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Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

(Dirk Gently #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  118,202 ratings  ·  3,419 reviews
What do a dead cat, a computer whiz-kid, an Electric Monk who believes the world is pink, quantum mechanics, a Chronologist over 200 years old, Samuel Taylor Coleridge (poet), and pizza have in common? Apparently not much; until Dirk Gently, self-styled private investigator, sets out to prove the fundamental interconnectedness of all things by solving a mysterious murder, ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 306 pages
Published January 1st 2002 by Pocket Books (first published May 15th 1987)
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Olivia anybody can enjoy it! sure maybe weird poetry knowledge would enhance the experience but its not a prerequisite wtf kinda pretentiousness is this othe…moreanybody can enjoy it! sure maybe weird poetry knowledge would enhance the experience but its not a prerequisite wtf kinda pretentiousness is this other commenter? I read this for the first time in early highschool and it easily became one of my favorites (less)
Jason Holt I thought The Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul was much weaker than Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. So if you read the second one and it isn't …moreI thought The Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul was much weaker than Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. So if you read the second one and it isn't your cup of tea, you should still try the first one.(less)

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Mario the lone bookwolf
Apr 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adams-douglas
The concept of putting as many ideas as possible in as less book space as imaginable worked well for the hitchhiker, but in this case, it was too much, no I mean, less.

It could have been an epic milestone like the ingenious hitchhiker series, but it is simply too short and too densely packed at the same time, it´s a miracle how this is even possible.

The characters and main plots could have been used for one much longer or two short books and it would have been a masterpiece again. More details
...more
Madeline
Nov 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
I still don't really understand how the ending of this book worked, and trying to describe the plot would be like trying to build a submarine out of cheese. Instead, I'll just share some quotes from this book that I especially loved, because Douglas Adams is the only author in the history of the world who is capable of creating them.

"'A horse?' he said again.
'Yes, it is,' said the Professor. 'Wait - ' he motioned to Richard, who was about to go out again and investigate - 'Let it be. It won't b
...more
Fabian
Jul 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Is it an audacious thing to say that Mr. Douglas Adams is hit or miss?

Yes. (Well, & "audacious" not really.)

Good. Here is a fun (and I mean FUN) book, rife with what is absurd and comical in certain sciences that dictate what the world is--I know my math teacher in high school was mad about him. And it does seem as though there is an intended niche audience already built for this type of literature: more literary than, say, Piers Anthony but not character-driven, nor truly dearly dramatic. There
...more
Bradley
I last read this when I was really young and was shortly getting off a fantastic kick of HHGttG wanting MORE, as, I assume, most people do when they get on a Douglas Adams kick.

Like the other series, every page is filled with wonderfully witty and fascinating and wise (crack) quotes that will delight and amaze and generally blow most writing away by the sheer audacity.

To think that Douglas Adams never considered himself a writer! Truly amazing. And of course us fans just snicker at that and keep
...more
Manny
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Trish
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I discovered Douglas Adams by coincidence. I found his book Last Chance to See, co-written by Mark Cawardine, about animals near extinction and Douglas' and Mark's trip around the world to see some of them, in a box with "Mängelexemplare" (old books, sometimes not in top condition that are therefore sold at a reduced price). His humour stood out even in the German translation and when I told a friend about it, she told me all about an odd-sounding story about a guy hitchhiking across the galaxy ...more
Apatt
Jun 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
“He instituted this Chair of Chronology to see if there was any particular reason why one thing happened after another and if there was any way of stopping it. Since the answers to the three questions were, I knew immediately, yes, no, and maybe, I realised I could then take the rest of my career off.”

Books by Oscar Wilde, Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams have (at least) one thing in common. I can easily pick funny, witty, interesting quotes from every page. The above quote represents Adams’
...more
Shurrn
I am a firm believer that a bit of British humor is good for the soul...
And I am quite American, in case you did not know...

“Don’t you understand that we need to be childish in order to understand? Only a child sees things with perfect clarity, because it hasn’t developed all those filters which prevent us from seeing things that we don’t expect to see?”
Douglas Adams has a highly quotable, laugh out loud writing style which I adore; I seem to remember a blurb describing this book a
...more
Ian Wood
Sep 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: douglas-adams
Douglas Adams' underated masterpiece leads Dirk Gently from a search for a missing cat to unlocking the secrets of time travel and saving the human race from total extinction.

