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Beau comme un aéroport (1988)

par Douglas Adams

MembresCritiquesPopularitéÉvaluation moyenneMentions
11,161109469 (3.86)210
Dirk Gently has fallen on hard times and dresses as a gypsy woman, using his irritatingly accurate clairvoyant powers to read palms. He is saved when a frantic client turns up with a ludicrous story about being stalked by a goblin waving a contract accompanied by a hairy, green-eyed, scythe-wielding monster. When Detective Superintendent Gilks decides a headless body found in a sealed room is the result of a particularly irritating suicide, Dirk is plunged into a mystery where the interconnectedness of all things is tested to the limit.… (plus d'informations)
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I gave this one a go during my weekly commutes.

It's well written, has a solid plot with a few unexpected bits and a smattering of dry humor, but overall lacks the fun of his more famous works. It's interesting-- despite being written later it feels oddly embryonic compared to the Hitchhiker's Guide series, perhaps as a result of the way those books process took them from radio show to novels with multiple revisions in between.

Regardless, it was certainly a decent way to occupy a few hours on a long drive. ( )
  MCBacon | Aug 2, 2021 |
A bit weak and, I now realize, so typical of its time. I believe I read this book in my teenage years. I don't think Dirk Gently is really even necessary to the book. ( )
  themulhern | Jun 25, 2021 |
Rewarding in much the same ways as my re-read of the first, and for much the same reasons. There are broad parallels in premise, but for me it was a consistent style rather than formulaic. (It's worth acknowledging, his Gently books are distinct from his Hitchhiker books, by no means a given.)

Rather than Coleridge and time travel, here Gently is caught in the repercussions of an enduring squabble between Odin & Thor, a conflict spilling into the mortal world and slowly worsening as the gods become ever less relevant to humanity.

And in place of the world of corporate software design, the age-old business of music publishing.

Continuing in the vein set by the first novel, Adams deploys an armada of off-kilter concepts:
- penguins and memories in cabin trunks (memory palace)
- a commercial contract between Odin & an advertising lawyer
- not so much parallel worlds as overlapping worlds -- one location in Midgard does not substitute for another in Asgard, rather the building we know as Saint Pancras Station is Valhalla [227]
- instead of a sofa stuck on a stair, a fridge spawns a new god (but a Coca-Cola machine briefly sits on a stair)
- hiding behind a molecule; shifting universe allows passage between
- the serious side of "holistic detection": free association leading to insights, such as "words used carelessly, as if they did not matter in any serious way, often allowed otherwise well-guarded truths to seep through"; in this way, Gently surmises that immortals are behind elsewise inexplicable events [191]
- the shyster side of "holistic detection" continues, with everything Gently does potentially billable to the client

Adams takes good-natured swipes at the private eye genre, here; repeating the first book's joke about the "first rule of detection" -- that detectives should dress in such a way as to not resemble private detectives -- and then expanding on it; also, in homage to Sherlock Holmes: "If it could not possibly be done, then obviously it had been done impossibly." [272] ( )
  elenchus | Jun 18, 2021 |
murder and mayhem when Odin contracts for peace in declining years
  ritaer | Jun 4, 2021 |
It's like American Gods, but not as good. ( )
  isovector | Dec 13, 2020 |
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Dirk Gently has fallen on hard times and dresses as a gypsy woman, using his irritatingly accurate clairvoyant powers to read palms. He is saved when a frantic client turns up with a ludicrous story about being stalked by a goblin waving a contract accompanied by a hairy, green-eyed, scythe-wielding monster. When Detective Superintendent Gilks decides a headless body found in a sealed room is the result of a particularly irritating suicide, Dirk is plunged into a mystery where the interconnectedness of all things is tested to the limit.

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