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Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dramatised)

Length: 3 hrs and 39 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (66 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

Harry Enfield and Billy Boyd star in a brand new, full-cast dramatisation of Douglas Adams' first Dirk Gently book, directed by the award-winning Dirk Maggs.

Dirk Gently has an unshakeable belief in the interconnectedness of all things, but his Holistic Detective Agency mainly succeeds in tracking down missing cats for old ladies. Then Dirk stumbles upon an old friend behaving bizarrely - and he's drawn into a four-billion-year-old mystery that must be solved if the human race is to avoid immediate extinction.

Harry Enfield stars as Douglas Adams' much-loved psychic sleuth, with Billy Boyd (The Lord of the Rings), Andrew Sachs (Fawlty Towers), Jim Carter (The Golden Compass), and Olivia Colman (Peepshow).

©1987 Douglas Adams (P)2007 BBC Audiobooks Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

It's a shame it's so short

I get that the dramatised version is shorter than the unabridged. But it's a shame because Douglas Adams is a genius! I absolutely love Dirk Gently. Season 1 is on Netflix too ;)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fun story with a great performance

I did enjoy the performance very much, though at times I felt some bits didn't quite make sense - would like to read the book now. One-time listen though, unlikely to listen to it again.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

well worth re-visiting

well cast & a great production, like any of Douglas Adams work re-reading/listening reveals more of his genius

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    3 out of 5 stars

Not as good as Hichhicker's Guide

Well performed, but the story was not really that good. Funny at times but no where near as good as Hichhicker's Guide to the Gallexy.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • A
  • Perth, Australia
  • 30-07-2015

Intelligent and lol funny

Very funny, lol funny and intelligent comedy/adventure. Sometimes I was right there figuring out the story plot as Dirk figured out the mystery.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

not an ebook

the dramatisation and the music sound effect was particularité annoying. as a fan of DA i find it extremely frustrating

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Hilary
  • 13-05-2011

Excellent dramatisation but wish for unabridged

I have now learned that I do not like dramatisations as, like another reviewer, I found all the background music and sound effects very distracting. But, having said that, I thought that as a dramatisation this production was excellent, the casting first class and the story great fun. It deserves its five stars.
Please audible could we have the whole "Hitch Hikers" and "Dirk Gently" read unabridged one day? This is a classic now from Douglas Adams, who set a whole new standard and style. and sadly we have so little of his work.

32 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Bradley
  • 29-11-2007

Amazingly Absurd

Top notch audio presentation, takes about 5 minutes to get rolling but once it goes it really moves. A three and a half hour presentation that sadly feels like a half hour due to the brisk pacing. Filled with great characters and they are voiced terrifically. The music fades in and out at all the right times and the sound effects overall are of the highest quality.

The story seems to duck and dodge common sense like a feather weight champion, never letting anything slow it down. If you have read or listened to any of the hitchhiker series you owe yourself this last treat of Douglas Adams delight. The only downside to this is you really start to wonder what other great unique works Douglas Adams could have written and produced if he hadn't left this world all to early.

29 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Thomas
  • 29-05-2009

First rate

This is a wonderful rendering of Douglas Adams' novel. I'm listening to it in Enhanced Format, so the sound quality is quite good. The acting is first rate, as I've come to expect from BBC productions. I'm the proud owner of many Douglas Adams audio plays, including all the Hitchhiker's Guide radio plays, including Tertiary, Quandary and Quintessential. I never get tired of them, thanks to the quality of the productions (and Douglas Adams' great work). This was evidently done with loving care, directed by the talented Dirk Maggs, the same guy who did the most recent incarnations of Hitchhiker. The comedic timing, the music, the voice characterizations are all spot on. Billy Boyd (Pippin from Lord of the Rings) and Andrew Sachs (Manuel from Fawlty Towers) are perfect. Olivia Coleman as Janice Pearce is brilliant. And Harry Enfield in the title role really nails it. If you're a Douglas Adams fan, you will love this. I also purchased the other Dirk Gently audio play, The Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul. Another must-have. Thanks, Audible, for the Enhanced Format, by the way. I've re-downloaded many purchases I've made over the years in this format, free of charge. For the sake of balance, I wish I could come up with one negative comment to make. I just can't think of one. Bravo.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Bryan J. Peterson
  • 11-02-2009

Excellent!

