In September of 2001, the Earth lost a great talent to a heart attack. Soon after, Douglas Adams’ armada of Apple computers were ransacked and the result is Salmon of Doubt, a collection of snippets, letters and magazine articles Douglas had written over the years.
The title comes from the constantly in progress 3rd Dirk Gently book, of which the first chapters are included in this tome.
The first sections are split up into the aptly titled “Life,” “The Universe,” “And Everything”; concerning such things as his exploits like walking to Mt. Kilimanjaro in a Rhino costume, or his thesis on the existence of an artificial god, or his recounting the life of Genghis Khan, barbarian and complete ninny. And of course, much more.
These chapters give great insight to the man who crafted a legend. You may think you know him from simply reading the Hitchhiker’s or Holistic Detective Agency books, but you don’t.
The last section is, as I said, the first chapters of the actual Salmon of Doubt, what would have been the 3rd installment of holistic detective Dirk Gently, who is on the case of a missing half cat and in pursuit of whoever is uninvitingly pushing large amounts of cash on his bank account.
Adams’, in his writing, felt that the situations in Salmon of Doubt were warranting another Hitchhiker’s novel, but I’d say it’s definitely a Gently story. Too bad we now have to figure out how it ends… and middles for that matter.
Salmon of Doubt is both brilliant and a complete and utter downer. Douglas Adams’ wordcraft was amazing, and that’s also the downer. He was taken too soon… as the tributes and memorials in the book push this notion further.
So, as if you couldn’t tell what I’m giving the book – on the arbitrary scale from 1-6, I give it… guess. (What’s 6×7?)