Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently Series #1)

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently Series #1)

by Douglas Adams


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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, comes a wildly inventive novel—in trade paperback for the first time—of ghosts, time travel, and one detective’s mission to save humanity from extinction.

We solve the whole crime
We find the whole person
Phone today for the whole solution to your problem
(Missing cats and messy divorces a specialty)

Douglas Adams, the “master of wacky words and even wackier tales” (Entertainment Weekly) once again boggles the mind with a completely unbelievable story of ghosts, time travel, eccentric computer geniuses, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the end of the world, and—of course—missing cats.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476782997
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication date: 10/07/2014
Series: Dirk Gently Series , #1
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 70,208
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Douglas Adams, a legend of imaginative fiction, ushered in the advent of comedic science fiction with The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The book developed into a hugely successful series of five novels. The Dirk Gently series—Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency and The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul—helped cement Adams as one of the most successful and beloved authors in science fiction.

Read an Excerpt

Svlad Cjelli. Popularly known as Dirk, though, again, "popular" was hardly right. Notorious, certainly; sought after, endlessly speculated about, those too were true. But popular? Only in the sense that a serious accident on the motorway might be popular— everyone slows down to have a good look, but no one will get too close to the flames. Infamous was more like it. Svlad Cjelli, infamously known as Dirk. He was rounder than the average undergraduate and wore more hats. That is to say, there was just the one hat which he habitually wore, but he wore it with a passion that was rare in one so young. The hat was dark red and round, with a very flat brim, and it appeared to move as if balanced on gimbals, which ensured its perfect horizontality at all times, however its owner moved his head. As a hat it was a remarkable rather than entirely successful piece of personal decoration. It would make an elegant adornment, stylish, shapely and flattering, if the wearer were a small bedside lamp, but not otherwise. People gravitated around him, drawn in by the stories he denied about himself, but what the source of these stories might be, if not his own denials, was never entirely clear.

