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The Salmon Of Doubt [Paperback]

Douglas Adams
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 3 2003 And Other Writings

Here is Douglas Adams`s indispensable guide to life, the universe and everything. This sublime collection dips into the wit and wisdom of the man behind THE HITCHHIKER`S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, uncovering his unique comic musings on everything from his school-trousers to malt whisky and from the letter Y through to his own nose, via atheism, hangovers and fried eggs. Including short stories and a lengthy unpublished Dirk Gently extract, THE SALMON OF DOUBT is for fans and new readers alike. These hilarious collected writings reveal the warmth, enthusiasm and ferocious intelligence behind this most English of comic writers; a man who was virtually an unofficial member of the Monty Python team.

Douglas Adams on his passion for P. G. Wodehouse, The Beatles and the perfect cup of tea alone make this a must-have collection and a remarkable sign-off from one of the best loved writers of all time.

`One of the world`s sanest, smartest, kindest, funniest voices` INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY

`Sheer delight` THE TIMES.

`Magical... read this book` SUNDAY EXPRESS


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Product Description

From Amazon

The Salmon of Doubt is the late Douglas Adams's third comic novel about "holistic detective" Dirk Gently. Ten tantalising chapters of this unfinished project are padded to book size with about 50 short Adams pieces, mostly non-fiction.

Additional material includes introductions by Stephen Fry and editor Peter Guzzardi (who stitched together the Salmon fragment from disk drafts), The Guardian's Adams biography, Richard Dawkins's farewell piece, and the order of the memorial service.

The non-fiction by the man himself ranges from perhaps a dozen meaty articles and speeches to brief squibs, interview/questionnaire answers and tiny asides like:

We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works. How do you recognise something that is still technology? A good clue is if it comes with a manual.

There are enjoyable pieces on computers (especially), atheism, dogs, manta rays on the Great Barrier Reef, the Save the Rhino stunt climb, and PG Wodehouse. Much of the rest is ephemeral; you can't help reflecting that Adams himself never chose to collect all this lightweight newspaper work.

Lovers of his fiction will welcome the Hitch-Hiker-related short stories "The Private Life of Genghis Khan" and "Young Zaphod Plays It Safe", despite the latter's dreadfully dated political punch line.

What of The Salmon of Doubt itself, a quarter of this book? There's a glimpse of a far-future estate agent's utopia, a woman asking Dirk Gently to investigate a cat that's literally only half there (his puzzling reluctance to take the case may echo Adams's own feelings about the novel), Gently's capricious trip to America in response to an unknown client's total lack of instructions, the tragic death of a rhino as perceived by the rhino... Many teasing questions; we'll never know the answers.

