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Gun, with occasional music by Jonathan…
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Gun, with occasional music (1994)

by Jonathan Lethem

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,685414,239 (3.78)67
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Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
I took me a long while to pick up this book, Jonathan Lethem's debut novel. I'm so glad I did. What an auspcious beginning to this author's writing career!

This book is unlike anything else I've ever read because I tend to veer away from mysteries as well as science fiction. Because I'm such a big fan of Lethem's _Motherless Brooklyn_, I thought I'd give this book a try, plus it's a novel that my daughter loves. I promised to return this book to her when I finished it

It takes a long, long time to get into this story. It is very complicated, not only because of the intertwining characters, but also because it is set in a dystopian world which needs to be figured out along the way. You learn about karma, make, inquisitors, the license to ask questions, memory machines, evolving animals. music from all machines, the deep freeze, etc. What fun! What imagination!

I loved the ending where Conrad Metcalf, private inquisitor (not part of the Office) figures out who killed Maynard Stanhunt. I laughed out loud for a long time.

This novel is brilliant, Give it a try and don't give up midway through. It's worth working your way straight through the ending whether or not you're a fan of mysteries and science fiction. If you are such a reader, your enjoyment of this novel will be that much greater! ( )
  SqueakyChu | Dec 15, 2014 |
This is a fun read that reminds me of Philip K. Dick. ( )
  ptdilloway | Nov 21, 2013 |
I was really looking forward to reading this one, until after 30 pages or so I ran into what has to be the most sexist comment I've read in the last few years (and this is not the opinion of one of the characters, which would be fine, the way it's written, it's the authors opinion).

Basically, the protagonist and a previous girlfriend decided to get an operation done which leaves you with your genitals intact but you have the sensitivity of the other sex. That is, men get to experience female orgasm and women experience male orgasm. This could be mildly interesting, but as it turns out the author must think that all females are anorgasmic, since the girlfriend runs away before the operation can be reversed (apparently now that she's got a penis she's not going to give it up), and the detective gives sex up altogether, because what would be the point? I just have to wonder about Mr Lethem's sex life, if he really thinks that women don't or can't enjoy sex.

Moreover, this comment put me in such a bad mood that I decided to stop reading the book, and I'm not likely to start reading it again any time soon, which is pity as it had potential.
1 vote kinsey_m | Nov 9, 2013 |
This book was on my shelf for a very long time... I think I thought it was a different kind of book than it actually was. It is billed as a noir-detective type novel, but I would have to say that it is equally an alternative future/sci-fi type novel.

It does have the Chandler-esque tone to it: making it on the dark side, and the action short and succinct. It is not particularly violent or graphic, but has an over-arching depression about it. (i.e. you won't find a feel-good sensation at the end).

There is significant drug use - in fact, this is one of the components that set the novel out as alternative future-ish... drug use has been legalized, and, even more disturbingly, made customizable for the end users. In fact, it changes society completely at the end - and It adds a layer of bleakness to the story, while still remaining believable.

I have read elsewhere that the novel was a commentary on the state of individual detachment from/in the world, and I suppose that could be an accurate description. Except that I didn't read it for social insights or moral issues; I read it for simple enjoyment. Fortunately it delivered. Sure, you can read all sorts of stuff into it, but you don't have to, and I think the book stands well as a futuristic noir. ( )
  crazybatcow | Oct 29, 2013 |
If Philip K Dick and William Burroughs had a love child, it would grow up to be this novel. I'm not much on who-dunnits, but tue science fiction is so powerful, here, that I still loved it. The gender issues that the protagonist faces are extremely interesting. HIGHLY recommended. ( )
  JWarren42 | Oct 10, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jonathan Lethemprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Isaacs, GaryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keynäs, VilleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Koelsch, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
There was nothing to it. The Super Chief was on time, as it almost always is, and the subject was as easy to spot as a kangaroo in a dinner jacket. Raymond Chandler
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For Carmen Farina.
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It was there when I woke up, I swear. The feeling.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0156028972, Paperback)

Gumshoe Conrad Metcalf has problems-there's a rabbit in his waiting room and a trigger-happy kangaroo on his tail. Near-future Oakland is a brave new world where evolved animals are members of society, the police monitor citizens by their karma levels, and mind-numbing drugs such as Forgettol and Acceptol are all the rage.
Metcalf has been shadowing Celeste, the wife of an affluent doctor. Perhaps he's falling a little in love with her at the same time. When the doctor turns up dead, our amiable investigator finds himself caught in a crossfire between the boys from the Inquisitor's Office and gangsters who operate out of the back room of a bar called the Fickle Muse.
Mixing elements of sci-fi, noir, and mystery, this clever first novel from the author of Motherless Brooklyn is a wry, funny, and satiric look at all that the future may hold.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:52:33 -0400)

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PI Conrad Metcalf investigates the death of a doctor in a futuristic California where the government distributes mind-numbing drugs and menial work is done by animals. Jail is suspended animation in a freezer and curiosity is banned.

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