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The Salmon of Doubt (Dirk Gently #3)

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  22,084 Ratings  ·  760 Reviews
Douglas Adams changed the face of science fiction with his cosmically comic novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and its classic sequels. Sadly for his countless admirers, he hitched his own ride to the great beyond much too soon. Culled posthumously from Adams’s fleet of beloved Macintosh computers, this selection of essays, articles, anecdotes, and stories offers a ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 298 pages
Published April 26th 2005 by Del Rey (first published May 28th 2002)
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Girish Hi,
This book contains 10 chapters of his unpublished Dirk Gently #3. This has been put together from 3 different manuscripts recovered from his hard…more
This book contains 10 chapters of his unpublished Dirk Gently #3. This has been put together from 3 different manuscripts recovered from his hard disk after he died. In multiple interviews he has mentioned his next book as 'Salmon of Doubt' and they have retained the name and the 9 chapters along with his other writings/speeches/interviews. (less)

Community Reviews

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Jul 04, 2007 Jon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Douglas Adams fans
Readers beware: The Salmon of Doubt is not a single novel, but rather a collection of goods pulled from Adams' computer after his death--including a draft of the first few chapters of his next Dirk Gently story (also titled The Salmon of Doubt, thus the larger part of this collection's title). Also enclosed in this volume are a series of short stories, essays, travelogues, and other random snippets, some of which date back over a decade, and most of which have little to do with the next entry, e ...more
Mar 25, 2013 Brad rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, humor, 2017-shelf
It's really amazing the amounts of nostalgia that can build up in a person's system before it kinda explodes into a kind of reverse word soup full of interviews, introductions, epilogues, and snippets of novels we wish we had but they were never penned because the author up and died on us.

I'm writing of Douglas Adams, of course.

I almost didn't re-read this one because I remember it WAS mostly just magazine articles and interesting early computer-tech stuff and ruminations on science, god, and o
Mar 26, 2017 Trish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This technically is the 3rd book in the Dirk Gently series. Sadly, it's not really a Dirk Gently book. You see, before Douglas Adams could write/finish this third book, he died of a sudden heart attack in a gym in Santa Barbara in 2001.

But he left behind fragments of chapters or chapters and their rewritings and a lot of other notes on his various computers. His wife, daughter, agent, editor, assistant and other people then pieced together what is now The Salmon of Doubt which would have been th
SoManyBooks SoLittleTime (Aven Shore)
What a delight to revisit the mind of Douglas Adams. I like that this is a collection of emails, speeches, one-liners, and rants. Yes, there's the start of a novel in there, that he may or may not have intended to call the Salmon of Doubt.
The result is so much better than it sounds like it's going to be: Douglas Adams died, but his buddy knew his password and emptied his Mac onto a CD, the various unfinished writings were lightly edited and printed as this.
But gosh, am I ever glad that they di
Jun 28, 2012 Johnny rated it liked it
Shelves: anthology
In early 1998 (or was it ‘97?), I experienced one of the most heady experiences of my life. A literary idol approached me at a conference we were attending in France (it was in Cannes, but it was a media festival rather than the more famous annual event), invited me to join him at dinner and debate the existence of God. Douglas Adams, self-proclaimed radical atheist, wanted to consider God’s existence (or lack thereof) with me. As a minister, I’d like to write myself in as the hero and claim tha ...more
MJ Nicholls
Dec 31, 2011 MJ Nicholls rated it really liked it
A collection of essays, speeches, ramblings unearthed on his hard drive(s), one short story culled from a BBC annual, and the titular unfinished Dirk Gently novel. The essays are breezy and witty, often lacking focus when discussing science and technology, but comprise (realistically) the most readable of his non-fiction output. There are some readers, yours included, who feel Adams spent himself on the Hitchhiker’s books: although the Dirk Gentlys were absurdist romps sutured with awesome logic ...more
Nick Fagerlund
Aug 15, 2008 Nick Fagerlund rated it it was ok
A kind of poor book which just happens to be filled with awesome.

