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The Salmon of Doubt

(Dirk Gently #3)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  25,229 ratings  ·  948 reviews
On Friday, May 11, 2001, the world mourned the untimely passing of Douglas Adams, beloved creator of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," dead of a heart attack at age forty-nine. Thankfully, in addition to a magnificent literary legacy--which includes seven novels and three co-authored works of nonfiction--Douglas left us something more. The book you are about to enjoy ...more
Paperback, 278 pages
Published December 6th 2012 by Pan Books (first published May 28th 2002)
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Girish Hi,
This book contains 10 chapters of his unpublished Dirk Gently #3. This has been put together from 3 different manuscripts recovered from his hard…more
This book contains 10 chapters of his unpublished Dirk Gently #3. This has been put together from 3 different manuscripts recovered from his hard disk after he died. In multiple interviews he has mentioned his next book as 'Salmon of Doubt' and they have retained the name and the 9 chapters along with his other writings/speeches/interviews. (less)
Dale Burgess I think eggplant about wraps it up nicely, and think DNA would agree!…moreI think eggplant about wraps it up nicely, and think DNA would agree! (less)

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Jul 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Douglas Adams fans
Readers beware: The Salmon of Doubt is not a single novel, but rather a collection of goods pulled from Adams' computer after his death--including a draft of the first few chapters of his next Dirk Gently story (also titled The Salmon of Doubt, thus the larger part of this collection's title). Also enclosed in this volume are a series of short stories, essays, travelogues, and other random snippets, some of which date back over a decade, and most of which have little to do with the next entry, ...more
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, humor, 2017-shelf
It's really amazing the amounts of nostalgia that can build up in a person's system before it kinda explodes into a kind of reverse word soup full of interviews, introductions, epilogues, and snippets of novels we wish we had but they were never penned because the author up and died on us.

I'm writing of Douglas Adams, of course.

I almost didn't re-read this one because I remember it WAS mostly just magazine articles and interesting early computer-tech stuff and ruminations on science, god, and
Paul E. Morph
I waited sixteen-and-a-half years to read this and I just about managed to get through it without bawling my eyes out. Douglas Adams was the first author to make me laugh uproariously, back when I was a wee nipper. Sure, Roald Dahl had given me a few chuckles, but it wasn't until I read Hitchhikers for the first time that I realised a book could make me laugh so much I nearly wet myself.

As such, this was a bittersweet experience. Reading Adams' unpublished work, including several chapters of a
Mar 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This technically is the 3rd book in the Dirk Gently series. Sadly, it's not really a Dirk Gently book. You see, before Douglas Adams could write/finish this third book, he died of a sudden heart attack in a gym in Santa Barbara in 2001.

But he left behind fragments of chapters or chapters and their rewritings and a lot of other notes on his various computers. His wife, daughter, agent, editor, assistant and other people then pieced together what is now The Salmon of Doubt which would have been
Jun 28, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anthology
In early 1998 (or was it ‘97?), I experienced one of the most heady experiences of my life. A literary idol approached me at a conference we were attending in France (it was in Cannes, but it was a media festival rather than the more famous annual event), invited me to join him at dinner and debate the existence of God. Douglas Adams, self-proclaimed radical atheist, wanted to consider God’s existence (or lack thereof) with me. As a minister, I’d like to write myself in as the hero and claim ...more
A collection of Adams’ unpublished works, an unfinished Dirk Gently novel, magazine articles, letter, interviews, snippets.

It could be more enjoyable with a much more composed editing and structuring.
Oct 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a delight to revisit the mind of Douglas Adams. I like that this is a collection of emails, speeches, one-liners, and rants. Yes, there's the start of a novel in there, that he may or may not have intended to call the Salmon of Doubt.
The result is so much better than it sounds like it's going to be: Douglas Adams died, but his buddy knew his password and emptied his Mac onto a CD, the various unfinished writings were lightly edited and printed as this.
But gosh, am I ever glad that they
Nick Fagerlund
A kind of poor book which just happens to be filled with awesome.

