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The Salmon of Doubt

Douglas Adams

Average Review Rating Average Rating 7/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : MacmillanPan

Published : 2002

Copyright : Completely Unexpected Productions, Ltd. 2002

ISBN-10 : HB 0-333-76657-1
ISBN-13 : HB 978-0-333-76657-6

Publisher's Write-Up

'You are on the verge of entering the wise, provoking, benevolent, hilarious and addictive world of Douglas Adams. The bottom drawer of recently deceased writers is often best left firmly locked and bolted: in the case of Douglas, the nested subfolders of his hard drive have been triumphantly well worth the prising open. His natural ability to put one word after another in the service of awakening, delighting, bamboozling, informing or amusing the mind of his reader never fails.'

The Salmon of Doubt comprises ten chapters of the novel on which Douglas Adams was working at the time of his death in May 2001, along with an astonishing collection of pieces recovered from his beloved Macintosh computer.

The plot of The Salmon of Doubt is as intriguing as its title and sees Dirk Gently simultaneously on the trail of half a cat and an actor whose sudden appearance is perhaps not as random as it seems. Starring alongside the pizza- addicted detective are Thor, Norse God of Thunder, Dave of DaveLand and a highly confused rhinoceros called Desmond. Other fictional stories include 'Young Zaphod Plays It Safe', featuring the intergalactic star of the Hitchhiker series, and 'The Private Life of Ghengis Khan', written with Graham Chapman, in which the emotional needs of a barbaric marauding killer are revealed.

Non-fiction pieces range from an earnest twelve-year-old Douglas's letter to Eagle magazine, through insights into a teenage mind full of adoration for the Beatles and loathing for short trousers, to lectures reflecting Adams's exceptional understanding of our natural, technological and philosophical worlds. Here too are articles on subjects as diverse as religion, the 'little dongly things' making a mess of computers, the letter Y and Douglas's love affair with two dogs in New Mexico.

For fans and new readers alike, The Salmon of Doubt is the ultimate smorgasbord of the insanities, urbanities and wondrous workings of life, the universe and everything.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Nigel (010702) Rating (7/10)

Review by Nigel
Rating 7/10
I would love to have given this book a higher score. I was looking forward to reading it as I really enjoy Douglas Adams' work. In truth, however, it is a mish-mash of ideas and half-finished projects, which is OK but just doesn't warrant a higher score.

The books is split into four parts. The first three, Life, The Universe, And Everything, being various snippets of letters, articles, speeches, etc., while the fourth part presents 10 chapters of an unfinished Dirk Gently novel. All very much worth reading for the insight and humour they contain.

Look out for the story of Maggie and Trudie, two dogs that befriend Douglas just to ignore him. It is fantastic writing and gets across a human feeling in a way that is elegantly simple.

In his interviews and writing he spoke a lot about the future and where his work would take him. This is the nature of interviews I suppose but while I was reading it I had this deep sense of loss. The things talked about that will now never happen. There is a very important lesson here; we are all aware of our futures but tend to ignore it as the hard truth is difficult to deal with.

I will personally miss Douglas' wit and his ability to entertain while provoking thoughts you didn't know you had…
Nigel (1st July 2002)

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