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The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul

(Dirk Gently #2)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  76,199 ratings  ·  1,850 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
Paperback, 276 pages
Published December 1st 2012 by Pan Publishing (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.
Laura Ess It did seem to end abruptly didn't it? It would have been good to know just what happened to to Gently's old secretary. Was she restored as well?
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 ·  76,199 ratings  ·  1,850 reviews

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Mar 25, 2013 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 rated it it was amazing
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 horo
J.L.   Sutton
May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So the title The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul is so fantastic! And the randomness, quirkiness and interesting meditations of Douglas Adams's detective, Dirk Gently, matches the tone set by that title. The novel even features the Norse Gods in the modern world (reminding me of Neil Gaiman's American Gods). Definitely a different take on Thor than you'll see in the superhero movies. The mystery/plot(s) are less the point here than simply taking the journey. In that respect, there's a commonality ...more
Aug 05, 2007 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 16, 2011 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 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
Jun 07, 2017 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.
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
Oct 09, 2007 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:

Robin Hobb
Jan 29, 2014 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.
Jan 13, 2009 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
John Wiswell
Aug 12, 2007 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
Harry Kane
May 26, 2012 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.
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 can´t 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 a
Aug 30, 2016 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.

Kaethe Douglas
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 26, 2010 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
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
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
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
I didn’t enjoy this nearly as much as Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. It started off interesting, but for some reason I became progressively less interested as the story continued and I put the book down more and more frequently. I also didn’t find it as funny. It had humor, but it didn’t make me laugh as much. I think it intentionally took a more serious tone, which I might have appreciated better if I’d been more interested in the story.

The first book had a mixture of elements from b
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
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How do you describe Adams' Dirk Gently books? I have a hard time not because they can't be genre-classified but because they don't fit any novel form out there. Stream-of-consciousness on the part of the author? Is Gently the main character? Who is the main character? What is going on? There's one thing going on, though--Adams does a lot of describing. It's a wealth of description. Plot? Pish-tosh! We don't need no stinking plot! That's not why you read an Adams novel anyway. So just let Adams m ...more
Joey 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.)
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, novels, fantasy
Dirk Gently is still not on the level of Hitch-hiker's Guide, obviously, but this sequel is a better read than the first. Easier to follow, and very funny, the story is intriguing. I do wonder though, with the irreverent Norse gods hanging around, did this or American Gods come out first?
Lisa Bouchard
Feb 06, 2013 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.
It's come time to revise my review of this book, because I re-read it recently, and yes, i had a pretty good time with it, but still, I have to report one of those sad moments that sometimes happen in life, when you try something you thought was great in childhood and find yourself kind of crushed to discover it's not really as fine as you remembered.

Essentially, my perspective on the two Gently novels has completely reversed since I first read them as a twelve-year-old (or whatever it was). I n
Arielle Walker
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Not actually as funny or great as I had remembered, thought now I see I only gave it two stars the first time around so obviously I actually thought the same at the time too. Memory is a funny thing.
Sep 05, 2007 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
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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 ...more

Other books in the series

Dirk Gently (3 books)
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  • The Salmon of Doubt (Dirk Gently, #3)

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