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My fourth adult novel, written before I decided to focus on writing children’s fiction.
King continues to demonstrate the originality that characterised his previous three novels. The idiom he employs is technically high-end. He does an awful lot with not very much. I tried hard not to like this book. But... it was never going to happen. I loved this book. Daren King may not be a writer who tries to make recognisably profound sense of things. His books may not give us what we should be demanding of the novel in these most brazenly interesting times, or worse, what we would like to expect. What they do is enthral and confound and leave us in wonder. With Manual, he has reached the zenith of his craft; by the end of the book I had been enthralled anew by this wonderful, confounded writer.
New Statesman

The themes of Manual are darkly adult but King’s characters possess a sweetness and kindness that means they transcend their sordid environments and retain, against the odds, a sense of innocence.
London Metro

This tale of obsession is extremely weird, but strangely compelling.
Big Issue

Like all of King’s work, Manual is about the blurred line between fantasy and reality, the internal and external forces at work on people, and it creates tension by pitching naïve protagonists into dangerous surroundings.
The List

Daren King is again at his best in this uncomfortably funny drama of clashing social classes, age groups and levels of sanity in east London. Manual soon steps out of its fetish-industry beginnings and becomes something much darker. A stuffed owl has never sounded so sinister.
~Faber & Faber 2008 UK paperback