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Gun, With Occasional Music: A Novel by…
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Gun, With Occasional Music: A Novel (original 1994; edition 1995)

by Jonathan Lethem

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,045515,288 (3.76)80
Gumshoe Conrad Metcalf has problems--not the least of which are the rabbit in his waiting room and the trigger-happy kangaroo on his tail. Near-future Oakland is an ominous place where evolved animals function as members of society, the police monitor citizens by their karma levels, and mind-numbing drugs such as Forgettol and Acceptol are all the rage. In this brave new world, Metcalf has been shadowing the wife of an affluent doctor, perhaps falling a little in love with her at the same time. But when the doctor turns up dead, our amiable investigator finds himself caught in the crossfire in a futuristic world that is both funny--and not so funny.… (more)
Member:Theodosia
Title:Gun, With Occasional Music: A Novel
Authors:Jonathan Lethem
Info:Tor Books (1995), Paperback, 272 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:SF, read

Work details

Gun, With Occasional Music by Jonathan Lethem (1994)

  1. 20
    The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler (ahstrick)
  2. 00
    The City & The City by China Miéville (sturlington)
  3. 00
    The Futurological Congress by Stanisław Lem (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Dystopian futures largely characterized by the ubiquity of mood-altering drugs.
  4. 00
    Glasshouse by Charles Stross (oldnick42)
    oldnick42: Creative sci-fi with memory-erasing elements.
  5. 00
    The Manual of Detection by Jedediah Berry (ahstrick)
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» See also 80 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
After reading Motherless Brooklyn it's taken me a while to read another Lethem just because I loved it so much. I felt like any other Lethem book could only be a disappointment. Wrong! Gun is nearly there for me. I felt that it got a bit weaker at the end with the resolution of the crime, but overall his characters and version of the near future were terrific. ( )
  badube | Mar 6, 2019 |
A hard-boiled detective with a Raymond Chandler mouth fights for justice in a near-future Oakland. What a wild ride! This novel is full of sheep and kangaroos that talk among other strange things, but manages to be very darkly humorous and wonderfully entertaining. While the dialogue and some of the narrative is downright campy at times, the story simmers with restrained guffaws of realism. Overall a stunning first novel and a riotous romp of triumph. "She was either looking good for fifty or bad for thirty-five..." ( )
  dbsovereign | Oct 29, 2018 |
Raymond Chandler meets Philip K Dick. An excellent read. ( )
  pinhut | Jun 7, 2018 |
The style and voice and plot are pure Raymond Chandler, set in a weird future of talking kangaroos and mind-altering drugs. It's a wild ride that's largely successful, though not as ambitious as other futuristic genre mash-ups (for example, China Mieville's The City and The City), in part because it hews pretty closely to a standard Chandler-esque plot and in part because the futuristic elements aren't quite as developed. Still, there are moments of sheer brilliance here. ( )
  MichaelBarsa | Dec 17, 2017 |
In his first novel, Lethem delighted me by doing a very canny impersonation of one of my favorites, [b:Raymond Chandler|2052|The Big Sleep|Raymond Chandler|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41AGA624Z5L._SL75_.jpg|1222673]. To the books detriment, though, this also caused me to compare Lethem's "private inquisitor", Conrad Metcalf, to Chandler's Philip Marlowe (one of my favorite characters in all of fiction), and Metcalf came up a little wanting. There's just something empty about Metcalf, something missing.

In the end, though, maybe that was the point. ( )
  kalinichta | Jun 30, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lethem, Jonathanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Isaacs, GaryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keynäs, VilleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Koelsch, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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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