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Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by…
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Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (1987)

by Douglas Adams

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Dirk Gently (1)

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11,393184347 (3.9)2 / 333
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English (181)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  French (1)  All languages (184)
Showing 1-5 of 181 (next | show all)
Funny book, making lots of random connections and changes of perspectives for events that start normal but finish unexpected. Enjoyable to read, gets a bit too confusing and unclear towards the end. The characters are strange combinations of a stereotype with something peculiar (ex: of time travelling university professor, visionary detective, electric monk etc.). Feels a bit more unitary than the author's famous work (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) ( )
  vladmihaisima | May 8, 2019 |
Ich denke, wenn man „Per Anhalter durch die Galaxis“ gelesen hat, vergleicht man zwangsweise alle Werke von Douglas Adams damit. Sprachlich gesehen ist „Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency“ auf dem gleichen Niveau. Anspruchsvoll, in einer gewissen Form poetisch und einfach unterhaltsam. Es dauert allerdings schon etwas, bis die Handlung in Fahrt kommt. Wir folgen zuerst einzelnen Handlungssträngen, die auf den ersten Blick nichts miteinander zu tun haben. Da wäre der elektrische Mönch auf einem fernen Planeten, der darauf programmiert ist an alles mögliche und unmögliche zu glauben, und durch eine mysteriöse Tür in unserer Welt landet. Wir folgen Richard MacDuff und leiden mit ihm durch das jährliche Bankett seines ehemaligen Colleges. Selbst Professor Reg Chronotis spielt hier noch keine wirklich wichtige Rolle. Woher das Pferd im Badezimmer kommt, verblüfft den Leser so sehr wie die Figuren selbst. Richard, der eigentlich mit seiner Freundin Susan verabredet war, versucht sich aus der Affäre zu ziehen, indem er zu ihrer Wohnung hochklettert und durch das Fenster einsteigt. Dabei bekommt er zufälligerweise die Aufzeichnung eines Anrufes von Gordon Way mit, der aber gerade ermordet wird, als er das Telefon kurz weglegt, und danach erstmal als Geist überlegt, was er denn als nächstes tun soll. Bei dem vermeintlichen Einbruch wird Richard von seinem Bekannten Dirk Gently beobachtet, der ihn daraufhin zu einem Treffen überredet. Und ganz am Rande folgen wir Michael Wenton-Weakes, der als selbstverliebter, reicher Sohn und unfähiger Verlagsleiter seine „Spielsachen“ weggenommen bekommt, was ihn wahnsinnig wütend macht.

Alles sehr zusammenhangslos, bis zur Mitte des Buches. Dann führt Adams die einzelnen Handlungsstränge zusammen. Wieder einmal auf sehr brilliante und fantasievolle Weise, die eben diese zweite Hälfte des Buches zu einem wahren Vergnügen macht – vorausgesetzt natürlich, der Leser hat sich durch die erste Hälfte gekämpft. Es dauert hier wirklich ein gutes Stück, bis die Puzzleteilchen zusammenpassen. Wer Douglas Adams gern liest, für den ist die erste Hälfte keine Qual. Sprachlich und mit viel Humor wird der Leser gut unterhalten, aber ich habe schon einigen Leuten gehört, dass sie mit der Sprache von Douglas Adams Probleme haben. Ich denke, man braucht einfach diesen Geschmack, den nur ein Douglas Adams wirklich treffen kann.

Fazit
Die Geschichte ist sehr skurril, aber in typischer Adams-Manier phantasievoll, sprachlich sehr fordernd und durch den vielleicht etwas zu langsamen Anfang auch etwas ermüdend. Zum Ende hin hatte ich leider das Gefühl, dass die Handlung zu schnell abgeschlossen wurde. Sicherlich werden fast alle Handlungsstränge aufgelöst aber mit einer Geschwindigkeit, dass ich ernsthaft schauen musste, ob mir nicht ein paar Seiten in meinem eBook fehlen. Hier hätte ich mir vielleicht etwas mehr gewünscht und am Anfang etwas weniger. Aber da ich es bei vielen Büchern gewohnt bin, dass man sich durch die ersten 400 Seiten kämpfen muss um auf den restlichen 600 Seiten mit einer wahren Brillanz und enormen Einfallsreichtum (Yeah, I’m looking at you, Mr. P.F. Hamilton) belohnt zu werden, fand ich es trotzdem ein sehr unterhaltsames und gutes Buch. Wer aber mit „Per Anhalter durch die Galaxis“ nichts anfangen konnte, wird hier mit großer Wahrscheinlichkeit auch keinen Einstieg finden. ( )
  Powerschnute | Mar 21, 2019 |
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 Gently 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' book churned out by the Artemis Fowl guy.

Dirk Gently

Next: 'The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul' ( )
  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 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Douglas Adamsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Boyd, BillyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carter, JimNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Colman, OliviaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dahlén, KimTranslatorsecondary 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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Epigraph
A thumping good detective-ghost-horror-who dunnit-time travel-romantic-musical-comedy-epic -The author
Dedication
To my mother, who liked the bit about the horse
Janet Thrift
First words
This time there would be no witnesses.
Quotations
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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Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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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
interconnected.'
(passion4reading)
Your usual, run-
of-the-mill detective-time
travel-ghost story.
(passion4reading)

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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