Dirk Gently returns, only this time he’s not dealing with aliens and the possible end of the world. No, this time it’s the record industry. Sort of.
Dirk’s hired by a guy to save his life from a giant with a scythe. Unfortunately, Dirk oversleeps his first day on the job, and his client’s head ends up on a record turntable. That’s not good. Dirk traces a signed contract he found in his client’s house through a number of people connected to “Hot Potato” – a very popular tune. Seems odd that people would sign their lives away for something like that, but it probably wouldn’t be the first time.
So here’s the thing about this book that I had forgotten since the first time I read it: I can only imagine that Neil Gaiman read this when he was younger. You see, the basis of the plot is that there are Norse gods here on Earth. They’re here because we (as a species) created them. And now they’re getting weaker because we don’t need them or believe in them any more. Sound familiar? Of course, Gaiman took it much further, but the seeds were definitely planted with this book.
Regardless, the story takes the usual Adamsian amusing twists and turns involving perfect linen sheets and the inexplicable inability to have pizza delivered in London. Try as they might, the authors following in Adams’ footsteps never quite capture what he was able to do with language and whimsy. I do miss him.
So, Happy Birthday Douglas Adams. Wish you were here.