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Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 102 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I have read all of the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe" series and the "Dirk Gently" books are a great addition to the works of Douglas Adams. The characters in this book had whimsical moments, but those moments were balanced with the scientific detail in various events. The mysteriousness of the plot was intriguing and thought-provoking. Speaking of which, the storyline was one of utmost originality. Time machines, ghosts, and an electric monk wrapped up in one neat package. Science fiction and humor are mixed flawlessly together in "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just one of the best series
Dirk_Gently More than 1 year ago
Adams delivers another hilarious book, love everything he's done. It's a shame he never got a chance to put out more books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Compared to the rest of his work this is merely amusing and not overtly memorable.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This novel continues the amazing creative expression of Douglas Adams, begun for most readers, with the Hitchhiker's Guide. It is, as the others are, pure comic genius. Reading, or better yet hearing Douglas Adams takes us into a reality which is probably truer than the one we know every day. Indeed it adds dimension to what we call the Real World. From Quantum Physics to concern for endangered species, it teaches as it boggles! By the way, the reason they go to visit Coleridge is to prevent the writing of the poem that set up the destruction of the world. My only 'negative' in reading and re-reading any of Douglas Adams is the sadness that the voice is now silent and we will never hear anything new from this amazing mind.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Unfortunately, it is also incomprehensible to anyone under the level of advanced God. I read it three times and I STILL CAN'T FIGURE OUT WHY THEY WENT TO SEE COLERIDGE!!! But read this book anyway. If you are already a fan of Douglas Adams this is one of his best, and if you're not you will be after reading this book. Believe me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Now come on people. How could no one else have read this book, happened upon this page and said, 'I'm gonna write a review'. Alright, many of you aren't in this position. But I am. So why not, I'll go for it. The little Star Guide on the side claims that 5 is the equivilant to Outstanding. If you have ever read a Douglas Adams book before, you will know what to expect - a non-sensical plot with the infamous psycic Dirk Gently, of whom I am currently modeling my life after. From his adventures of 'cheating' in collage to solving the mysteries of the universe by asking a child, he is a character. His motto is that while Sherlock Homes opted to eliminate the impossible, he has found that doing this sometimes wields unsatisfactory results. Therefore, he practices a Holistic detective agency, and studies the interconnectedness of all things. From Shrodinger's 'hypothetical' Cat, to the odd problem of a phoneline only working while in another dimension altogether, Dirk does it all. Oh, and unless you haven't noticed, the quoted words signify the parallel to what is reality and what is Dirk Gently's own personal universe. But Dirk is only in the title and therefore has a limited part in the story. After the murder of a computer tycoon by a machine-monk (with the ability to utter 'I believe you' with a pitch of utter sincerity) the more or less main character is tricked by Dirk into thinking he is a prime suspect. In traditional Adams fashion, the story spirals out of control and ends with 'To be continued' just to annoy us readers. If my review was vague in any way or if you respond better to being commanded, I will say this: Buy this book! If you despise online transactions, go to a store! As you can imagine, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. But now I must say Adieu, and my 15 minutes are coming to a close. Goodbye, and if you have made it this far, kudos. You can survive the book which you will now undoubtedly buy...
bookworm12 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Time travel, a detective agency, Dodo birds, ghosts, Electric monks; this book is a hodgepodge of sci-fi elements and the bizarre, which is to say it¿s a novel by Douglas Adams. I¿m a huge fan of the Hitchhiker¿s Guide to the Galaxy series and so I¿ve been looking forward to this one for years. To tell the truth I was a bit disappointed, although the book is hilarious it¿s also a bit convoluted and hard to follow. It still has Adam¿s trademark humor and pokes fun at the absurd, but it lacks the heart that you¿ll find in Hitchhiker. I think that a big part of the reason why can be attributed to Arthur Dent¿s absence. His bumbling humanness is what grounds the craziness of Hitchhiker. The main character in Dirk, Richard MacDuff, is similar to Arthur but he¿s never quite as endearing. It¿s almost impossible to explain the premise of the book, but this line from it is as close as I can get ¿¿Sherlock Holmes observed that once you have eliminated the impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the answer. I, however, do not like to eliminate the impossible.¿ - Dirk Gently (also known as Svlad Cjelli). One element that I loved was the idea of the Electric monks. People have created machines to do almost all of their menial tasks. We have dishwashers, microwaves, washing machines, etc. This novel takes it once step further, they¿ve created robots called Electric monks to do their believing for them. It¿s just one example of Adam¿s brilliance. ¿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?¿ ¿If you really want to understand something, the best way is to try and explain it to someone else.¿ ¿The phone rang and Janice answered it. `Good afternoon,¿ she said, `Wainwright¿s Fruit Emporium. Mr. Wainwright is not able to take calls at this time since he is not right in the head and thinks he is a cucumber.¿¿ BOTTOM LINE: The Hitchhiker¿s Guide to the Galaxy is the best place to start with Adam¿s work. If you already love that series then definitely check this one out! It¿s not quite up to the same standard, but nothing of Adam¿s should be missed. p.s. I have to mention one fantastic line that nods to Hitchhiker, ¿Do you always carry a towel around in your briefcase?¿
Ambrosia4 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The lesser known counterpart of Adams' earlier "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency" displays the authors distinctive style of random observation and winding plot. As with all his books, his quirky writing style works well for his own genre blend of science fiction, philosophy, and humor. This is a book that makes you work for it's meaning and leaves you feeling like you've had an epiphany.Particularly enjoyable are the title character's foibles and crazy ideas on the "interconnectedness of all things". While overall amusing and entertaining, Adams makes you think at the same time as you laugh.I enjoyed this book greatly and believe it well deserved it's place on the 1001 Books to Read list.
