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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)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
13,965232431 (3.89)2 / 381
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.
Recently added byStephanieBoyd, Mikelimajuliet, lumpycustard, private library, Bink42, Caragh, thedemobro2
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» See also 381 mentions

English (226)  Spanish (1)  Norwegian (1)  Italian (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (231)
Showing 1-5 of 226 (next | show all)
Douglas Adams spins a tale of a detective's case that involves aliens, ghosts, electronic monks, time travel, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. It's also very funny. The story originated with a plot Adams wrote for Doctor Who as well as his own experiences at Cambridge but evolved into something that defies expectation. I enjoyed this book very much but I think I'm going to have to read it again to pick up on all the details. ( )
  Othemts | Jan 6, 2024 |
This book was such a wild ride I’m still not sure what to think of it. The ending confused me so I looked the references up, and after that I loved it. I’ve decided I will not only read a Douglas Adams book, because they are such hard reads that don’t hook me fast enough. I ended up in a book slump (not reading cause i did in fact keep reading for months, just no the book) ( )
  ogre_apple | Dec 22, 2023 |
I read this book because I watched the series. I really liked the series.

The only thing the book and the series had in common were a character called Dirk Gently (but this is a completely different character than in the series), the fact that he had a Holistic Detective Agency (but that means something else in the book than in the series) and the title.

That's it.

There were some interesting things in this book. It wasn't bad. It was just.. so entirely not what I expected. There sure was a LOT going on. All the computer science stuff is now rather outdated, but that makes it sort of cute. The time travel stuff was weird, but I don't think time travel can ever get outdated, because... well. I felt bad for the horse.

Won't read again, won't read the sequels - but I should pick up HHGttG again one of these days. ( )
  Yggie | Oct 12, 2023 |
Great fun but impossible to summarise without spoilers.Although it is unrelated to H2G2, they are noticeably akin. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Jun 13, 2023 |
I'd already seen both tv shows on this before reading the book, although I usually do it the other way around. I enjoyed both shows and the book, although they're all quite different. this has the same sort of humour as the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy, although this possibly has a bit more emotional weight or something along those lines. i liked the characters, and i think dirk gently is actually quite a relatable character in some ways, maybe. this was fairly philosophical possibly, and it had a strange theme or motif or symbol or something of telephones, although im not quite sure what it was trying to say about them. it was funny and interesting and i enjoyed it as much as the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy books, if not more. I didn't fully understand all the references but i think i understood most of the plot, at least in general terms. this also seems to have elements similar to the doctor who story city of death which was also written by adams, and this even has an long lived time-traveller in it ( )
  johnsmith577 | May 24, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 226 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Adams, Douglasprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bacon, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Boyd, BillyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Buzzi, AndreaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carter, JimNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cerit, SevilTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Colman, OliviaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dahlén, KimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Daniels, AlanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Daniels, Bo.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davison, PeterNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Enfield, HarryNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Filippuci, S.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gómez Ibáñez, BenitoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gieler, GyöngyiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hohage, WimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jeans, LionelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jylhä, YrjöTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Knudsen, SverreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Koubová, JanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lindemann, HansberndCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maggs, DirkDirectorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mariani, AnnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morais, FabianoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pekkanen, HilkkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ravens, JanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rosenthal, JeanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sachs, AndrewNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schwarz, BenjaminTranslatorsecondary 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.
'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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

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
interconnected.'
(passion4reading)
Your usual, run-
of-the-mill detective-time
travel-ghost story.
(passion4reading)

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