Gun, with Occasional Music

Jonathan Lethem, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P $19.95 (262p) ISBN 978-0-15-136458-9
Chandleresque, hard-boiled detective narrative finds a quirky new milieu in this SF/mystery/farce of murder and mass mind control set in a near-future Oakland, Calif. Conrad Metcalf is a private dick, but in his era that profession is even more ignominious than in the past. Due to some extreme governmental measures aimed at maintaining public docility, asking questions is taboo, leaving memory as Metcalf's sole resource. Government-distributed ``Make,'' a cocaine-like blend of synthetic, mind-altering drugs, is now de rigeur . So is the magnetic card each citizen carries to keep track of his or her karma points. These points are awarded or docked by ``the Office'' for good or bad behavior and if the balance hits zero, a cryogenic prison term may ensue. Most of the menial work is done by genetically engineered English-speaking, bipedal ``evolved'' animals--sheep, apes, rabbits and kangaroos--and one of the latter is gunning for Metcalf. In this confusing age, the murder of Dr. Maynard Stanhunt, Metcalf's former client, leads the detective to a convoluted conspiracy, unimaginable in our own time. Lethem's invocation of Chandler often wears a bit thin--the prose here is a good deal clumsier than the real thing, and this sort of imitation has already been done too often. Still this colorful first novel is a fast and lively read, full of humorous visions and outlandish predicaments. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
Show other formats
FORMATS
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-312-85878-0
Paperback - 269 pages - 978-0-15-602897-4
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-60514-643-0
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4177-0733-1
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-547-54014-6
Book - 1 pages - 978-0-7927-5149-6
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-88340-6
Hardcover - 240 pages - 978-0-571-22504-0
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.