I received the unabridged Douglas Adams narrated adaptation of this novel some years back and, while I thoroughly enjoyed the book I took issue with Adams' narration. Much of the humor was lost due to his general lack of expression. This BBC version, released folloing his death, is excellently done. Billy Boyd's portrayal of Richard MacDuff was just about what I would have imagined. Harry Enfield is excellent as Dirk, but I particularly liked the urgent yet sinister portrayal of Michael Wenton-Weakes and the ghost. And of course we mustn't forget Toby Longworth as the earnest and utterly whacky electric monk. In short I've rarely laughed as much or as hard as I did while listening to this.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 23-12-2017

Disappointed, sadly

I got this book highly recommended for its quirky humor, and I love hitchhikers guide to the galaxy. But this short radio play form does not do this one justice i feel. I found myself distracted, and straining to listen through the very dominant ambient sound.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • matt
  • 17-03-2017

lack of narration hurts it

it can be hard to understand at times due to no narration and must rely on sound effects.
the beginning especially is difficult to follow without context.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Elaine
  • 28-01-2015

Interesting interpretation

I am a Douglas Adams fan, and enjoy it when his work is brought back to life. Listening to Billy Boyd play Richard is a wonderful bonus.

My hope is that someday there will also be an unabridged version of the original book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-08-2010

Learned I Don't Like Dramatized Versions

I read this book many years ago and thought my son and I would listen to it on one of our long drives over the summer. I sadly discovered that the dramatized version was not entirely true to the storyline I recall from the book. I have to say I enjoyed reading this book much more than listening to this version.

9 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Roan
  • 16-05-2013

Great Book, don't get the dramatized version

This dramatized version wasn't bad, just not that good. There was an excessive use of sound effects and this book needs more than just dialogue to follow the story.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 10-01-2015

person one: I WAS ONLY AMUSING MYSELF.

person two: IT'S GOOD YOU HAVE SUCH AN UNDEMANDING AUDIENCE.
When I was young I thought I had to read Douglas Adams, since he was so popular. I read every single book in the Hitch Hiker's series. To be honest, I never became a fan. I have found that when books are written with the sole purpose of being funny, that they are usually not funny. I love a book with funny parts in it, when you don't know they are coming and they are part of the story, but when every line is expected to get a laugh, I get bored.

I like dramatized books and thought I would give this a try, but even in this form I did not become a fan.

YOU MUST TELL ME THIS AGAIN, WHEN I'M INTERESTED

13 of 23 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Chris
  • 23-01-2008

Classic Adams!

I bought this audiobook after missing the last couple of broadcast episodes whilst away in India and I'm so glad I did. The recording is superb on mp3 player - every little detail comes over clearly so you can pick up on all the little comments and nuances.The story twists and turns right to the end and keeps you totally interested and amused.This is radio comedy at it's best, not laugh out loud but absorbing and intelligent. Like the Hitchhikers Guides, this is an audiobook I look forward to coming back to many times.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tim
  • 05-03-2011

Dawkins' Favourite Book (Apparently)...

Douglas Adams stands apart from other authors in having most of his books professionally dramatised. This book is no exception, although I found it was the one that eluded my attention the longest.

Starting off with a lot of confusion & seemingly jumbled information, I initially put it aside for 1 year or so thinking that it was a bad note in an otherwise flawless collection of work.
However, I gave it another go &, once you get beyond the first CD, the plot begins to make sense & you understand why the book was written in such a way.

The basic plot is that Richard McDuff is falsely accused of murder after his boss (Gordon Way) is slain outside his car. McDuff then teams up with Dirk Gently (an enigmatic friend from college who has mysterious abilities) in order to find evidence to clear his name.

