11 June 2006

Douglas Adams' Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

I miss Douglas Adams

I was one of many fans who were shocked beyond belief when Adams was struck down by a heart attack at the age of 49 in California. What was also the surprise, he was health nut and had been working out when that said heart attack came.

The reason I post about this is that I’ve decided to sell on E Bay, the long out of print, first American edition hardcover of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. Published in 1987, when his popularity with his Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series was still in the minds of fans, it was a departure for him. It’s humor was more stylized and less as broad as the Hitchhiker series. More in line with the typical, dry British sense of humor.

The book is also, in some sort of way, a alternate universe version of the Doctor Who episode Shada. Adams spent a year working on the classic version of the series during the late 1970s and had written two previous episodes, The Pirate Planet and fan favorite City of Death. Shada was to be his last episode for the show (and last serial of that season). But as things happen at the BBC, a planned strike caused a disruption of production on shows then. After the strike was over, the BBC went and looked at what shows could be finished and what shows would be dumped. Sadly, Shada was one of those serials that got the shaft, even though it needed only three more days of studio filming to finish it. Years later, the BBC would release the unfinished show on video (as by now, it became legendary as perhaps the best Who episode in years) with Tom Baker returning to provide “links” between the finished and unfinished parts of the story.

The book is about a detective who goes on the simple search for a missing cat, but uncovers a bewildered ghost, a secret time-traveler, and the devastating secret that lies behind the whole human history and threatens to bring it to a premature end.

Sadly, the cat dies.

I miss him because of his humor, and I miss him because he was taken from this planet long before he should’ve.

But, still, I need the money.


The sequel to this book, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, I also have in its first edition hardcover which came out in 1988. Anyone want that?

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