Critical Essay on Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams

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Douglas Adams is best known for his cycle The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in five books; the rest of his works are much less famous, and for no good reason. Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency first introduces Dirk Gently – a shabby-looking detective working according to the principle of interconnectedness of all things in the world. While Sherlock Holmes used to say that when the impossible is ruled out, what is left, however unlikely, is the actual truth. Dirk Gently, however, refuses to rule out the impossible, and usually turns out to be correct in his assumptions.

This book, just like the Hitchhiker, though to a lesser degree, is characterized by typical for Adams absurdity that, at the first glance, seems to be funny and witty, although completely unintelligible, but towards the end of the book all the bizarre happenings going on around unite into a complete and harmonious picture. Even the episodes that seemed to be present exclusively for humoristic effect turn out to be meaningful, which cannot but satisfy the ones who paid special attention to them.

Adams fuses in a peculiar way the elements of science fiction and detective story, spicing them up with his typical jokes and paradoxes that cannot leave the fans of his creative work cold. Also less crazy and more down-to-earth, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency is, nevertheless, a valuable book by a good author, and deserves to be read by those who are interested in the British literature and characteristic English humor, being of no less interest than the works of such recognized masters of this trend as P.G. Wodehouse and Terry Pratchett.

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