The Manual of Detection by Jedediah Berry

The Manual of Detection is one of those books you’ll find hard to classify. It’s somehow a detective story, but it’s not a typical one. Jedediah Berry’s story is a very unusual one; at times, it seems very surreal and you ask yourself what is true and what is not. In The Manual of Detection, nothing is quite as it seems and the reader finds himself caught in a world between dreaming and wakefulness, trying to find his / her way out of this dazzling labyrinth. I haven’t read such books before, so this was a new reading experience for me. That doesn’t imply that I didn’t like the book; in fact, I must say that I really enjoyed it, precisely because it was so unusual and illusive. But now let’s have a look at the plot:

The story introduces us to Charles Unwin, a clerk who works at a detective agency in an unnamed rainy metropolis. After twenty years of clerical work, he finds out, to his amazement, that he has been promoted detective. But the protagonist isn’t really happy about his new position and he is determined to do what is asked of him so that he can return to his old satisfying clerk job as soon as possible. In order to do that, he has to find out what happened to Sivart, the detective he used to clerk for. Armed with the manual of detection, Unwin searches for clues and tries to find out the truth about Sivart’s mysterious disappearance. On his journey, he finds himself entangled in a strange world of somnambulists, criminals and femmes fatales who are deceitful and harmful. Unwin has to intrude into the dreams of a murdered man, but he needs to be careful, since danger awaits him everywhere. What is real and what is not; and whom can he really trust in this deceptive city? Unwin’s questions will soon be answered as the protagonist digs further into a gripping dream world full of surprises and dangers.

Jedediah Berry’s tale is very imaginative and creative and it will appeal to everyone who likes to read about surreal themes. The Manual of Detection is a bizarre book, but at the same time, it’s a fascinating work that I enjoyed very much!

 

The Girl with Glass Feet

The Girl with Glass Feet by Ali Shaw

When Vivienne at Serendipity mentioned The Girl with Glass Feet by Ali Shaw, I knew that I had to read this book! The book’s cover immediately attracted me and the synopsis piqued my interest.

Jason Liebman from Henry Holt and Company kindly sent me an advance reading copy and I must say that I really enjoyed reading it!

Midas is a shy young man who enjoys being alone, as he doesn’t really know how to talk to people. He has lived on St. Hauda’s Land his entire life, but he barely has any friends. Therefore, Midas has devoted his whole life to photography and when peculiar things begin to take place on the islands, he is eager to capture everything on camera. Odd winged creatures and albino animals seem to have appeared on the islands and other unusual things are happening. However, Midas doesn’t seem too concerned; he is intrigued by these beings and wants to take pictures of them. But everything changes when the young man meets Ida, the girl with glass feet. Her body is inexplicably turning into glass and she desperately searches for a cure. At first, Midas only seems to take an interest in her condition and wants to take pictures of her glass feet, but as they spend time together, he begins to fall in love with her. There is something about the girl’s nature that gradually changes Midas and thus, he begins to blossom into a brave and confident young man. Ida helps him overcome the demons of his past, while Midas helps her come to terms with her affliction. Together, they try to find a cure for her condition, but time is slipping away. Will Midas be able to save his beloved? And what does his father’s death have to do with all of this?

I don’t want to tell you more about this wonderful book, because I think that you should also read it and thus experience this absorbing story yourself! The Girl with Glass Feet is an unusual, magical love story that will touch your heart and will linger in your mind for a long time! I recommend this fanciful novel to everyone out there, since Ali Shaw has done such an excellent job fabricating a beautiful and gripping fairy tale! The author describes the landscape and the characters in a poetic way and he successfully manages to create an elegant world, where reality wonderfully merges with fantasy! All in all, The Girl with Glass Feet is an imaginative novel, full of suspense, magic and marvels. I have never read a book like this before, since it’s so unusual, but at the same time it’s so spectacular! I really loved this heartbreaking novel and I am so glad that I had the chance to read it!

Note: The book is scheduled for release in January 2010!