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Publisher's Summary

Two million dollars in a black bag.

The meaning of life hidden on a deviously encrypted website.

And several dozen heavily armed guys with serious existential issues.

The hunt is on for the Manuscript.

The Manuscript is a philosophical cyber-thriller - a novel of huge ideas disguised as a blow-your-hair-back thrill ride. Its cast of unforgettable characters includes a gun-toting urban professional with a tragic weakness for internet discussion groups; a former chemistry student and hacker turned wildly successful online narcotics dealer; a pair of slacker post-grads with big questions and rapidly escalating problems; a demonstrably unstoppable hit man; a dodgy federal agent with his hands in the cookie jar up to both elbows; a nameless cadre of menacing and well-armed mercenaries (possibly in the employ of one of the world's major religions); and an entire gang of Angry Young Taoists, serenely blasting hell out of all and sundry.

What could bring a group like this together? Nothing less than the meaning of life - discovered in the remote highlands of South America by an infamous 19th-century explorer and now said to be hidden in the vast out-of-bounds spaces at the far edge of a shadow internet. This is the Manuscript.

Caught up in a perilous race to recover and control it are a group of young people so beset by existential unease that they are willing to risk death to know the truth; and others, backed by powerful interests, who have little compunction about killing to keep it hidden.

Get ready for an ungentle ride where a number of people will get enlightened, a few will get rich, and all too many will get dead. Along the way, be prepared for some uncommon commentary on the eternal verities, computer security, rules for gunfights, post-millennial information soot, and the possibility of human connection for a generation that believes in nothing - save what they read on the net.

©2006 Michael Stephen Fuchs (P)2021 Complete & Total Asskicking Books

What listeners say about The Manuscript

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Loved it!

There is no lack of action here! The story line and characters were on point! All the different points of views made for an excellent book. The narrator was perfect for this book. He has great voice range. 5 stars all around!

3 people found this helpful

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What a wild ride!!! Listen to this book!

This book started with fast action and never stopped.

The computer information could be confusing but my husband is a Computer Architect and I got through it!!

The characters were terrific and realistic.

There was only one question in my head that went unanswered no spoilers here.

Matthew Crow has once again surpassed all expectations as a Storyteller and brought this to life!!!

2 people found this helpful

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  • JM
  • 06-27-21

Top Shelf Thriller

Whoa! What an awesome book. This was my first read/listen by this author and I am impressed. The characters are very realistic, and a couple of them are quite evil! You can’t help but keep turning the pages. Couldn't put it down, can't wait for the next one. The narrating by Matthew Crow was spot on as usual for him...I received this free audiobook in a promotion and I am giving my voluntary review.

1 person found this helpful

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Great story

I really enjoyed geeking out to all the nerdy computer and internet references in the book. Lots of fun twists and turns with a dash of dark humor here and there for good measure. I'm actually kind of shocked it doesn't have 5 stars. I guess maybe being someone who made the transition from paratrooper to civilian programmer in the 1990s, gave me a unique perspective. I was thoroughly entertained. What more could you ask for?

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TOO MUCH TECHNO-BABBLE, TOO LITTLE STORY

If you are a computer nerd, a techno-geek - a person who takes delight in flaunting your expensive education by debating the question of 'What is Life', you'll probably love this book. If you love listening to the reading of a Google search - line by boring line - this book is for you. If you want an interesting read about interesting people doing interesting things - look elsewhere. I'm several hours into this 'book', and can't relate to anyone or anything in it. The main character is a self-proclaimed techy wizard who is lacking in socialization skills, it would seem, from his near isolation in an academic world of high-flung phrases and philosophic arguments. Does ANYONE outside of the academic world really talk like this - even dangling the 'unanswerable question' as a pickup line? I don't know about you, but when I'm reading FICTION, I want to be enticed to read more - able to see the characters in my mind - wondering what will happen in the next chapter. So far, I don't even want to read the next PARAGRAPH - much less the next chapter. But, I have slogged on -- hoping that there will be a major 'light bulb moment' when the author relents and begins to write a story with a plot, 'real' people as characters, and puppeteers all these things in a world that doesn't resemble the matrix with a constant stream of data overlying it.

The 'female lead' is not quite as bad - but runs a close second, with at least a little 'female think' to make her more a part of the 'real world'. Both characters are involved in a quest for a copy of a manuscript that was written many years ago, then believed to have been destroyed. It's content is thought to be 'earth shaking' - with answers to all the questions that mere mortals have been unable to discover. An interesting premise - that I bought in to...but I'm several chapters into this ?fictional? work, and can't shake the feeling that I am actually reading a manual on "How To Search the Internet For Artfully Hidden Things".

Don't misunderstand. I'm college educated and not 'afraid of a few big words'. But exchanging techno-babble for a good plot is not a reason for me to keep on 'reading'. Maybe that's the basic problem with this 'book': 0101010101010 will always remain undecipherable to we 'deplorables' that don't write software code for a living. We need a few 'action verbs' and real emotions to get sucked into a REAL WORK OF FICTION. The editor must have been on vacation when this 'book manuscript' turned up - or she/he would surely have cut all the boring line-by-line search engine recitations, and gone immediately to the action - and believability. It may be that, midway somewhere, the writing becomes humanized enough to be mesmerizing. But I won't commit any more time to listening, waiting, and hoping. Thank heaven that Audible allows 'returns'!

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  • Tota
  • 12-10-21

Really good

I was given this free review copy at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
Story well written and great narration

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  • Gracie
  • 05-24-21

Not what I was expecting

There is absolutely zero zombies in this book! I would call it a thriller. There was the author's usual witty dialogue however. But I was confused at times and the ending didn't really answer anything. A series maybe?