I'd really like a well-organized and indexed collection of all of Douglas Adams' short writings. Round up all the columns and editorials he wrote, the text he did for his websites, everything, and get it all tied up with a bow and some context. Salmon isn't that collection; the writings are just tossed into poorly-defined buckets with no real TOC to speak of (and let us not speak of indexes), and there's no real way to tell what's
Katherine Furman
If you love Douglas Adams this book is an absolute must read. It's got some great incite into the man who could make a pot of petunias think to itself, 'Not again.' A large part of my enjoyment was finding out about Adams as a person, and in turn finding out that I've got some stuff in common with him. I mean sure I haven't ridden a stingray like he has or written the funniest books of all time and granted I'm not British, BUT we do make our tea the same way, we're both have the same religious b ...more
Apr 02, 2010 Robert rated it liked it
This partially posthumous volume consists of a collection of magazine articles, newspaper columns, interviews and such like, along with one short story (about a young Zaphod)originally published in the Utterly Utterly Merry Comic Relief Christmas Book...a copy of which I own...and the (very) incomplete conflated text of three versions of the third Dirk Gently's novel. This novel was abandoned whilst Adams was still alive, in favour of a 6th Hitchhikers' novel. Adams had decided that the material ...more
Jul 28, 2007 Lena rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
This is a delightful and maddening book. This collection of essays, columns, speech transcripts and random musings was culled from Adams' computers after his tragic death at the age of 49. The collection offers new insight into one of the world's most gifted humorists, and there is both pleasure and education to be had in reading his thoughts on such diverse topics as music, atheism, evolutionary biology, conservation and computers.

The last section of the book contains the beginning of an unfini
Jan 13, 2015 Emma-Louise rated it it was amazing
I don’t want to finish this book.

I really don’t.

If I finish this book that means I’ll have finished the last work of Douglas Adams. And since it is technically ‘unfinished’, that means I’ll actually need to acknowledge that he’s gone. Dead. Breathed his last. Snuffed it.

Have you read anything by Douglas Adams? If you were born in the last fifty years and are a fan of British comedy, I’ll assume you’ve come across The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Maybe you’ve even read about his detective Dir
I resisted reading this for a long time because I was under the misapprehension that it was merely a presentation of the sections of the Dirk Gently novel Adams was working on until his untimely death in 2001. Having seen multiple references to it in Neil Gaiman's excellent Hitchhiker's companion, Don't Panic, I finally broke down and got it from the library, and I was glad that I did.

The last third of the book does indeed contain the unfinished Salmon of Doubt, but that was to my mind the least
Sarah u
"Where do you get the ideas for your books?
- I tell myself I cannot have another cup of coffee till I've thought of an idea."

This book is such a beautiful tribute to the late Douglas Adams. The pieces in it are laugh out loud funny, deeply meaningful, and often poignant. Surely I am not the only person that cried reading "Sunset at Blandings"; the feelings that Douglas felt at losing one of his favourite authors are so reminiscent of what his fans must feel.

This book is absolutely wonderful. Do
Mar 11, 2012 Trish rated it it was amazing
So far I've only read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy but I do intend to read the other four books of the trilogy. Then, when I was scanning through articles and stories by and about DNA (= Douglas Noel Adams), I came across this collection of essays, interviews, speeches and the partly written "The Salmon of Doubt". I think it's a great idea that those remaining snippets on DNA's computer have been put together as a sort of memoire.
I have laughed so hard my stomach still hurts and it was a
Jan 17, 2017 Marcus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was inevitably at least a little disappointing, but then, this is the price of entry paid at the start, and we understand it explicitly: we will never know the end of this last tale. Further, we'll never know whether Adams would have kept it in Gently form, or figured out how to transform it into another (final?) Hitchhiker.

