If you like mystery, satire and zany humor, you love Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. While somewhat different in style from Adams’ more popular Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy, it has Adams’ genius for dialogue and absurdity. The story centers around Dirk’s college friend Richard, whose boss has unexpectedly died. Richard is suspected by the police when he climbs in his girlfriend’s window to erase a message he left on her answering machine. He eventually hires Dirk to get at the bottom of it. The holistic detective methods seem unlikely to make any headway, his belief in “the fundamental inter-connectedness of all things” leads to some surprising discoveries. One of my favorite characters is the Electric Monk, who is programmed to believe the things that humans can no longer be bothered to believe themselves. The varied and often absurd things that the Monk believes over the course of the book are often contradictory and likely religious satire. The Monk’s long-suffering horse appears in a college professor’s bathroom, much to the consternation of the housekeeping staff. Although Richard is not able to make the connections, this appearance becomes somewhat important. Dirk’s unconventional methods take Richard and the reader on a very strange and lovely journey through multiple universes.
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Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency is a humorous fantasy detective novel by Douglas Adams, first published in 1987. It is described on its cover as a "thumping good detective-ghost-horror-who dunnit-time travel-romantic-musical-comedy-epic".
The book was followed by a sequel, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, although the only recurring major characters are the eponymous Gently, his secretary Janice Pearce and Sergeant Gilks. Before his death, Adams also began work on another novel, The Salmon of Doubt with the intention of it being the third book in the series.