The Salmon of Doubt — Douglas Adams


This book is the final book in the Dirk Gentley triology for a profoundly sad reason: Douglas Adams’ sudden death in 2001 at the tragically young age of 49.

The Salmon of Doubt was published post-humously based on drafts found on his beloved Macintosh computer.

Douglas’ Life

The majority of the book falls outside the genre of fiction with the first section of the book containing descriptions of Douglas Adams personal life and character by his friends. While well-written and interesting, I am not much of a biography reader and found myself chugging through the first section primarily because it seemed like the right thing to do – I find that most books have their pages arranged in such an order that starting at the beginning and swiftly making way towards the end is the preferred method of attack.


The bulk of the book is made up of a selection of Douglas Adams’ essays, which he had published in various magazines and news papers throughout his life. While some carry similar wit and humour as his fictional works, I found that the essays somewhat underwhelmed me, perhaps because I had hoped to enjoy a book in similar style to the preceding books, Dirk Gentley’s Holistic Detective Agency and The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul , which the essays simply weren’t.

The Salmon of Doubt

At the very back of the book is a compilation of different drafts that have been stitched together to form The Salmon of Doubt, and unfortunately it shows. There isn’t the same self-consistency and self-referential style of writing that the other works of Douglas Adams so beautifully display – it would seem reasonable, that such features are added during the refining passes that come much later in the writing process than what we were left with after his tragic and untimely passing.


I wouldn’t pick up this book unless you’re a die-hard Douglas Adams fan or have a particular affinity towards biographical works.

Jeppe Klitgaard
Jeppe Klitgaard
Physics Student

Just another enthustiastic polymoron thinking out loud. Aspiring goodish person.