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The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul (1988)

by Douglas Adams

Series: Dirk Gently (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
10,652101443 (3.87)200
Dirk Gently has fallen on hard times and dresses as a gypsy woman, using his irritatingly accurate clairvoyant powers to read palms. He is saved when a frantic client turns up with a ludicrous story about being stalked by a goblin waving a contract accompanied by a hairy, green-eyed, scythe-wielding monster. When Detective Superintendent Gilks decides a headless body found in a sealed room is the result of a particularly irritating suicide, Dirk is plunged into a mystery where the interconnectedness of all things is tested to the limit.… (more)
Recently added byJimmies_90, PyroCat, imlee, pgkr, kelphazard, paulavester, jstichler1, AldusManutius, private library
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English (99)  Italian (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (101)
Showing 1-5 of 99 (next | show all)
Adams’ descriptions are clever and unexpected, and he strings together a series of events even more bizarre and unexpected than his descriptions. Sometimes I felt exhausted on behalf of his poor protagonists, bounced from one mishap to another, but I was impressed by Adams’ ability to turn this madness into such a coherent story.

She passed the time quietly in a world of her own in which she was surrounded as far as the eye could see with old cabin trunks full of past memories in which she rummaged with great curiosity, and sometimes bewilderment. Or, at least, about a tenth of the cabin trunks were full of vivid and often painful or uncomfortable memories of her past life; the other nine tenths were full of penguins, which surprised her. Insofar as she recognised at all that she was dreaming, she realised that she must be exploring her subconscious mind. She had heard it said that humans are supposed only to use about a tenth of their brains, and that no one was really clear what the other nine tenths were for, but she had certainly never heard it suggested that they were used for storing penguins. ( )
1 vote Herenya | Jun 17, 2020 |
İlk kitaptan gerek kurgu gerek de espri kalitesi açısından daha başarılı buldum.Çeviride göze batan bir şey yoktu ama kitap neredeyse redaksiyona uğramamış gibiydi, bazı yerlerde Dirk, Dick diye yazılmış. ( )
  Tobizume | Jun 9, 2020 |
I had to re-read this because I'm insane but I'm happy to be so because I still loved it.

Total truth time: it's not quite as funny or as sharp in the individual zinger lines as [b:Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency|365|Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently #1)|Douglas Adams|http://images.gr-assets.com/books/1404697381s/365.jpg|1042123], but the long-running story gags are fantastically wicked and cruel and even profoundly sad.

It's also more of an adventure tale for Dirk later on, but primarily, it's all a mystery. Sometimes, the plot is as much of a mystery, too, but I don't care. :) After the rising of new gods in Asgard and the fate of soooo many pebbles, and the dark, dark fate of a Coke machine, who really cares? The novel is brilliant and creative and so darkly funny. It's enough to make me despair for modern literature, and this came out in '88!

Here's another awesome tidbit. It's the novel that I first thought of when I first read [b:American Gods|30165203|American Gods (American Gods, #1)|Neil Gaiman|http://images.gr-assets.com/books/1492065360s/30165203.jpg|1970226]. All the greatness of seeing Odin on the page or Thor blowing up an airport is all here and the characterizations are brilliant.

Can I even say that it's even more brilliant after knowing the legends much better? You bet I can! I read this when I was 14 years old the first time and let's be frank... I didn't know crap. I learned most of what I knew about Thor from this book and the fact that there was some silly Marvel comic that I wasn't even tempted to read was about it. And now? Soooooo Nice! :) Even the little In-Jokes about the gods are all here. It's a bit more erudite than I expected it to be. :)

But it's also so funny! Do I love eagles even more now? You bet! Am I even more annoyed with Yuppies? You bet! Do I want to run out and get some 300 count sheets and snuggle in them, perhaps get an eyepatch and avoid big strapping men with hammers? You bet!

Poor Dirk. I have to admit that his Horoscope is always dead-on. :)

My one complaint is that there wasn't a whole series made out of this. I still wonder just how amazingly cool it could have been to have a full bookcase full of these and point to it as the most amazing thing EVAH.

*sigh*

Some authors just overflow with goodness. Douglas Adams was one of them. *sigh* ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
This one's a fun, easy read, and it has its strong points, but, unfortunately, I'm not sure that I can really recommend it. We meet Dirk Gently, holistic detective again, and this time he gets involved with a strange case involving a terrible pop tune, a gruesome beheading, an assortment of Norse gods, and a Coca-Cola vending machine. It's more tightly plotted -- and more inventively plotted -- than the first "Dirk Gently" book. This one's basically a series of unlikely coincidences, but Adams, without apologizing for their implausibility, wraps everything up very admirably in the book's final pages. Even so, Dirk himself comes off as less likable than he did in the first book. Let me put it right out there: his signature outfit, which consists of long leather jacket and a red hat of some sort, reminded me a bit too much of today's internet-obsessed fedora enthusiasts, as did, quite frankly, his evident sense of self-importance. Likability is, I think, a fairly important criterion when you're trying to tell effective jokes, and there's a big difference between a lovably rouge and a mere rogue. After reading this one, I'm not quite sure which side of the line Dirk falls on for me.

In "Tea-Time", Adams delves a bit deeper into what being a "holistic detective" actually entails: the mechanics of the interconnectedness of all things that concerns Dirk is explained in a bit more detail, but the larger concept of this novel never really gelled for me. To put it bluntly, many of the book's elements seemed to be included for no particular reason. Fans of Adams's brand of humorous science fiction -- which often trades on a freewheeling disregard for hidebound plots and mundane linearity -- aren't likely to complain about this, but I couldn't quite figure out if the Norse gods the author includes here, to name just one plot element, were genuinely necessary to the story or included on a whim. Heck, I never figured out what the book's title was actually making reference to. Honestly, while it seems crafted this one with care, I'm not sure if he ever quite figured out what he wanted to do with Mr. Gently and his detective agency. Which isn't to say that there aren't a lot of fun bits here, some genuinely funny writing, and some interesting ideas. But I can't really recommend it to anyone but the most committed of the author's fans. ( )
  TheAmpersand | May 10, 2020 |
It goes without saying that reading any book by Douglas Adams is a treat.

The book starts hilariously as follows:
It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on Earth has ever produced the expression “as pretty as an airport”.

The airport gag continues throughout the book:
She tried to shut all this out of her mind, and even shut her eyes for a second. She wished that when she opened them again there would be a sign in front of her saying “This way for Norway” which she could simply follow without needing to think about it or anything else ever again. This, she reflected, in a continuation of her earlier train of thought, was presumably how religions got started, and must be the reason why so many sects hang around airports looking for converts. They know that people there are at their most vulnerable and perplexed, and ready to accept any kind of guidance.

However, I liked this one a touch less than the first part of the series. The humor content was a bit low, and the story not so gripping. I missed the Electric Monk from the first part.
It was a nice relief from the string of non-fictions I had been reading lately. Will read his remaining works too. ( )
  Govindap11 | Mar 21, 2020 |
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