A tale with enough wit and plot twists to give the mind's eye a colorful story to visualize. Intelligent details. Captivating dialog, with enough respect for the reader to avoid polluting the text with profanity. Delightful storytelling. An author that dances with the intellect of his audience. An under appreciated style of humor. I hope to discover another similarly brilliant author. Thank you , Mrs. Ann H.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I was glad to hear of the BBC's adaptations of the Dirk Gently novels. After listening to and being thoroughly impressed with their handling of holistic Detective Agency I took a listen to the sequel, Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul. Again I found myself laughing so hard I was surprised when I didn't pee my pants. They made some changes to the story to bring it into the modern age, and while I generally hate it when people make such changes, it worked surprisingly well here. It helped that they picked an excellent cast for these whacky characters.
It all started while Kate Schechter was waiting to catch a plane to Norway. Already running late as it was, she's delayed even more by a big, angry Nordic man who also wants to catch the flight but is prevented from doing so by is lack of a credt card, bank account, passport or any kind of identification. Any chance of either of them making the flight is irrevocably lost when the check-in desk suddenly shoots up through the ceiling engulfed in a ball of orange flame.
Meanwhile, holistic investigator Dirk Gently is forced by poverty to make ends meet by putting his frustratingly accurate powers of clairvoyance to use as a cross dressing fortune teller. Things get hectic when Dirk is retained by a rich record company executive who claims to be pursued by a gobblin waiving a contract signed in blood and a giant, hairy green-eyed monster with a sythe. Though initially skeptical of this excentric's story, Dirk begins to take it seriously when he arrives several hours late for an appointment with his client only to find him brutally decapitated with his head sitting squarely in the center of his record player's turntable, which happens to be playing a copy of a record he helped get released. As Dirk digs deeper he discovers shocking truthes behind his client's murder, truthes that may even have a bearing on the bizarre incident at the airport as well as the disappearance of the girl working at the exploded check-in desk and a fighter pilot who went missing during a mission over the North Sea.
All in all this is an excellent adaptation well worth adding to your library, particularly if you like British humor. And despite his absence from the actual novel I actually liked how they brought Richard MacDuf back for this presentation since it gives a bit more of a sense of continuity. I also got to wondering if the Kate from the original novel of Holistic Detective Agency is the same Kate who features prominently in this presentation, now carrying a different name. If you havent given this a listen yet I wholeheartedly recommend it. You might just be in for a good time.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
I've just finished both "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency" and "The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul," only to find today is the anniversary of Douglas Adams' birth, thus proving "the interconnectedness of all things."
Both provided laugh-out-loud madness, although I think this was my favorite of the two. Note: I never read the books, so I am taking the radio dramas as I find them, not making comparisons.
Dirk Gently, aka Svlad Cjelli, is one of the most original comic characters I've come across. Here he is still attempting "to win against his better nature or at least hurl it to the ground" as he tries to help a hapless music executive who believes he's being chased by a hairy monster waving a scythe. More to the point, he's a paying client, not an elderly woman with a lost cat who may question his tally of entirely necessary but nonsensical "expenses."
Sadly, being Dirk, he oversleeps. Staying abed has dramatic consequences, as he is to discover. After all, maybe the Great Zarganza's horoscope isn't a wind-up, all things considered:
Thor is trying to fly to Norway on British Airways, where Dirk's former secretary Janice has just started as a check-in clerk. A journalist named Kate finds herself investigating the Woodshead Clinic, a place where they "give scholarships to particularly gifted diseases."
Valhalla and the Saint Pancras railway station may have more in common than we ever suspected.
Using his time-honored techniques, including asking insensitive questions and driving guided by "zen navigation," we are caught up in the surreality of the above (and more) as Dirk attempts to discover why his client was murdered, and by whom. All the while he must make sense of his I Ching calculator's chattering "happy good and lucky day" and "a suffusion of yellow."
It's all just about as much fun as you can have on a rainy afternoon in March. I loved every minute. Happy Birthday, Mr. Adams. You were one of a kind.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
For those of you who are fans of Dirk Gently, be prepared for a wonderful aural experience that will amaze your inner mind (or at least the part that isn't full of penguins). This adaptation of the late Douglas Adams' second Dirk Gently story offers wonderful insights into the many characters introduced in this story. It also offers an excellent look at the characters we came to know and love in the first Dirk Gently dramatization.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
It's so strange to find the first installment of this series (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency) so incredibly good and this one so Incredibly Bad. But whoever rewrote the book for THIS dramatization seemed to forget what should be completely plain from the title of the first book- i.e.- this is a DETECTIVE story, like the Hitchiker's Guide Books are road stories (kind of). And the point of a detective story, even one with such an odd detective, is to not give the game away Until The Very End. Among other things, there is a scene in here of a meeting which basically explains (gives away) the whole book-in the first five minutes of chapter 1! So the plot is shot, the suspense is gone, and what's left? One dimensional, tired, forced slapstick. In the original book, there's a buildup of strange events intruding into a familiar world that lends a depth to the story, but this version's just irritating. Maybe this is just a case of cashing in on a sequel. Just don't blame Douglas Adams, someone mauled a good story. On the bright side, this one made me realize that the good Mr. Adams was more than just a comedy writer (although he was VERY funny), he could really WRITE.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful
I wasn't a huge fan of the Dirk Gently books when they first came out, only because I was such a closed minded H2G2 fan at the time. I only wanted Douglas Adams to write in that one universe (or for Doctor Who). With that said, I enjoyed the second book some what, because of all the Norse Gods stuff. However, in both audio drama adaptations, Dirk Maggs has taken the books to the next level. Partially with the fine cast and production, but mostly because of how he took some liberties in the adaptations. The first one was pretty faithful. But this one just took it to the next level in comedy, action and awesome. I wish this was about 10 hours longer, because this is not only the best audio drama that I've ever heard, it's like...my most favorite thing in the world. It's ironic how I enjoyed this almost more than H2G2 now. I don't want to give away any surprises, but there's just a bounty of Easter Eggs, and a cast that will make your inner BBC fan boy/fan girl go SQUEE for days. Anyway my final thoughts is, is you had the unfortunate encounter with that awful TV adaptation on BBC America, please take a listen to these to clear your eye's mind. Dirk Maggs understands Dirk Gently as well or even more so than Adams. (Maybe it's because it's in the first name)