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.
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