The Manual of Detection: A Novel

Editorial reviews

The Manual of Detection: A Novel

Even a quick perusal will tell you that The Manual of Detection is genre fiction. But the more deeply you dig into the book, the harder it is to decide which genre.

These days, you can barely pick up a speculative fantasy without finding a zeppelin or a steam-robot on the cover. Containing few punks and a good many posh ladies and gents, most of these stories are better described as steam operas. The Manual of Detection formalises many of the genre's themes and includes a dash of cyberpunk noir.

Borges wrote in praise of the detective story that "it is safeguarding order in an era of disorder" ("The Detective Story," 1978). This notion is given a playful surrealist treatment in The Manual of Detection, by Jedediah Berry.