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Disciple of the Dog

(Disciple Manning #1)

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  489 ratings  ·  46 reviews
Imagine being able to remember everything you've ever experienced. This is the lonely world inhabited by Disciple Manning. He is able to recall every conversation, meeting and feeling he has ever had, making him an extremely dangerous private investigator.
Hardcover, 249 pages
Published by Orion (first published January 1st 2010)
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3.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  489 ratings  ·  46 reviews

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Mal Warwick
Oct 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Cults, neo-Nazis, gorgeous young women, and a detective who can never forget

If Philip Marlowe were to roam the back streets of today's cities, he might bear at least a slight resemblance to Disciple Manning, the protagonist of R. Scott Bakker's mystery novel, Disciple of the Dog. They're both tough-talking tough guys with a special affinity for the dark recesses of society. Manning is a troubled ex-soldier -- he fought in Iraq in the first Gulf War -- with a ceaseless hunger for pot and sex. He
Sep 03, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Disciple of the Dog is R. Scott Bakker’s second non-fantasy novel (after 2008’s Neuropath). While most fantasy readers are probably still most familiar with the author for his Second Apocalypse series, venturing out of the fantasy genre for this noir-ish detective novel is an excellent idea because it’s an entertaining and unique read that will keep you fascinated to the very end.

The novel’s two main attractions are its protagonist, Disciple (“Diss”) Manning, and its prose. As for the first, Dis
Chris Galford
Dec 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
An amusing mystery piece, through and through. A good mix of thrills, humor, and personality. Not my favorite entry into the genre - certain aspects of the main character's personality got more than a touch grating at times (they were supposed to, by the by) - but it was a well-written, engaging read, with enough twists in the case to keep you going into the night. Plus, in true Bakker form, it trickled in here and there little touches of his philosophical notations. Much less so than in his Pri ...more
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Despite the protagonist being the biggest arsehole I've ever read (and almost making me give up on this book), he grew on me. This mostly unremarkable, whorephobic, homophobic misogynist manages to be a compelling character, not because of his perfect memory, but because of the unusual form his cynicism takes. He doesn't hate people, he just thinks they need help. Not from him, though.
The narrative itself is also interesting, the kind of missing person mystery which has a conclusion you'd never
Adam Peterka
Mar 30, 2018 rated it did not like it
Worst book I've ever read!
Lamar Henderson
Aug 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Disciple of the Dog is a mystery by R. Scott Bakker, perhaps better known for his Prince of Nothing fantasy series. It features a New Jersey-based PI named Disciple Manning who has a genuine eidetic memory — he literally cannot forget anything he sees or hears (although this apparently doesn't apply to reading for some reason).

While you'd think that having total recall would be a great benefit, especially for a PI, for Disciple, it's a curse. Being able to forget things is what makes life tolera
Jason Michelsen
Sep 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys literary fiction hiding under a genre umbrella
"And you wonder why I'm cynical. I've literally 'seen it all before.' The truth is we all have, every single one of us past the age of, say, twenty-five. The only difference is that I remember."

Disciple Manning has a gift--or is it a curse? He is incapable of forgetting anything he has ever seen, heard or felt. He remembers it all with instant-replay-clarity, pulling conversations from the recesses of his mind at whim, dissecting them, uncovering nuances he may have missed when he experienced th
Aug 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, suspense
Before starting this book I read a user review here on goodreads. I don't remember who wrote it or the exact wording, but the gist of it was that the main character, Disciple Manning (Diss for short), is a real douchebag. That you hate him right off, but by the end of the book you think he's great.

Point being that I started the book with an open mind. Yes, Diss is a douchebag. If I hadn't read that review I would have written him off as nothing but an emotionally retarded, post-adolescent, self
Jun 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thrillers
Disciple of the Dog is the story of Disciple Manning, a private eye who remembers everything. The book is told through his point of view as if he is talking to the reader. Disciple's point of view is strong, in your face, and no-holds barred.