The journey through was sometimes a little dull, which for me was a disappointing realization as a fan of DNA's many styles and interests. This isn't at all unusual for a
Apr 10, 2015 Mark rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, in-english, funny
This is most definitely not "Dirk Gently #3".
This is a motley collection of odds and ends found on Douglas Adams' many hard disks after his sudden death.
There is the beginning of a Dirk Gently story here that is going nowhere, padded with some stuff that just possibly might be connected to the plot, based on three sentences the author mailed to his editor. This whole mess runs to 79 pages. Very disappointing.
The rest of the collection I enjoyed. Letters, articles, speeches, interviews. The spir
Dec 29, 2013 ringoallavaniglia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Potrei scrivere un fiume di parole su quanto apprezzi l'Adams scrittore e l'uomo, quanto condivida le sue idee (a parte sulla Apple, ma se vedesse cosa è diventata credo si schiferebbe anche lui)e su quanto la sua scomparsa mi rattristi molto più di quanto sarebbe lecito aspettarsi. Ma non è il caso.

Questo libro raccoglie tante interviste, aneddoti ed idee che raccontano molto su chi era Adams; quindi se avete apprezzato i suoi libri e desiderate scoprire qualcosa su di lui è la lettura giusta.
Lara Ramos
Sep 01, 2016 Lara Ramos rated it liked it
Mais ou menos como se pegassem seu computador e publicassem seus arquivos doc e bloco de notas depois que você morresse, já que foi tão repentino que ninguém soube lidar muito bem com aquilo. Contudo, nesse caso, você é uma das pessoas mais genuinamente engraçadas e queridinhas do mundo. O que é ótimo. Mas ainda assim não sei lidar com um trecho inicial de livro expondo um mistério do qual o final nunca saberemos. Volta, Douglas Adams!
Susan Strickland
Jan 28, 2015 Susan Strickland rated it really liked it
If you miss the friendly, exacting voice of Douglas Adams, I recommend this posthumously published last visit to the familiar retreat of his silly metaphors, triple negatives, and delightful humor. This is a compilation of essays, interviews, letters, lectures, and fiction, which covers everything from swimming with manta rays to running with dogs; atheism, religion, and quantum mechanics ("There is one particular model of the universe that has turtles all the way down, but here we have gods all ...more
Jul 09, 2007 Tatiana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sciencefiction
Just reread this and wanted to register my reaction. Douglas Adams was very funny in a way that was intelligent and insightful. I'm so sorry he's gone. This book is sort of a tribute to him, and is fitting, as such, but the part of a novel that is contained therein is about as disappointing as you'd expect from an unfinished draft version. His books are really all about the wonderful hilarious ideas he has, I think. The plot, characters, pacing, and settings, if any, are quite haphazard and scat ...more
Melissa Diaz
Jun 13, 2011 Melissa Diaz rated it it was ok
Published upon his death The Salmon of Doubt is Douglas Adams' final work. It is composed of various interviews, speeches, observations, short stories and the beginning of a new Dirk Gently novel. It is a combination of technology, science, fiction and humor. (It is also the title I assumed would be my fiftieth.)

I liked the book, but think I would have liked it more had I heeded the advice on the back cover and not read it straight through. There's not enough continuity to make it that kind of
May 28, 2015 Zaru rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any fan of Douglas Adams
When i first heard about this book, I went very quickly from exitement, through confusion and ended up in serious doubt. I was exited at the prospect of a book by my favorite author that I had not yet read, confused as to how that had happened, and finally in serious doubt if I should when i learned what it was about. This is an unfinished Dirk Gently #3, and mabye some other stuff(Or so I thought, it turns out that the DG#3 is only about 80 pages out of 280). I was scared that it would be reall ...more
Steve Mitchell
Jul 25, 2011 Steve Mitchell rated it it was amazing
I bought this book as soon as the paperback edition was published and it lay unread for well over a year. Robert Louis Stevenson said that, “to travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive,” and I felt to have one last Douglas Adams book to look forward to would be better than to actually read it. If you are holding back from reading this book for the same reason then you really are missing out. Every week I wasted by leaving this great book on the shelf unread could have been better spent ...more
Aug 09, 2010 Alan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hitchhikers and mourners
Recommended to Alan by: Ohio County Public Library, Wheeling WV
Douglas Adams was brilliant—and it pains me to have to put that in the past tense. His novel-in-progress, The Salmon of Doubt, was cut short by Adams' untimely death in 2001. But this posthumous collection of miscellany from his computer's hard drive, also called The Salmon of Doubt, showcases Adams' brilliance, and is a worthy addition to his canon.

