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The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul (Dirk Gently #2)

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  58,227 Ratings  ·  1,210 Reviews
When a passenger check-in desk at London's Heathrow Airport disappears in a ball of orange flame, the explosion is deemed an act of God. But which god, wonders holistic detective Dirk Gently? What god would be hanging around Heathrow trying to catch the 3:37 to Oslo?

And what has this to do with Dirk's latest—and late—client, found only this morning with his head revolving
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Published January 1st 2006 by Phoenix Audio (first published October 10th 1988)
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Patrick I actually didn't realize there was a first book till after I read this one and I still enjoyed it. So I'd say that no, you don't.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Aug 05, 2007 Thorir2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: greatbooks
Unlike his “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” series (a collection of humorous vignettes without much of a plot, continuity, or character development), Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gently series (two novels and some sketches for a third one, included in the “Salmon of Doubt”) is in fact literature of the first degree. In the second novel, “The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul,” Dirk Gently, a private “holistic” investigator (an eccentric slob, perpetually broke, capricious, silly, and wonderfully insightfu ...more
Robin (Bridge Four)
This used to be one of my favorite books when I was 18 (that was more than a few years ago *cough* thirty something *cough*). I was definitely going through a ‘I love everything Douglas Adams’ phase at the time and while I still like this book because sometimes the ridiculousness of the plot and randomness of how everything happens is still so much fun I didn’t enjoy it as much as I did back then.

There are some great things in this. There is Dirk who is a funny and severely quirky character who
May 20, 2012 Tfitoby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
20,000 ratings, 500 reviews? Why bother to add another one to the masses? You don't need me to tell you to read this book, if you've gotten this far you're either already a fan of Adams or like me you picked it up because of the moody title and should have now found out that it's a sequel to the original Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. Fear not, you don't really need to have read the other one to enjoy this additional piece of absurdity from Douglas Adams. Instead I'll make five points ...more
Jun 30, 2007 Jon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Douglas Adams fans
Unfortunately, Adams' sequel to Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency isn't as tightly-written as its predecessor. On the sentence level, Adams is still writing furiously funny jokes, but The Long, Dark Tea-Time of the Soul ends up feeling like first-class humor wrapped loosely around second-class plot and characters. Adams has been accused of writing punchlines rather than plots, and it shows in this book perhaps more so than anywhere else. I also thought the book's flow suffered greatly in p ...more
Oct 09, 2007 Jerzy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of hilarious moments, though the pacing's not quite up to the level set in the first Dirk Gently book. The ending especially feels rushed - he spends a long time building up this fantastic web of complexity, and then rips it down with a climax and ending that together are barely longer than "But it all worked out okay in the end."

But, as a math student working through too many proofs right now, I really love Dirk's way of thinking! ...especially his reversal of Sherlock-Holmes-style logic:

This is very hard for me, you know? I love Douglas Adams; I adore his phrasing, his word structure, and how he manages to make things seem funny,ridiculous, menacing or heartbreaking. I've loved the Hitchhiker books, and he continues to be one of the writers I care for quite immensely.

This is why rating this book as 3/5 is so sad for me, this book started off great, with plenty of intrigue and mystery, and a bunch of characters that seemed interesting and off their rockers (in other words, regul
John Wiswell
Aug 12, 2007 John Wiswell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy readers, sci fi readers, theology readers, humor readers
Adams' bizarre book is more of an adventure than a mystery, and more of a picaresque than an adventure. It's true, this plot wanders and is flimsy at times, but Adams always makes up for it with clever insights and hilarious jokes. Minor events mushroom at the end to unexpected relevance, a very bold literary move that would be a sign of laziness if these moves didn't work and we didn't recognize Adams' competence as a writer from the execution of his humor throughout. Fantasy readers and Adams' ...more
Jan 13, 2009 Madeline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once again, rather than attempt to describe the latest of holistic detective Dirk Gently's adventures, I will instead present a selection of completely random quotes from the book. They really have nothing to do with each other, but I like them.