symcbean on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While Adam's is best known for the Aurthur Dent/Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy books, I think the Dirk Gently books are funnier, and have a more cohesive storyline.
BlankReg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've always loved Douglas' writing on the whole, but he does have an annoying habit of (seemingly) realizing he's filled out his contractual word minimum and then rushing to finish the story as quickly as possible. I felt like this book was being forced shut long before it really wanted to be-- certainly before I wanted it to be. Overall a good and funny book with a clunky and abrupt ending.
usnmm2 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Those of you who only know D. Adams from the Hitchhiker books are in for a nice treat with Dirk. I find these books to be better than hitchhiker. A mix of sci fi and fantasy.
battlinjack on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the funniest book I have read in some time. In fact, it's one of the top 5 of my fun list.Read it. then do yourself a favor and read it again.
kawgirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this book, but had to force myself to do so. I just couldn't get into it.
doxtator on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Twisty plot, good fun, but you do have to pay a little bit of attention. It takes quite a while to find out what exactly the problem is going to be, and then you have to deal with the old trope of the innocent person being thought to be the murderer and needing to prove their innocence (which doesn't last too long, thankfully). At the end, it's a bit abrupt and takes a bit of thinking about it (hard to do since it involves some odd logic) but the world ignores any paradoxes and just goes right on existing.
VirginiaGill on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book returned to my library via SantaThing this year. What a delight! Was great fun to revisit a book I read often years ago. Still loved every moment of it and would recommend it to others without reservation. "The couch is stuck" has become a humorous refrain now in my husband's battle with leukemia. We crack up and everyone looks at us as if we were crazy. Perhaps I should start carrying extra copies with me.
librisissimo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Substance: I didn't see much point to it, although the individual elements were well-plotted. The humor is in the same vein as Terry Pratchett, without the underlying moral sense.Style: Readable without too much back-tracking. Subtle clues well-laid.
gerleliz on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great series. Always want Pizza Hut for some reason
Anbigin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Electric Monks, hypnotism, ghosts, salt shaker magic tricks, old college professors, a music magazine and then a dodo bird - what do they all have in common? I don't know - that's why I read this book. It wasn't as comedic as "Hitchhiker's" but obviously still fun. Highly enjoyable, good characters and amazingly random:)
AliasUndercover on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Powerful, moving, and utterly hilarious. Join Dirk Gently (the world's most hypocritical detective) on his epic quest to prove the fundamental interconnectedness of all things. From disgruntled ghosts to Electric Monks, this book will have you laughing from start to finish.
ChristopherTurner on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very, very, very funny and so dry. I was not a Hichhikers fan by a long shot so I went into this novel wondering if I was going into the a world I wasn't altogether happy to enter. I was glad I read it and it took me maybe 4 hours to read it.
rincewind1986 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I actually prefer this to the hitchikers guide 'trilogy'. Telling the story of a very perculiar and sterotyped decective, the pages are full of witticism, irony and the laughs you always expect for douglas adams.
Aristocats on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I recently finished reading Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams for one of the challenges I'm in. It's been quite a while since I've read a Douglas Adams book (last one was Salmon of Doubt a few years back) but I knew I'm in for a treat. And indeed, it has the same excellent humor as we are already used to from the The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.The main plot idea seems to be Gordon Way's shooting during a call to his sister Susan's answering machine and Richard MacDuff's (an employee of Gordon's working on a program to convert data into music, currently dating Susan) seemingly implication in the murder; even if Gordon Way is dead his ghost is still roaming around. Dirk Gently, Richard's former college friend, believes in the fundamental interconnectedness of everything and tries to help Richard to prove he's innocent.However, this is just a small part of the plot, in fact a very small one: time travel, aliens and other ideas are mixed in to create another great and funny Douglas Adams book.Towards the end I was totally lost since I had no idea what the Coleridge connection is. After some searches on the internets, I discovered that the novel cannot be fully understood without familiarity with Samuel Taylor Coleridge life and works, particularly The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan poems. I found some notes though on a website so things got clearer.During these searches on the net I also found out that the sofa irreversibly stuck on the stairs is based on an incident that happened during Adams¿ college life.Overall, a great read, 4 out of 5 stars.I can't wait to read the next Dirk Gently book, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul.
aethercowboy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Based somewhat on a Doctor Who script written by Adams (Shada), DGHDA takes the reader (and one Dirk Gently, holistic detective) on a journey through time and space through the happenings of different characters, some dead, some alive, and some extraterrestrial robot monks.Featuring the same wit and humor as that in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, this book is chock full of well-written and amusing prose.A must read for any fan of Adams.
craso on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
How do I describe this novel? A humorous new age detective story with a time machine and a ghost¿ actually two ghosts? How about Douglas Adam at his best? Richard is having a bad day. He stands up his girlfriend to go to a stuffy dinner at Cambridge with his old student adviser Reg who for some reason has a horse in his bathroom. As he is driving home he runs into the ghost of his boss. He says something stupid on his girlfriend¿s message recorder and scales the side of her apartment building to retrieve the tape. This is not normal behavior for Richard and Dirk Gently, an old friend of Richards from Cambridge, wants to know why he is acting out of character. Seems Dirk has a Holistic Detective Agency where he claims to find the ¿whole solution to your problem.¿ Adam¿s injects New Age philosophies into this genre bending story. More down to earth than the Hitchhiker novels, but infused with the same humor, this book was great fun to read.