Overall it's a must-have for devoted Adams fans and completists, a likely disappointment (though with pleasant exceptions) for new readers. --David Langford --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Edited by Peter Guzzardi and with an introduction by Christopher Cerf, this bittersweet collection comprises letters, fragments of ideas for books, films and TV, ruminations on a diverse array of subjects and a good bit of a final unfinished novel by the author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, who died in May of last year. Included are a letter to the editor of a U.K. boy's magazine (written in 1965, when Adams was 12); a reminiscence about his lifelong love for the Beatles, written when he was in his 40s; a 1991 piece from Esquire entitled "My Nose"; and an undated article for the Independent espousing his preference for whiskey. Also on hand are a q&a in which he identifies the most interesting natural structure as being a "2,000-mile-long fish in orbit around Jupiter, according to a reliable report in the Weekly World News"; a spiritual encounter with a giant manta ray while testing a mechanical diving device at Australia's Great Barrier Reef; an affecting introduction to P.G. Wodehouse's unfinished novel, Sunset at Blandings; an account of a Save the Rhino pilgrimage across Africa; ruminations on computerization; and a philosophical address about the authorship of the universe entitled "Is There an Artificial God?" Two sketches "The Private Life of Genghis Khan" and "Young Zaphod Plays It Safe" from the Utterly Utterly Merry Comic Relief Christmas Book, 1986, are also here, as are 10 chapters from various versions of the title novel-in-progress. National advertising.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Salmon of Doubt - simply splendid Oct. 28 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great reading for all who love Douglas Adams' work. It's fascinating to connect various bits and pieces in his interviews and articles to his books, his life experiences to literary work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars MAJOR DISAPPOINTMENT May 25 2002
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Before you all jump on me, let me say that I adore HHGTTG in all its incarnations. I've read the Dirk Gently books, although I'm not as big a fan of those as I am of HHGTTG. I even own (and have read) Last Time to See. So I'm a bona fide DNA fan.
I have seldom looked forward so much and then been so disappointed in a book as I was with Salmon of Doubt. It's okay for what it is -- a mishmash of previously published articles and columns, random musings culled from DNA's computer after his death, interviews, reprints, and the beginning of his unfinished and incomprehensible novel.
The marketing led me to believe I was going to be reading a new installment in HHGTTG, not an anthology. Even the book itself implied that we'd be getting another installment of HHGTTG, and specifically states that it's not a Dirk book. Well, it may not be Dirk Gently (even if he is the protagonist), but it's also not HHGTTG. And the whole "novel" comprises only 80 or so of the 280 or so pages of the book.
Save your money. Re-read HHGTTG instead.
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By A. Kydd
Format:Paperback
I would first like to emphasize that I love the writings of Douglas Adams. I first picked up a copy of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy when I was 7 years old and never looked back. I've never read anything by Doug that I didn't consider worthwhile . . . until I bought a copy of The Salmon of a Doubt.
I had long since read 'Young Zaphod Plays It Safe' and 'The Private Life of Genghis Khan'. Anyone who poked around the net would have done the same.
I could pick apart the supposed third Dirk Gently book, but it is most simply criticized by saying that a writers unfinished work should never be published. It feels like a publisher trying to milk the last few dimes out of a now dead author.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Doubtlessly entertaining... March 5 2004
Format:Audio CD
It's fitting that this audio edition contains guests and narrators like Stephen Fry, Richard Dawkins, Terry Gilliam, et. al. In addition to helping bring this wonderful collection of Adam's work to life, they bring an additional sense of connection to the man behind (within?) the words.
Some fans of Adams fiction may not like the extensive nonfiction pieces included, but those people will miss out on some of the best gems of Adams' wit and wisdom. Most others, though, will realize that there is a vast archive of columns and articles, letters and speeches, (many published outside the U.S.) that we have missed.
In all of the pieces, nonfiction and fiction, Adams' crisp humor and prodding logic will make you giggle, laugh, and most of all, wonder at this gloriously silly thing we call life.
Listen to this many times... and don't forget your towel.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Audio CD not worth the money. Sept. 13 2003
Format:Audio CD
This has got to be the poorest mastering job I have ever found for an Audio Book. The actual contents are fine; the recording is good, the reading is good, and the material is moderately intriguing. However, it is without excuse that the 7 CD set contains only 1 track per disc.
Do the producers really think that people want to listen to a book of letters, memoirs, interviews, and miscellany in a single (or 7 1-hour 10-minute) sitting(s)? It is unbelievable that the various chapters of the book have not been given individual track numbers.
For my own use, before I could bear to listen to this audio book, I had to rip the entire 7-disc set and segment it so I could handle it in reasonable chunks. That took me 5 hours. Oh, and there is not even a Table of Contents. I had to find one on somebody's website, so I'd have some sort of clue what I'd find in this book.
This is inexcusable and irritating, especially for an audio book that retails for $45.
If this is how all of New Millennium's titles are, I'll never buy one again.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Douglas cannot be dead June 24 2003
Format:Hardcover
Everybody should read 'The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy'!
That is both definite and demanded!
This looked as though it had the promise to be better than the other two Dirk Gently books(truth be told, I wasn't a big DG fan).
But this one looked as though it had real promise!
It's a shame that we will never get to read the completed text.
True, I discovered DA later than some, but I have been a rather zealous for about fourteen years.
This is a real kick in the pants for fiction, first Uncle Shelby, then Doug...
(or was it the other way around)
Was this review helpful to you?
4.0 out of 5 stars Douglas cannot be dead June 24 2003
Format:Hardcover
Everybody should read 'The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy'!
That is both definite and demanded!
This looked as though it had the promise to be better than the other two Dirk Gently books(truth be told, I wasn't a big DG fan).
But this one looked as though it had real promise!
It's a shame that we will never get to read the completed text.
True, I discovered DA later than some, but I have been a rather zealous for about fourteen years.
This is a real kick in the pants for fiction, first Uncle Shelby, then Doug...
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Douglas, you simply cannot be dead!... Sept. 21 2002
By Larissa
Format:Audio CD
A man who really knew where his towel was. When the world lost Douglas Adams in a gym in Santa Barbara, it lost one of its most incisive wits and piercingly brilliant "life" commentators. This collection of eulogies, articles, introductions, interviews and stories gives a glimpse of Douglas Adams at work and play. Though other friends of Douglas lend their voices to this book, Simon Jones takes the lions share of the work. Simon, for those who don't know, is the original Arthur Dent from the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy radio series and movie. I never met Douglas, but Zarquon's Knees!, I miss him. Buy the CD's, The Salmon of doubt is... ...well, it's better than Vogon poetry!
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