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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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Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
Super entertaining sci-fi / hardboiled detective genre mashup. Lethem is spot on with his (near) futuristic homage to the likes of Chandler and Ross Macdonald. The neat bits are where he cleverly creates sci-fi versions of the stereotypical noir elements. Rather than a world-weary detective's propensity to hit a bottle of bourbon throughout the day, Lethem's detective is constantly taking refuge in a mind and mood altering cocktail of "make" (narcotics). Getting "put on ice" is quite literally that, and rather than a world of vice and corruption, it's a real live futuristic dystopia. Fun stuff. ( )
  Matthew.Ducmanas | Mar 18, 2016 |
Conrad Metcalf is a private inquisitor who lives in a futuristic Oakland which is more reminiscent of the seedy gumshoe novel than it is of sparkling towers. This dichotomy is intentional as Lethem mixes the tropes of cyberpunk with the novels of Raymond Chandler. Even the minor characters' names seem as if they could have been lifted from The Big Sleep or Farewell, My Lovely. However, the PI side of Gun, With Occasional Music also resonates with Dashiell Hammett and the films made from his works. The reader can imagine Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre or Mary Astor playing their appropriate roles.

Metcalf can only remain out of suspended animation as long as he manages to retain enough karma points, which can be lost for, among other things, rudeness. Unfortunately, in a society in which asking questions is considered taboo, a private inquisitor is going to find his supply of karma quickly depleted. Metcalf finds he needs to ask more questions than he can afford from he is hired by Maynard Stanhurt to tail his wife, Celeste Stanhurt shortly before Maynard is killed.
Metcalf's inquisition leads him to be questioned by public inquisitors,
  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
A dystopian novel is one of the categories for the 2016 reading challenge.
Synopsis: In a world where questions are socially unacceptable and sniffing drugs is the norm, Conrad Metcalf is a private inquisitor. He is the last hope for clients threatened with being frozen for their crimes. His latest client is accused of murdering a doctor who, coincidentally, had hired Metcalf to follow his wife then 'rough her up'. Metcalf soon finds that his client has been framed and that a crime boss and the inquisitors want someone to take the fall for the murder and they are not particular who that is - including Metcalf.
Review: While the writing is beautiful and the story somewhat interesting, I found the novel depressing. I do like procedural crime stories and noir, but this one failed to pull me into the story. The setting was so negative as to throw a pall over the tale and the characters; the only personality even slightly sympathetic was an evolved ape who had once been a private inquisitor. I was ready for the book to end several chapters before it did. ( )
  DrLed | Feb 9, 2016 |
So odd and silly and great. I forgot how much I love this writer. ( )
  RachelGMB | Aug 5, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
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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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:13 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

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.

» see all 2 descriptions

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