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The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time (Dirk Gently Book 3) [Kindle Edition]

Douglas Adams
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (180 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $5.99
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

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.


From the Hardcover edition.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Edited by Peter Guzzardi and with an introduction by Christopher Cerf, this bittersweet collection comprises letters, fragments of ideas for books, films and TV, ruminations on a diverse array of subjects and a good bit of a final unfinished novel by the author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, who died in May of last year. Included are a letter to the editor of a U.K. boy's magazine (written in 1965, when Adams was 12); a reminiscence about his lifelong love for the Beatles, written when he was in his 40s; a 1991 piece from Esquire entitled "My Nose"; and an undated article for the Independent espousing his preference for whiskey. Also on hand are a q&a in which he identifies the most interesting natural structure as being a "2,000-mile-long fish in orbit around Jupiter, according to a reliable report in the Weekly World News"; a spiritual encounter with a giant manta ray while testing a mechanical diving device at Australia's Great Barrier Reef; an affecting introduction to P.G. Wodehouse's unfinished novel, Sunset at Blandings; an account of a Save the Rhino pilgrimage across Africa; ruminations on computerization; and a philosophical address about the authorship of the universe entitled "Is There an Artificial God?" Two sketches "The Private Life of Genghis Khan" and "Young Zaphod Plays It Safe" from the Utterly Utterly Merry Comic Relief Christmas Book, 1986, are also here, as are 10 chapters from various versions of the title novel-in-progress. National advertising.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

When Adams died unexpectedly in May 2001, he had not written fiction in ten years. The success of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series and the peculiar adventures of Detective Dirk Gently had made Adams an sf icon. His fans kept hoping for at least one more weird and wonderful galactic adventure. The Salmon of Doubt is a loving tribute to the author by his friends, who decided that the best way to salute his life and work was to collect some of the more unusual bits of it and let the world share the mind of a wonderfully talented man, with a unique viewpoint on almost everything. The book comprises selections from a huge amount of material, a fascinating collection of bits and pieces of a busy writer's life. Articles on a variety of subjects written for various magazines and newspapers, introductions to books, speeches, personal interviews, and glimpses of a well-enjoyed life are included. Adams describes the traumas of his school days, his love for the Beatles and Bach, an illicit liaison with someone else's dogs, and his fascination with evolutionary theory. Among the fiction entries is a tale from the private life of Genghis Khan and a Zaphod Beeblebrox short story. The narrators were all personal friends of Adams's: actor Simon Jones reads the largest portion of the book and does a wonderful job; Stephen Fry also takes a turn, and Christopher Cerf reads a eulogistic introduction that he wrote for the print version. Fans will be both happy and sad to experience this final chapter of Adams's journey through the galaxy. Highly recommended, but libraries will want to repackage this audio for circulation.
Barbara Rhodes, Northeast Texas Lib. Syst., Garland
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 523 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (April 26, 2005)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FCK3X2
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,000 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
154 of 155 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bittersweet ending to an amazing career February 14, 2003
Format:Hardcover
The first two-thirds of "The Salmon of Doubt", as assembled by Douglas Adams' editor, consists of essays, lectures, magazine articles, and other short pieces written by Adams. It is an interesting glimpse into his mind, his work habits, his love of computers and gadgets, and his views on religion, atheism, and evolution. As an added bonus, the last third of the book contains the first eleven chapters of what was meant to be Adams' new Dirk Gently novel (although he tantalizingly hinted in interviews that he might turn it into a sixth "Hitchhiker's" book), also named "The Salmon of Doubt."

The essay/article portion of the book, while interesting, does have an unavoidably hodgepodge feel to it. Most of this material will be familiar to diehard Douglas Adams fans (in fact, much of it has already been printed elsewhere - little here is new material), but it is nice to have it all gathered together in one place. Unfortunately, no index or table of contents is provided, so finding a particular piece is rather challenging.

The portion of the book actually devoted to "The Salmon of Doubt" is very intriguing. As the editor notes, the eleven chapters are stitched together from three separate "versions" of the novel that Adams was working on at the time of his death. As a result, some of the chapter transitions are very choppy (and of course the story sputters out without a proper ending, although this does seem vaguely appropriate for a Dirk Gently novel). However, I found chapters two through seven of the book to be very engaging; a bit rough, certainly, but this was shaping up to be a great Dirk Gently novel. It was with sadness that I reached the end of this story and realized that there would be no ending, and further, no other novels from Douglas Adams.
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75 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreakingly interrupted. October 16, 2002
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
He made hitchhiking a universal thing.