I thought no-one could write a better comic novel than 'The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy' until I first read this. I've subsequently re-read this novel countless times and it never fails to entertain, I'm still finding references to literature and popular culture that I've previously missed.

That a novel can be re-rea
...more
Robin (Bridge Four)
Oct 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
From the title you would think this is possibly about a detective agency. Well there is an agency but they don’t detect things in the normal matter. You should probably guess that since it is a Douglas Adams book and when has he written anything really normal (I mean that in the best way).

Nope for this book “Let's think the unthinkable, let's do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.”

There is craziness, absurdity, the interc
...more
surfmadpig


I recently watched the pilot episode of Dirk Gently and loved it. So, naturally, I picked up the book. Now this order of doing things is often frowned upon by many people, including me, but sometimes things just happen.

The reason I'm telling you this is that I was slightly let down by the book, having seen (a version of) Dirk Gently in action before reading about him. There just wasn't enough of the detective in the book, while he (both versions) is such an interesting character. And yes, it wa
...more
Kris Larson
Jun 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, sci-fi
Hysterical. If you liked The Hitchhiker's Guide but thought it could do with fewer spaceships, try this. If you're shaking your head in bafflement, thinking "Fewer spaceships? Do you want to ruin the whole thing, woman?" try this. If you've never read any Douglas Adams at all, try this. If you like things that are good, try this.

On the other hand, I am pretty sure my best friend hated it, and she does often like things that are good, so maybe it's not for everyone. But try it anyway.

"He was rou
...more
David
Jun 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I love this book. I love it far, far more than is in any way reasonable. It is possibly Douglas Adams' strangest work, and it is far and away my favorite. It makes almost no sense unless you read it twice or more. And a good knowledge of the content and historical context of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Kubla Khan and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is essentially required to understand many of the jokes and much of the plot.

Because, as it turns out, the linchpin upon which history turns, upon whic
...more
aPriL does feral sometimes
‘Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency’ is completely absurd. If you have read other books by Douglas Adams, like The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, gentle reader, it is helpful to know that all of Adams' books, including this one, are hilariously ridiculous and impossible. The characters and the plots are played entirely for laughs, puns, jokes and satire. Oh, and usually some of the known aspects of quantum physics and Einstein's relativity theories drive the action endured by Adams’ most ...more
Samir
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the TV show, especially the first season and based on that experience, I wanted to read the book. I'm just glad I've watched the show first because if had read the book first, I probably wouldn't have bothered with the show.


Jacob Overmark
To prove the theory of the interconnectedness of everything I´ll grant 3½-4, possibly 4½ star.

I have learned a lot. How the dodos became extinct, how to computer simulate the movements of a sofa while it gets stuck in a stairway and how an abacus can work in mysterious ways.
Not least have I come to know the origin of the albatros in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, a thing that has puzzled me for billions of years.

I´m still very much in doubt when it comes to the death of Gordon Way, but it jus
...more
Cyndi
May 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Robot monks, ghosts, murder and add a bit of The Doctor. But since it is Douglas Adams, don't forget the towel.
P. Aaron Potter
It's all about the couch.

Allow me to elucidate. Doug Adams book. Funny? Sure. Satirical? Check. But would you have guessed intricately plotted?

Adams, who practically invented the vein of British literary humor now being minted hand-over-fist by Terry Pratchett, is in fine form with this novel, his major work outside the Hitchhiker's universe. We get the same bumbling protaginsts, the gently affable quasi-villain, the apocalyptic-threat-which-is-not-a-threat, the deft one-sentence-paragraph narra
...more
Lubinka Dimitrova
The classic, beloved, brilliant, wacky Douglas Adams, with his penchant for paradoxes and meaningful nonsense and his totally absurd humor. It would be hard for me to chose what I loved most from this book, but I think it was the decision-making program that allows you to justify practically any outcome by back-tracing from the desired result - that could come quite handy, no?
But apart from all this, the book is quite well thought out, with a self-consistent detective story and an imaginitive an
...more
Jamie
Jun 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Infinitely dull for long stretches, punctuated by brief flashes of humor and incomprehensibility, with an ending that's fairly amusing. Time well spent? No, not really. Recommended for lovers of dry British humor that can stomach even the driest of Monty Python sketches.
RJ from the LBC
Apr 28, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1001-books-read
Adams, author of the bafflingly popular The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series as well as this whimsical genre-buster and its sequel, seems to have mastered the oximoronic art of writing funny books that are actually not very funny at all. There are some wacky English characters who fall somewhere on a spectrum between Jeeves and Fat Charlie's brother Spider, and an unusual plot which plods along aimlessly and manages to make 260 pages feel like 1000, and you may smirk a couple of times but ...more
Raúl Omar
If you are interested in this book because you watched the Netflix series, or intend do so, my comments at the end :D

