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Gentle Ghosts

Entry 274 posted in: 2. DNA, b. Dirk Gently

I have (re)read Douglas Adams' Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency for about the fourth time now and still I'm puzzled. I really don't understand the ending and maybe some helpful ghost could give me a call to clear things up a little...

Attention: if you haven't read the book...

S P O I L E R S  A H E A D

When the ghost from the planet Salaxar (who hijacked the body of Michael Wenton-Weakes) arrives in Cambridge he has a chat with Dirk Gently who says at a certain point: "I've never cross-examined a four-billion-year old ghost before." How does Dirk knows the ghost is that old, wouldn't it be more logical to assume that the ghost is of Coleridge's time period (some 200 years ago). It is only in the next chapter that the ghost reveals that he (she? it?) is a space traveller who roamed the earth before life on it started. But that is only a minor point.

The time machine is then used to transport the ghost-Michael-Wenton-Weakes entity back in time so that he (she? it?) can prevent his spaceship from exploding. Only when it is nearly too late the holistic detective finds out that the spaceship explosion will trigger life on earth. Although he has travelled a few billion years back in time he has now only 2 minutes to save the world.

What happens in those two minutes? Do they kill Michael Wenton-Weakes (with the space travelling ghost inside) while he is walking towards the ship? If yes, how? Do they shoot him although I don't recall a gun? They can't run into the poisonous atmosphere and grab Michael Wenton-Weakes so they need to stop him another way.

There is a two minutes unexplained gap in the book.

In the following chapter the gang of time travellers (minus Michael who is apparently dead) are already back in Coleridge's cottage and change the Kubla Khan poem, this to prevent that the two Salaxar ghosts (thanks to the time paradoxes the amount of living ghosts has doubled) will remember how to destroy life on earth once again (or again and again).

Can someone provide me with the What and Where and When and How and Why and Who of this All?

If you are confused by this post you'll know exactly how I felt after reading the book.

If you liked this post - you might be interested in this one as well: So Long