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Adams, Douglas The Salmon of Doubt.

ISBN 13: 9780345459350

The Salmon of Doubt.

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9780345459350: The Salmon of Doubt.
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On Friday, May 11, 2001, the world mourned the untimely passing of Douglas Adams, beloved creator of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, dead of a heart attack at age forty-nine. Thankfully, in addition to a magnificent literary legacy--which includes seven novels and three co-authored works of nonfiction--Douglas left us something more. The book you are about to enjoy was rescued from his four computers, culled from an archive of chapters from his long-awaited novel-in-progress, as well as his short stories, speeches, articles, interviews, and letters.
In a way that none of his previous books could, The Salmon of Doubt provides the full, dazzling, laugh-out-loud experience of a journey through the galaxy as perceived by Douglas Adams. From a boy's first love letter (to his favorite science fiction magazine) to the distinction of possessing a nose of heroic proportions; from climbing Kilimanjaro in a rhino costume to explaining why Americans can't make a decent cup of tea; from lyrical tributes to the sublime pleasures found in music by Procol Harum, the Beatles, and Bach to the follies of his hopeless infatuation with technology; from fantastic, fictional forays into the private life of Genghis Khan to extended visits with Dirk Gently and Zaphod Beeblebrox: this is the vista from the elevated perch of one of the tallest, funniest, most brilliant, and most penetrating social critics and thinkers of our time.
Welcome to the wonderful mind of Douglas Adams.

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Review:

The Salmon of Doubt is the late Douglas Adams' third comic novel about "holistic detective" Dirk Gently. Ten tantalising chapters of this unfinished project are padded to book size with about 50 short Adams pieces, mostly non-fiction.

Additional material includes introductions by Stephen Fry and editor Peter Guzzardi (who stitched together the Salmon fragment from disk drafts), The Guardian's Adams biography, Richard Dawkins' farewell piece, and the order of the memorial service.

The non-fiction by the man himself ranges from perhaps a dozen meaty articles and speeches to brief squibs, interview/questionnaire answers and tiny asides like:

We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works. How do you recognise something that is still technology? A good clue is if it comes with a manual.

There are enjoyable pieces on computers (especially), atheism, dogs, manta rays on the Great Barrier Reef, the Save the Rhino stunt climb, and PG Wodehouse. Much of the rest is ephemeral; you can't help reflecting that Adams himself never chose to collect all this lightweight newspaper work.

Lovers of his fiction will welcome the Hitch-Hiker-related short stories "The Private Life of Genghis Khan" and "Young Zaphod Plays It Safe", despite the latter's dreadfully dated political punch line.

What of The Salmon of Doubt itself, a quarter of this book? There's a glimpse of a far-future estate agent's utopia, a woman asking Dirk Gently to investigate a cat that's literally only half there (his puzzling reluctance to take the case may echo Adams' own feelings about the novel), Gently's capricious trip to America in response to an unknown client's total lack of instructions, the tragic death of a rhino as perceived by the rhino... Many teasing questions; we'll never know the answers.

Overall it's a must-have for devoted Adams fans and completists, a likely disappointment (though with pleasant exceptions) for new readers. --David Langford

Review:

Above all, of course, Douglas Adams was a transcendent, multi-faceted, comic genius. What made Douglas s work unique, I think, were the wildly contradictory attributes he displayed in his writing. He seamlessly blended world-class intelligence and a daunting knowledge about an impossible variety of subjects (literature, computers, evolution, pop culture, genetics, and music, to name but a few) with transcendental silliness; technophobia with a lust for, and fascination with, every high-tech toy imaginable; deep cynicism about virtually everything with an effusively joyful spirit; and one of the quickest wits on the planet with a relentless perfectionism in pursuing his craft. From the Introduction by Christopher Cerf
The bottom drawer of recently deceased writers is often best left firmly locked and bolted. In the case of Douglas, I am sure you will agree, the bottom drawer (or in his case, the nested subfolders of his hard drive) has been triumphantly well worth the prising open. There are those who write from time to time and do it well, and then there are Writers. Douglas Adams, and it is pointless to attempt here an explanation or anatomisation, was born, grew up, and remained a Writer to his too-early dying day.
You are on the verge of entering the wise, provoking, benevolent, hilarious, and addictive world of Douglas Adams. Don t bolt it all whole as with Douglas s beloved Japanese food, what seems light and easy to assimilate is subtler and more nutritious by far than it might at first appear. Stephen Fry, author of The Liar and Making History: A Novel

From the Hardcover edition."

"Above all, of course, Douglas Adams was a transcendent, multi-faceted, comic genius. What made Douglas's work unique, I think, were the wildly contradictory attributes he displayed in his writing. He seamlessly blended world-class intelligence--and a daunting knowledge about an impossible variety of subjects (literature, computers, evolution, pop culture, genetics, and music, to name but a few)--with transcendental silliness; technophobia with a lust for, and fascination with, every high-tech toy imaginable; deep cynicism about virtually everything with an effusively joyful spirit; and one of the quickest wits on the planet with a relentless perfectionism in pursuing his craft." --From the Introduction by Christopher Cerf
"The bottom drawer of recently deceased writers is often best left firmly locked and bolted. In the case of Douglas, I am sure you will agree, the bottom drawer (or in his case, the nested subfolders of his hard drive) has been triumphantly well worth the prising open. There are those who write from time to time and do it well, and then there are Writers. Douglas Adams, and it is pointless to attempt here an explanation or anatomisation, was born, grew up, and remained a Writer to his too-early dying day.
"You are on the verge of entering the wise, provoking, benevolent, hilarious, and addictive world of Douglas Adams. Don't bolt it all whole--as with Douglas's beloved Japanese food, what seems light and easy to assimilate is subtler and more nutritious by far than it might at first appear." --Stephen Fry, author of The Liar and Making History: A Novel

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780345455291: The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10: 0345455290 ISBN 13: 9780345455291
Publisher: Del Rey Books, 2005
Softcover

9781447226260: The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time (Dirk Gently)

Pan, 2012
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9780345460950: The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

Ballan..., 2003
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9780756948146: The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time

Perfec..., 2005
Library Binding

9780333766576: The Salmon of Doubt

Macmillan, 2002
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