The Long, Dark, Tea-time of the Soul by Douglas Adams

This was the second book I read for the Semi-Charmed Winter 2014 Reading Challenge and I’m so glad I put it on my list! This book was for the category “Read two books with a different meal in each title”, which means as of right now it doesn’t get me any points because I need to read a second book to get them.

The plot:
It’s kind of difficult to describe this book without spoilers, so instead of writing my own text, here’s the blurb from the back of the book: “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…

My review:
In case you couldn’t tell from my introductory sentence, I LOVED this book! I’m sure you’ve all heard of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series if nothing else. Well, this book has nothing to do with that series, but it’s just as good. It was written in 1987, but it’s perfectly possible to read it now. The only thing that seems dated (other than the lack of mobile phones) is that it’s impossible to get a pizza delivered. People who are older than me… is that really true? Could you not get pizza deliveries in the UK in 1987? I honestly don’t remember a time when you couldn’t order a pizza and have it brought to your house! But anyway, on with the review… Adams’ writing is as insightful and funny as ever. The main premise of the book seems to be “what happened to the immortal gods (Norse ones in this case) once people decided they didn’t need/believe in them any more?”, and the plot admittedly does get a bit thin at times,  but the writing itself was so good that for the most part I didn’t even notice. The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul is a sequel to Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, but you can just as easily read it as a stand-alone book. I’ve forgotten the majority of the first book and that didn’t spoil my enjoyment of this one at all. I’m not being very articulate here, so I will sum by saying if you have any interest at all in Norse gods, Douglas Adams or indeed the fantasy genre you should definitely read this book. 5 stars!


I write like…

Melting Clock
Photo credit: garlandcannon

I was at work by 7:40 a.m. today, which may not seem early to some people, but when you bear in mind that, to get to work, I have a 25 minute train ride followed by 15 minutes of tram/walking before I’m actually in the office I’m sure you can imagine what time I had to get up. To cut a long story short (too late?), I am tired and therefore incapable of typing up a proper blog post. So instead, here are some random things I discovered on the Internet.

First up is this tool that claims to be able to analyse your writing style and tell you which famous author it’s similar to. I was intrigued, so I decided to give it a go.
First, I analysed my post on Mainz and was told I write like Douglas Adams (of Hitchehiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fame – ooooh!). Fair enough. I then wondered whether that one is really representative of my writing style? A post about visiting a place is slightly different to my usual rambling posts about every day life (if only because all the photos in between mean short paragraphs), so I tried analysing a few other blog posts (including one from 2010) and got this three times:

I write like
Cory Doctorow

I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

My reaction: Who??

So I looked him up on Wikipedia and was told “Cory Efram Doctorow (/ˈkɒri ˈdɒktəroʊ/; born July 17, 1971) is a Canadian-British blogger, journalist, and science fiction author who serves as co-editor of the weblog Boing Boing. He is an activist in favour of liberalising copyright laws and a proponent of the Creative Commons organization, using some of their licenses for his books. Some common themes of his work include digital rights management, file sharing, and post-scarcity economics.”

Boing Boing? Post-scarcity economics? I’m not 100% certain this result is a compliment…

Where's Wally?
Photo credit: Wikipedia

Another Internet find today was this list of nine strange things that people have found while searching for Wally (or Waldo). Everything from lions queuing up to use a urinal to someone being sacrificed by the Aztecs (and this in a kids’ book!). It makes me want to get hold of a copy of a Where’s Wally book and see what other weird pictures I can find lurking on its pages…