So far, so predictable.

What really makes stands this audio book out from the average detective yarn is the science included throughout the plot & the interesting complexities created by the Holistic nature of the universe (e.g. the fundamental inter-connectedness of all things, combined with time travel, means that a completed version of Kublai Khan (by Samuel Taylor Coleridge) spells the end of the human race).

And I suppose this is why it is such a great book - the plot & the sheer strangeness of the material demand repeat listening/ reading & rewards such people with added insights into what is an astonishingly intricate & well written plot.

Add to this that the story has been fully dramatised, with a well picked cast (including Harry Enfield at his best in the role of Dirk Gently) & you will find a true treat waiting to be discovered.
Get beyond the complexities of Adams' most difficult work & the scientific insights are there for the taking...

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 16-06-2017

Awesome

Would you consider the audio edition of Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dramatised) to be better than the print version?

Maybe

What other book might you compare Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dramatised) to, and why?

Terry Pratchett, they are both very cleaver writers who really draw you in and get you thinking.

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

Good but I much prefer it when Douglas Adams narrates them himself. I think you get more of a feel for how he wanted it to be taken.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I work at St John's College and it was brilliant to think of it happening here. I really hope there is a Fellow here like the one in the book. I could believe that no one would notice they'd been here for ever.

Any additional comments?

The second book in this series is also beilliant.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Victoria Elizabeth
  • 26-09-2018

Fabulous performance

There's a psychic "holistic" detective, a ghost, an electric monk, a horse in a bathroom, an unrealistically old professor, time travel, space travel, murder, mystery and lots of other things that cannot be explained in any shape or form. The story is funny, clever, stupid, brilliant and so utterly bonkers I can't now begin to give any more of a review than this. Other than to say the performance of this is brilliant, there's some great actors, the music and dramatisation of the story really draws you in and makes it such fun to listen to.
It's a 4 overall for me because I enjoyed it a lot but it has driven me a bit too crazy trying to make sense of the apparent chaos and I'm still not 100% clear... but after many, many listens and reading the book I am content sitting at 90% on this occasion. It's time to move on.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Miss C. Hamlett
  • 04-08-2018

An enjoyable irreverent story.

This is a fun book, light hearted and silly. I'm not sure about the choice Enfield as Gently but he still does a good job, as does the rest of the cast.

Well worth a listen, it is compact and episodical so easy to squeeze into gaps. However, this does lack the descriptive depth of a full novel read and might not suit everyone's preference.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr Julien A
  • 17-07-2018

Excellent.

Excellent book dramatised brilliantly, Harry Enfield is amazing as are the other cast. We'll worth a listen.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • William
  • 08-06-2018

Enjoyed it but didn't reach expectations.

Enjoyed it but the story didn't reach expectations. Production & multiple actors were v good.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Fiona
  • 28-04-2018

Brilliant. Holistically.

Douglas Adams really was the master - clever, witty, funny, brilliantly observant, and uses words to paint such mind-glowingly exciting pictures.
So - it almost seems unnecessary to say this is brilliant - of course it is.
The story is wonderful, so unlikely, and hangs together with such style.
The cast are fabulous, the whole thing is just ... awe-inspiring.
Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.
(I enjoyed it!)

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • WarwickStudent
  • 08-03-2018

Think an unabridged version would have been better

There wasn't an unabridged version available so I listened to this. It was good but I think I may have to get the book to see what I missed. Not 100% sure about the story although it was quite fun. I think, personally, I needed a bit more plot and a bit less randomness.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 23-02-2018

Dr Who like plot with a great cast

Any additional comments?

I found my way to this after seeing the BBC America series on Netflix. I absolutely adore Hitchikers so surprised it took me so long to get here.

Adams used to be a screenwriter for Doctor Who and it shows in this dramatisation. The monks could easily occupy a place in the Whoniverse.

Other reviewers have spoken about the confusion early on and this is true. several plot threads are cast out and take some time to be drawn together. However as they do and the inter connectivity becomes apparent it is a moment worth waiting for.