Voted Most Anticipated 2009

Detection_2 Or, at least, my own most anticipated book of 2009 and ::drumroll:: the lovely people at Penguin Press sent along an advance copy:

The Manual of Detection, a debut novel by one Jedediah Berry.

The publisher describes it thus: "In this tightly plotted yet mind-expanding debut novel, an unlikely detective, armed only with an umbrella and a singular handbook, must untangle a string of crimes committed in and through people’s dreams."

But wait!

Here’s a little more from them: "The Manual of Detection will draw comparison to every work of imaginative fiction that ever blew a reader’s mind—from Carlos Ruiz Zafón to Jorge Luis Borges, from The Big Sleep to The Yiddish Policeman’s Union. But, ultimately, it defies comparison; it is a brilliantly conceived, meticulously realized novel that will change what you think about how you think."

You know, there’s always a nervousness reading a book that sounds exactly like your specific most perfect kind of book. You can’t escape the underlying fear that it’ll be a disappointment, fail to live up to expectations, just not be odd and beautiful enough. This feeling is even stronger when the author is a friend, since a possible lack of awesome could make for some awkward.

This is why it pleases me no end to report that Jed’s book is EXACTLY AS AWESOME as promised. Available February 2009 in fine bookshops everywhere and through the worldwide electrodes. Yay.

(Photo note: Excellent whiskey ad-infused box on Christopher’s desk designed by Barb.)

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