Writer of words. Builder of worlds.

Tag: douglas adams

The various forms of Dirk Gently

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency began as a book (or two) by Douglas Adams. Not as well known as the Hitchhiker’s series, which I think is a shame. They have the same absurd humour, but with tighter, cleverer plots. Dirk Gently, a detective who refuses to ‘eliminate the impossible,’ solves crimes by looking for connections between seemingly unconnected events and objects. Against all likelihood (and despite his seeming incompetence), he succeeds in unravelling a supernatural mystery and foiling whoever was threatening the world. If I did have a complaint about the book, it’s that it took me too long to get the resolution in The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul. I felt that too much was implied. (That could just be me being slow, of course.)

What Douglas Adams has to say about the Meaning of Life

Douglas Adams is most famously known for his “trilogy” Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, which started out as a radio series, then a book, then a tv show, and there’s even now a movie. He tends to be quoted mostly when people are searching for the meaning of life, because he figured it out, you see. It’s 42.

I have a great love for the Hitchhiker books, not least because the audiobooks are a great cure for insomnia. All I have to do is set one to playing, lie back and close my eyes, and I will be asleep soon enough. But lately I’ve been wondering if Adams’ Great Answer holds a bit more of a message for us. Most of the time people treat it is a glib answer, the punchline of a joke, and make no mistake, it is one of the best punchlines in comedy writing. But I do think there is something a bit deeper.

(Warning: Spoilers for Hitchhikers series ahead)

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