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

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  50,300 ratings  ·  964 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
...more
Mass Market Paperback, 307 pages
Published January 2nd 1990 by Pocket Books (first published 1988)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Thorir2007
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
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Tfitoby
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
Jon
Jun 30, 2007 Jon rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
Jerzy
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:

"
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Mohamed
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
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John Wiswell
Aug 12, 2007 John Wiswell rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
Madeline
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
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Harry Kane
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.
Nikki
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
...more
Jean-marcel
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
Tracey
Dec 23, 2013 Tracey rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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Lisa Bouchard
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.
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
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Laura
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 http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php.... 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
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Simon Turney
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
...more
Nathan
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
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F.R.
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
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
John
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
Heidi
One of my all-time favorites--Audible Daily Deal narrated by the man himself! Can't wait to listen for a reread.
Jovana Vesper
Kakva pomešana osećanja! Prvo, počneš da čitaš i uzbuđenje raste. Priča je dobra, zabavna, komična, tu su čudnovata događanja, zanimljivi likovi, misterija i dosta nordijske mitologije. Slučaj se razvija, sve je uzbudljivije, zapliće se i raspliće, već pred kraj si kao na iglama, čekaš da sve eksplodira!
A onda, baš kod tog krucijalnog momenta umesto eksplozije čuje se samo piskav zvuk ispuštanja vazduha iz propalog suflea. Stiče se utisak kao da je neko istrgao 3 ili 4 najbitnija poglavlja! Gde
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James
Although it was 20+ years ago, and I liked it enough to keep a copy, I remember being mostly non-plussed by this sequel. Even reading the back cover summary now, I really can't remember that much about it. Maybe worth a re-read if I give the first one another go.
Jason
I've always preferred the Dirk Gently novels over the hitchhiker novels. His theories are funny and how everything is connected is genius. Mr Adams at his best.
Glenn Conley
Douglas Adams is one of my favorite authors. I absolutely love the Hitchhikers series. But, this book... This Dirk Gently series is complete garbage. It's very disappointing. I really wanted to like this series, but I just can't. And to think, they actually made a British TV series out of these books. So sad.

I distinctly remember when I first read this book. The wife and I waited in line at the bookstore, in 1989. We both got a copy, because there was no fucking way I was going to wait for her t
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Phillip
This book is good but does not live up to the standards of either the first Hitchhiker's book nor of the first Dirk Gently, novel that I enjoyed almost as much as the first Hitchhiker book.

The first Dirk Gently novel was quirky and engaged with spiritual and psychic phenomenon in much the way that Adams engaged in the concepts of science in the Hitchhiker books. The first Dirk Gently novel delivered on quirky characters and situations. The second book is pretty pedestrian. There is an unusual mu
...more
Jenz
I hate lengthy descriptions. Once descriptive or expositive text goes past a few sentences, I tend to start skimming. It helps that Douglas Adams puts most of his humor into those parts, but still, I have to admit to doing a fair bit of skimming in the early parts of this one.

Once we finally got to some action, I did get hooked in, but the plot wanders off from time to time. There's a good deal of set up with the mysterious boy in the murdered client's house; and then, poof, you never see or hea
...more
Marilyn
I don't remember when I first read this book. It was probably when it was originally published. I know I owned it in paperback, as a hard cover, on tape, on DVD, and finally, as a Audible.com download. I have listened to it so many times that you might think I'd grow tired of it, but I never do. Of all the books that Douglas Adams wrote -- and I love all of them -- this is my favorite.

Unlike the Hitchhiker series, the two books that comprise the Dirk Gently series have real plots. They are, as y
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Pvw
Maybe the only merit of this book is that it shows how The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy could have gone terribly wrong. Why, the 'Hitchhiker's Guide' is a buch of strange and witty ideas that have no direction and almost can't work together. Yet, through the excellent pace and the hilariously funny writing style, Douglas Adams pulls it off and made it into the great sci-fi comedy it became.

Here, we again have weird ideas (even involving scandinavion gods) but, really, none of it works. The j
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Myles
This is much better Mr. Adams. Much better.

At first I was a bit ticked-off to find out that the to be continued ending of Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency was a complete and utter lie, none of the flapping loose ends of that book were tied up in this one. Except perhaps the one about the secretary.

Except she's the biggest loose end in this one. Agggg, so frustrating.

I think in certain moods and in certain times my mind is to linear or practical or something to appreciate the oddball lunac
...more
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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)
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1) The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #1-5 + short story) The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker's Guide, #2) Life, the Universe and Everything (Hitchhiker's Guide, #3) So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (Hitchhiker's Guide, #4)

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