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2009 Reading #24: The Manual of Detection

Books 1-10.
Books 11-20.
21. Hmong and American: Stories of Transition to a Strange Land by Sue Murphy Mote.
22. Meet Me In the Moon Room by Ray Vukcevich.
23. Children of Rondo: Transcriptions of Rondo Oral History Interviews edited by Kimberly K. Zielinski.

24. The Manual of Detection by Jedediah Berry. First off--can I just say this? I am not a person who fetishizes books as objects all that much; that's not to say I don't enjoy the experience of holding and handling books, but that I usually don't much care what a book looks like, and a raggedy old paperback is as good as a clean and crisp first edition. (Maybe better than, even.) But there is something to be said for a book which is designed to add to the experience of reading it, and The Manual of Detection is like that--designed to look like its fictional namesake, an important part of the story, and gorgeously done. This really has no bearing on how good the book is, but luckily it is the sort of book that I might describe as delightful if I were the sort of person who used that word, which I am decidedly not. There is detection here, and a sinister carnival, and also clerking, and criminals so dastardly they can even manage to steal a day off the calendar. Tightly plotted strangeness, sort of like if Charlie Kaufman were to helm a season of "Monk" set in 1948.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 26th, 2009 12:01 am (UTC)
The Manual of Detection

Oh, I'm glad to hear it's good -- I read the first chapter on Penguin's Web site, and I was intrigued. I'll have to check the library for it.
Mar. 26th, 2009 01:09 am (UTC)
I reviewed The Manual of Detection here and did not use the word delightful, although I am totally the sort of person who uses that word, and though I was, in fact, delighted by it.
Mar. 26th, 2009 11:37 am (UTC)
I was putting off reading your review until I had read the book; all I can say is, write more reviews!!
Mar. 26th, 2009 02:16 pm (UTC)
I am putting this on my list to read soon.
Mar. 26th, 2009 02:19 pm (UTC)
You are welcome to borrow my copy if you like!
Mar. 26th, 2009 03:19 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I would like!
Mar. 26th, 2009 03:24 pm (UTC)
I will try to remember to bring it to the next Writer's Night Out. Feel free to poke me with reminders.
Mar. 26th, 2009 09:59 pm (UTC)
I have been lusting after The Manual of Detection since well before it hit the proverbial book "streets".

Oh, so since I'm kinda the book buyer at Ye Olde Independent Bookstore of Charleston, WV as of this week, Superpowers , this really great book I read recently, should be showing up at the store tomorrow and going right up on my "Picks" shelf where people will buy it.
Mar. 26th, 2009 10:56 pm (UTC)
Sweet! I have heard rumors of being a "pick" in other stores but this is the first I have on good authority :-)
Mar. 26th, 2009 10:00 pm (UTC)
I might even add a little "Nebula-award nominated!" sign, until such time as I can add a little "Nebula Award Winner!" sign.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )


David J. Schwartz
Mumble Herder

Recent and Forthcoming



US Edition

UK Edition


"The Sun Inside," part of the Electrum Novella Series from Rabit Transit Press

Short Stories:

"Escape to Bird Island" at The King's English, Winter 2008-9 Issue

"Bear In Contradicting Landscape" in Polyphony 7, Coming Soon

"MonstroCities" in Tumbarumba: A Frolic of Intrusions

"Mike's Place" in Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet #22

"Proof of Zero" in Spicy Slipstream Stories, Out Now!!

"The Somnambulist" in Paper Cities: An Anthology of Urban Fantasy, Out Now!!

"Oma Dortchen and the Pillar of Story" in Farrago's Wainscot, Summer 2007

"The Ichthyomancer Writes His Friend with an Account of the Yeti's Birthday Party" in Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet Number 13, Fall 2003 (Honorable Mention, The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Seventeenth Annual Collecion); Reprinted in The Best of Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet


""Stardust" at Strange Horizons


"On Making Noise: Confessions of a Quiet Kid" in Brothers and Beasts: An Anthology of Men on Fairy Tales edited by Kate Bernheimer



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