The Manual of Detection

The Manual of Detection

by Jedediah Berry
3.9 23

Paperback(Reprint)

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The Manual of Detection 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Harmony_me More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I found it intellectually interesting and a refreshing departure from the average detective novel. From the beginning, it reminded me very much of George Orwell's world - but quickly it became clear that the mood was not as dark and disturbing. The characters were each a bit unusual in their own way and the setting was a mix of period and fantasy, contributing to the mysteriousness of the story. In addition, I found myself impelled to read further just to assure myself that poor Charles Unwin, the protagonist, would ultimately be OK. He bumbles along trying to resurrect his world after it has evidently somehow fallen upside down. Happy reading!
Newfound.Joye More than 1 year ago
Oftentimes, mysteries are standard and based upon a formula. Jedediah Berry blew that formula away for The Manual of Detection. The narrative is extremely well-polished and the characters are rich and engaging. From the beginning until the end, The Manual of Detection kept me on the edge of my seat and all of my suspicions were nothing compared to the outcome of the story. I definitely enjoyed this and I recommend giving it a try as well. Be forewarned, you might not be able to put it down.
NHM2010 More than 1 year ago
I was initially intrigued by this book and convinced by the printed reviews at the front of the book to pick it up and start reading. I found the style of writing very well done, but I completely lost interest in the book halfway through it. I didn't have the patience to follow all the dreamlike happenings. Sorry.
Janus More than 1 year ago
Many of the books I've given high ratings to thus far this year were ones that I expected to give high ratings to. 'The Manual of Detection' does not fall into that category. I'll be the first to admit that it took me quite a while to actually pick this book up. I first noticed it when it was just hitting shelves in its nifty hardcover edition (green vinyl bound with gold embossing) but despite its intriguing premise, I never felt compelled to purchase it. The fact is, by the time this paperback edition was released, I had entirely forgotten about the book's existence. I'm glad my memory was jarred. I can safely say that this is one of the best books I have ever read, period. Berry keeps the prose clean and engrossing, the mood going full blast and the characters always entertaining. First and foremost, this is an intensely satisfying and wholly entertaining book. That much is to be expected. What wasn't expected is the intelligence of the novel and its ability to make the reader question everything they think they know. If you have seen the movies Dark City or Brazil, you will especially appreciate the bizarre world Berry has created. Other reviewers have compared this to the works of Kafka. While I agree, I think Philip K. Dick deserves mention as a similarity and G.K. Chesterton's 'The Man Who Was Thursday' is also very similar. Do yourself a favor this year. Ignore the overly-hyped "Now a Major Motion Picture" books and pick up this gem. You'll be glad you did.
ChadAaronSayban More than 1 year ago
There are plenty of hardboiled detective novels on the market with more coming out every day. But with his debut novel, The Manual of Detection, Jedediah Berry charts his own course with a unique twist on the classic detective mystery. For starters, it is told from the point of view of Charles Unwin - a clerk to a famous detective - who is promoted to detective against his own wishes. While he doesn't come right out and describe the world that Unwin exists in, it becomes apparent that this isn't the world that we know. It is more like film noir in an alternate universe. It felt as though Mickey Spillane met the Mad Hatter in a Quentin Tarantino production. Needless to say, this isn't your normal, everyday crime story. However, while its quirkiness will scare some readers away, I found that Berry's writing made the journey very appealing. His language creates vivid images and his characters are well developed and easy to become attached to. It is very easy for the reader to become Charles Unwin and the story moves along at a nice, quick pace. As I said, this story is not going to appeal to everyone and I wouldn't want to read a steady diet of these kinds of mind-bending stories, but it was fun to experience something quite unique and considering this was a debut novel, I think it is an example of an amazing writing talent. Jedediah Berry is certainly an author to keep an eye on in the future. One final note, the hardcover book is beautiful and doesn't have a dust cover. Instead, all of the art is printed right on the cover and looks and feels beautiful. I hope that this is something we see more of from the publishing industry in the future. 3.5 stars: A good book that will appeal to most
mystery_librarian More than 1 year ago
Berry's first novel The Manual of Detection is a genre bending mystery involving a missing detective, stolen alarm clocks, somnambulists, and a very reluctant hero, file clerk Charles Unwin. Reminiscent of Ray Bradbury and George Orwell with hints of Neil Gaiman, Tom Robbins, and Michael Chabon this surreal noir mystery is hard to put down as the reader has no idea how a handbook on detection can possibly help Unwin solve a string of crimes committed through people's dreams. With a large group of peculiar suspects Unwin must unravel how the theft of November 12th, the missing body of the The Oldest Murdered Man, and the Three Deaths of Colonel Baker relate to the disappearance of Detective Travis Sivart. Not for readers who like their mysteries straight forward but perfect for those who revel in the offbeat. A compelling read and an author to keep an eye on. Appropriate for young adult readers as well.
Dulcibelle More than 1 year ago
I'm not sure what I think about The Manual of Detection. It really is a very descriptive book - I have no problems picturing the world that Jedediah Berry is building. But, I just don't get the mystery. It's very subtle; in fact, I didn't really understand exactly what the mystery was until very late in the novel. Perhaps the point of the novel was to just to describe Berry's world. If this is the case, the book succeeded admirably.
MOUNTAIN_SKY More than 1 year ago
Imagine if "THE HITCHHIKERS'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY" were reworked as a film-noir detective thriller. Then imagine it was written by a collaboration of Rod Serling, George Orwell, and Agatha Christie. The story is set in an unnamed city in an unnamed country at an unnamed time in history. The lead character is a clerk at an unnamed but always capitalized "Agency." He is promoted to detective against his will and must solve a string of murders against his will. He does this while driving his bicycle in city streets that he shares with horse drawn carraiges and automobiles, under an eternal rain, and with the help of a maddingly helpful Manual of Detection. Strange characters, doing strange things in strange places filter in and out of the narrative. The constant rain and the piling corpses lend a dark air to the proceedings, but is underlied by a brilliantly subtle hilarity as we await the next twist in the pycho-fantasy plot.
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Highly recommended
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OohRahWife More than 1 year ago
The funniest, most intriguing and well written mystery i've read in a long time! highly recommend.
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