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0535 | The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul | Douglas Adams

0535 | The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul | Douglas Adams post image

Context: Was reading this when I first sold my photography in Bahrain.

This is not one of Adams’ best. I sincerely hope it’s his worst because if there is a worse novel by him out there, it must be atrocious.

An explosion at an airport leads to the involvement of the world’s unfunniest detective on a barely coherent case that consists, as usual with Dirk Gently, of him doing absolutely nothing. I was going to write “and the inevitable solution of the case” but I can’t even remember there being a solution. I didn’t even care by the end.

By this point in the author’s life, it seems Adams had used up all his humour. Much of what passes as humorous is fairly banal. I think I saw something funny once but I’ve now forgotten which page it was on so you’ll just have to dig for it yourself.

I think this is such a shame. Adams was a comic genius and one of the most original comic thinkers that the UK produced in the 20th century. The original Dirk Gently novel had some memorable moments, but the sequel is, as sequels so often are, only useful insofar as it makes the original look good. Knowing Adams, that may have been the point.

If you’re not an Adams fan, I wouldn’t bother with this. There are a lot of better books out there. If you are an Adams fan, I wouldn’t bother either. There are a lot of better books by Adams out there.


It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on Earth has ever produced the expression “as pretty as an airport.”


This might reveal the ending. If you want to see the quote, click show

RATING longdarkr
Key: Legacy | Plot / toPic | Characterisation / faCts | Readability | Achievement | Style

Read more about how I come up with my ratings

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