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Extended Audio Sample The Manual of Detection, by Jedediah Berry Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,280 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jedediah Berry Narrator: Pete Larki Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In an unnamed city slick with rain, Charles Unwin toils as a clerk at an imperious detective agency. His job: writing reports on cases solved by the palindromic Detective Travis Sivart. When Sivart goes missing and his supervisor is murdered, Unwin is promoted to detective, a rank for which he is woefully unprepared. His only guidance comes from his sleepy new assistant and the pithy yet profound Manual of Detection.

Unwin mounts his search for Sivart but soon faces impossible questions: Why does the mummy at the Municipal Museum have modern-day dental work? Where have all the city’s alarm clocks gone? Can the man with the blond beard really read his thoughts? Meanwhile, Unwin is framed for murder, pursued by goons, and confounded by a femme fatale. His only choice: to enter the dreams of a murdered man.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Jedediah Berry knows magic. The Manual of Detection combines the intricacy and thoughtfulness of Borges and Kafka with the page-turning excitement of a detective thriller…It made me laugh, thrill, think, and wonder.”

    Hannah Tinti, author of The Good Thief

  • “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.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Jedediah Berry has an ear well-tuned to the styles of the detective story from Holmes to Spade and can reproduce atmosphere with loving skill.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “The plot’s bursting with as many twists and surprises as you could hope for…It steams along the smooth rails of Berry’s neatly constructed sentences, barreling round each well-cambered turn with barely a judder.”

    London Review of Books

  • “Berry sets up a neat literary game and plays it through to the end with a great deal of wit and aplomb…A distinctively surreal whodunit.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “[Berry] defies many mystery novel conventions, but adventurous readers who stay with his strange and fabulous debut work will be handsomely rewarded…There is nothing mysterious about the appeal of this inventive, outrageous, and often amusing dream-within-a-dream.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • Selected for the March 2009 Indie Next List
  • Winner of the 2009 Hammett Prize
  • A 2010 Locus Award Nominee

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Abel Ramirez | 2/16/2014

    " The Manuel of Detection was an great read with very interesting characters, heroes and villains, reminiscent of Dick Tracy with a darker image. The plot was cleverly devised with a unique setting; a gloomy city where it rains all the time. Pick up the book when you get a chance. It will keep you guessing until the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jenifer Kidd | 2/16/2014

    " Interesting mix of things: a bit of Jasper Fford, a touch of The Matrix, some Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and all wrapped in a nice noir mystery all set in an alt universe where the phones are still dialed. Hoping for another! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Eileen | 2/12/2014

    " A different type of story "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jason | 2/12/2014

    " Don't know why I didn't like this more than I did. I thought it was clever enough and well written, but it never really grabbed me the way I felt it should have given what I was reading. It was very quirky and had a good sense of humor... all of which I usually get all excited about. It felt a little too detached for some reason. I would still recommend it though. "

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About the Author
Author Jedediah Berry

Jedediah Berry holds an MFA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and has been published in Best New American Voices 2008 (his story was described by Kirkus Reviews as a “mordant, gripping fantasy”) as well as in literary magazines and online fiction sites. By day, he is an assistant editor at Small Beer Press in Easthampton, Massachusetts.