Poke the Publisher: Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

I love the work of Douglas Adams -- I love "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" (well, the first three books anyway), and I love the two Dirk Gently books. I love the combination of dry humor, sardonic wit, and Sherlock Holmes + aliens + Norse mythology. I love most of all that the detective protagonist is a slovenly and utterly undesirable man -- and the women around him notice it instead of falling at his feet like so many detective stories.

The Dirk Gently series is available in eBook form, but only (apparently) in the UK, not the Americas. This makes me terribly agitated, and when I get agitated, bystanders tend to turn into soda machines, I'm afraid. (And just last week I accidentally turned a lamp into a kitten. Quite distressing.)

Amazon links for poking are here:

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency
The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

Remember: Readers who post in the comments that they've poked the publisher via any or all of these links will be mentioned in a subsequent "Poke the Publisher" entry, which is a level of fame that will open doors at least as easily as infinite wealth, extravagant beauty, and perpetual immortality.

Also remember: By poking the publisher, you are not indicating that YOU are waiting to buy this book in e-Book format, but rather that your dear friend Ana is waiting to buy this book in e-Book format to review, dissect, deconstruct, and otherwise desecrate for your reading pleasure. And buy it I shall, just as soon as it comes available in the U.S. of A.

Credit for last week's Poke the Publisher feature must go to Gelliebean and Brin Bellway. It's entirely possible that these two are the immortal incarnations of ancient Norse deities -- and if they are, it would be best to stay on their good side and not to unduly agitate or disturb them. Now if you'll excuse me, I must clean my refrigerator before it becomes a Guilt God.


Susan B. said...

By coincidence, I just started rereading The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul last week! I haven't read it in a long time, so it was astonishing to realize how many quotes and ideas from it have been burned into my brain without my realizing it. I can't walk into an airport without noting that no culture on Earth has ever developed the phrase "as pretty as an airport", and whenever I see a pair of legs getting out of a car on television I think of a smoky saxophone solo.

Anyway, the publisher has been duly poked!

Brin Bellway said...

no culture on Earth has ever developed the phrase "as pretty as an airport"

I wonder why. I don't remember much about the times I've actually been on a plane, but I think seven-year-old me would have been far too excited to care if the airport was ugly; the excitement would have made it seem pretty regardless. I did see parts of Toronto-Pearson when dropping Mom off to visit her sick brother*, and it was beautiful. Less so at night when picking her up, but in the day sunlight sparkled through the ceiling and on the many shiny things.

*On short notice with tight budget, so we couldn't afford to have the whole family go. He died a couple months later, but at least she got to see him first.

Matt Smyczynski said...

Poked! I loved those books and I wish I could remember them better.

Ana Mardoll said...

I LOVE the "pretty as an airport" quote. It's such a beautiful smack in the face when you first start reading; Adams really was quite a genius with the language! :)

keri said...

Poked! I've been thinking of getting these books (I prefer them to tHGttG, honestly) in digital or audio form for my long vacation in a few months. Guess unless the publisher listens to the pokes, I'll have to settle for something less easy to lug around - especially since my mom's letting me borrow her Kindle.

Gelliebean said...

Poking accomplished!  It's been so long since I last read these that I don't remember much...  :-(

Brin Bellway said...

I tried to read Dirk Gently about eight years ago. Dad told me I wasn't allowed to read them yet, but I could have Hitchhiker's Guide. Never got around to trying again.

(Those of you with good mental filing systems and grasp of basic math may now be saying, "But Brin, you were nine eight years ago!" Yeah, I read Hitchhiker very young. Fond childhood memories...)

Ana Mardoll said...

Brin! My Canadian sister! I grew up listening to Hitchhiker on tape - I spoke better British than American!

MY dad wouldn't let me listen to the last two books in the series - too much sex, he said.

Brin Bellway said...

My Canadian sister!

Well, I was American at the time. Moving to Canada was just a hope for the distant future at that point. I was thirteen when it became a certainty (or as near to certainty as plans can be), and nearly fourteen when it actually happened.

I spoke better British than American!

I know the feeling. I started playing Runescape when I was nine or ten, and for several years I was unaware I wasn't "supposed" to spell axe with an "e". Even when I learned, I didn't stop.
I have a recording I made a couple years ago to hear what my singing voice sounds like from the outside. I did the last part of Genesis's "Driving the Last Spike". I apparently hadn't quite gotten the lyrics down, because I sung "with picks and with shovels" rather than "with picks and with spades". I take this as a good sign: in order to mix up "spade" and "shovel", you have to know they mean the same thing. (Again, Runescape.)

konrad_arflane said...

" in order to mix up "spade" and "shovel", you have to know they mean the same thing."

Actually, not quite. Although some users tend to conflate them (and usage, in these things, is king), if you want to get technical, spades and shovels are tools for different purposes, and thus are somewhat different in design. Spades are for digging holes in the ground, while shovels are for moving loose material like soil, sand or gravel. It's possible to use a spade in place of a shovel, but the reverse is generally not very helpful.

Kyle Garrison said...

Whew! I loved the first Dirk Gently novel but haven't read the second one yet. Just poked both books and will probably buy both if they get digitized.

Timothy (TRiG) said...

I don't see "Poke the Publisher". I do see a Kindle edition available. Could this be because I'm in Ireland?

What about The Salmon of Doubt while you're at it?


Brin Bellway said...

Could this be because I'm in Ireland?

It seems to be America-only, like all too many other things. (Bitter? Me?)

Ana Mardoll said...

The books are available in Kindle editions for -- I believe -- the UK and Canadian. It's us Americans that don't get to bask in Adams' delightful humor. :(

chris the cynic said...

I have done some poking.

I highly recommend the radio series of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, at least the first and second seasons (which are all I've heard and, because I'm not a fan of reset buttons, all I have any desire to hear.)

The first two books are loosely (loosely, loosely, loosely) based on the first two seasons of the radio series, though not in order.

I also recommend the books, save the fifth one, with particular emphasis on the first three.  But I think that kind of goes without saying in most places, where a lot of people don't even realize there ever was a radio series.

Brin Bellway said...

a lot of people don't even realize there ever was a radio series.

Really? Our three-in-one copy has a preface talking about the many incarnations of the Hitchhiker's Guide. ("And all of them contradict each other.") I think there was a bit about how sometimes they were so rushed they were already in the middle of recording a radio episode by the time its script was finished.

The Philly PBS station was showing a TV version for a while. (This was back when I lived in South Jersey, of course.) All I remember about that one is the Scrabble/"What do you get when you multiply six by nine?" scene.

chris the cynic said...

Really? Our three-in-one copy has a preface talking about the many incarnations of the Hitchhiker's Guide.
I know, mine does too.  (Though it might be a four in one copy.)  I'm pretty sure that the five in one copy has the same.  It makes the reaction of, "Wait, there was a raido show?" all the more surprising, but I assure you that it is out there.

I have the tv show on VHS somewhere in my house.  No idea where though.

Post a Comment