Dirk Gently is a Holistic detective who believes in the interconnectedness of all things. He uses seemingly disconnected happenstances to solve the larger problems. I feel this is the most acute way I can describe the book/the character without giving away enough to spoil anything. I feel that this novel, as with most things, you should go into it completely blind and come out even more blind but with a sense of knowing why.
I watched the new BBC show of the same title recently and decided to read the book(s) to compare them. I should note that this is the first thing I have ever read by Douglas Adams (this is also apparently something that should cause me to hide behind furniture while other nerds glare at me or stare opened mouthed while I awkwardly fidget with loose threads on my jeans). Anyway, back on topic, I watched the BBC Show and fell in love with the absolute weirdness of it. I loved Dirk, Todd, Amanda, Bart, Farah, Ken, the Rowdy Three (everyone). I loved the plot even though it was impossible to follow (in the good way) and I said to myself “self, read the book! It’s probably brilliant!” Now for those of you who may not be aware I am not good with certain elements of sci-fi. Until very recently I could barely handle Doctor Who. I love Star Trek, Doctor Who, Star Wars, but all of the spacey stuff makes my head spin. So someone like Douglas Adams had never even been on my radar because I just knew I wouldn’t be smart enough to follow it. Quantum Physics and all that. Since I liked the show so much though I figured I could handle the book.
Only the book I read was not the show I watched. A fair warning to all people: The show and the book are only similar in that Dirk is a character and he is a self proclaimed Holistic Detective – you can leave everything else you know at the door.
Anyway, back to this book. I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It was not the show, in fact it was wholly different, but it was fantastic. It was confusing to me and I had no idea what was happening until it was over but that’s kind of life isn’t it? There was just about every sci-fi element you could want and it was all prettily composed into a narrative that made it seem as though no time had passed at all when in actuality the sun had lowered in the sky and my weekend was half gone. In the good way.
I loved the way Adams’ wrote as well – instead of saying “an old bicycle” he’d say “the corpse of a bicycle” just little word changes like that – or whole sentences comprised of nothing that somehow say everything. Brilliant. It’s no wonder so many people idolize him. I was silently of the opinion he was overrated to be honest, but I guess that’s something people say when they haven’t experienced the thing yet. (Also no disrespect meant to the dearly departed – I simply am stating personal facts as they are relevant.)
Anyway, do not read the book expecting the show. Do not watch the show expecting the book. Do however indulge in both.