I'd really like a well-organized and indexed collection of all of Douglas Adams' short writings. Round up all the columns and editorials he wrote, the text he did for his websites, everything, and get it all tied up with a bow and some context. Salmon isn't that collection; the writings are just tossed into poorly-defined buckets with no real TOC to speak of (and let us not speak of indexes), and there's no real way to tell what's
MJ Nicholls
A collection of essays, speeches, ramblings unearthed on his hard drive(s), one short story culled from a BBC annual, and the titular unfinished Dirk Gently novel. The essays are breezy and witty, often lacking focus when discussing science and technology, but comprise (realistically) the most readable of his non-fiction output. There are some readers, yours included, who feel Adams spent himself on the Hitchhiker’s books: although the Dirk Gentlys were absurdist romps sutured with awesome ...more
Katherine Furman
If you love Douglas Adams this book is an absolute must read. It's got some great incite into the man who could make a pot of petunias think to itself, 'Not again.' A large part of my enjoyment was finding out about Adams as a person, and in turn finding out that I've got some stuff in common with him. I mean sure I haven't ridden a stingray like he has or written the funniest books of all time and granted I'm not British, BUT we do make our tea the same way, we're both have the same religious ...more
Len Evans Jr
I went into this thinking I was getting a 300 pg Dirk Gently story... guess I should have read some reviews of it first... cuz that is noty what this book was mostly. It was interesting but just not what I was hoping for.
This partially posthumous volume consists of a collection of magazine articles, newspaper columns, interviews and such like, along with one short story (about a young Zaphod)originally published in the Utterly Utterly Merry Comic Relief Christmas Book...a copy of which I own...and the (very) incomplete conflated text of three versions of the third Dirk Gently's novel. This novel was abandoned whilst Adams was still alive, in favour of a 6th Hitchhikers' novel. Adams had decided that the ...more
Jul 28, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This is a delightful and maddening book. This collection of essays, columns, speech transcripts and random musings was culled from Adams' computers after his tragic death at the age of 49. The collection offers new insight into one of the world's most gifted humorists, and there is both pleasure and education to be had in reading his thoughts on such diverse topics as music, atheism, evolutionary biology, conservation and computers.

The last section of the book contains the beginning of an
Jan 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don’t want to finish this book.

I really don’t.

If I finish this book that means I’ll have finished the last work of Douglas Adams. And since it is technically ‘unfinished’, that means I’ll actually need to acknowledge that he’s gone. Dead. Breathed his last. Snuffed it.

Have you read anything by Douglas Adams? If you were born in the last fifty years and are a fan of British comedy, I’ll assume you’ve come across The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Maybe you’ve even read about his detective
Mar 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So far I've only read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy but I do intend to read the other four books of the trilogy. Then, when I was scanning through articles and stories by and about DNA (= Douglas Noel Adams), I came across this collection of essays, interviews, speeches and the partly written "The Salmon of Doubt". I think it's a great idea that those remaining snippets on DNA's computer have been put together as a sort of memoire.
I have laughed so hard my stomach still hurts and it was a
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, non-fiction
Very very fascinating but also very very sad. I think some of Adams' best writing is found within this work. Sadly, the publication of this book meant that there would be no more new Douglas Adams books.
I resisted reading this for a long time because I was under the misapprehension that it was merely a presentation of the sections of the Dirk Gently novel Adams was working on until his untimely death in 2001. Having seen multiple references to it in Neil Gaiman's excellent Hitchhiker's companion, Don't Panic, I finally broke down and got it from the library, and I was glad that I did.

The last third of the book does indeed contain the unfinished Salmon of Doubt, but that was to my mind the least
Sarah u
"Where do you get the ideas for your books?
- I tell myself I cannot have another cup of coffee till I've thought of an idea."

This book is such a beautiful tribute to the late Douglas Adams. The pieces in it are laugh out loud funny, deeply meaningful, and often poignant. Surely I am not the only person that cried reading "Sunset at Blandings"; the feelings that Douglas felt at losing one of his favourite authors are so reminiscent of what his fans must feel.

