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

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  46,060 ratings  ·  870 reviews
Funnier than Psycho... more chilling than Jeeves Takes Charge ... shorter than War and Peace... the new Dirk Gently novel, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul.
Paperback, 247 pages
Published October 13th 1989 by Pan Books Ltd. (first published January 1st 1988)
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(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
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
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:

"...more
Jon
Jun 30, 2007 Jon rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
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
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.
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...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...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
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
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...more
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...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...more
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
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.
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.

The book starts out about an airport that explodes for no apparent reason. It was an interesting set-up. But then that part of the story is completely set aside, once Dirk Gently is introduced. You would think that once the titular character is introduced, the story woul...more
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
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
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...more
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...more
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
Jireh Lee
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lee Broderick
Re-read as part of The Dirk Gently Omnibus 4/10/13: Douglas Adams leaves his Sci-Fi security blanket and writes a well-structured tale of Norse Gods coming to terms with life in modern Britain. Some of the themes, such as how belief effects gods, how they come into being and how they die, are covered in Terry Pratchett's Small Gods , too, but here they are treated less earnestly as Adams at last lets the narrative come to the fore. The characters, even the gods, are well drawn and believable and...more
Bee
I never enjoyed Dirk Gently as much as I did A hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy. But I saw bits of the series on TV (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00wqfl2) and thought I have a look again.

Well if you always wondered how Odin the all-father of Gods and something nasty ended up in the woodshed and how a coca-cola machine, an eagle and St. Pancreas train station plays into all then you are right to read this book!

I enjoyed it thoroughly!

Ich habe Dirk Gently nie so sehr genossen wie Per Anhalter...more
Alan
Very much in the same mould as the previous book, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. The Adams approach to humour is still ever-apparent. However, this book is a bit more dependent on a coherent plot, and it has plenty more signs along the way about its direction of travel. Perhaps by now, the audience - myself at least - is becoming used to the Adams style, which makes it feel less 5-star?.

It bowls along very well and slips down easily and surprisingly quickly. The end seems to happen rat...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
Jeremy
Aug 12, 2010 Jeremy rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: The very, very patient, and die-hard Adams completists.
Recommended to Jeremy by: My past experience with Adams.
The first Dirk Gently was deeply flawed, but I liked it. This one showed a lot of promise, at least for me, given my fondness for mythology. But really...I don't have a lot to say about it. It reminds me somewhat of Mostly Harmless: A wandering, mean-spirited, poorly-paced, and very, very confused novel without the high quality of humor present in most of Adams' oeuvre.

The "ending" (HA!) is at best, awkward, and at worst, complete crap. I felt no sense of resolution, and the first time I read t...more
Genevieve
This is an interesting enough book, but it's really for dedicated fans of Douglas Adams only. The thin plot wanders along, but the wonderfully humorous descriptions and non sequiturs will keep fans of Adams reading. I love the fridge that had "begun seriously to lurk" in the kitchen. Adams wonderful descriptive prose aside, the book suffers from a lack of tension and a lack of interesting characters. Gently & Kate are, frankly, not particularly interesting people. This is not the masterpiece...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
More about Douglas Adams...
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) The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker's Guide, #2) Life, the Universe and Everything (Hitchhiker's Guide, #3) Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently #1)

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