Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

By Douglas Adams,

Book cover of Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

Book description

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 of ghosts, time travel, and one detective’s mission to save humanity from extinction.

We solve the whole crime

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Why read it?

4 authors picked Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Looking through the small ads in the back of my parents’ newspaper (we got really bored before the internet), I saw one for a holistic detective agency – ‘missing cats and messy divorces a speciality’. My sister dared me to call. When I did, I heard a message saying, ‘This is Dirk Gently. If you’d like to leave a message, you can’t.’ It then revealed the existence of the book, which of course I bought.

It’s my favourite Douglas Adams: set in the real world, but standing at a finely calculated distance from reality. There’s the character who’s killed early…

From Christopher's list on making you laugh and feel better.

Once again, I love the over-the-topness of Douglas Adams.

When most of life is spent in offices where people describe each other as wacky if they so much as make a face (we’ve all been there) or where being called silly is an insult, it’s great to enter a world that goes waaaay farther than that. 

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, so naturally, I won’t. If you’re checking out a list like this, you don’t need me to tell you about it. Instead, let’s talk about Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. If you saw any of the 2016 BBC series based on the book–it’s nothing like that. It’s probably not much like the 2010 BBC series, either, but I never saw it, so who knows? In any event, if you enjoyed the classic humor of H2G2, Adams’s bizarre detective novel will help satisfy the craving for…

Adams described this as a “detective-ghost-horror-whodunit-time travel-romantic-musical-comedy-epic,” and I love this book in part because of how well it blends genres—something I do in my own stories. Humor, in particular, is hard enough to pull off, and other than the occasional hard-boiled wisecrack, most detective fiction doesn’t have a whole lot. Adams not only tells a ripping yarn, you’ll snort and chuckle all the way through.

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