Book review: 'Holistic' will make you laugh and think

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By Tabitha Welch

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency is an astonishing mishmash of genres on a level with author Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Meet Richard MacDuff, a heron-like computer scientist who is fascinated by music and physically impossible sofas.
At first, all is perfectly well with the universe. Richard reunites with his old professor Reg for the first time in 10 years, getting together for a pleasantly boring dinner at St. Cedd’s College in Cambridge, at the same time that a certain Electric Monk stands looking down on a faraway valley and fervently believes that it is a uniform shade of pale pink (the Electric Monk, for those who might not know, is a labor-saving device that specializes in believing all the things its owner cannot be bothered with).
Before long, though, a number of somewhat strange events begin to occur: Richard realizes that he accidentally forgot his girlfriend once again, a horse spontaneously appears in Reg’s bathroom, and someone is inconveniently murdered.
After that, the true chaos begins, and Richard finds himself in contact with his eccentric and only slightly criminal college friend, who currently goes by the name of Dirk and who runs a Holistic Detective Agency, grounded on the fundamental interconnectedness of all things. Dirk is determined to prove that every single one of these oddities is indeed connected, even the impossible ones. His investigation into this very curious murder will ultimately save both a missing cat and humanity itself.
Dirk Gently retains the perfect blend of wit and tension that is the hilarious trademark of Douglas Adams.
This is probably the only sinister murder-comedy (with its fair share of ghosts, aliens and time traveling) that leaves the reader thinking afterwards.
For any fan of the “Hitchhiker’s” series, therefore, it may be high time to join Richard MacDuff and company in order to “grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.”