of Douglas Adams, but I thought that both of the stories in this collection were quite weak. They bumble along good-heartedly, then the end happens, with no real solution to the problem presented, just a sort of "It happens offscreen" feeling.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lizardhands

    Enjoyable writing style and great humor, but the endings were neither satisfying nor did they make any sense. Some segments went on for too long. (I didn't need three entire pages of Thor throwing his hammer around and making noise, to no effect.) Enjoyable writing style and great humor, but the endings were neither satisfying nor did they make any sense. Some segments went on for too long. (I didn't need three entire pages of Thor throwing his hammer around and making noise, to no effect.)

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