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Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency…

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (original 1987; edition 1988)

by Douglas Adams

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9,944135285 (3.9)2 / 276
Title:Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency
Authors:Douglas Adams
Info:Pan Books (1988), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Sci-Fi, Comedy, Bit Weird

Work details

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams (1987)

Recently added byJay-Freeman, BooksOn23rd, cherobula

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English (133)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  All languages (135)
Showing 1-5 of 133 (next | show all)
This book masquerades as a sequence of irreverent jokes (a-la [b:The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Live|8224898|The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Live |Douglas Adams|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1331721983s/8224898.jpg|21398618]) but is really a damn good time-travel / detective-mystery book.

It is not easy to cast your line all the way to aliens on geologically-young earth, and reel in a credible crime plot that spans the eons and culminates in 20-th century Cambridge.

Not easy, but pulled off almost effortlessly.

Being a good time-travel book, it needs to be read more than once. On second read, pay attention: as the manuscript jumps between several parallel plot lines, the "realtime" time line is kept synchronized to the minute. This helps in sorting out the little details of who's who and what's happening where.

Finally, there's a cosmic-grade running gag having to do with ancient British poetry: This book is the long awaited sensical explanation to what that author was babbling about. Douglas Adams has figured it out.

( )
2 vote meekGee | Jul 6, 2015 |
What do an elderly college professor, his abacus, an Electric Monk, his horse, a computer programmer, and his boss all have to do with Samuel Taylor Coleridge and a couch stuck in a doorway? Nobody is really sure, but Dirk Gently plans to find out!

I'll admit, it took me a while to get into this one, but once I did I couldn't wait to see where it went next. The first of Adams' Dirk Gently stories has a few plot elements borrowed from two of his Doctor Who scripts, and for my money, didn't have nearly enough Dirk ("Where's Dirk?" I kept complaining as I started reading, continued reading, continued complaining, etc.). However, it is still a fantastic read!

What I love about Adams is the way he can make even the most mundane take on elements of the absurd. His descriptions especially, like writing how the ceiling seems momentarily startled when Dirk yells upwards from his desk. Absurdity on top of absurdity makes for a brilliant Douglas Adams story, And Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency is definitely that. ( )
1 vote regularguy5mb | Jul 2, 2015 |
Very typically Douglas Adams and pretty much alike the HHGTTG. However, I had forgotten how funny and etremely original Adams is. At first, I found this first Gently story hard to get involved into, but after a while it got greatly intriguing. Good characters and véry funny. ( )
  bbbart | May 30, 2015 |
This was an OK book, occasionally funny but not as great as I'd hoped it would be. It's been a long time since I read any Douglas Adams, and I think this might have appealed more to me when I was a teenager. ( )
  Amelia_Smith | May 2, 2015 |
A good read and one that I have gone back to on occasion. It's not Hitchhiker but it is a good read in it's own right. ( )
  Ben_Harnwell | Apr 26, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Adams, Douglasprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adams, Douglas NoëlNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jeans, LionelCover illustrationsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pekkanen, HilkkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

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.

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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.

(summary from another edition)

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