This book is absolutely wonderful.
Sean Goldfeder
Mar 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While reading this, I've had one thought running in my head the whole way through: I wish I could've met Douglas Adams.
Whether he's telling about the time he walked around Africa in a rhino suit for charity, teaching Americans how to make a proper cup of tea or giving a speech about the possibility of an artificial God, Adams was able to make almost anything a pleasure to read. A wonderful insight into the mind of a man I'll never get to meet.
I'm only taking off points here because the
Malcolm Frawley
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I came to this posthumous publication with some uncertainty. Was the estate of Douglas Adams attempting to cash in on whatever they found on his hard drive? However, considering the fact that he sold over 15 million books while he was alive, his heirs probably aren't short of a quid. I was delighted to find that this volume contains a plethora of real treats. Apart from his unfinished Dirk Gently novel there are short pieces, many non-fiction, along with speeches, interviews, & other items. ...more
Marcus Harwell
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was inevitably at least a little disappointing, but then, this is the price of entry paid at the start, and we understand it explicitly: we will never know the end of this last tale. Further, we'll never know whether Adams would have kept it in Gently form, or figured out how to transform it into another (final?) Hitchhiker.

The journey through was sometimes a little dull, which for me was a disappointing realization as a fan of DNA's many styles and interests. This isn't at all unusual for a
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm very torn about rating this book, because it's just so many things crammed into a binding. Basically, it's a collection of essays that Douglas Adams had written, including a short story from the Hitchhiker's Guide series, and the first few chapters of an incomplete Dirk Gently book. It's so, so much fun reading what Douglas Adams writes. His writing is full of energy and wit and charm, and is just a pleasure to read. That's one of the great parts of the book. But it's clear that the editors ...more
Apr 10, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, in-english, funny
This is most definitely not "Dirk Gently #3".
This is a motley collection of odds and ends found on Douglas Adams' many hard disks after his sudden death.
There is the beginning of a Dirk Gently story here that is going nowhere, padded with some stuff that just possibly might be connected to the plot, based on three sentences the author mailed to his editor. This whole mess runs to 79 pages. Very disappointing.
The rest of the collection I enjoyed. Letters, articles, speeches, interviews. The
Michael Economy
2.5 stars

Since you come into this book expecting Douglas Adams, and what you get is only somewhat Douglas Adams, it was a huge let down. The man's writing is very distinct, and while the little bits that are his are good, the other bits aren't.
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Posthumously written book on Douglas Adams, excerpts from his interviews/speeches including his incomplete last book before his untimely death. Douglas Adams I thank you for Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy and miss you for the Dirk Gently series.
Even though this is a bit of a mishmash of collected notes, interviews, and rough drafts pulled from Adams’s beloved Mac computers, it was sooo good to hear his voice again. Adams’s writing is so uniquely him - it doesn’t matter if he’s writing something as mundane as a shopping list, he imbues life and humor into it and it becomes suddenly clearly and beautifully connected to the world. There’s a reason that he’s known for writing about life, the universe, and everything. It was an incredibly ...more
Alice, as in Wonderland
There's honestly really no way of me writing about this book without gushing all over the place. Despite the undeniable brilliance of his other books, Salmon of Doubt very quietly takes you into the mind of the introspective and thoughtful Adams that must have spent time staring deeply into the unknowable. It gets to the core of what he wrote about and why; his fascination with science which he would eventually find amusing and eventually have it evolve into jokes that he'd write into his books. ...more
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Salmon of Doubt is a hard book to categorize. It contains various items from Douglas Adam's hard drive downloaded after his death, along with some items from other sources, and his half finished novel The Salmon of Doubt. It was compiled and published after his death. The book as a whole is an interesting look into the mind of a man who, although remembered for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, is so much more. If you want to truly know all the facets of his mind, this is the book to ...more
Sharon Bidwell
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of essays and a well put-together but incomplete last Dirk Gently novel, I can see how this will always garner mixed reviews. Overall, I enjoyed this book as there’s something poignant about reading Adams’ words one last time that makes this a fond farewell, but the lack of an end to the Dirk Gently book left me disappointed and wistful, but the story was shaping up so well I’m glad to know as little as I now do. Maybe one for true aficionados but a touching book to add to a ...more
Jul 01, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
First read shortly after publication, I vaguely remember being disappointed that there was so little Dirk Gently there. Upon rereading, I have the same disappointment.

Contains some nice bits and bobs published elsewhere, from reviews to anecdotes, and 10 chapters of what would likely have coalesced into a third Dirk Gently novel. Like earlier installments, it starts as individual unrelated fragments, unlike those, we never get to see the whole.
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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)
  • Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently, #1)
  • The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul (Dirk Gently, #2)
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