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The Long Dark Tea Time Of The Soul Paperback – Oct 13 1989

4.4 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Paperback, Oct 13 1989
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: PAN Macmillan Adult MM (Oct. 13 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330309552
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330309554
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 1.7 x 17.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 41 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #424,806 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

"The British author of the Hitchhiker trilogy and other immensely popular lunacies, Adams permits no whiff of common sense to spoil his new novel, which combines fantasy, hilarity and creeping horrors," remarked PW . Here, sleuth Dirk Gently investigates a lawyer and an advertiser who possess the soul of the god Odin. "The plot's ramifications are marvelous, bloody and irresistible."
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

Now, New Millennium Audio presents all the works of Douglas Adams on audiobook. The science-fiction trilogy, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and its four companions, all available, as well as The Salmon of Doubt. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio Cassette
Kate Schechter should have taken the signs the universe was trying to give her. That's what she tells herself as she shows up at the airport for a trip to Norway in spite of all the warnings. Still, she is unprepared for the check in desk to be blown through the roof just after she misses her flight.
Meanwhile, Dirk Gently has hit a low. He has almost no money and no clients. Except the one he's forgotten about who promptly gets himself killed. Now Dirk feels responsible for not taking this guy's claims serious and wants to track down the green eyed monster. As if that weren't enough, he and his cleaning lady are having a war over who will open his fridge first, an out of order soda machine keeps appearing and disappearing, and he's being stalked by an eagle. What these seemingly unrelated events have to do with each other provides plenty of wacky entertainment.
I am still only mildly familiar with the books of Douglas Adams, and I simply must correct that. This fantasy novel was wonderfully strange and entertaining. The opening bits about the airport and Kate's trip had me laughing out loud. The laughs slowed down over the course of the book, but they were still plentiful. Maybe it's my normal reading of mysteries, but my only real complaint was an ending that was really more confusing then enlightening of what had gone on before.
Actually, I listened to the audio version of this book, read by the author. These can be hit or miss, depending on the author. Douglas Adams did an exceptional job of reading, throwing just the right tones and inflections in for the best effect. About the only complaint on this part was that the scene changes were so sudden and abrupt that it could confuse you for a few seconds even when you're paying attention.
Whether you get your hands on the audio version of stick with the traditional print version, this is a wonderful title sure to entertain. I must move more of his books higher up my to be read pile.
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Format: Audio CD
While I agree with the consensus that the story is, indeed, humorous, convoluted, completely interconnected, and ultimately a confusing but inspired delight, there are plenty of reviews to that effect, so I shall narrow my focus to the specific format in which I purchased it, which is the Abridged Audio CD edition, read by the author, on which there are many fewer comments.
There are a few minor complaints about this edition. The six CDs packaged in a box of the size that, a decade ago, was used for double CDs, is novel, but the spindles hold the CDs to the tray so tightly that, removing them, one feels as if something's about to snap. The dynamic range is so great that, with any background noise at all (such as may be expected if listening in the car), the loud parts must be quite loud in order for the quiet parts to be heard. Though the cover boasts digital mastering, some high-end digital artifacts can be heard, the background squiggly sounds that one might hear in an audio stream at low dialup speeds. And, as in the case of the "Dirk Gently" audiobook, each disc contains only a single track of around 70 minutes. That last may pose a problem for listeners whose players return to the beginning of the track when stopped (luckily for me, my car player resumes where it left off); otherwise, these are, as I've said, minor issues.
On the positive side, it is a great pleasure to hear Adams' voice reading his own work. He may have been a careful and crafty writer, but he also wrote in style often closer to speech than to literate prose. There are a few bits of wordplay that work better when seen on the page; but, on the other hand, his multiple-appositive sentences are much easier to sort out when one can actually hear where the emphasis was intended.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Like it's predecessor, "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency", "The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul" demands a second reading. It's complex, often confusing, but never less than amusing. Both books display Douglas Adams' verbal wit, which will remind most of his ever-popular "Hitchhiker" books, but are more concerned with their labyrinthine and well-structured plots. And both books offer an ending that may not make sense if the reader hasn't been paying close (and I mean CLOSE) attention. The main difference between the two is that while the ending of the former was obscure *and* painstakingly logical, the ending here feels contrived and illogical. Like a good mystery novel, the reader should have been able to see it coming given the clues presented. In "Dirk Gently" this was true; it necessitated some research to fathom, but with enough effort the reader could make sense of things. Here, not so much.
That's not to say that "Tea-Time" is a pointless endeavor. It is, after all, a Douglas Adams novel. And now that the man is gone, we should cherish everything he's ever written. In their own ways they're all gems. This gem, however, has less of a sheen.
Once again, Dirk Gently is asked to save the world. Or rather, he's asked to not screw it up so much. He's a detective who believes in the interconnectedness of everything. This point is only sporadically touched on here, but is relayed at great length in the previous book. Pity, because Adams has constructed a narrative whose tentacles dip into a myriad of different subjects and storylines, all for the most part unrelated. But he does draw them all together, seemingly against their will, in the end.
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