Tag Archive for Douglas Adams

The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul by Douglas Adams (William Heinemann, 1988); audiobook read by Douglas Adams (Phoenix, 2015) The story, when looked back upon at book’s end, turns out to have been the flimsiest of nonsense. Dirk actually does very little. But this only serves to emphasise the deft, droll, audacious touch of Adams’ whimsy, and the lure of…

The Salmon of Doubt

The Salmon of Doubt by Douglas Adams (William Heinemann, 2002); audiobook read by Simon Jones (Phoenix, 2005) A patchy, posthumous collection of Adams writings (predominantly non-fiction) exemplifying his off-beat, self-indulgent style, his knack for pinning down human absurdities, and his incurable technophilia and recycling of ideas and anecdotes. Most tantalising for fans is the nascent unfinished Dirk Gently novel(la).  …

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Hexagonal Phase

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Hexagonal Phase by Eoin Colfer; adapted by Dirk Maggs (BBC, 2018) Colfer’s contribution to Hitchhiker’s probably works better in adaptation—as a continuation of the seminal radio series—than as a novel. Forty years on, the original actors have returned to their recording booths and sound ever-young, still invested in Adams’ cosmic zaniness.    

Mostly Harmless

Mostly Harmless by Douglas Adams (William Heinemann, 1992); audiobook read by Martin Freeman (Bolinda, 2006) An ingeniously plotted novel—by far the most coherent of the Hitchhiker’s books—and one in which Adams at last paid attention to characterisation; but the effect is spoiled somewhat by an incongruous (if by then expected) jokiness in the prose style.    

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Live in Concert

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Live at the Almeida Theater, London, 1995 by Douglas Adams (Phoenix Books, 2008) The greater part of this reading (or more accurately, performance) comes in the form of two long excerpts from Life, the Universe and Everything. Suddenly that which seems facetious on the page springs to life and we hear what Adams himself…

Galahad at Blandings

Galahad at Blandings by P. G. Wodehouse (Simon & Schuster, 1964); audiobook read by Jeremy Sinden (Chivers, 1993; 2011) In Galahad Threepwood surely we have the nascent (if more genteel) template for Dirk Gently, and in the comings and goings at Blandings Castle that of Douglas Adams’ much-vaunted fundamental interconnectedness of everything. This is Wodehouse at his fabulous, gab-gifted, exquisite…