What do a horse, an immovable sofa, an electric monk, the C.E.O. of a major I.T. company, an aging professor and a bathrooom have in common? Well, nothing unless you happen to be Douglas Adams or his exceptionally quirky character, Dirk Gently the holistic detective. For Adams and his character, they have very much in common.
When Richard MacDuff is accused of the murder of his boss, it seems that no one can help him prove his innocence. No one except perhaps Richard’s old college friend and a known con-man, Dirk Gently. After a not so chance encounter with Dirk on the night of the murder, Richard seeks help from this owner of a “holistic detective agency” whose primary goal, it seems, is to swindle gullible old ladies out of their pensions with promises of finding their lost cats. But, will Dirk be able to help Richard by solving the mystery of who killed his boss or will Richard get charged for murder?
In My Humble Opinion:
I must admit, when I picked up the book I was so excited. I’m a mystery lover so words like “detective” or “mystery” or anything of that nature immediately piques my interest. But, as I began reading, I wondered whether I’d picked up the right book or whether a serious printing error had occurred (in my defense, though, I had just finished reading some pretty weird stuff about a book with printing errors). It took me about four chapters to get into it but boy! when I did I really did.
Classic to Douglas Adams’ (author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) quirky style of writing this novel combines a mish-mash of ideas and concept that make absolutely no sense until they’re explained. And then they make perfect sense. Like the concept of a sofa getting stuck half-way up a staircase and a horse in the bathroom. Neither of those concepts make much sense, even less so when combined and yet Douglas Adams does it in a way that seems perfectly logical when he’s explained. You land up thinking “Duh! Why didn’t I think of that?” And yet, how could you? You’re not Douglas Adams and thinking illogically just doesn’t seem to come as naturally to most of us as it does to him.
I know that a movie has been made of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy but I really don’t think a movie could be made from Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, at least not one that captures the essence of the book properly. A madness and confusion exists in the book that works well but it would simply be interpreted as a distraction in a movie version.
Nope, those of you that want to go on an absolutely amazing, confusing, bewildering ride of mystery and continual head-scratching that leaves you numb and wanting to go on that ride again, there’s nothing for it but to turn off the telly, flop on your bed armed with Dirk Gently and enjoy the best ride of your life you will ever get from a simple book.