Literally.
Douglas Adams, author of the five books in the vastly popular comic-space saga "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" trilogy (you did indeed read that correctly), plus an assortment of other novels, died in May 2001.
Now comes a posthumous collection of his writings, called "The Salmon of Doubt," which allows his fans one last, gentle look at a revolutionary voice in literature and science-fiction.
"Salmon" is very much a toast to Adams, a eulogy to him.
The assembled writings are fabulous, culled from a massive selection of writings, letters, essays, various introductions and other things from Adams' computer.
The title refers to an included unfinished Dirk Gently book which, had he lived, might have turned into the sixth "Hitchhiker" book.
Other points of interest:
The first published work of twelve-year-old Douglas Adams, a letter to the editor to "The Eagle," a popular boys' magazine.
"Y," in which Adams helpfully points out that the question "Why?" is the only one important enough to have had a letter named after it.
"Riding the Rays," in which Adams gets the idea to compare riding a new technological submarine, the "Sub Bug," to riding manta rays off the coast of Manta Ray Bay near Australia, the rejection of his proposal when it comes to riding the rays and, upon discovering a manta in said bay, his ease with giving up the pursuit of a ride. Quite possibly the best entry in the whole book.
"Is There an Artificial God?" is an interesting speech from Adams on his aetheism, as he breaks downb his non-belief into steps and explores the contrasts between science and religion.
"Cookies," in which Adams finds himself plagued by the most horrid of human entities: The cookie thief.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Farewell, Douglas December 21, 2004
Format:Paperback
The world was robbed of one it's greatest and funniest writers on May 11, 2001, when Douglas Adams, author of the hugely popular "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy" and "Dirk Gently" books, died from a heart attack at the age of 49. As a writer, Adams was a true original. His style of humor was gloriously funny, and he certainly had a most unique way with words. His final book, the posthumous release "The Salmon Of Doubt," is a collection of assorted writings, including essays, e-mails, interviews, lectures and letters that Adams had given or written over the years, as well as an unfinished third "Dirk Gently" novel that Adams had been sporadically working on for many years. Much of the material was culled from the disk drives of Adams' collection of Macintosh computers, and we, Adams' faithful readers, can certainly be grateful for these golden DNA nuggets. The book contains such gems as Adams discussing his childhood, his nose, his friendship with dogs Maggie and Trudie, his great introduction to Procol Harum (a favorite band of Adams AND myself) just before they take the stage, his advice about how to make a cup of really good tea, his attempts to get "Hitchhiker's" made as a feature film (which *finally* happened in 2005), and his lecture about the existence of an artificial God. There's also a hilarious sketch about Genghis Khan, a short "Hitchhiker's" story involving Zaphod Beeblebrox, and, finally, 11 chapters of the unfinished Dirk Gently novel, entitled "The Salmon Of Doubt," which, although it is quite obviously an unpolished work-in-progress, is still very funny (though I'm saddened that we'll never know what happens to Dirk after Chapter 11, which is a terrible shame). Douglas Adams had so much more left to give to this world, he had so much more left to write. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Even after reading (almost) all his books, only after reading The...
Extremely recommended for Douglas Adams fans.
The "story" itself is not really the point, it's unfinished in every possible sense, but it does tingle the imagination... Read more
Published 5 hours ago by sgrass
3.0 out of 5 stars I found Douglas Adams a so-so writer.
It turns out that I'm not a Douglas Adams fan.
Published 4 days ago by James Sibley
2.0 out of 5 stars Disjointed
Not really worth th effort
Published 12 days ago by Nigel
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of nonfic anecdotes and pieces of extra fiction
A posthumously released collection of random essays and columns, opinion pieces, biographical bits, and the beginnings of what looks like it would have been the next Dirk Gently... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Swank Ivy
5.0 out of 5 stars Salmon of Doubt
So I love everything Douglas Adams wrote. The world lost him much too soon. This is a compilation of what they saved after he died of his computers.
Published 1 month ago by Naomi E.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great condition, not even dust yellowing of the page ends!
Published 1 month ago by Robert
4.0 out of 5 stars from His mind - still a great Read!
If only Douglas had lived long enough to refine this story, from His mind - still a great Read!
Published 2 months ago by Josef Jurkowitsch
4.0 out of 5 stars Worthwhile read.
This is a good read. Essentially a collection of articles for various publications. We lost Douglas Adams too soon.
Published 2 months ago by DarrenG
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Salmon of Doubt" -- A Douglas Adams' posthumorous tribute
Douglas Adams was always a favorite of mine. His wit was askew, just when you thought you knew where he was going he'd change lanes and take you somewhere else. Read more
Published 2 months ago by R. L. West
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent!
Published 2 months ago by JBTP
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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.

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Needs a kindle version.
What is really too bad is that we've been without Douglas Adams since 2001, I think. Imagine what he'd have to say about the environment now, and in the funniest terms. Do you know anyone who still writes a bit like Douglas Adams?
Jul 7, 2012 by Maaja Wentz |  See all 3 posts
Is it Sad?
It's only Mostly Harmless that is a bit more dark, it's still a good book but doesn't have the normal Douglas Adams happy but odd ending.
Feb 21, 2009 by David Rogers |  See all 2 posts
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