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

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  62,971 Ratings  ·  1,423 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
Mass Market Paperback, 307 pages
Published January 2nd 1990 by Pocket Books (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.

Community Reviews

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Mar 25, 2013 Brad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, 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 i
Mar 24, 2017 Trish rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book about Dirk Gently, the holistic private investigator. A seriously underestimated series (or what was to become a series, I'm sure).

In this second volume, Dirk is not really at his best. Something is wrong and he can't put his finger to it. To make matters worse, a very well off client, who promised to voluntarily pay for all sorts of quirks, is not just crazy as Dirk had thought, but ends up dead (money sure does seem to have a way of getting away from Dirk). Dirk's horos
Aug 05, 2007 Thorir2007 rated it really liked it
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 16, 2011 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
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
Jun 07, 2017 Cyndi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Douglas Adams but this book missed the mark a wee bit for me. Although the stuff with the gods was fun I'm not sure how much help Dirk was and the ending was a little abrupt. But otherwise, there were some funny parts.
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:

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
Jacob Overmark
A hot potato, a new fridge - hand delivered from the black market - and a severed head on a record player.
Dirk Gently is on a new assignment, or so it seems.
Is it really possible that a blast in Heathrow T2 is an "Act of God" or is it just a neat and come-in-handy clause in the insurance policy?
Is it true that you cant get a pack of cigarettes after sunset anywhere in London and St Pancras Station resembles Valhalla?
Have the old Norse Gods sold out, or been caught in a hostile takeover?
And as
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.
Seher Andaç
Mar 28, 2017 Seher Andaç rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Şahane bir kitap okudum, ŞA-HA-NE!
Milenyum Üçlemesinde Stieg Larsson Lisbeth Salander'ın Cebelitarık'ı sevdiğini söyler ve bir kayadan bahseder. Üçlemenin getirdiği her şey için belki sırtını dayayıp dinleyebileceği bir yerdir bu kaya... Adams ile çay saatim bitince istedim ki göklerin tanrısı Thor tıpkı Kate'e yaptığının aynısını yani "bir çiçek demetini kaldırır gibi" beni de kaldırsın ve taaa buralardan tam da bu kayanın dibine bıraksın. Tanrı değil mi yanıma hiç bitmeyen soğuk siyah bira
Sep 26, 2010 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
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.

Dirk Gently is a "holistic detective" who makes use of "the fundamental interconnectedness of all things" to solve the whole crime, and find the whole person. He bills for everything but claims that he cannot be considered to have ripped anybody off, because none of his clients ever pay him. I can't speak for the first book, since I read out of order, but he certainly doesn't get paid in this one.

I so wanted to give this book five stars. I love Douglas Adams' humor, and his Hitchhiker's series w
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
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.
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
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
1 Jan 1988
The travails of trying to order a pizza, Valhalla in London, and unexpected encounters with Thor. I loved it.

16 September, 2012
Tash talked me into watching Thor, which I enjoyed enormously. And it reminded me of Adams' Thor, committing an Act of (a) God, when he can't catch a flight to Oslo. More than thirty years later air travel has only become more annoying.It's still fantastically funny, but I'm aware of a sadness to it that I didn't notice on previous readings. The heroine is a wi
Sep 05, 2007 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
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
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
Oct 27, 2016 Girish rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a fan of Douglas Adams, you have a high appetite for the craziness and near impossible randomness. The book is ok on humor and creativity but I felt let down as a complete book.

Unbeatable premise - A bombing at an airport with no casualty deemed (rightly so) "An act of God". The immortal Gods have entered into a contract with a lawyer and advertiser (humans) and humans have extracted their pound of flesh by taking away the Godliness. Thor who is the only God who is still trying to care, in th
Jo Woolfardis
[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.)
Jul 05, 2015 Cherie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series, read-audio
The BBC audiobook dramatization was awesome! So glad I found it.
Hannah Heath
Oct 16, 2016 Hannah Heath rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, classics
Such a weird book. I don't...I don't even know exactly what it was that I just read. But I know that I enjoyed every single page of it's sarcastic, hilarious, bizarreness.
Robin Hobb
Jan 29, 2014 Robin Hobb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If this title does not speak to you, then perhaps this book is not for you. I loved it.
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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
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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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