"It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on earth has ever produced the expression 'As pretty as an airport.'
Airports are ugly. Some are very ugly. Some attain a degree of ugliness that can only be the result of a special effort. This ugliness ari
Harry Kane
May 26, 2012 Harry Kane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have yet to see or hear a coherent explanation why American Gods breaks records, whereas this gem, which even Gaiman himself I think would agree is in quite a higher league, never did make a splash. Just because it's not set in America? That would be pathetic.
Jul 07, 2015 F.R. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As much as I enjoyed ‘Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency’, I have to say that ‘The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul’ is the better book. The reason for that is simple – you get more Dirk for your pound! Whereas it was halfway through before this most intriguing of detectives put in an appearance in the first novel, here he arrives in Chapter Three – waging a war with his cleaner as to which of them is actually going to open the fridge door (something which hasn’t been done in over three month ...more
Lisa Bouchard
Feb 06, 2013 Lisa Bouchard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite books of all time. I will re-read or re-listen to it at least once a year and even though I know the story backwards and forwards, it never fails to entertain me.
AMAZE-BALLS. Douglas Adams's best work, hands down.

So last year I read all of The Hitchhiker's Guide books and loved them, though by the last one you could tell Adams didn't want to write them anymore. I adored Adams's humor and style, so I was excited to read the two Dirk Gently books. The first book suffered for me a little bit because over the first third of the book was very disconnected. But in this one you can see the connections through the various plotlines early on. In some of Adams's o
May 07, 2012 Jean-marcel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've got to admit that, while the Hitchhiker books were fantastic for me as a youngster, they didn't stand up so well and I didn't really have the urge to re-read them. Perhaps it's because I was nearly obsessed upon my initial discovery and immersed myself in the bizarre worlds and antics of the characters so much that I "burned out", or perhaps, and this seems more likely to me, science fiction comedy is ultimately not really my style. Yes, I'm a fairly big SF fan, but I've always felt that un ...more
I'm not sure whether this is the effect of not being jammed into half a train seat by someone twice the size of me, but The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul seemed less funny but more absorbing than the first book. It helped that it included Norse gods, I think. I had no idea that Douglas Adams had tangled with them.

On the other hand, I don't really think that as much seemed to happen, somehow. Less plates seemed to be spinning. I think that was a good thing for the narrative, but it seemed to mak
Aug 30, 2016 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hilarity
Adams addiction to mocking the every day mundane and inane just really tickles me. Like, every single time, I'm laughing at simple irreverence. I feel like Adams was the type of man that you really wanted to avoid slightly annoying because you would end up in one of his books, in a section about bistro math, or how no culture has the term "pretty as an airport."

LDTTS is a quick read, its hilarious, its probably the light-hearted thing that you are looking for that you dont even know you want.

Dec 23, 2013 Tracey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who like their alternative universes well-leavened with humour
Shelves: re-read, owned-etext
Continuing in my Douglas Adams re-read, I checked out Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul from the library, as I seem to have misplaced my copy.

The story opens with Kate Schechter attempting to catch a flight to Oslo, even though Fate seems to be conspiring against her. An explosion, deemed an "act of God" confounds her plans. She becomes involved in the events around whom the god involved in the aforementioned act are developing.

Meanwhile, Dirk Gently, holistic detective, remembers that he has a c
Jayne Ryan
I loved this book in a fun, summer evening bed-time reading kind of way. I have never read anything by Douglas Adams before, but I had seen the Hitch Hiker’s series on TV as a teenager and found myself looking seriously at my older brother and his friends, as they laughed their way through it.

So I came to Dirk Gently out-of-order, starting with this book which supercedes ’Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.’ In all probability, and with Adams’ theory of the ‘fundamental interconnectedness o
Sometimes, even if you’re Thor, it’s very hard to get to Oslo.

At least, if you’re Thor in a universe where humans created gods, and the gods need ongoing worship to exist. See generally This book might have been my introduction to the idea that humans created gods in our own image. And the pathos of being a being created to be worshipped once the worship stops.

It also may have been the first book I read where a lawyer and an advertising executive got t
Jul 25, 2016 Ran rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, sci-fi
I'm not entirely convinced that if I had started the Dirk Gently series in order, that it would have made a difference. Nope, I swan-dove into the mess in the middle. But it really didn't matter, since holistic detective Dirk Gently makes use of "the fundamental interconnectedness of all things" ... so yeah, in a round-about way, much in the manner that Dirk investigates, I found myself pulled along for a tale about Norse Gods, RAF jets, advertising, vending machines, and eagles.

Actually, I wou
Jul 27, 2015 Soumya rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"That's it? But... but... there has to be more!" - my reaction when I turned what was sadly the last page of the book. This was followed by a wild turning of pages, flipping it over a few times, tossing it in a corner and staring at it angrily. I had waited patiently, smiled and laughed at the perfect times, even nodded and exclaimed, "Classic Douglas Adams!" when the occasion demanded. In short, I had been the perfect tea-time guest. And I was given no tea!

