Disciple of the Dog [NOOK Book]

Overview


A crime thriller from an acclaimed master of speculative fiction

“And you wonder why I’m cynical. I’ve literally ‘seen it all before.’ The truth is we all have, every single one of us past the age of, say, twenty-five. The only difference is that I remember.”

No matter how hard he drinks, gambles, or womanizes, Disciple Manning simply cannot forget: not a word spoken, not an image glimpsed, not a pain suffered.  Disciple Manning has total...

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Disciple of the Dog

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Overview


A crime thriller from an acclaimed master of speculative fiction

“And you wonder why I’m cynical. I’ve literally ‘seen it all before.’ The truth is we all have, every single one of us past the age of, say, twenty-five. The only difference is that I remember.”

No matter how hard he drinks, gambles, or womanizes, Disciple Manning simply cannot forget: not a word spoken, not an image glimpsed, not a pain suffered.  Disciple Manning has total recall. Whatever he hears, he can remember with 100% accuracy.  He can play it back in his head for an infinite number of times without a single change.  This ability makes him a dangerously unorthodox private investigator.

When a New Jersey couple hires Manning to find their daughter, who joined a religious cult before vanishing in a small rust-belt town called Ruddick, he finds himself embroiled in a mystery that will pit his unnatural ability to remember against his desperate desire to forget.

 


At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.


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Editorial Reviews

Marilyn Stasio
The missing-­person case that takes Diss to a Rust Belt town in Pennsylvania gives this arch cynic…the opportunity to match wits with both the professorial guru of an end-of-days cult and an evangelist preacher of the fire-and-brimstone persuasion. These exchanges are bracing for all parties involved, including readers who can appreciate a private eye adept at the Socratic method.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
The cleverness Bakker displayed in his Prince of Nothing fantasy trilogy (The Darkness That Comes Before, etc.) is lacking in this suspense novel introducing Disciple Manning, a Newark, N.J., PI who can remember everything he has ever heard. Jonathan and Amanda Bonjour hire Manning to track down their missing 21-year-old daughter, Jennifer, who's joined a New Age cult known as the Framers, dropped out of nursing school, and is possibly now living at "the Compound," an old horse farm in southeastern Pennsylvania that serves as the cult's retreat. The Framers' leader, former Berkeley philosophy professor Xenophon Baars, has persuaded his followers that the world is more than five billion years older than it is and is about to end. Manning heads to the Compound in search of Jennifer, though he suspects she's already dead. A crude, off-putting hero with a flatulence problem may leave few readers eager for a sequel. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
“Someone said that reading a Jim Thompson novel was like being locked up in a fallout shelter with a brilliant, chatty, fast-talking maniac.  Meet your new companion: Disciple Manning.”—Jim Sallis, New York Times bestselling author of Salt of a River

“Even without the benefit—or would that be hindrance—of total recall, this is a book I’ll remember for a long time. And enjoyable as it was, when the details fade I look forward to rereading and loving it again.”—Bob Fingerman, award-winning author of Bottom Feeder and Pariah

“Beautifully viscious and painfully, darkly human, Bakker's Disciple of the Dog is the kind of book that makes a lot of other noir look like it was written by Sunday School teachers.”—Brian Evenson, award-winning author of Last Days

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429925365
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 11/23/2010
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 567,705
  • File size: 373 KB

Meet the Author


SCOTT BAKKER is the author of The Prince of Nothing, a trilogy that Publishers Weekly calls “a work of unforgettable power,” the Aspect-Emperor novels and the acclaimed thriller, Neuropath. He lives in London, Ontario, with his wife, Sharron, and his daughter, Ruby.

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Read an Excerpt


Track One
 
A REAL WINNER
 
My father always claimed I had an attitude problem. “You’re too dismissive,” he once told me. “Too quick to judge. Life is bigger than you know.”
To which I replied, “C’mon, Dad. That’s just stupid talk.”
That was June 13, 1981. A good day.
For some mysterious reason, maybe genetic, maybe environmental, maybe some combination of the two, I am doubtful and irreverent through and through. Show me a picture of your newborn I’ll ask you if you’re holding it upside down. Tell me you’ve won the lottery and I’ll give you the number of my coke dealer. Show me a flag and I see kinky sheets on a hooker’s bed. I never commit, not to the big things, and certainly not to the little. It’s not that I’m evil or anything; it’s just that no matter how hard I try, I never think what I should. Where everyone sees a Merge sign, I read Detour.
A true-blue individual—that’s what I am.
You would think that would make me popular, you know, home of the brave, land of the free, all that crap. But such is not the case, alas. Truth is, the only kind of individualism Americans believe in is the one that numbs the sting of name tags, or that makes a trip to the mall an exercise in self-creation. The consumer kind.
The false kind.
And who knows? Maybe that’s the way it should be.
Ignore the Merge sign long enough, and sooner or later somebody gets killed.
 
