“Picked this up for a buck at an outlet bookstore. The blurb on the back said Raymond Chandler meets Philip K Dick and I was intrigued. As a noir crime fiction story it worked pretty well on its own. A grizzled former cop turned detective finds himself on a case where the police and crime bosses...”see full review » see other reviews »
“Picked this up for a buck at an outlet bookstore. The blurb on the back said Raymond Chandler meets Philip K Dick and I was intrigued. As a noir crime fiction story it worked pretty well on its own. A grizzled former cop turned detective finds himself on a case where the police and crime bosses don't want him to solve the case. What takes it to another level is the sci-fi aspect of a world where everyone is ruled by karma points, artifically evolved animals (like kangaroos) and babies. There's free drugs called Forgetitol or Acceptol designed to keep the citizens calm and compliant. The government can take your points away if you do something it doesn't like and if you lose them all, you are iced: literally.
I had heard of Lethem, but never read any of his stuff. This, his first novel, makes me want to read more. Recommend
Finished : 11/12/13”
“I've never read anything else by Jonathan Lethem, and I'm not a fan of detective novels, so this book had to stand on its own merits for me. It did, thanks mostly to its concept of a near-future dystopia: inventive, yet (mostly) believable. Having struggled with some weighty books recently, I also appreciated that both the plot and prose were tidily compact.”Dan wrote this review Wednesday, November 6, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Interesting combination of detective fiction and futuristic sci-fi. A bit clumsy at times and occasional visions of Roger Rabbit kept popping into my head but I like Lethem and did enjoy this book. I highly recommend his other books - Motherless Brooklyn and Fortress of Solitude.”Jim M wrote this review Monday, July 22, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“For those who have never read Jonathan Lethem, I still recommend "Motherless Brooklyn" as your first foray into his world of quirky characters and oddball plot twists. And speaking of quirky characters and oddball plot twists, how about a walking, talking evolved kangaroo who is also a gun-toting thug, playing the heavy for a big fat gangster trying to hang on to his bizarre little piece of turf in a near-future version of Oakland, CA where everyone in society is addicted to synthetic drugs that are supplied by government and given away for free, and karma is used as currency, literally. Toss in a murder, a throwback private investigator hired to try and solve it, and a corrupt government Office trying to pin it on an innocent man, and you have the makings of a very fun and dark detective novel that does not disappoint.”Fred Weber wrote this review Saturday, February 2, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This is a very interesting and well-written book. A Newsweek blurb on the cover describes the author as marrying 'Raymond Chandler's style and Philip K. Dick's vision' and there's a lot of truth to that. This is a hard-boiled detective story featuring a main character, Conrad Metcalf, who could be described as a futuristic Philip Marlowe. Like Marlowe, Metcalf becomes fixated on some female characters in a way that can taint his interpretation of the case at hand. In Metcalf's world, scientists have figured out how to 'evolve' animals so many of them stand upright and talk. A kangaroo, a sheep, and an ape play fairly important roles in the story. The same 'therapies' are applied to humans with disastrous consequences. Indeed, the futuristic world described in this book is dystopian, as the masses are hooked on an addictive drug that minimizes human thought, memories and conversation. The mystery itself is clever, though the resolution may not please all readers. ”Rodger A. Payne wrote this review Saturday, February 2, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Wild ideas, crazy characters, pure imagination with an actual plot. Love this book.”Raging wrote this review Wednesday, August 22, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“enjoyable, but not great.”Mark wrote this review Sunday, June 17, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This was an entertaining book, but not as impactful as Lethem's other novels. I recommend you read Motherless Brooklyn or Fortress of Solitude before this one. If you love those, you will like Gun, With Occasional Music.
“Original sci-fi-noirs with a kangaroo hitman”Jeremy Holland wrote this review Wednesday, February 15, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No