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the Complete Review
the complete review - fiction

The Manual of Detection

Jedediah Berry

[an overview of the reviews and critical reactions]

general information | review summaries | review and reception notes | links | about the author

To purchase The Manual of Detection

Title: The Manual of Detection
Author: Jedediah Berry
Genre: Novel
Written: 2009
Length: 278 pages
Availability: The Manual of Detection - US
The Manual of Detection - UK
The Manual of Detection - Canada

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Why we haven't reviewed it yet:

Gave it 100 pages, just didn't take to it -- despite the promising premises and literary flair it just didn't keep me in any suspense

Chances that we will review it:

Very slim

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Review Summaries
Source Rating Date Reviewer
Boston Globe . 22/2/2009 Hallie Ephron
The New Yorker . 9/3/2009 .
The Observer . 5/4/2009 Peter Guttridge
San Francisco Chronicle . 22/2/2009 Michael Berry
Scotland on Sunday . 22/2/2009 Stuart Kelly

  Review Consensus:

  Find it enjoyable and clever

  From the Reviews:
  • "Surreal, absurd, and cerebral, full of sly humor and winks, this novel is meticulously written and plotted. Fans of George Orwell, Ray Bradbury, and Jasper Fforde, take notice." - Hallie Ephron, Boston Globe

  • "From the classic tropes of the detective procedural, this début novel weaves the kind of mannered fantasy that might result if Wes Anderson were to adapt Kafka." - The New Yorker

  • "Berry's world of coincidences and terrible puns (there's a somnambulists' club called the Cat & Tonic) is great fun and very clever. My comparison ? Flann O'Brien's The Third Policeman -- which is about as good as it gets." - Peter Guttridge, The Observer

  • "This novel seems to take its inspiration from the works of Kafka, Italo Calvino, Borges and Angela Carter, with perhaps a dash of Terry Gilliam for good measure. Berry sets up a neat literary game and plays it through to the end with a great deal of wit and aplomb. A handsomely designed book, The Manual of Detection is a distinctively surreal whodunit." - Michael Berry, San Francisco Chronicle

  • "Like Sin City, this is a noir fairytale, with the grey-scale, drizzly streets and shabby cafés contrasted by fluorescent, primary colour characters. What it lacks in depth, it makes up for in elegant convolution and cerebral dazzle." - Stuart Kelly, Scotland on Sunday

Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review's biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers. Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole. We acknowledge (and remind and warn you) that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure.

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The Manual of Detection: Reviews: Other books of interest under review:

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About the Author:

       Jedediah Berry is an American author.

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© 2009 the complete review

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