Charles Unwin
Created by Jedediah Berry

Was this the inception of Inception?

CHARLES UNWIN works for a detective agency, all right, but he's no detective. Rather, he's an anonymous file clerk tapping out reports on his typewriter and pushing paper around on the 14th floor of The Agency, a Kafka-esque organization that protects the city's dreams.

But then the Agency's most famous operative, superstar sleuth Travis Stivart goes missing while attempting to track down the kind of evil criminal mastermind usually found in a Batman comic -- one who can apparently romp around in the dreams of everyone in the unnamed city.

What can a suddenly promoted schlub do, but try to crack the case and rescue his idol?

Aided by an fellow employee who can't stay awake, Charles is completely in over his head, as he enters a surreal landscape full of danger, femme fatales and nefarious thugs, where time has a strangely elastic quality and all the alarm clocks have been stolen.

And then it gets weirder.

For those of you who like your crime fiction straight up, this may not be the book for you. But if names like Dali, Terry Gilliam, Paul Auster and Borges don't scare you away you may get a serious kick out of The Manual of Detection, Jedebiah Berry's acclaimed first novel.


  • "Even if the intriguing conceit doesn't fully work, this cerebral novel, with its sly winks at traditional whodunits and inspired portrait of the bureaucratic and paranoid Agency, will appeal to mystery readers and nongenre fans alike."
    -- Publisher's Weekly

  • "The comparisons used by critics in describing The Manual of Detection... may seem overblown. But (the) list of literary (and cinematic) heavy hitters may not be hyperbolic praise so much as the only means available to explain how a book that initially seems to be a private eye novel can also be a work of absurdist art... The critics might not have been able to categorize it, but they were also unable to put it down. However, as more than one reviewer pointed out, this may not be the best book for those who like their gumshoes straight, no chaser."
    -- Bookmarks Magazine


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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