I love anything by Douglas Adams, but I was particularly interested in reading The Long Dark Tea-Time of the of the Soul because of the title. I thought there’s no way this book could be bad with a title like that. In order to read it, however, I had to read Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency first. That was amazing, so I was looking forward to this one even more.
The story was very different from the first book. It was more of a Fantasy than a Sci-Fi story and involved Norse mythology. However, think of a comical version of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, and you’ve got The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul. After I finished it, I even wondered if this book is where Gaiman got his idea for American Gods. Regardless, I enjoyed The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul much more because, as with everything Adams wrote, it doesn’t take itself, or anything, too seriously. If you’re looking for a book that shows just how absurd life really is, you can’t go wrong with this one.
What do a dead cat, a computer whiz-kid, an Electric Monk who believes the world is pink, quantum mechanics, a Chronologist over 200 years old, Samuel Taylor Coleridge (poet), and pizza have in common? Apparently not much; until Dirk Gently, self-styled private investigator, sets out to prove the fundamental interconnectedness of all things by solving a mysterious murder, assisting a mysterious professor, unravelling a mysterious mystery, and eating a lot of pizza – not to mention saving the entire human race from extinction along the way (at no extra charge). To find out more, read this book (better still, buy it, then read it) – or contact Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. ‘A thumping good detective-ghost-horror-whodunnit-time travel-romantic-musical-comedy epic.’ – Douglas Adams (Goodreads synopsis)
Prior to my BFF giving me this book and the second Dirk Gently book, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, for my Birthday a couple years ago, I had no idea that Douglas Adams had written other books than the ones in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. I’m so glad she set me straight about that!
While I think The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is probably his best work, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency isn’t far behind. Also, I think it’s a bit unfair to compare the two since the first started out as a radio series before being rewritten into a novel and polished.
Regardless, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency is everything you could hope for from a Douglas Adams novel. It’s Sci-Fi that doesn’t take its self seriously, and it’s a wonderful way to escape from reality for a bit. It also makes you wonder if the story isn’t more real than reality as we know it, which is what I love about Adams’ writing. I’m greatly looking forward to The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul.