Monday, 17 January 2011

Audiobook: Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency Review

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (Unabridged)
Written by Douglas Adams
Read by Douglas Adams
What do a dead cat, a computer whiz-kid, an Electric Monk who believes the world is pink, quantum mechanics, a Chronologist over 200 years old, Samuel Taylor Coleridge (poet), and pizza have in common? Apparently not much; until Dirk Gently, self-styled private investigator, sets out to prove the fundamental interconnectedness of all things by solving a mysterious murder, assisting a mysterious professor, unravelling a mysterious mystery, and eating a lot of pizza – not to mention saving the entire human race from extinction along the way (at no extra charge).
I have this book on cassette tape – that’s how long I’ve had a copy! It was one of the first audio books I bough and I still listen to the story regularly as I love the story so much. Douglas Adams is one of the best known British comic writers, best known for The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, but to my mind his Dirk Gently books are superior. The main reason I prefer them? There’s a more coherent plot to them. Dirk Gently is a fantastic comic creation, a lazy genius who thinks outside the box, has more curiosity than a cat (and more lives!) and somehow manages to solve the most bizarre cases on very little fact.
What I love about this audio reading is that it’s by Douglas Adams himself, so as author and reader he stresses the words he meant to be important. He may not do voices particularly well but he conveys the spirit of the character through their speech and ponderings. This feels like a very intimate book on tape as a result – being read to by the author himself.  Added to the fact that this story has some great insights into life, the universe and everything and has some particularly funny lines (the horse’s thoughts are hilarious). As a book this is a great little read to while away an afternoon. As an audio book it gives over 6 hours of amusing lines and a murder mystery to solve.
Recommended for fans of Terry Prachett and Monty Python. 9 out of 10.


  1. I have a set of Roald Dahl audio cassettes that I can't get rid of, even though I no longer own a cassette player.

    I'm not a big Adams fan myself. I love Monty Python but hate Terry Pratchett, so I suppose I'm a bit of a contradiction!

  2. Oh, how nice that it was read by Adams! Btw, what is a cassette tape thingy? ;) lol

  3. I can't speak for the audiobook, but I tried to read this one not long ago and found myself very bored. Maybe I just wasn't in the right headspace to enjoy it, I don't know, but it didn't leave me with a very favourable impression, and I had to put it down rather than keep on reading, as it very quickly started to feel like a chore.