John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

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Dirk Pondered the Eagle *BZZT* "Got a Fag, Mate?"

I have recently been sent CDs of Douglas Adams reading the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series (excepting Salmon of Doubt, of course) and the Dirk Gently novels. Unfortunately, these are not commercially-released CDs, because apparently there aren't commercially-released CDs of the Dirk Gently books (or I would have just got those).

Apparently, the person who sent me the CDs just hooked up their computer to a tape player and burned the cassette versions to MP3 files, except that for some reason, there's always a glitch at the end that chops off a sentence or two and often includes a random extraneous noise. Of course, it could very well be that these are bootlegs of bootlegs, which is a strangely appropriate medium for listening to Douglas Adams.

I do love the Dirk Gently books; the Hitchhiker's Guide books turned me on to them of course, but I like the Dirk Gently books much better. Before he died, Adams claimed to be working on a third Dirk Gently book, but was having a great deal of trouble actually fitting Dirk Gently into it; after re-listening to The Long, Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, I can see that. Most of that book consists of Dirk being slapped around by a hostile universe and in the end failing to actually achieve much other than figuring out what was going on ... and having his house blown up. Certainly a sad place to leave the character who so arrestingly commanded the storyline in Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency; I think it may be that Adams was just inherently hostile to strong characters.

Oh well; the rarity of them just makes the experience that much sweeter, I suppose. And it's no secret that my own Michael Macbeth was inspired by the tales of Mr. Gently ... so assuming that Michael ever actually does get into print, there will be a legacy, of sorts.

-The Gneech
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