There's not much of the planned novel here—just a few chapters, and that's not what impressed me most about this collection anyway. The things that
Jan 23, 2009 Glenn rated it liked it
While many of the pieces included in this collection were, a) entertaining, b) somewhat informative, c) diverse, and d) well written peeks into the beliefs and personality of the author, the overall effect was also, e) incomplete. Of course that's to be understood, as it IS a posthumous gathering of magazine articles, interviews, and an unfinished 'Dirk Gently' story. One does wonder, however, if it was really necessary to publish "The Salmon of Doubt". Being as unfinished and maybe haphazardly ...more
Jul 02, 2014 Mpr rated it it was amazing
This work is unpolished, unfinished, and it's totally obvious. It cuts off as abruptly as the final piece of Bach (BWV 1080), leaving a vague disappointment and a void that won't ever be filled. I never met Douglas Adams, and I'll never have a chance to, but perhaps one day I'll visit his grave.

Douglas Adams was unique in his ability for existential satire. From his portrayal of transgalactic airports to the way Norse gods would act in modern London, all his work shows a delightful talent for co
Jan 19, 2012 Frank rated it it was ok
An enjoyable but utterly pointless book.

I'm a huge Douglas Adams fan but sadly this book doesn't deserve his name. It's not that it's filth, or worthless. In fact this is has some lovely moments in the book and that's what gets it 2 stars from me.

But the issue is it's a book that shouldn't exist. This should be free on the internet, or some other format. You get a large amount of articles, a few random chapters from a book, a book that no one even knows what series it belongs to exactly, and tha
Pascal Durrenberger
Sep 09, 2013 Pascal Durrenberger rated it it was amazing
A weekend with Douglas Adams. Through a tumblrite blogger “amiquote” (thank you!), I had the pleasure to encounter Douglas Adams with whom I spend this weekend. And no I am not a ghost whisperer although I did go once to a “special” school to develop a supposedly gift. But this is not what this is about. I read a book by Douglas Adams – The Salmon of Doubt. They say that reading a book is like spending time with a great mind. In this case, I totally agree. By reading this compilation of articles ...more
Eric Hendrixson
Mar 15, 2011 Eric Hendrixson rated it liked it
Okay, the three star rating requires an explanation. The idea behind this book was to publish an unfinished novel and a number of Adams' uncollected writings in a collection for the fans. This is not a book for casual readers of Adams but for people who have read everything Adams wrote and want more. It was exactly what I thought I was buying, so why the mediocre rating?

There was nothing wrong with the writing. It's Douglas Adams, so the writing was good. My issue was with the collection and edi
Feb 10, 2009 stormhawk rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
A book by Douglas Adams. Well, it's not actually by him, except in the sense that they were words that he wrote, mostly in that order. But he was dead when it was published. Collection of some previously published essays and the fragments of his final novel, which was harvested in bits from filing cabinets and from the hard drive of his computer, including some bits that weren't meant to be seen by the general public, as they were deleted, but someone foolhardily recovered the bits and slapped t ...more
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Around the Year i...: The Salmon of Doubt, by Douglas Adams 1 9 Feb 22, 2017 12:06PM  
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Haven't seen this on either, but.... 4 67 Apr 16, 2013 03:52PM  
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Douglas Noël Adams was an English author, comic radio dramatist, and musician. He is best known as the author of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. Hitchhiker's began on radio, and developed into a "trilogy" of five books (which sold more than fifteen million copies during his lifetime) as well as a television series, a comic book series, a computer game, and a feature film that was co ...more
More about Douglas Adams...

Other Books in the Series

Dirk Gently (3 books)
  • Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently #1)
  • The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul (Dirk Gently, #2)

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