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Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

by Douglas Adams

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Dirk Gently (1)

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12,962217379 (3.89)2 / 372
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.

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English (212)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  Norwegian (1)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (217)
Showing 1-5 of 212 (next | show all)
I've never read Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. I did enjoy the television series, so I was pleased to see that our library had the BBC Radio 4 dramatization of the book. It's quite different from the show, but funny as was Douglas Adam's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Dirk Gently (not his real name) does have certain unusual abilities, but his detective practice mostly involves finding old ladies' lost cats. His secretary, Janice Pearce, wants to be paid, as does Gently himself. Richard Macduff, a former classmate of Dirk's at Cambridge, is in a lot of trouble because he is suspected of having murdered his employer, Gordon Way. Richard's girlfriend his Gordon's sister, Susan Way. Susan has a socially awkward acquaintance (I would hardly call him a friend) named Michael Wenton Weakes. Michael will prove quite useful to one of the book's ghosts.

Professor Reg Chronotis is more than he seems. Detective Sergeant Gilks is not the brightest copper on the force, but Macduff fears him. The Electric Monk is an android with a built-in-need to believe. His best scene is when DS Gilks is interrogating him.

I don't know if fans of the book will enjoy this, but this fan of the show did. I would recommend it to fans of science fiction humor and mysteries.

Note: A famous piece of classical music will have the composer misnamed early in the drama. Why will become clear at the end. ( )
  JalenV | Jul 26, 2022 |
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency tells the tale of an Electric Monk, an old college professor who's apparently paid to do nothing, a computer programmer whose software makes music out of accounting figures, his overbearing and eccentric boss, his sensible but nearly fed-up girlfriend, and, of course, a private detective who swears that because of the fundamental interconnectedness of everything, it's perfectly reasonable to attempt to charge people for trips to Bermuda in search of their lost cats. When the eccentric boss is unexpectedly gunned down and the programmer seems to be the police's top suspect, Dirk takes his new client on a wild adventure to clear his name, discover the true culprit, and maybe even save the world. Unlike Sherlock Holmes, Dirk Gently does not eliminate the impossible, and in this case he might just be onto something.

Douglas Adams is an author well known for his humorous and light-hearted writing style, and this book was no exception. Although he's better known for his Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books, I found the two Dirk Gently books (this one and the sequel The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul) to be easier to enjoy, as I personally had a difficult time getting over the fact that The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy opens with the destruction of Earth. Don't get me wrong, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy still got a few good laughs out of me, but the Dirk Gently books are more my cup of tea.

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency starts out very slowly and requires a good deal of patience and concentration before it really starts to ramp up, in my opinion, but I found that when I did give it that focus I was very much rewarded. In fact, this is the sort of book where the astute reader can pick up on vital clues and get the satisfaction of seeing all the pieces fall in place by the ending. It rewards the reader who goes slowly and enjoys every little humor-laced paragraph along the way.

And for me, one of the main attractions is that it did make me smile throughout rather than getting dragged down into sadness while the characters faced their struggles. Certainly, it's important to read books on serious topics, but there's also such a thing as too much. Sometimes all you want is to balance it all out with a book that just makes you feel good. This is that kind of book. I recommend it to anyone else who's looking for the same. ( )
  dste | Jul 23, 2022 |
Why didn't I read that years ago? The book amused me greatly.
  eri_kars | Jul 10, 2022 |
Adams, Douglas. Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. 1987. Dirk Gently No. 1. Pocket, 2002.
As a writer, Douglas Adams is like a juggler who keeps running chainsaws, cream pies, and baby bunnies in the air, always risking several disasters at once--and always pulling it off with aplomb. Consider: a ghost, a time machine, an immortal old professor, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the British telephone system, a computer programmer, a magazine editor, a holistic detective agency, an ancient alien, an electric monk, his horse, and a sofa stuck on the stairs. Somehow it all comes together at the end. 5 stars. ( )
  Tom-e | Jun 7, 2022 |
Hér segir frá því þegar Dirk Gently er fenginn til að rannsaka sérstætt sakarmál. Réttara sagt þá treður hann rannsókn sinni upp á fórnarlambið þar sem snillingurinn Dirk áttar sig á því að viðkomandi er að framkvæma eitthvað sem er honum mjög óeðlilegt. Og enginn nema Dirk áttar sig á því að töfrabragð ruglaðs prófessors, pizzur, dauðir kettir, heimsendir, skáldið Coleridge, draugur (réttara sagt 2 draugar) og margt fleira er tengt á útúrfurðulegan og flókinn máta sem enginn skilur nema náttúrulega Dirk sjálfur.
Douglas Adams er sennilega þekktastur fyrir sögu sína The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy og skemmtilegan húmor sinn í þeirri sögu. Bókin Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency inniheldur sama léttruglaða grínið með ýmiskonar furðulegum tengingum og innskotum höfundar. ( )
  SkuliSael | Apr 28, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 212 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (35 possible)

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
Schwarz, BenjaminÜbersetzersecondary 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.
'Don't you understand that we need to be childish in order to understand? Only a child sees things with perfect clarity, because it hasn't developed all those filters which prevent us from seeing things that we don't expect to see?'
If the Universe came to an end every time there was some uncertainty about what had happened in it, it would never have got beyond the first picosecond. And many of course don't. It's like a human body, you see. A few cuts and bruises here and there don't hurt it. Not even major surgery if it's done properly. Paradoxes are just the scar tissue. Time and space heal themselves up around them and people simply remember a version of events which makes as much sense as they require it to make.
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Wikipedia in English


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.

No library descriptions found.

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.

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