Gun, With Occasional Music

Gun, With Occasional Music

Book - 1995
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Baker & Taylor
In a bizarre world shared by people and intelligent animals, Conrad Metcalf, a human private detective, finds out one of his cases has drawn him into a conflict between gangsters and the Inquisitor's office

McMillan Palgrave
Conrad Metcalf has problems. He has a monkey on his back, a rabbit in his waiting room, and a trigger-happy kangaroo on his tail. (Maybe evolution therapy is not such a good idea.)

He's been shadowing Celeste, the wife of an affluent Oakland urologist. Maybe falling in love with her a little at the same time. When the doctor turns up dead, Metcalf finds himself caught in a crossfire between the boys from the inquisitor's Office and the gangsters in the back room of the Fickle Muse.

Jonathan Lethem's first novel is a science fiction mystery. It's funny. It's not so funny.

& Taylor

Twenty-first-century private detective Conrad Metcalf has a dead doctor on his hands, a monkey on his back, and a kangaroo in his waiting room in a first novel with a sharp-edged, funny vision of the future. Reprint.

Publisher: New York : Tor, 1995
Edition: 1st Tor ed
ISBN: 9780312858780
Branch Call Number: SF LETHEM
Characteristics: 262 p. ; 21 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Aug 16, 2017

Unless the comment/review on the back of a book is from an author I love I rarely pay attention to the reviews on the jacket, other than to laugh at them. "Marries Chandler's style with Phillip K. Dick"... orwellian, huxley... and other such garbage. Thankfully the book was actually good.

Yes it kinda has a sci-fi vibe, there are uplifted critters, there are custom drugs, we have the babies... oh god do we have the babies.

But at the heart and soul of this book, none of that matters. We have Chinatown. It doesn't matter how weird or twisted everything else is, it doesn't matter that we have the cutest talking kitten of all time or the douchiest kangaroo of all time - it's still Chinatown. It's still Jack Nicholson being told to forget it - it's just Chinatown.

If you must label it sci-fi - maybe if a brave new world, 1984, a handmaid's tale, Sundiver and fear and loathing in las vegas had a bizarre orgy and their offspring was a three headed sam spade (or just the normal Miller) it could kinda sorta be considered sci-fi.

Jul 12, 2017

Learned about this classic from a list of the 10 best Detective/Sci-Fi cross genre books.
Despite some slow parts and the amusing lack of certain technological devices we have now, and others that we don't (although the memory boxes made me think of our dependency on smart phones), this was a pretty entertaining read and did remind one of old days detective novels.

SFPL_danielay Mar 23, 2015

Evolved animals, babyheads and inquisitors that take karma points off people's cards for offenses - do you recognize Oakland in this SF/hard-boiled mystery mashup by Jonathan Lethem?

May 12, 2014

Before he was a much acclaimed (some might say too acclaimed) novelist, Jonathan Lethem made his debut with a curious hardboiled detective/sci-fi hybrid that was put out by genre publisher Tor, replete with a terrible cover designed to turn off "serious readers." Many reviewers called a mix between Raymond Chandler and P.K. Dick. Lethem was the editor on Library of America's hardcover reissue of some of Dick's best novels and this is both a homage to and parody of Dick, even down to the silly character names. As a huge Dick fan, I was looking forward to this, but found it dull, shallow and self-conscious. He may appreciate sci-fi, but he can't write it. Oh, there is a kangaroo.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at ELPL

To Top