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Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul Mass Market Paperback – 1991

4.4 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Pocket (1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671742515
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671742515
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #680,543 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have read all the volumes of THE HITCHHIKERS GUIDE. In fact, I've read all of DNA's books including his nonfiction such as THE DEEPER MEANING OF LIFF and LAST CHANCE TO SEE. Of all the books, THE LONG DARK TEA-TIME OF THE SOUL is by far my favorite. I must add, there is no piece of fiction that I have read as many times as THE LONG DARK TEA-TIME OF THE SOUL.
Why would a person read this novel more that once? First, it is hilarious! The dialogs and interaction among the characters are well honed. This description of airports on the first couple of pages will induce everyone to continue reading. Second, the story and the underlying theoretical principles that guide the novel are quite complex. Thus, a person can read this novel ten times and still undercover an unanticipated wrinkle that sheds new light on the plot and subplots. Third, from an academic perspective, Dirk Gently employs an "ecological system model" as the centerpiece of his investigative tools. Gently's worldview represents an extreme form of a theory that student's commonly learn in college. Teaching the theoretical principles of the ecological system model is a stuffy and arduous enterprise. However, using Dirk Gently as an example opens the door for understanding among many college students. Back in 1991, I emailed DNA about how I was using his novel in class. He replied and was pleased with my efforts.
I love this book and feel sad that I will not have the pleasure reading more of DNA's work.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I did not enjoy this one as much as "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency". I do have to say that Douglas Adams is an incredible writer and I have enjoyed all of his books. His has a wonderful sense of humor and is very intelligent, and it shows through in his Dirk Gently series. Like the first book, the story starts out with several story lines developing and slowly coming together for a climactic ending. It's up to Dirk Gently to solve the mystery of his late clients death and the mysterious explosion in London's Heathrow Airport that was deemed an "act of God". I was left feeling rather dissatisfied by the ending. I didn't understand why some things happened that did, and was left feeling confused and unfulfilled. However, I do not think that this is because of the book itself, but rather that perhaps I didn't devote the attention to this book that it deserves and requires. It has a very intricate plot and was very thought provoking. I will be re-reading this book to better my understanding of it, and I would love to see more of Dirk Gently in the future.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book, and its predecessor "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency", are heavily under-rated due to the major success of the Hitch Hiker "trilogy" by Douglas Adams. But in a way, they're the better ones. Especially this one.
I won't bother telling the story, because frankly I cannot. Now, I've been reading this book in about monthly intervals for years, but I still find something new each time, and I still have trouble keeping track of the story. Don't let that keep you, though. Yes, it *is* mildly confusing, but it all works out after a couple of times of reading, and it's great fun from first time, page one. Besides, it's worth the effort: there's many a topic for an evening of thinking in there.
But that's not what you buy it for.
Then there's the business of the Norse Gods walking the Earth, just like your average John Smith. Sort of. Thor naturally makes more of a nuisance of himself, but anyway, the notion of everything that the human race ever chose to believe in being true, and staying true long after we've ceased to need it to be true as well, is an astonishingly moving one. "Immortals was what you wanted, and immortals was what you got", complains one of them bitterly. And rightly so. What would you do if you were an immortal, omnipotent being whom no-one believes in anymore? Chances are, you'd sell your immortal soul to appear in a soft-drink commercial. Once you accept the fantasy part of it, it all snaps in place with logical precision, and even going to Asgard becomes an accepted way to spend the evening.
But that's also not what you buy it for.
The most outstandingly entertaining thing about the book is, of course, the humour, which is more like what you buy it for.
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