Adams nails it again and delivers a nice piece of fiction/comedy/romance/sci-fi/detective/fantasy.

It was a hard read though. I have to admit that I didn't dedicate as much attention to this book as I had wished, between my overworked and underpaid job and my messy personal life, I could only manage to pick this book for 10 minutes everyday before I fell completely asleep.

I haven't
...more
Kaethe Douglas
1988 The plot gets a bit muddled at the end, but I dearly love this book. And the sofa.***Sept 10, 2012This may be one of the few books that is more rewarding to re-read. Now all those random scenes make sense.In fact, my reading pal at the mini mart and I were talking yesterday about how hard it can be to read Adams the first time. That you have to just stick with it, and hope it makes sense at the end. [It won't, it'll still be muddled nonsense, but it'll be funny nonsense] This reading what ...more
J.M. Hushour
Oct 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Given how huge a Douglas Adams fan I have always thought myself as, I was surprised at how little I liked this book. And guilty, I feel guilty. One star is added on for the guilt.
But, in truth, in retrospect, I don't remember liking this one anywhere near as much as Hitchhikers. The humor is a little flat and often forced, nothing has aged well (the ga-ga'ing over computers seems childish these days) and the plot, rehashes of two episodes of Doctor Who that Adams wrote, is too confusing and unin
...more
Nicky
Dec 23, 2010 rated it liked it
One of the most annoying things about reading the Kindle edition of this book was the fact that popular highlights show up and you can't turn them off, at least not easily. It drove me mad. It was inevitably the parts that you'd pick out as funny for yourself, not anything surprisingly good...

Anyway, I grew up with Douglas Adams' work in the background, on the radio while we ate or while me and my sister played after dinner and my dad tried to relax. He's a big Douglas Adams fan, though he stick
...more
colleen the convivial curmudgeon
2.5

So, I picked this up because it was a BotM in one of my groups and I was in the mood for something light and funny. I wanted real laugh-out-loud kind of humor, but, unfortunately, I thought there were only a few chuckles or wry grins, but I don't think one single vocal laugh in the whole book. Well, not for me, anyway. And most of the humor was towards the beginning and started petering out as it progressed, so... yeah...

As for the story itself - it's an odd little thing in which we don't ac
...more
Ray
Jul 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio, novels, sci-fic
I'm tempted to add another star. Not because the novel is good, but because, unfortunately... it has a lot of interesting ideas but it's way too hard to follow and doesn't just work.

It's really about the adaptation though.

And no I don't mean that Dirk Gently tv show, which is a loose adaptation at best indeed, but because I just listened to the BBC radio show. And that's what it's all about! Radio is of course Douglas Adams first love, and I will count that as 'canon' when it comes to Adams. It
...more
Rory
Feb 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: British comedy fans
I recently re-read Dirk Gently, since the first time I read it was in the seventh or eighth grade, and so I really didn't remember much of it. I must say it is absolutely fantastic. It is one of the few books which as I read it I was imagining what you could do for a film version. I think it would be a fantastic work to bring to the big screen, particularly after the modest success of Hitchhiker's...

That said, I love Douglas Adams. The man was a genius at creating characters, and the Gently seri
...more
Exina
Jan 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
4 stars
YouKneeK
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked this a lot more than I expected to. I had read the author’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy about 20 years ago and, while I remember finding it mildly amusing and clever at times, I also found it too unrealistically silly to take seriously and didn’t much care for it. My memory of that book is too fuzzy for me to say if this book is significantly different in style, or if I’ve just become more tolerant of the type of humor. I do think Pratchett’s Discworld series taught me how to enjoy ...more
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19,337 followers
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

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

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