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Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency / The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul (Dirk Gently #1-2)
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Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency / The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul (Dirk Gently #1-2)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  6,882 Ratings  ·  83 Reviews
What do a dead cat, a computer whizz-kid, an electric monk, quantum mechanics, a chronologit over 200 years old, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and pizza have in common? Apparently not much, until Dirk Gently begins his investigation.
247 pages
Published 2001 by Petersen (first published 1987)
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J Austill No. The first book in the series is called Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and the second is The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul. Both are…moreNo. The first book in the series is called Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and the second is The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul. Both are novels. There is a third book called The Salmon of Doubt, but it was not finished at the time of the author's death and was then published posthumously as an incomplete book. Due to the publication date, I think this includes books one and two only. (less)
J Austill Doesn't look like it. The page count is too low and this is listed as being published before The Salmon of Doubt. So, I conclude that it is just the…moreDoesn't look like it. The page count is too low and this is listed as being published before The Salmon of Doubt. So, I conclude that it is just the first two books in Omnibus format. (less)

Community Reviews

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Jun 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of silly SF / fantasy
It is a real shame that Mr Adams has stopped writing. Owing to his abscense of a belief in the afterlife, we cannot, in all probability, expect any future Douglas Adams novels; but this is a natural consequence of the fact that he is now, in fact, quite dead. But his books are still very funny and, if you run across it cheap, you should get a copy of him reading his books.
I suppose it's some of the ideas that I have enjoyed most in Adams' books. In Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency the ghost leaving a voicemail message, the sofa stuck in the stairwell, the professor using his space and time travel machine to try and amuse a child at a formal dinner.

At best the ideas can be so funny that you can ignore the plot which can become safely incidental (view spoiler)
Mark Foster
Jun 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I want an electric monk.
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Two great books with one awesome character that I may need to be for Halloween for another obscure unknown costume.
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
Wow, I remember Hitchhiker's Guide being difficult to read, but this was nearly impossible. I only finished it because it was a book club book! The first half is disjointed, confusing, and does not inspire you to care about any of the characters (and there are many). They begin to intersect with each other about halfway through, when the title character is introduced, but things don't improve much. Don't bother unless you're a big Douglas Adams fan!
Collin Reynolds
I could not finish this. The clever and witty circumlocution was killing me. It's like getting in a car and wanting to go somewhere but the driver keeps talking and missing his exit. Well written, just not my thing.
Lee Broderick
I was first given a copy of The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul to read many, many years ago. It was great but when I noticed that it was the second in a series I was a little surprised I hadn't been given the first one to read. Now, I think I understand why. Douglas Adams is often compared with Terry Pratchett but it's a very lazy comparison. Both authors wrote a very British kind of comic speculative fiction at the end of the twentieth century but there, arguably, the similarities cease.

This omnibus consists of two stories centered on the holistic detective Dirk Gently. The first of these involves an electric monk: a labour saving device designed to believe things so that humans can get on with living. It also involves time travel, a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (beautifully intertwined into the narrative in Chapter 6. Of the two stories this is definitely the better one, with more humour and better writing: it was hard to put down. However, the there was a nagging sensation ...more
Ben Babcock
Dirk Gently ... what can I say about Dirk Gently ... well, to be honest, I read this book only because it was written by Douglas Adams. As a huge fan of h2g2, I was expecting something awesome.

What I got was ... okay. Not awesome, perhaps great, definitely okay. There are aspects of Dirk Gently that I find appealing. I enjoyed the geometric conundrum of the sofa, and the Electric Monk, but found other parts a little too bizarre to be enjoyable.

Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course
1) The Holistic Agency introduces us to Dirk Gently. He believes that his cases are solved holistically in all areas. We follow him as he unravels a case involving Samuel Coleridge, ghosts, time travel, horses, and couches.

2) Dirk gets involved with a case that involves a missing girl, Thor and the gods, a Coke machine, and advertisers

Very quirky and a little hard to understand at first, but very delightful to read. The author has a great turn of phrase.
Examples: "Reg was having difficulty in f
John Franks
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For the first time, again.

There is nothing, or mostly nothing, that can't be seen again after a considerable passage of time as if seen for the first time. It's not that it's startlingly new,because there's the lingering image from the first encounter,although faint and growing fainter by the day. The fainting image forms a weak template so that the reader.or at least this reader, has an interesting experience such as "funny, I didn't notice that before" or "so that's how it worked" to "nah, not
Jul 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: posseduto
It was ok, but I must say that I don't find it particularly easy to read, so it's not pure entertainment, because I have to pay attention all the way trough the book. Moreover, I prefer the first novel to the second, even if there are Odin and Thor in the second one!

Due belle storie, ma non particolarmente facili da leggere perché bisogna stare attenti tutto il tempo, quindi non proprio una lettura da ombrellone. Inoltre la prima storia mi é piaciuta piú della seconda, nonostante in questa fosse
Dava Stewart
I feel like three stars is being stingy. This is a well-written book; it just either isn't my thing or I wasn't in the mood for it. I found myself only reading when I went to bed (a sure sign I'm bored with a book), and I never really felt connected to the characters. The humor is dry, but is definitely there. If you like stories about existential crises approached with humor, you will probably enjoy this story.
Richard H. Giesige
Quirky but a great read

These two books together were a really good and fun read. The mystery was more in how does the story come together than a true mystery. I enjoyed every second of the stories and found the plots very enticing. Highly recommend this for anyone who loves Douglas Adams writing.
Hristyuk Vitaliy
Before American Gods there was... this.

