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The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy…
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The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time (original 2002; edition 2005)

by Douglas Adams

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5,500591,216 (3.75)80
Member:dementomstie
Title:The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time
Authors:Douglas Adams
Info:Del Rey (2005), Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

The Salmon of Doubt {story} by Douglas Adams (2002)

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» See also 80 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
This book is a miscellany, composed largely of material found on Adams' computer after his death. It is divided into three sections, appropriately titled "Life," "The Universe," and "Everything."

The first section contains personal musings and experiences. Adams writes about his school days, of climbing Kilimanjaro and diving in Australia (turns out Adams is a great travel writer), how to make a proper cup of tea, and numerous other subjects.

The second section concerns Adams' views of then-current technology. I wasn't as interested in hearing about his computer issues as readers of MacUser might have been at the time, but they are still reasonably entertaining. Particularly amusing is a piece from 1995 on internet advertising, where he talks about how discreet and tasteful it is in comparison to its printed counterpart. How things change.

The third section is mostly fiction. "The Private Life of Genghis Khan" was written with Graham Chapman and isn't very funny. "Young Zaphod Plays It Safe" is very funny, as is the title story, the beginning of a new Dirk Gently novel, sadly unfinished.

There are also a number of interviews scattered throughout the volume. ( )
  chaosfox | Feb 22, 2019 |
First read when it came out, I decided to re-read it since I had actually read the 'Dirk Gently' books this time and could appreciate 'The Salmon of Doubt' as constructed here.

If Adams had lived it might have morphed into a 'Hitchhiker' book, but we'll leave those what-ifs aside. 'The Salmon of Doubt' will always be fragments of a Dirk Gently novel, a direct-sequel to 'Tea Time' (Gently is still sorting out a lot of messy details that that case left behind, namely the lack of a front to his house). What's in the book as a whole are a collection of newspaper columns and articles, interviews, some letters, and eleven chapters from several versions of a novel started by Adams and assembled by an editor. Adams was a very funny guy.

The assortment of pieces in this book is what works against it, I was particularly impatient with the section compiling his tech writing of the late 80s and 90s. It must be nice for somebody to find these here, but I didn't find reading complaints of shitty word processor performance particularly entertaining.

The rest is a hoot though.

Dirk Gently

Previous: 'The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul' ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
Posthumous works are always an iffy prospect; in most cases you're looking at an early draft which may well have horrified the writer if they knew it would be published in that form. For as much as we all look forward to more Douglas Adams stories, whether they be Hitch-hikers or Dirk Gently related, much of what is new is not of Adams's standard.

We get segments of a Dirk Gently novel-in-development, that Adams thought perhaps should have been a hitch-hikers story. All-in-all, any Adams fanatic should probably avoid "Salmon of Doubt". ( )
  MiaCulpa | Jul 30, 2018 |
I should throw this book across the room. It is good. It is worth reading, but we should be forewarned that the portion of the book The Salmon of Doubt that it takes its title from was not only cobbled together from various drafts (it was), but that it remains unfinished. Had it been finished I would have given the book five stars.

I still enjoyed and it was a good farewell for someone taken from us so abruptly. If I ever find that editor I'm going to snap my towel at them. ( )
1 vote clmerle | Jul 22, 2017 |
I had to be a Dirk Gently completist and read this one before I started watching the show. I loved reading more about Douglas Adams and his interests. What is included here from the computers of Adams as 'The Salmon of Doubt' is a very solid, funny, uncompleted book. Many laughs on each page. I think it would have made a great addition to the Dirk Gently books. I will always consider Douglas Adams' death at 49 a great tragedy of literature. ( )
  booklove2 | Jan 1, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Adams, Douglasprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Guzzardi, PeterEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brambilla, FrancoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cerf, ChristopherForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chapman, GrahamContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dawkins, RichardAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fry, StephenForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, TerryForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Serra, LauraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tran, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wroe, NicholasPrefacesecondary 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.
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“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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Do not combine with the anthology of the same name that contains this short story.
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:53 -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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 10 descriptions

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