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The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time [Abridged, Audiobook, CD] [Audio CD]

Douglas Adams , Christopher Cerf , Simon Jones
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 1 2006
Rescued from the Macintosh of the late Douglas Adams, "The Salmon of Doubt" gives listeners the opportunity to linger and frolic one last time with the uniquely entertaining and richly informed mind of the author. Unabridged. 2 cds.

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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
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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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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5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to the brilliant mind of Douglas Adams! May 27 2002
Format:Hardcover
What can a person say to describe the talents of Douglas Adams? Well, those who know all about his works, there are no words good enough to describe him. For those who don't know about his works, then now is as good as time as any to find out.
"The Salmon of Doubt" is actually only about 80 pages of a Dirk Gently story. This gives Adams a chance to create his usual elaborate set-ups, but we will never know of where he was planning on going with it since he has, unfortunantly, passed on from this life. The rest of the 300+ pages is filled with the bits that made up his life: on-line interviews, some short stories, articles that he wrote, and some of his personal writings from his computer journal. These represent the best of Adams. Whether he is jogging with dogs that don't belong to him or learning to cope with Frank the Vandal, his humor and wit shine through like a bright flash light beam in your eyes.
This book is a must have for any Douglas Adams fan or for anyone who has heard of the man, but isn't quite sure if they'll like his work. If such persons have any bit of intelligence left in their beings, then they'll love it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars So long Douglas and thanks for all the laughs! May 24 2002
Format:Hardcover
I purchased Douglas Adams' posthumous book exactly one year and one day after his extremely untimely passing. I have always thought that there is something inherently wrong about losing one's idols. "Salmon of Doubt" is a prime example of how wrong it truly is.
"Salmon of Doubt" is so absolutely and quite wonderfully Douglas.
This collection of articles, interviews, random thoughts and unfinished novel is an genuine treat to read. His unmistakable voice shines through on each and every page. For someone who professed to agonize over the whole "writing thing", Douglas did it with a style that is often imitated, yet never will be duplicated.
I was delighted to see "Cookies" make its way into this collection. I laughed when he included in the 4th Hitchhiker's novel, and was fortunate enough to hear him retelling this true story. He had everyone at this Chicago hotel bar in absolute hysterics some years ago, reliving the moment. I have never forgotten it.
"Maggie and Trudie" also stands out as one of my other favorite entries here. As does "The Private Life of Genghis Khan". The interviews included also give a further glimpse into this marvelously gifted man.
There is no doubt in my mind that the ever-so brief "Salmon of Doubt" story/novel itself would have been a joy to read had he been around to finish it. It would have worked perfectly well as the next Dirk Gently (or possible 6th HH) novel. I found myself reading this portion quickly, watching the pages dwindle and knowing it was going to abruptly end. It did. Now I'm left wondering what happened to Dirk and Desmond the rhinoceros. It's going to bug me till the end of time. Which I am sure would thrill Douglas to no end.
I'll have to ask Douglas when I see him at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe how it all ends.
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Format:Audio Cassette
I always felt it a little unfair to Adams that all of his books get compared to the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." "Hitchhiker's" is one of the best books ever written, and few books can live up to that comparison. Having said that, I think this is Adams's first book since "Life, the Universe and Everything" that does not fall well short of that high mark.
My only complaint about the book are the several introductions, all of which were not written by Adams. Each introducer seems interested only in establihing his credentials as a genuine "friend of Douglas", and each is more anxious than the last to give away the punchline or some other crucial point in one or another essay in the book, ruining the experience of getting to that point the way Adams intended.
But worst of all, the introductions all set a glum tone for a fun book. The introducers seem convinced that this book is all about how tragic it is that Adams died. But what Salmon of Doubt is really about is how wonderful it is that Adams lived.
So, do yourself a huge favor, and read those introductions last, if at all.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Salmon of Doubt - simply splendid
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... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Svetlana
1.0 out of 5 stars Even the most fanatic HH2G should just skip this book.
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... Read more
Published on Nov. 19 2010 by A. Kydd
5.0 out of 5 stars Doubtlessly entertaining...
It's fitting that this audio edition contains guests and narrators like Stephen Fry, Richard Dawkins, Terry Gilliam, et. al. Read more
Published on March 5 2004 by Jim Allen
4.0 out of 5 stars Douglas cannot be dead
Everybody should read 'The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy'!
That is both definite and demanded! Read more
Published on June 24 2003 by Sean Nolan
4.0 out of 5 stars Douglas cannot be dead
Everybody should read 'The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy'!
That is both definite and demanded! Read more
Published on June 24 2003 by Sean Nolan
5.0 out of 5 stars Douglas, you simply cannot be dead!...
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... Read more
Published on Sept. 20 2002 by Larissa
1.0 out of 5 stars Abysmally Poor CD Quality
The voices are wonderful, sound is excellent. The CD format could be greatly superior to a regular book, especially for those who listen and drive, if only:
1. Read more
Published on Aug. 14 2002 by "williams_allan"
5.0 out of 5 stars What we will miss
I was first exposed to Douglas Adams with the radio rendition of "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" -- I own and have read the series a number of times. Read more
Published on June 7 2002 by Steven L. Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars DNA RIP
If you're looking for the next Hitchhiker or Dirk Gently book, prepare to be disappointed. However, if you are, like many people, looking for some more work and play by beloved... Read more
Published on June 5 2002 by Kelly A. Ohlert
4.0 out of 5 stars Wish There Was More..
It looks as if Douglas Adams could have finished the new book in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, it would have been fun. Read more
Published on June 1 2002 by Mark Weller
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