While all the typical humour and wit
Jun 09, 2016 Arukiyomi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1001-books
This is not one of Adams’ best. I sincerely hope it’s his worst because if there is a worse novel by him out there, it must be atrocious.

An explosion at an airport leads to the involvement of the world’s unfunniest detective on a barely coherent case that consists, as usual with Dirk Gently, of him doing absolutely nothing. I was going to write “and the inevitable solution of the case” but I can’t even remember there being a solution. I didn’t even care by the end.

By this point in the author’s l
Saoirse Sterling
[Short review from memory until I re-read at a later date]

(Memories of this is that it was extremely funny and very enjoyable. I can't imagine why I only gave it three stars, but there must have been a reason. In my head Dirk will always look like Stephen Mangan now.)
“And you,” said Sally Mills, “are very strange.”

“Only,” said Dirk, “as strange as I need to be.”

The first few pages made me laugh. They were about airports. And then, while I still appreciated the cleverness of some of the sentences and formulations that are just so beautifully and fundamentally Adamsian, I kind of just rolled along. His variety of anthropomorphism remains unchallenged in its combination of effect and frequency. His ambush-ending sentences are sublime.

...they were locked into a
S.J.A. Turney
May 08, 2012 S.J.A. Turney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's not often that a standalone novel spawns a sequel that is actually better than the first, but that is what Adams achieved with this second Dirk Gently novel.

'Teatime' is, to me, an improvement on the first book in two particular ways:

1. The character interaction is stepped up to the point where every encounter and conversation makes me belly laugh until I hurt.

2. The plot is tighter and less rambling than the first. While that was a strength of Dirk Gently 1, it would have been too much to
The back jacked of this book promised me it was "Funnier than Psycho" and "Shorter than War and Peace." Now, I thought that these were jokes. I assumed that that tag was cute and that it would be quite funny. In fact, funnier than Psycho is about as good as the humor was. It was there, but rarely very funny and generally simply kinda cute. It was in fact shorter than War and Peace.

I didn't expect much for plot. It is a Douglas Adams book after all, but I had hoped for decent characters. Unfortu
Rachel Haimowitz
I know most people love Douglas Adams for his H2G2 series, and certainly I am one of them, but the (tragically short) Dirk gently series is--at least to me--the much better of the two. Here we see Adams's humor evolving and maturing, moving away from the realm of crude and slapstick humor and solidly into the realm of high-level wordplay. It's still uniquely, bizarrely Adams, with the same profound sense of wacky playfulness and plots more twisted than a coil of rope, but the Gently characters r ...more
Nov 18, 2014 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, humor
The only reason to read this book is for the boundlessly clever prose, which, though not funny enough to qualify this book as a laugh riot, definitely makes for a nice chuckle-fest. As with the previous Dirk Gently book, the story here is weak, and each scene feels tacked-on for the sole purpose of supporting the jokes, like hanging Christmas ornaments on a skeleton. The characters are nothing more than walking punch-lines, and the ending is so half-assed that I actually had to check back and ma ...more
Bob Hafner
Jan 20, 2016 Bob Hafner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I've had the sort of day that would make St. Francis of Assisi kick babies."

Lines like this are scattered through the book. A very enjoyable read.
Oct 01, 2015 Thom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-series
Read this book when it first came out. Great storyline - truly holistic and connected. Dialogue is excellent, and even the minor characters are a blast to read. Only the refrigerator and boy were insufficiently explored, but this is a minor point.

Looking forward to rereading the third book, which I hardly remember. Also planning to check out the BBC television show based on this book soon - it was highly rated. As for the book, the proper rating is 'a suffusion of yellow' - which covers any numb
Feb 01, 2016 Tony rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can never make my mind up if I prefer this to the first Dirk Gently, whether I'm reading it (re-reading) or listening to it on my phone. This certainly has better developed characters and probably a better developed plot but the first book has more of a raw energy.

Fuck me, listen/look to/at the bollocks I can write.

Read them both. Over and over. Enjoy them and then curse Life, the Universe and Every (fucking) thing for taking him away from us before his time was up.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: Douglas Adams "Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul" 1 5 May 05, 2012 10:58AM  
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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 comp ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Dirk Gently (3 books)
  • Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently #1)
  • The Salmon of Doubt (Dirk Gently, #3)

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