The Boy Detective Fails

The Boy Detective Fails

by Joe Meno

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Overview

The Boy Detective Fails by Joe Meno

In this “charming” and melancholic novel, a former child sleuth “investigates the hard-to-crack case of Lost Innocence” (Entertainment Weekly).
 
A Chicago Tribune, Kirkus Reviews, and Booklist Book of the Year
 
In the twilight of a mysterious childhood full of wonder, Billy Argo, boy detective, is brokenhearted to find that his younger sister and crime-solving partner, Caroline, has committed suicide. Ten years later, Billy, age thirty, returns from an extended stay at St. Vitus’ Hospital for the Mentally Ill to discover the world full of unimaginable strangeness: office buildings vanish without reason, small animals turn up without their heads, and cruel villains ride city buses to complete their evil schemes.
 
Lost within this unwelcoming place, Billy befriends two lonely, extraordinary children—one a science fair genius, the other a charming, silent bully. With a nearly forgotten bravery, he experiences the unendurable boredom of a telemarketing job; encounters a beautiful, desperate pickpocket; and confronts the nearly impossible solution to his sister’s case. Along a path laden with hidden clues and codes, the boy detective may learn the greatest secret of all: the necessity of the unknown.
 
“Haunted by the mystery of his sister’s death and feeling that a lapse in his sleuthing may be to blame, Billy is determined to find out the reason for her suicide and to punish those responsible . . . The story of Billy’s search for truth, love and redemption is surprising and absorbing. Swaddled in melancholy and gentle humor, it builds in power as the clues pile up.” —Publishers Weekly
 
“The author gives Billy a gallery of rogues to combat and even sends him to investigate the Convocation of Evil at a local hotel (‘Featured Panel: To Wear a Mask?’). Meno sets himself a complicated task, marooning his straight-arrow, pulp-fiction protagonist in a world uglier than the Bobbsey Twins ever faced but refusing to go for satire. Instead, the author takes his compulsive investigator at face value.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
 
“Comedic, imaginative, empathic . . . investigates the precincts of grief [and] our longing to combat chaos with reason.” —Booklist, starred review

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781936070497
Publisher: Akashic
Publication date: 09/01/2006
Series: Punk Planet Books
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 912,301
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Joe Meno is a fiction writer and playwright who lives in Chicago. He is a winner of the Nelson Algren Literary Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Great Lakes Book Award, and was a finalist for the Story Prize. He is the author of five novels and two short story collections including The Great Perhaps, The Boy Detective Fails, Demons in the Spring, and Hairstyles of the Damned. His short fiction has been published in One Story, McSweeney'sSwinkLITTriQuarterlyOther VoicesGulf Coast, and broadcast on NPR. His nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times and Chicago magazine. His stage plays have been produced in Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and Charville, France. He is an associate professor in the fiction writing department at Columbia College Chicago.
Joe Meno is a fiction writer and playwright who lives in Chicago. He is a winner of the Nelson Algren Literary Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Great Lakes Book Award, and was a finalist for the Story Prize. He is the author of five novels and two short story collections including The Great Perhaps, The Boy Detective Fails, Demons in the Spring, and Hairstyles of the Damned. His short fiction has been published in One Story, McSweeney'sSwinkLITTriQuarterlyOther VoicesGulf Coast, and broadcast on NPR. His nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times and Chicago magazine. His stage plays have been produced in Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and Charville, France. He is an associate professor in the fiction writing department at Columbia College Chicago.

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The Boy Detective Fails 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Here and there give this a miss borrow if you must and save delite
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anyone who grew up reading Encyclopedia Brown or the Hardy Boys will be delighted by this book. The story is a compelling examination of familiar characters.  This is done in a wonderfully artful and compelling way.  Highly recommended. 
sanken211 More than 1 year ago
The characters in this novel are wonderfully flawed. Very funny and interesting characters. Unfortunately, the story is disjointed and disappointing. If the author left out the supernatural elements and wrote a realistic story with these same characters, I would love it.
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RM_Warnas More than 1 year ago
A very very entertaining read. Recommended to anyone that enjoyed The Catcher in the Rye, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, or The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I was a little weary of reading this book because I thought it might be somewhat cliche, but it was completely opposite. The entire book was beautiful, but made you view beauty in a completely different light. I cried through the entire end of the book, but it leaves you with this grateful feeling when you're finished. If you ever have the time, read this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book had this whole Hardy Boys meets Ted Bundy thing with the mentally ill watching. I'm kind of a rough guy, but this book made my eyes water a little or I just forgot to take my pills. Anyway buy it and play along. I think you'll thank me. Also Joe's other books are good reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book was amazing. i love it so much the sentences were properly put together, you could actually feel the pain, the agony, the mystery, the riddles, the laughter ,the joy, the love, everything was so amazing!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fantastic book. Honestly, it's pretty depressing at first however, towards the end it really comes together and is a great book with a happy ending. It's honest about life. Life is not perfect, and Joe Meno doesn't pretend it is. None the less, a heart warming tale about life and its unexpected turns.