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The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul Mass Market Paperback – February 15, 1991


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The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul + Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency + The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (February 15, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671742515
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671742515
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,751 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"The British author of the Hitchhiker trilogy and other immensely popular lunacies, Adams permits no whiff of common sense to spoil his new novel, which combines fantasy, hilarity and creeping horrors," remarked PW . Here, sleuth Dirk Gently investigates a lawyer and an advertiser who possess the soul of the god Odin. "The plot's ramifications are marvelous, bloody and irresistible."
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

When a passenger check-in desk at London's Heathrow Airport disappears in a ball of orange flame, the explosion is deemed an act of God. But which god, wonders holistic detective Dirk Gently? What god would be hanging around Heathrow trying to catch the 3:37 to Oslo? And what has this to do with Dirk's latest--and late-- client, found only this morning with his head revolving atop the hit record "Hot Potato"? Amid the hostile attentions of a stray eagle and the trauma of a very dirty refrigerator, super-sleuth Dirk Gently will once again solve the mysteries of the universe... --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Douglas Adams (1952-2001) was the much-loved author of the Hitchhiker's Guides, all of which have sold more than 15 million copies worldwide.

Customer Reviews

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  • "Funny" 29
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  • "Characters" 5
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

109 of 113 people found the following review helpful By Erik Meltzer on March 30, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book, and its predecessor "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency", are heavily under-rated due to the major success of the Hitch Hiker "trilogy" by Douglas Adams. But in a way, they're the better ones. Especially this one.
I won't bother telling the story, because frankly I cannot. Now, I've been reading this book in about monthly intervals for years, but I still find something new each time, and I still have trouble keeping track of the story. Don't let that keep you, though. Yes, it *is* mildly confusing, but it all works out after a couple of times of reading, and it's great fun from first time, page one. Besides, it's worth the effort: there's many a topic for an evening of thinking in there.
But that's not what you buy it for.
Then there's the business of the Norse Gods walking the Earth, just like your average John Smith. Sort of. Thor naturally makes more of a nuisance of himself, but anyway, the notion of everything that the human race ever chose to believe in being true, and staying true long after we've ceased to need it to be true as well, is an astonishingly moving one. "Immortals was what you wanted, and immortals was what you got", complains one of them bitterly. And rightly so. What would you do if you were an immortal, omnipotent being whom no-one believes in anymore? Chances are, you'd sell your immortal soul to appear in a soft-drink commercial. Once you accept the fantasy part of it, it all snaps in place with logical precision, and even going to Asgard becomes an accepted way to spend the evening.
But that's also not what you buy it for.
The most outstandingly entertaining thing about the book is, of course, the humour, which is more like what you buy it for.
Read more ›
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 16, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Most people seem to prefer the more obvious slapstick of the early Hitchhiker's books, but I've found myself enjoying Adams more and more as he's matured. Many of the situations in this book are outrageous and silly, and there are plenty of the one-liners that are Adams' trademark ("It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on earth has ever produced the expression 'As pretty as an airport,'" the book begins) but there are very few passages intended solely for the purpose of eliciting a laugh. Everything's integral to the story, and it all makes sense in the end, although Adams doesn't hand you the answer on a silver platter. This novel is part social commentary, part Rubik's Cube (how DO those piecses fit together, anyway?), and part humor. It took me several re-readings to get the bit about the concentric circles on the eagle's wings, but it was worth it. If you enjoy exercising your mind through the contemplation of the absurd, you'll enjoy reading -- and re-reading -- "The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul."
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Alan Caylow on June 7, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A check-in counter at London's Heathrow Airport spontaneously explodes in a ball of flame, and is ruled by the authorities as "an act of God." As it turns out, the explosion was an act of *a* god---Thor, the God Of Thunder, trying to catch a plane to Oslo, Norway. But why would an almighty god be trying to catch a plane flight in the first place? Enter holistic detective Dirk Gently to solve the mystery....The second and, sadly, final "Dirk Gently" book written by the late, great Douglas Adams, "The Long Dark Tea Time Of The Soul" is a hysterically funny book, and a major improvement over the decent but unspectacular first book, "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency," which certainly had it's funny moments, but was too long (and long-winded) and confusing. This time around, Adams' writing is a LOT sharper & funnier, and he keeps the book excellently paced. And the character of Dirk Gently really grows here---he's much more concise and focused, and he doesn't ramble on and on about his philosophical views & methods of detective work as he did in the first book. "Long Dark Tea Time" contains many outrageously funny scenes---Dirk's dilemma with his old refridgerator, and his surprising encounter with a young boy watching TV are both particularly memorable---and great characters, too, not only Dirk Gently but also the spunky American girl Kate Schechter, Thor the hot-headed God Of Thunder, and the vile creature named Toe Rag. The story is clever, moves along nicely, and, if I haven't made it clear enough, is very, very funny.I'm saddened that Douglas Adams never got around to writing a third "Dirk Gently" book, as I would've loved to have read further adventures of this most oddball of detectives.Read more ›
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Mark Baker HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 19, 2004
Format: Audio Cassette
Kate Schechter should have taken the signs the universe was trying to give her. That's what she tells herself as she shows up at the airport for a trip to Norway in spite of all the warnings. Still, she is unprepared for the check in desk to be blown through the roof just after she misses her flight.
Meanwhile, Dirk Gently has hit a low. He has almost no money and no clients. Except the one he's forgotten about who promptly gets himself killed. Now Dirk feels responsible for not taking this guy's claims serious and wants to track down the green eyed monster. As if that weren't enough, he and his cleaning lady are having a war over who will open his fridge first, an out of order soda machine keeps appearing and disappearing, and he's being stalked by an eagle. What these seemingly unrelated events have to do with each other provides plenty of wacky entertainment.
I am still only mildly familiar with the books of Douglas Adams, and I simply must correct that. This fantasy novel was wonderfully strange and entertaining. The opening bits about the airport and Kate's trip had me laughing out loud. The laughs slowed down over the course of the book, but they were still plentiful. Maybe it's my normal reading of mysteries, but my only real complaint was an ending that was really more confusing then enlightening of what had gone on before.
Actually, I listened to the audio version of this book, read by the author. These can be hit or miss, depending on the author. Douglas Adams did an exceptional job of reading, throwing just the right tones and inflections in for the best effect. About the only complaint on this part was that the scene changes were so sudden and abrupt that it could confuse you for a few seconds even when you're paying attention.
Whether you get your hands on the audio version of stick with the traditional print version, this is a wonderful title sure to entertain. I must move more of his books higher up my to be read pile.
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