Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Science Fiction Review: The Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul by Douglas Adams

The Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul
by Douglas Adams

Beloved, bumbling Detective Dirk Gently returns in this standalone novel from Douglas Adams, the legendary author of one of the most beloved science fiction novels of all time, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

When a check-in desk at London’s Heathrow Airport disappears in a ball of orange flame, the event is said to be an act of God. But which god? wonders holistic detective Dirk Gently. And how is this connected to Dirk’s battle with his cleaning lady over his filthy refrigerator…or to the murder of his latest client? Or are these events just another stretch of coincidences in the life of the world’s most off-kilter private investigator?

Douglas Adams, “one of England’s top exporters of irreverence” (Chicago Tribune), continues the implausible adventures of supersleuth Dirk Gently in his quest to solve the mysteries of the universe.

My Review:
This was, as expected, a totally unpredictable read. There was no knowing or guessing at the outcome, merely holding on and keeping a sharp eye out and hoping to catch all the threads that would at some point reveal the ultimate interconnectedness of the universe.

Dirk’s epic, passive-aggressive standoff with his cleaning lady, interesting way of becoming unlost, and comedic larceny were delightful. The fridge was probably the most ridiculous and fantastic plot point of the whole thing. I did not see any of it coming.

Reading at night wasn’t working so much. As soon as I’d get tired, I’d start missing things, and as everything is linked to everything else, I decided to read the majority of it during the light of day on Saturday. Turned out to be a wise move.

Anyhow, I loved the story. It’s odd, clever, and makes a lot more sense in the end than it seems like it should. I’d recommend it to anyone who fancies Douglas Adams’ unique brand of nonsense.

I purchased my copy of this book.

About the author:
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 completed after Adams' death. The series has also been adapted for live theatre using various scripts; the earliest such productions used material newly written by Adams. He was known to some fans as Bop Ad (after his illegible signature), or by his initials "DNA".

In addition to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams wrote or co-wrote three stories of the science fiction television series Doctor Who and served as Script Editor during the seventeenth season. His other written works include the Dirk Gently novels, and he co-wrote two Liff books and Last Chance to See, itself based on a radio series. Adams also originated the idea for the computer game Starship Titanic, which was produced by a company that Adams co-founded, and adapted into a novel by Terry Jones. A posthumous collection of essays and other material, including an incomplete novel, was published as The Salmon of Doubt in 2002.

His fans and friends also knew Adams as an environmental activist and a lover of fast cars, cameras, the Macintosh computer, and other "techno gizmos".

Toward the end of his life he was a sought-after lecturer on topics including technology and the environment.