Whenever Douglas Adams is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is almost certainly going to be the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. His other works tend to be overshadowed by Hitchhiker’s Guide, so I’d like to bring attention to one of his lesser known gems, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. If the title alone hasn’t sold you, read on. The book follows the adventures of the titular holistic detective as he attempts to solve a murder, track down a ghost, prevent the destruction of the entire human race, and locate an old woman’s missing cat.
As a reader, you’re expected to pay close attention to every minute detail and have sufficient pre-existing knowledge of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Kubla Khan, as it will all be relevant by the end, but it’s more than worth the price of admission to experience Adams’ signature absurdist humor. Sentences range from single words to near paragraphs, and at a certain point, all I could do was sit back in awe of the way Adams twists the English language into a sort of surreal parody of itself. If you liked Hitchhiker’s Guide, or if you’re looking for a good introduction to Douglas Adams’ writing, look no further. You’ll need to read it more than once to catch everything, but Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency is worth reading forty-two times.