Any books that are reminiscent of the Dirk Gently novels?

I’ve been on a Dirk Gently kick lately.

Are there any other writers/novels I can look into that might fill the void that Douglas Adams left in me when he maliciously died an early death on me?

It’s been a real long time since I’ve read them. As I remember (and as Wikipedia reassures me), they’re comic, sardonic, somewhat absurdist, modern fantasy detective stories, with a British humor.

So, some recommendations, which may come closer or further from what you love about them:

The Rook. Of all the “secret police agency dedicated to handling weird supernatural shit in London” books–and there’s a metric crap-ton of this highly specific genre–this is my favorite. The sequel is pretty good, but the sequel has 100% fewer oracular ducks and suffers thereby.

The Rivers of London is my second favorite “secret police agency dedicated to handling weird supernatural shit in London” series. I told you there are a lot of these. It’s not quite as absurdist, but it’s still pretty funny, and a lot of fun.

AngelMaker reads like John LeCarre had a son who wasn’t quite so fucking bleak about the world and decided to write espionage thrillers with a sense of humor about them. It reads like that because that’s exactly what happened. Nick Harkaway is literally LeCarre’s son, and white he loves conspiracies in the same way that his dad does, his books don’t make me want to crawl under the bed and hide. Okay, Gnomon kind of did, but Angelmaker is just over-the-top literary absurd good times.

I’m sure I’ll think of others, and I’m sure others will as well, and I’m guessing Good Omens will be mentioned before I even finish this post–but these three are my top recommendations!

I sorta vaguely remember maybe reading a book that reminded me of Dirk Gently, in a word-on-the-tip-of-my-tongue sort of way, but if so it’s not coming to me now.

I don’t think I’m thinking of Neil Gaiman or Jasper Fforde, though they both have some overlap in their appeal.

“John Dies at the End”, by David Wong, hit some of the same Gently notes for me. It has a horror focus that’s very different, and it feels much more American than British. But it has a similar theme of ordinary people in a world askew dealing with the impossible things they find with sarcastic humor. I haven’t read the two sequels.

I’ve read This Book Is Full Of Spiders (Seriously, Dude, Don’t Touch It) and enjoyed it as a worthy follow-up to JDATE. It has a lot more of Amy, for one thing, and I liked her character.

A strong second for The Rook, as well. Starz is currently filming a series based on the book, which is supposed to air next year.

Thanks for the recommendations! I’ll check into them.

I like the David Wong books, and am a huge Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett fan, and have read Good Omens about 50 times.

I’ve never read the others mentioned, and will be checking them out.

Not necessarily Dirk Gently specifically, but the most Douglas Adams-toned book I can think of is The Sheriff of Yrnameer.

If you like whimsical horror instead of science fiction, I recommend the Johannes Cabal novels.

I can second this one as well; in an odd coincidence, I just started rereading the first book a couple of days ago.

One of my favorite bits is early on, when he’s being a “barker” at the fair, pointing out how the freaks in the freak show were so much more freakish than the people in the audience:

So much ginger hate in the world…

I think the Bridge of Birds trilogy would qualify…it’s high medieval fantasy set in ancient China, as a gumshoe detective murder mystery.

A more obscure suggestion, the works of Robert Rankin.

My favourite is The Witches of Chiswick. The Dance of the Voodoo Handbag, A Dog Called Demolition, and The Brightonomicon are also excellent.

I can’t imagine you wouldn’t love the Tales from Two Pockets by Karel Čapek; who, incidentally, left this world, even bleaker in his days, an age about the same as Douglas Adams. A collection of short stories, centered around crime, human folly, the perfectly mundane and the inexplainable; supposedly told to the author over a pint or two at some bar in Prague by crooks, cops, scientists and common people. Enjoy!

I don’t know just how analagous they’d be, but as a big Adams fan, I like Robert Asprin’s Myth-Adventures series and Phule series. Unforunately, like Adams, he is no longer among the living and therefore you’ll eventually run out of material, but that’s still about two dozen books to enjoy before the well runs dry.

I’m not the biggest fan of his writing, but I have to say, his book titles are some of the most entertainingly absurd I’ve come across (I think my favorite was “The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse”).

He calls his work “far fetched fiction”, and that starts at the title. I can understand why some people become tired of the far fetched nature well before the end of the story. My personal favourite is The Witches of Chiswick. Boring name, intriguing plot.

Yes! I did not know this, and it’s excellent news. I’m currently re-reading the first book.

“I’ll use my scary face.”
“You have a scary face?”
“I have a very scary face.”
“Then please remove your jumper before going in, Rook Thomas. The flowers on the pockets detract from your menace.”

You may well like Jasper Fforde’s “Tuesday Next” series (starting with The Eyre Affair). The literary in-jokes can get to be a little much but it’s all extremely clever and there’s even some random time travelling here and there just for fun. The “Nursery Crime” spinoffs are not as good but still quite readable.

Yes, Rankin has awesome titles that go with clever concepts, but they can run out of steam long before the end of the book. A mixed bag.