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Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by…

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (1987)

by Douglas Adams

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Dirk Gently (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
11,295183344 (3.9)2 / 331

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English (180)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  French (1)  All languages (183)
Showing 1-5 of 180 (next | show all)
I wish I could say I enjoyed this more, but reading it reminded me of all the reasons why the Hitchhikers series, though good, never felt like enough. And not in a good way. A lot of that has to do with the serial nature of his writings, Adams never really ended his books and stories, and when he did have an Actual Occurrence he didn't hesitate to change it all back. Earth destroyed? No it wasn't!

He's a clever and funny writer; he comes up with the most absurd similes and characters imaginable and pulls off what could have been an impossibly confusing narrative that frequently switches perspective and time. It's just that he's not only not afraid to put in little asides for humor, the main plot barely exists, it's a framework for him to hang jokes on.

So I was asked about the comparison between Pratchett and Adams, and I said something along the lines about how they were pretty close as funny 'genre' satirists, Pratchett just had more time to develop. Which is not really fair now that I think about it. Pratchett is waaaay better. Adams' brand of chaos is fun and all, in a Animaniacs slapstick kind of way, but at the end of the day give me something that will make me laugh and think.

That said, I did like Dirk Gentley and his brand of holistic detection. He's kind of an asshole, but most of the good detectives are. So read this if you, like me, have read all of Hitchhikers and have been left with a vague desire for more ever since. You know this is better than the 'new' books being churned out by the Artemis Fowl guy. ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
I love Douglas Adams descriptions. But the story line was a little too crazy for me. I'm sure everything ties up eventually, but I read only half the book and then skipped to the end.
( )
  Nadishka | Jan 26, 2019 |
I head a lot of praise for the author but never have read him. The fault is mine for he is quite good. The book is a strange mix of hard and soft fiction with Schrödinger cats, robots, time machines and ghosts (the later doesn’t makes in a fantasy, even an urban one). It reminded me, especially at the start, with its satire about Academia the old Soviet weird SF by [a:Arkady Strugatsky|1159886|Arkady Strugatsky|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1371815170p2/1159886.jpg] and [a:Boris Strugatsky|7170730|Boris Strugatsky|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1373635599p2/7170730.jpg] [b:Monday Starts On Saturday|1255119|Monday Starts On Saturday|Arkady Strugatsky|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1348591262s/1255119.jpg|1039633]. It is beautifully written and some ideas are deeper than they look at a first glance.
Just a glance:
Well,” he said, “it’s to do with the project which first made the software incarnation of the company profitable. It was called Reason, and in its own way it was sensational.”
“What was it?”
“Well, it was a kind of back-to-front program. It’s funny how many of the best ideas are just an old idea back-to-front. You see there have already been several programs written that help you to arrive at decisions by properly ordering and analyzing all the relevant facts so that they then point naturally toward the right decision. The drawback with these is that the decision which all the properly ordered and analyzed facts point to is not necessarily the one you want.”
“Yeeeess . . .” said Reg’s voice from the kitchen.
“Well, Gordon’s great insight was to design a program which allowed you to specify in advance what decision you wished it to reach, and only then to give it all the facts. The program’s task, which it was able to accomplish with consummate ease, was simply to construct a plausible series of logical-sounding steps to connect the premises with the conclusion.
“And I have to say that it worked brilliantly. Gordon was able to buy himself a Porsche almost immediately despite being completely broke and a hopeless driver. Even his bank manager was unable to find fault with his reasoning. Even when Gordon wrote it off three weeks later.”
( )
  Oleksandr_Zholud | Jan 9, 2019 |
This was incredibly boring. I was bored most of the time, but I finished it.

I like how it seems like Douglas Adams was really angry at computers.

Also like it seems he just really wanted to make fun of programmers, in a cute way.

Actually I think it's boring in a really similar way to the way season 1 of the Netflix series is boring? So I think that's well made.

I like Netflix!Dirk better, he's a bit of an asshole in this book.

(I still want to read on, even if I die of boredom.) ( )
  kthxy | Dec 8, 2018 |
Weer een boek in de categorie 'aardig'. Wat mij betreft geen topper.

( )
  EdwinKort | Nov 6, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 180 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Adams, Douglasprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Boyd, BillyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carter, JimNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Colman, OliviaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Enfield. HarryNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maggs, DirkDirectorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sachs, AndrewNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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A thumping good detective-ghost-horror-who dunnit-time travel-romantic-musical-comedy-epic -The author
To my mother, who liked the bit about the horse
Janet Thrift
First words
This time there would be no witnesses.
Let's think the unthinkable, let's do the undoable, let's prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Wikipedia in English


Book description
Wikipedia description: Dirk bills himself as a "holistic detective" who makes use of "the fundamental interconnectedness of all things" to solve the whole crime, and find the whole person. This involves running up large expense accounts and then claiming that every item (such as needing to go to a tropical beach in the Bahamas for three weeks) was, due to the "fundamental interconnectedness of all things", actually a vital part of the investigation. Challenged on this point in the first novel, he claims that he cannot in fairness be considered to have ripped anybody off, because none of his clients have paid him yet. He maintains an office at 33a Peckender St. N1 London, with telephone number 01-354 9112 (407-2882 in the advertising campaign for the book).
Gently has an odd facility for accurate assumptions, as every wild guess he makes turns out to be true. Once a student at St. Cedd's College, Cambridge, he left in disgrace when he attempted to acquire money by selling exam papers for the upcoming tests. His fellow students were convinced that he had produced the papers under hypnosis—in reality, he had simply studied previous papers and determined potential patterns in the questions. However when his papers turned out to be exactly the same as the real papers, to the very comma, he was arrested and sent to prison.
Haiku summary
Dirk Gently says: "All
Things are fundamentally
Your usual, run-
Of-the-mill detective-time
Travel-ghost story.

No descriptions found.

(see all 3 descriptions)

The investigations of Dirk Gently, a private detective who is more interested in telekinesis, quantum mechanics and lunch than fiddling around with fingerprint powders, produce startling and unexpected results.

» see all 7 descriptions

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Average: (3.9)
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