*   *   *
 
I’m what you would call a cynic.
This isn’t to be confused with a skeptic. Skeptics don’t believe in anything, because they care too much. For them the dignity of truth lies perpetually beyond slobs like us humans. We’re just not qualified.
A cynic, on the other hand, doesn’t believe in anything because he doesn’t care enough. I mean, really, who gives a fuck?
You?
My name is Disciple Manning. A stupid name, I know—pretty much what you would expect from stupid-talking parents. When people ask me my name, I simply say Diss, Diss Manning. When they make funny with their faces, I lie and tell them I was named after my father, Datt Manning. I usually get a laugh out of dat. If I don’t, if I still get the funny stuff, you know, the What-fucking-planet-are-you-from? look, then I hit them, hard—unless they happen to be a cop, in which case I just keep kissing ass.
The one thing you need to remember about me is that I don’t forget.
Anything.
Ever.
According to the doctors, it’s driving me crazy.
 
*   *   *
 
And this is why I find myself sitting down and writing. My latest therapist thinks my problem isn’t what I remember so much as how. She’s a big believer in the power of stories. She thinks hammering my more toxic memories into narrative form will give them some kind of psychologically redemptive meaning.
Sounds foofy, I know. I’ve always thought writing is just the human genius for bullshit raised to an art form. But she’s cute, and there’s a wisdom you get after botching as many suicide attempts as I have. Putting pen to paper just doesn’t seem that big a deal after putting knife to skin.
Nothing does, really. Strange knowledge, that.
Otherwise, I’m like pretty much everyone else. I used to have all these grandiose goals and ambitions, an abiding conviction that I was the master of my own destiny, blah-blah-blah. But life just kept happening, you know? And the ad hoc decisions piled up and up and up, until I found myself stranded on a mountain not of my own making. You see, it’s convenience that drives the species, not in any grand sense but in the most squalid way you could possibly imagine. Say your wife starts coming home late on a regular basis, and you get this kind of queasy feeling in your gut, like on some parallel plane of existence you just stepped off the Tilt-A-Whirl. So what do you do? Say nothing. Follow the ruts. Keep your eyes on the habituated prize. Only ten years to go on the mortgage!
It’s these kinds of decisions that define who we are, by and large. The small kind. The lazy kind. And then one day you wake up, and the distance between your youthful hope and your middle-aged actuality yawns like a tiger on the wrong side of the cage. What happened? you ask yourself, but you know. It’s written into the meat of you, all those little concessions to your weaker nature.
Trust me, dude, I know. I spy on you. I see you all the time. Gambling away your wife’s savings, giving a hand job to your husband’s best friend. I’m the guy who hands the envelope to your spouse so that he or she can give it to the divorce lawyer, or even worse, confront you with it. I’m the archivist of your lesser self—you know, the side of you that calls the shots between official engagements. I’m the bastard who makes your secrets real. Disciple Manning, the sole proprietor of Manning Investigations, based out of Newark, New Jersey.
That’s right. I’m a private detective. A dick. The part-time security guard of the investigative world.
A real winner.
 
Copyright © 2010 by R. Scott Bakker
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 1, 2011

    More Dis Please

    I loved this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    nteresting

    Newark, New Jersey private investigator Disciple Manning has the uncanny ability to remember everything he hears or sees exactly like an instant replay. When he says he seen it all or heard it all, he can play back the tape in his head.

    Worried about their twenty-one years old daughter, Jonathan and Amanda Bonjour hire Manning to find the missing Jennifer, who joined the New Age cult Framers founded by former Berkley university Professor Xenophon Baars. Amanda left the nursing school she attended and presumably resides within the Framers' "Compound"; that is if she still lives, which Manning doubts. Manning drives to the converted Pennsylvania farm Compound to learn the fate of Amanda. Instead he finds out that Baars believes the world is coming to an end shortly. His obsessed followers blindly do what he tells them to do in preparation for the end of days.

    Readers will either love or hate Disciple who is a sort of younger and gross version of The Old Man (played by Victor Wong) in the Golden Child. Thus, he is definitely different as a hero and not just because he has the uncanny total recall skill; farting and nose picking in public is part of his repertoire as a cynic who not only sees and hears it all he remembers it all. The fate of Amanda is engaging and twisting, and Baars fascinating in a Reverend Jim Jones of Guyana way. However, this plot is owned by the king of gas who can smell up a paragraph with one release.

    Harriet Klausner

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