He tells the story of how he was hired to find his client's daughter in a small town. Although the mystery he uncovers isn't the most intricate plot, Disciple's "Voice" is unmistakeably strong and carries the book.

His Big personality-- crass, rude, overwhe
Memorable quote: ‘Makes me feel like a cannibal, sometimes, the eater of momentary souls’

Disciple Manning is a PI with a unique ability – he remembers EVERYTHING, which, in his profession seems like a gift, but for Disciple it makes the world boring and uneventful, that is, until commissioned to locate missing attractive 21yro cult member Jennifer. I couldn’t help but draw comparison to Spillane’s mucho P.I Mike Hammer in Disciple’s mannerisms and chauvinistic attitude coupled with the tendency
Apr 22, 2013 rated it liked it
2.5 stars.

What I like most about Bakker so far in my exploration of his oeuvre is that he's very smart--possibly smart enough that his personal life may be painful in some ways (in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man often gets kicked and spat on), and definitely smart enough that I want to keep reading to feel challenged or amused by his insights.

In this case, I wanted to keep reading despite feeling he missed more than he hit with this cynical, obnoxious PI narrator. He's willing to insult
Feb 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, I don't usually read mystery books. I don't even usually read "regular" fiction. I found this book while working my way through the Sale section of the American Book Center in Amsterdam and the name Scott Bakker kept popping up, so I grabbed this book and gave it a try.

Disciple of the Dog is written from the perspective of Disciple ("Diss") Manning, a man who does not forget anything. He's a cynic, and he will remind you over and over and over. He's a bit of an ass. He's not very likable. Bu
May 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
My first detective story in more than a decade! It is a quick, easy and fun read although not quite your typical crime story either. Bakker is a philosophy almost-PhD and this somewhat show across the novel.

The story is strongly character driven with the main character, private detective Disciple Manning, possessing a perfect memory which is both his main tool in solving crimes but also a curse allowing him to see all human failings, hypocrisy and shallow motives. He does not spare himself from
Thomas Padley
May 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Overall, this was a very nice book, it was a first time read of Scott Bakker for me, and i can say that I will definitely be picking up his other novel from reading this. The only criticism I would have for it would be that there wasn't enough back story into the main protagonist (it hints on things such as attempted suicide, being in jail etc) but never really adds anything to it, so for me, I was left wondering why? Also the whole 'crime aspect' was quite weak based on other crime novels that ...more
May 30, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, crime
PI Disciple Manning doesn’t forget, anything, ever; his “gift” allows him to see through many deceptions (self and external) and understand the essentially deeply repetitive nature of the human animal.

He is deeply cynical, coldly manipulative and a novelty junky (but not, he assures us, a sociopath).

The plot is an abduction/murder case involving some hockey religious cult – as a straight forward detective story it would be functional but not anything special.

In reality the book is really about u
Jan 14, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't finish this. Life's too short to waste on books that suck.

1) The repetition of "Fawk" for the F-word got real old, real quick.

B) A newspaper in Southwestern PA is NOT going to send a reporter to cover a missing person in Southeastern PA. At least the author could have picked a newspaper on that end of the state.

