The Manual of Detection: A Novel (Paperback)

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The Manual of Detection: A Novel By Jedediah Berry Cover Image
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Staff Reviews


I'm not usually one for detective stories, but this one grabbed me right away and pulled me along despite my protests against the genre. Charles Unwin is promoted to being a detective against his will, but he is not a detective, he is a clerk. It is obviously a mistake, but when he shows up to work someone else is at his desk and his boss is dead. Both surreal and absurd, the incredibly tight pacing and gripping narrative pulls the reader along with a mystifying relentlessness. The closest experience I can compare reading it to would be if you could somehow read a dream. If you're looking for a clever twist on hard-boiled noir, The Manual of Detection is for you. -- Joey Puente

— From February 2010

*** February 2010 Newsletter Pick ***
I'm not usually one for detective stories, but this one grabbed me right away and pulled me along despite my protests against the genre. Charles Unwin is promoted to being a detective against his will, but he is not a detective, he is a clerk. It is obviously a mistake, but when he shows up to work someone else is at his desk and his boss is dead. Both surreal and absurd, the incredibly tight pacing and gripping narrative pulls the reader along with a mystifying relentlessness. The closest experience I can compare reading it to would be if you could somehow read a dream. If you're looking for a clever twist on hard-boiled noir, The Manual of Detection is for you.

— From Joey

March 2009 Indie Next List


“This story of a clerk becoming an unlikely detective is the perfect novel noir, like some wonderful, early black-and-white film from France or Germany. The mystery twists and turns, and the universe grows into a beautiful web of fantasy. The Manual of Detection is the most fun circus ride I've been on in years.”
— Justin Fetterman, The Alabama Booksmith, Birmingham, AL

Description


"This debut novel weaves the kind of mannered fantasy that might result if Wes Anderson were to adapt Kafka." --The New Yorker

Reminiscent of imaginative fiction from Jorge Luis Borges to Jasper Fforde yet dazzlingly original, The Manual of Detection marks the debut of a prodigious young talent. Charles Unwin toils as a clerk at a huge, imperious detective agency located in an unnamed city always slick with rain. When Travis Sivart, the agency's most illustrious detective, is murdered, Unwin is suddenly promoted and must embark on an utterly bizarre quest for the missing investigator that leads him into the darkest corners of his soaking, somnolent city. What ensues is a noir fantasy of exquisite craftsmanship, as taut as it is mind- blowing, that draws readers into a dream world that will change what they think about how they think.

About the Author


Jedediah Berry’s short fiction has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Best New American Voices and Best American Fantasy. He lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, where he works as assistant editor of Small Beer Press.

Praise For…


Product Details
ISBN: 9780143116516
ISBN-10: 0143116517
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: January 26th, 2010
Pages: 288
Language: English