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The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy…

The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time (2002)

by Douglas Adams

Other authors: Richard Dawkins (Afterword), Stephen Fry (Foreword), Peter Guzzardi (Editor), Nicholas Wroe (Preface)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (6), Dirk Gently (Unfinished Novel)

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» See also 71 mentions

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Well... it wasn't the third Dirk Gently book. At least mostly not. That is to say, it did include a few chapters of the unfinished third book, but primarily it was, well, an epilogue to a life that ended way too early. It was the contents of Douglas Adams' computer, collected together by friends and family after his all-too-sudden death, as well as a few writings from people who knew him.

It doesn't sound like a great read, does it? But it really, really was. There were lots of little bits of non-fiction writing, which I -- having never read his non-fiction -- greatly appreciated. It was also, in some parts, a biography written by a friend, and you really feel his loss. And no, there's not a whole lot of moaning and groaning about it, because it's not necessary to realize what a great person and author the world has lost. What he wrote, and the stories about his life, do that perfectly well on their own.

A MUST READ for anyone who likes his other works. The individual essays will appeal to anyone with a quirky, intellectual, but not stuck-up sense of humor -- think Monty Python -- but given the biographical stuff, I would recommend reading his other works first. ( )
  Andibook | Dec 29, 2014 |
I love the works of Douglas Adams: for me, he is the best humorous writer since Cervantes and so, it feels almost traitorous to write a bad review of his final book. None the less, that is what I find myself in the position of doing.

This tome was cobbled together by publishers keen to squeeze every penny from the Adams brand. It consists of items written for newspapers and magazines plus a literally cobbled together version of the book that Adams was working on up to his demise. The articles are witty and raise the odd smile but, cut adrift from their natural moorings, they begin to pall. Then we get to the novel. Again, we see flashes that remind us as to why we admire Adams but, the stitching together of three different drafts is hardly ideal and the stitching does burst open from place to place.

The over all affect of reading this book was to increase my sympathy for Douglas Adams. I did not know the man, other than by his works, but he appears to have been a tremendously inventive chap who came up with HHG2G and was NEVER allowed to forget it. If we are to be brutally honest, it was a series that should have stopped at a trilogy but, I imagine, that the pressure from his publishers to keep churning out more, so long as sales could be maintained, must have been enormous. When he, finally, managed to break free, he remained in the science fiction mode with Dirk Gently and, he was off on another series that he could not escape. Whether the Salmon of Doubt would have ended up as a great work, we will never know but, to publish the rough version as an epitaph seems an act of pecuniary, rather than humane, concern. If you are a Douglas Adams nerk, then get this book; if, however, you want a good book, re-read the Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy: now there is talent at its peak! ( )
  the.ken.petersen | Dec 21, 2014 |
This contains his last (unfinished) Dirk Gently novel and some pieces done for interviews and other journalism. They were salvaged from his computer files, posthumously.
I found it hard to read, as I was so sad that this was the last Douglas Adams' stuff there would ever be. I reread it four years later. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Aug 6, 2014 |
Short stories on the following themes; frustration about computers, absurd humor, atheism, word games. ( )
  albertkep | Jan 21, 2014 |
A posthumous collection of Douglas Adams' essays, interviews, column, stories, and the beginning of an unfinished novel. The part of the novel that is here is really funny.

The rest of the writing tells a lot about Adams that you don't learn from his novels. ( )
  SebastianHagelstein | Jan 4, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Douglas Adamsprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dawkins, RichardAfterwordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fry, StephenForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Guzzardi, PeterEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wroe, NicholasPrefacesecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brambilla, FrancoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Serra, LauraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tran, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dear Editor,
The sweat was dripping down by face and into my lap, making my clothes very wet and sticky.
“The following morning the weather was so foul it hardly deserved the name, and Dirk decided to call it Stanley instead. Stanley wasn’t a good downpour. Nothing wrong with a good downpour for clearing the air. Stanley was the sort of thing you needed a good downpour to clear the air of. Stanley was muggy, close, and oppressive, like some one large and sweaty pressed up against you in a tube train. Stanley didn’t rain, but every so often he dribbled on you. Dirk stood outside in the Stanley.”
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345455290, Mass Market Paperback)

On Friday, May 11, 2001, the world mourned the untimely passing of Douglas Adams, beloved creator of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, dead of a heart attack at age forty-nine. Thankfully, in addition to a magnificent literary legacy—which includes seven novels and three co-authored works of nonfiction—Douglas left us something more. The book you are about to enjoy was rescued from his four computers, culled from an archive of chapters from his long-awaited novel-in-progress, as well as his short stories, speeches, articles, interviews, and letters.

In a way that none of his previous books could, The Salmon of Doubt provides the full, dazzling, laugh-out-loud experience of a journey through the galaxy as perceived by Douglas Adams. From a boy’s first love letter (to his favorite science fiction magazine) to the distinction of possessing a nose of heroic proportions; from climbing Kilimanjaro in a rhino costume to explaining why Americans can’t make a decent cup of tea; from lyrical tributes to the sublime pleasures found in music by Procol Harum, the Beatles, and Bach to the follies of his hopeless infatuation with technology; from fantastic, fictional forays into the private life of Genghis Khan to extended visits with Dirk Gently and Zaphod Beeblebrox: this is the vista from the elevated perch of one of the tallest, funniest, most brilliant, and most penetrating social critics and thinkers of our time.

Welcome to the wonderful mind of Douglas Adams.

From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:44:45 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

From the unfathomable imagination of Douglas Adams, this is his internationally bestselling final book; a zany collection of essays, articles, anecdotes, and stories.

» see all 8 descriptions

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