Dirk Gently's Holistic Wiki

Howard Bell is a character in Douglas Adams' Dirk Gently books. He is an American novelist mentioned in The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, along his most recent novel Run Like the Devil.

In The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, Dirk Gently stole Sally Mills's copy of Bell's book, Run Like the Devil, and at points spoke about Bell and the novel with Kate Schechter and Sally.[1]

Bell at one point was a holder of Odin's contract, which made him a successful and popular novelist, despite his writing being horrible. This is aided by the fact that people buy the books but "nobody ever read them".

He deliberately cultivates a mysterious reputation as being "strange and demonic". This includes having live chickens brought to his hotel rooms which are never seen again; an acquaintance of Sally's reported having the job to smuggle the unharmed chickens back out again.

His name, first name long and last name short, was reportedly described by Kate's brother David as the "perfect bestseller’s name". On his books, his name takes up half the cover, 'Bell' printed in huge letters and 'Howard' a bit smaller.