By the author of The Hitchhiker’s guide to the Galaxy.
What is the Dirk Gently series about?
Douglas Adams was not the most skilled writer of his generation, by far. Nevertheless, his talent was to build incredible and highly entertaining stories that were smart, really funny, and imaginative.
The way he structured his stories was brilliant, in particular with the Dirk Gently series. Not as popular as The Hitchhiker’s guide to the Galaxy, the adventures of this insufferable holistic detective are just a delight for those who love a bit of absurdity with a spark of intelligence.
So, this is the story of Svlad Cjelli also known as Dirk Gently, a detective, a holistic detective to be accurate. He uses the fundamental interconnectedness of all things to solve mysteries. Even if he doesn’t want to believe in such things, Gently is a psychic.
The adventures of Dirk Gently inspired two TV shows: the simply titled Dirk Gently in 2010-2012 on the BBC, and the 2016-2017 American Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency on BBC America.
How to read the Dirk Gently books in Order:
The Dirk Gently Books written by Douglas Adams
The original material. The novels can be read independently from one another, but it’s better to read them in that order:
- Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency – Dirk Gently has an unshakeable belief in the interconnectedness of all things, but his Holistic Detective Agency mainly succeeds in tracking down missing cats for old ladies. Then Dirk stumbles upon an old friend behaving bizarrely – and he’s drawn into a four-billion-year-old mystery that must be solved if the human race is to avoid immediate extinction.
- The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul – When a check-in desk at London’s Heathrow Airport disappears in a ball of orange flame, the event is said to be an act of God. But which god? wonders holistic detective Dirk Gently. And how is this connected to Dirk’s battle with his cleaning lady over his filthy refrigerator…or to the murder of his latest client? Or are these events just another stretch of coincidences in the life of the world’s most off-kilter private investigator?
- The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time (2002) – optional. Published posthumously, sadly unfinished, contain short stories. Join Adams on an excursion to climb Kilimanjaro . . . dressed in a rhino costume; peek into the private life of Genghis Khan-warrior and world-class neurotic; root for the harried author’s efforts to get a Hitchhiker movie off the ground in Hollywood; thrill to the further exploits of private eye Dirk Gently and two-headed alien Zaphod Beeblebrox. Though Douglas Adams is gone, he’s left us something very special to remember him by. Without a doubt.
The Dirk Gently Comic Books published by IDW
Same Gently, new writers. The first two TPBs published by IDW are not connected to the TV show, but Max Landis was involved in the writing of the second mini-series, A Spoon Too Short, which happened to be the first to read.
- Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency: A Spoon Too Short – takes place after The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul.
- Dirk Gently: The Salmon of Doubt – written by the producers of the TV show, with characters from Adams books and from the TV Show.
- Dirk Gently: The Interconnectedness of All Kings – The first comic book published, but the story is not really in the continuity after Max Landis put his hands in the Gently universe. It’s just good to read it after for now, maybe it will change at some point in the near future.
Also, Dirk Gently’s Big Holistic Graphic Novel – Collects “The Interconnectedness of All Kings”, “A Spoon Too Short” and a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the Dirk Gently TV show.
If you like our article about the Dirk Gently series in order, don’t forget to bookmark it! You may also be interested in Douglas Adams’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy reading order, or in Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series. Don’t hesitate to follow us on Twitter or Facebook to discover more book series.