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Cut To Wagstaff Paperback – June 14, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews

Wagstaff, a modern Renaissance man, believes the universe speaks to him through images of film scenes as he follows clues that lead him to humorous, harrowing situations.

Berkin puts popular culture to the test as Professor Wagstaff, a lecturer of film and art (among various other professions), sets out to solve a mystery. Wagstaff luckily has some very powerful friends, and Rafik, his superior at an ambiguous government entity, supports him in his unorthodox method of investigation. Upon discovering some “copies of The Third Man in a succession of yard sales,” Wagstaff believes the universe is sending him upon his next adventure, and when he discovers that Rob, the IT guy, has disappeared, Wagstaff decides it’s his duty to locate him. Upon this quest, films begin to overlap and the clues lead him to discoveries that may help him save the world from an evil plan of domination. Wagstaff has many friends through his connections as a professor, and his beloved former students often step in to help him along the way. Everyone is aware of his unique methods, and many, even Wagstaff himself at times, know he’s eccentric and possibly insane, but they all seem to accept this about him. His inherent flaws are endearing, and he overlooks much else to focus on the role of film in his next adventure. The book reads like a script as Wagstaff self-deprecatingly narrates his exploits. And true to silver-screen format, there are explosions, sexual tension, big money, plot twists and lowbrow humor. Berkin pulls out all the stops; no big screen moment is lost in this tale.

A quirky conglomeration of popular culture that’s worth the price of admission. 
- Kirkus Reviews

Review

"This book is nothing like anything I have ever read. I really enjoyed the writing and personality of Professor Wagstaff, the very intriguing plot, and the hard to put down suspense! There was NO way to tell how this book was going to end, kudos to the author for the suspenseful twists and turns." -- The Indie Bookshelf
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 282 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (June 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1477532722
  • ISBN-13: 978-1477532720
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,050,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jim Berkin, originally from Rhode Island, now resides in (usually) sunny Southern California. Since sometime late in the Triassic Period, he's taught film & television, along with more history courses from nearly any era you could name on the timeline than there's room to list here. Much like one of his creations "Professor Wagstaff," he's also a gourmet cook, sports fan, pop culture historian, and all around nudnik. He can be followed at jimberkin.com

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
Lots of fun and a wild ride!
Deborah
Jim Berkin combines wit, humor, and popular culture references to develop a highly entertaining novel.
J. Mandel
Just when I had finished the latest in Lois Greiman's sublime Chrissy McMullen mystery series.
Jonathan Brandt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Brandt on December 19, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Cut to Wagstaff literally fell onto my desk.

Just when I had finished the latest in Lois Greiman's sublime Chrissy McMullen mystery series.

Coincidence? Jim Berkin's titular sleuth argues, with mind-twisting success, against any such thing.

And I am a convert. Having departed the neurotic ramblings of Greiman's cocktail-waitress-turned-Hollywood-therapist-crime-solver; what better destination is there than the scatalogical rant of a coarse, cat-loving, self-loathing, planet-rescuing mensch?

If you think Jean le Carre is a genius and Ian Fleming a hack, but that both should have read more Oscar Wilde; if you love and/or hate Chandler and/or Hammet, but feel that Noir could have used a little more Lou Costello; if you wish to open every chakra of your cultural literacy; then you will be regaled by Professor Wagstaff.

I haven't seen anything from Berkin before. But I want to see more. Soon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Brennan on July 28, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When reading the book description on the back cover, I was a little bit skeptical to say the least. I was worried that a comedic twist on a spy story might rely on camp or parody, like many that try to blend the two genres often do. Thankfully, what replaces the expected camp is wit. Jim Berkin's creation, Professor Wagstaff, is a walking encyclopedia; it is this knowledge of pop culture and general know-how that leads him on the trail of this compelling mystery. There are definite laughs to be found as Wagstaff quips at his dumbfounded peers - whether they come from referencing a classic film, or a simple jab at another's appearance. This is one of the few books that has ever left me laughing out loud!

Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Grahas on July 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
I found this book very intreguing, this book is a quick, fun, and smart mystry novel that always had me thinking. Professor wagstaff, the main character follows coincidences which he dubs synchronicities. This always had me thinking and guessing what would happen if I were to follow coincidences in my daily activities. Would my life be as interesting and quark filled as Professor Wagstaf's?

Over all this is a great read, that left me at the edge of my seat at times, and deep in thought at what strange silly things professor wagstaff would do or say next. I would reccomend this as a great read for anyone who enjoys a great mystery, fun history lesson, and plenty of dick jokes all rolled up in to one crazy wild ride of a story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Mandel on August 12, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Jim Berkin combines wit, humor, and popular culture references to develop a highly entertaining novel. Part Pelicanos and part Groucho Marx, it never fails to engage and entertain. Hopefully we'll see more work from him soon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Johnny Rezende-Shalom on July 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a very well-crafted and hilarious book. Not only did the constant quips have me in stitches, but the plot always had me in suspense. I definitely suggest this book to the reader who wants a completely original and fulfilling experience; it is unlike anything they have ever read before, and probably unlike anything they will ever read again.
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