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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul by Douglas Adams 
21st-Jan-2007 12:19 pm
Adams, Douglas. The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul. 1988. New York: Pocket Books, 1990.
          Summary: Dirk Gently series #2. An airport check-in counter erupts in flames, and Dirk Gently is on the case. A different case regarding a guy who seems to have been on the wrong end of a Faustian deal. Turns out that Odin and Thor are feuding, and their conflict is reverberating in the lives of mortals.
          Comments: Well, now I know where Neil Gaiman got the idea for American Gods. Gods created by the imaginations of mortals and then persisting long past their use and sense of purpose, living on the extreme edges of human society. The similarities, right down to the personage of Odin causing all of the problems (though in Gaiman's book it's megalomania, whereas here the goal is an endless supply of clean linen sheets), are striking.
          It's just too bad that the novel itself is decidedly less than entertaining. Even worse, goddammit, than Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. The prose was mediocre and undistinguished, finishing it was an exercise in boredom (took me, like, three days), and I'm really starting to think that life is too short for this shit. Really, the only delight to be had here was at the very end, where Adams's patented vicious humor reemerges--Dirk's unutterably dirty refrigerator becomes a Guilt God that devours the Bad Guys once and for all, and the eagle that has been plaguing Dirk reverts back to its fighter plane self while trapped in Dirk's apartment...then crash-landing in said apartment at the very end. Ha, ha. As if his day weren't bad enough already.
          Notes: mass market paperback, 17th printing
          Rating: 4/10 - NOOOO~! MAKE IT STOP~!!!! Oh, right. It's over. Thank goodness. Too bad that it was the author's own death that ended it. *sighs*
21st-Jan-2007 06:41 pm (UTC)
I love that you disliked Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and then promptly read the sequel. Do you feel a compulsion to finish books & series that you dislike? I'm trying to break myself of that habit. I dropped this one after 50+ pages and not a single laugh.
21st-Jan-2007 10:00 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you're amused at my expense. ^^; I guess hope springs eternal when it comes to books... (And I did like the Hitchhiker's series more.)

Though, honestly, the vicious chuckle I got when, on the very last sentence, Dirk is about to turn to the newspaper page that announces that a fighter jet has just crashed into and leveled his home--that was ALMOST worth it all. Yeah, it you had to be there, I guess.

21st-Jan-2007 10:48 pm (UTC)
I did really like the first Hitchhiker's book, but my interest in the sequels waned.

It's more amusement at a shared book nerd habit that I'm slowly & painfully breaking than a laugh at your expense. ;) I'm always afraid that I'll miss out, as though the book will suddenly becoming wonderful on the very next page.
21st-Jan-2007 10:51 pm (UTC)
I usually apply a de facto "three strikes and you're out" rule to authors that I don't completely appreciate the first or second time around. I did that with J.K. Rowling (and, no, it never got better) and haven't touched her books since.

Besides, I figure if I'm going to hate something passionately, I should read it all so that I can effectively defend my position against those who disagree.
22nd-Jan-2007 03:23 am (UTC)
Aw man, you couldn't give it that extra point for a 5-spot for the intense typography and devouring cover? ^^
22nd-Jan-2007 03:48 am (UTC)
What was that again about not judging a book by its cover? XD
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