Douglas Adams was one of the best writers of his generation. Most famous for his "Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy" he nevertheless also wrote two classy, witty and weird books about holistic detective Dirk Gently... And it's a pity there are only two of them. Sigh.
Mar 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Douglas Adams fan

I live the strange and obscure. I especially like that he picked Norse mythology for this series. Its interesting that Neil Gaiman does the same.
jake nelson
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Great story with wonderful way of visualizing events. Adams mind works in such a wonderful way to keep you excited for more.
Bonnie Keck
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Have saw the serial and the movies and read the books individually and as omnibus and different sets, hardback, still in my library, says a lot. Date wrong, just saw it to review.
Alex Hooper
I don't know if it's because Hitchhiker's Guide was so fantastically awesome that I had my expectations set too high for this, but I just could not get into this. Needless to say I'm extremely disappointed since the Hitchhikers series is one of my all time favorites. Maybe I'll try to read this again in the future.
Oct 12, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nope, 2013
"Why haven't I heard of this book before? I mean, he's written Hitchhiker's!" You may have asked yourself this question before, and the answer is because this book isn't within the same league as THHGTTG. It's not even within the same solar system (I know they're different units of measurement, but you know what I mean) the main point is that the two Dirk Gently books are a huge letdown.

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency is largely forgettable sluiced with vague annoyance and a strong urge
Mar 26, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fantasy, humor
This was just about the most random book I have ever read. In short, pretty much exactly like Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: A Trilogy in Four Parts.

I thought the first story, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, was a lot more linear and easy to follow than the the second, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul.

They both had some excellent lines, and Adams' trademark humor and witticisms are present in both, but just in terms of reading a story that I could actually follow? Infi
Keith Parrish
There is no bigger fan of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy 5-book trilogy than me (considering my current size and girth that might be a literally true statement). Douglas Adams has a wry sense of humor and a twist of a phrase which suits my sensibilities ideally. However, I had never read his Dirk Gently books. I was not expecting the brilliance of the Hitchhiker books and was not disappointed. The books are populated with bizarre and funny characters but the plot (honestly, never Adams's st ...more
Jun 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I actually just read the first (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency) and left The long Dark Teatime of the Soul for a later time. I've read this several times now and while I enjoyed every read I really did not get what happened until about the third read. It is complicated, inevitable when you combine a time machine and a ghost story with extraterrestrials. Oh, and throw in some poetry as well. Colleridge fans like me get to feel smug 'cos (after the 3rd reading anyway) we get the reference ...more
Dec 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Dirk Gently books are absurd, entertaining and amusing - a combination that I truly enjoyed. Lots of laugh out loud moments, lots of mystery surrounding what's going on and the sci-fi/fantasy angle to each story was great. I have not read any other Douglas Adams books, so this is my first go and I really enjoyed them. His descriptions are comical and thoughtful sometimes. A way of looking at the world in a completely different way, and I found that endlessly interesting. A lot of people said ...more
Dec 20, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
This omnibus contains the stories Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (DGHDA) and The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul (TLDTTOTS).

I really liked the DGHDA, which I read years before (probably shortly after reading THGTTG), but Dirk's other adventure turned out as quite a disappointment to me. Where the one was truly absurd, the other felt somewhat.. cheap. Absurdity (as all writing) needs proper thougt before being put to paper. TLDTTOTS sometimes seemed to lack it.

Then again, perhaps my tas
Sep 07, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now I know why you never hear as much about Dirk Gently as you do of Arthur Dent. These two books were kind of fun and smart in the Douglas Adams-way but the stories never really took off. The twists were too sudden and the endings a bit too deus ex machinae. When there is time-traveling and Gods in the mix there are not many restrictions to what you can do with the story, but I think that it would have been wise not to let those things completely overrule the gist of the story. Adams is a fanta ...more
Monica Navarro Aranda
To be fair about the rating, I'd say Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency is a 5/5, but The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul is rather a 3/5, so there you go.

The first one is just as brilliant as you can expect from Adams. I never fail to enjoy seeing the world, life and universe from his point of view. Also I strongly recommend the TV series.

The second it's just ok.
Aug 11, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks-a-z
I am methodically listening to audiobooks from A-z at my library and this happened to be the first one. To be fair though it was only the audiobook of the Dark Tea Time of the Soul.

It turned out to be exactly what I expected, lots of zany but hilarious non-sensical stuff. Just like all of Douglas Adams books.
Love love love. :D I found I liked the storyline of the first book the most, but the technical language (real or not) was at times a bit off-putting. I can't help but wish that Adams had been able to write more of the series, but hopefully the BBC might take up the gauntlet since they did so well with their adaptation.
Edward Davies
So much cleverer than Hitchhiker's Guide, this is a fantastic novel and an appealing character, and it's such a shame that there aren't more Dirk Gently's around.

An interesting sequel that doesn't quite live up to the surprising solutions of the first book but is every bit as witty and fun.
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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
More about Douglas Adams...

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

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“It is difficult to be sat on all day, every day, by some other creature, without forming an opinion about them. On the other hand, it is perfectly possible to sit all day, every day, on top of another creature and not have the slightest thought about them whatsoever.” 3 likes
“coincidences are strange and dangerous things. Believe me, it is a great deal better to find cast-iron proof that you’re innocent than to languish in a cell hoping that the police—who already think you’re guilty—will find it for you.” 2 likes
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