3) The repetition of the dialogue was irritating as hell. I get that the protagonist had a photographic type memory, meaning he never forgot anything he heard, but having the d
Feb 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
I do like an unlikeable hero. Even when they go out of their way to shout SEE HOW UNLIKEABLE I AM on every page. While Bakker steers perilously close to overkill at times, his lovely dry grasp of his central character's credibility never fails, and I found myself quite warming to the (necessarily distant) bugger. I'd quite like to see another story or two featuring Disciple Manning - he might well prove to be a one-trick pony. But there's just something about him that suggests, just maybe, it co ...more
Jun 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
This is a good story spoiled by an overbearing and arrogant protagonist. He has lots of mental issues and I realise that he is meant to be unlikable, but it was overdone. The book is written in the first person and we are subjected to a kind of stream of consciousness of the protagonist's often bizarre thoughts and emotions. It doesn't take long for his ranting and raving to became monotonous and annoying. Less of it, woven more subtly into the story would have given a good insight into his char ...more
Jul 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
A sleazy pothead P.I. with an abnormal capacity for memory investigates a missing persons case in a former Pa. factory town where a new age cult believes it's actually the year A.D. 50 million and life as we know it is just the dreaming of quantum computers before the sun swallows the Earth. Yeah! Plus, this is Bakker, so it's all a vehicle for philosophical ponderings about memory and belief in the human condition. While it felt a tad rushed at the end, the writing and main character are fabulo ...more
Jun 19, 2011 rated it it was ok
Another PI book driven by the character rather than the plot but Disciple just isn't intertesting enough to really carry it off. The idea of never forgetting a conversation is well done, both in relation to how it helps a PI in their work but makes normal life a bit of a misery. But I never really belived Diss was as "bad" as the author wanted us to think he was. If there is a follow up then it would be a cheap paperback version for me rtaher than hardback.
Jan 19, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Disciple is engaging, and hard not to like despite his rampant douchebaggery. His story, unfortunately, doesn't quite reach the same level -- it starts strong, develops into a suitably intriguing middle, and then just sort of ends. Yes, the main plot threads are resolved, but that's all they are -- they conclude, and then that's it. The book ends more or less back where it began.

I'd consider reading more, if there were any, but it wouldn't be automatic.
Apr 20, 2016 rated it liked it
I do like how Scott Bakker writes, his books are challenging, and in this regard this one is not different, but...though I appreciated the ending, it came so abrupt that it felt as it was written just to end the season so to say, as rapidly as possible. Got bored? I don't know. Anyway, I read it in no time and had a lot of fun reading it.
Nola Myer
Apr 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Though they were both very different (this one's pretty gritty), this is the second book in a row I've read where I thought the author was able to "turn a phrase" in unique and original ways. The main character is someone I'd like to meet but wouldn't want to spend a lot of time with. I like "reading" him. I look forward to more Disciple.
Apr 19, 2012 rated it did not like it
I started to read this book because the description on the book jacket sounded very interesting. However, after about 10 pages, I put it down to discontinue reading. It probably has a fascinating plot but was so full of vulgarity that it was too offensive to ready any further. It's too bad that this author sees that as necessary to make his book interesting.
Jan 24, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, mystery
Probably the worst book I have ever read. Three hundred pages of ranting, casual sexism, and semen jokes, all told by one of the most unbearable douchebags in literature. The plot is also not that interesting, and Disciple's gift/curse doesn't come into play in any meaningful or original way, just write that shit down.
Nov 08, 2010 rated it liked it
This was a pretty good, quick, darkly funny mystery read - definitely better than the dismissive Publishers Weekly review that shows up on the book's Amazon page. Includes some interesting commentary/exposition on how integral the ability to *forget* is to most humans.
Jan 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012-reads
The narrator is unlikeable, the plot is not half as shocking as the blurb suggests, but somehow Bakker manages to pull enough of it together to make an enjoyable read, packed with plenty of deadly accurate observations on the human condition.
Apr 14, 2011 rated it liked it
This is really enjoyable so far. Absolutely NOT what I was expecting from the author of the "Prince of Nothing" series. It's a hardboiled P.I. story with a pretty unique protagonist. The prose is the exact opposite of his fantasy prose...concise, foul-mouthed, quick reading. Fun.
Apr 19, 2013 rated it liked it
The biggest problem with this book is the lead character is such a chauvinistic and negative puke. He was not a likable character in any way, shape or form. The plot was interesting, the main character was not.
My review here.
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Richard Scott Bakker, who writes as R. Scott Bakker and as Scott Bakker, is a novelist whose work is dominated by a large series informally known as the The Second Apocalypse which Bakker began developing whilst as college in the 1980s.

The series was originally planned to be a trilogy, with the first two books entitled The Prince of Nothing and The Aspect-Emperor. However, when Bakker began writin