Salmon of Doubt (Douglas Adams 1952-2001) - Ballantine Del Rey - 2003 - 298 pages

Published after his untimely death at age 49, this book is a compilation of essays and fiction found on the computers of Douglas Adams.  This is a post mortem tribute to Adams by his friends including the "Introduction to the Introduction" by Monty Python's Terry Jones.  The first 200 pages contain comments and opinions on religion, writing, animals, hangovers and other publications.  The anchor piece of the book is the 80-page, unfinished, novel-segment titled The Salmon of Doubt.

Readers beware.  This partial novel has no beginning and no ending.  The eleven chapters involve a parallel universe, a half-lost cat, the world-view of a rhinoceros and the mysterious client who is paying Dirk Gently $5,000 per week by anonymous electronic deposit.  I am sure that the brilliant Mr. Adams was going to tie all of these themes together but this appears to be a task that no ghost writer was willing to try.  It is obvious that this was to be the third Dirk Gently novel after Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul.  However, some have speculated that the draft may have been converted to the sixth book in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series.  That seems like a long shot to me.

The Salmon of Doubt is a very interesting adventure into the brilliant mind of Douglas Adams.  [JAM 7/9/2009]