- Audio CD
- Publisher: Phoenix Audio; Abridged edition (Jan. 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 159777006X
- ISBN-13: 978-1597770064
- Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 2.6 x 13.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,810,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook
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The Salmon of Doubt is the late Douglas Adams' 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' 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' 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.
A fantastic collection -- Heat Magazine
Magical . . . read this book. -- Sunday Express, 2002
One of the worlds sanest, smartest, kindest, funniest voices . . . worth devouring -- Independent on Sunday, 2002
Sheer delight . . . many plums of the authentic, irreplaceable genius of Douglas Adams -- Sunday Times, 2002
Will be a cause for dancing in the streets the world over -- Daily Mail, 2002 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Latterly, Douglas Adams had become as famous for not writing Hitchhikers books as for writing them in the first place. The Salmon of Doubt, a collection of essays, articles, interviews and, finally, ten chapters of his last novel, demonstrates that he'd developed his displacement activities to avoid writing into a fine art, progressing from 'taking another bath' and 'going for a walk' to coming up with some of the most elegant essays on atheism ever written and climbing Kilimanjaro to save rhinos. This is what he'd been getting up to all that time, and it was a far more interesting and productive way of occupying himself than coming up with new things for Marvin to do.
And if I haven't done so already, here's where I lapse into cliche - Douglas Adams delighted millions; created characters and phrases that have passed into everyday use; he died tragically young; he made the most complex philosophical and scientific ideas seem so simple; I never met him but he made me feel that I knew him; I laughed aloud while reading this book.
Stephen Fry's introduction is perceptive, but more importantly it's moving. Fry makes the crucial point - Adams convinced a generation of readers that he was writing just for us. The sense of loss in this, and an equally moving tribute by Richard Dawkins at the end of the book, is keen. The subtitle of the book 'Hitchhiking the galaxy for one last time' captures the excitement of the prospect of being allowed into Douglas Adams' universe once more ... but also the sadness that it genuinely will only be once more...
It's hard to justify, but I'm glad they did. Douglas Adams was always more interesting when he was writing about subjects which touched his passions, rather than taking us on the flights of fancy that made up his fiction - brilliant though that was - and perhaps more than anything Adams would have himself chosen to publish in the one place, this collection gives an insight into a constantly inquiring mind which had developed a very logical yet very human world-view. Adams' passions - rock music, Bach, conservation, atheism, missing deadlines - glow out from these pages.
The unfinished Dirk Gently novel is, perhaps, more frustrating than enlightening, stopping abruptly as it does. It seems disjointed - I'm not convinced by the way it has been edited together, but since we're not likely ever to see the source material, I can't really comment there.
The inclusion of the running order for his memorial service at the end also seems unnecessarily morbid - surely this publication should be celebrating a life rather than marking a death? But then, if Dave Gilmour was to play "Wish You Were Here" at my funeral, I think I'd want people to know about it.
Not one for those who have read no Adams, but an interesting rounding-off of a far-too-short career for the rest of us.
Adams was clearly an extremely intelligent and perceptive man, and his ability to make wry but penetrating observations in a clear, concise and entertaining way is displayed here again and again. These essays run the gamut from the hilarious to the deeply moving - sometimes within the same article.
The unfinished novel, The Salmon of Doubt, is interesting, but somewhat frustrating to read, as none of the disparate elements quite come together. As a work in progress, it sadly needed a lot more work done to it to bring it up to Adams' usual standard.
I deduct one star because the collection is not *quite* what was promised. Initially, we were told in press releases that this book would contain much of the unpublished material found on Adams' laptop after his death. However, apart from the novel excerpt, nearly all the material has been published before, either in magazines, newspapers or online. It's great to have it all in one place, but a lot of it we've seen before.
Nevertheless, as a tribute to Adams' life as a novelist and journalist, this book is as close to perfect as it can be. After reading The Salmon of Doubt, I both marvelled at Adams' genius, and mourned his untimely passing.
Ah Douglas, you left us far too soon.
You see, Mr. Adams is gone. The genius and extremely tall gentleman who breathed life into Dentarthurdent and changed the name of Svlad Cjelli into something altogether more pronounceable has gone to amuse the inhabitants of an altogether nicer place, and the world is a duller place for it.
What we have left to remember him by is this, a half-finished novel, a collection of contemplations, some book introductions, interviews, and short things that can only be described as sentences. Tell you what, it's bloody genius. Maybe it's because he's writing for himself a lot of the time, I don't know, but it really is genius.
Buy it, and remember him as I think he would have liked to be remembered. As someone who really knew how to make you laugh.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book will do for Douglas Adams fans, but as a previous reviewer stated it is a bit of a mish mash and one does get the feeling that it was only put together to complete all... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Monster D.
What can be said about Douglas Adams that hasn't already been said. Such original ideas and a wonderful ways with words.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Haven't read it yet but I know that I will enjoy, having read Dirk Gently's books 1 and 2 and seen the TV adaptation with Stephen Mangan in the title role. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Ina Steinbergs
Beware: The Kindle version doesn't seem to contain the actual 'Salmon of Doubt' novellaPublished 6 months ago by Mark Kernow
Nice to have it to complete the Adams oeuvre, but the book is a bit of a mish-mash, with a random collection of other pieces to pad the novel fragment out into something that looks... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Lindisfarne
I love pretty much everything Douglas Adams did. A rare wit that could make one laugh and think.Published 9 months ago by RK
Not at all what I was expecting. Probably my fault for not properly reading the description. I had read the first two books and enjoyed them immensely. Read morePublished 11 months ago by JS