- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (2 Dec. 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0571225047
- ISBN-13: 978-0571225040
- Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 1.5 x 20 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 113,375 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Gun, with Occasional Music Paperback – 2 Dec 2004
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
There are people who have a story to tell and then there are storytellers. Jonathan Lethem is a storyteller as Gun, with Occasional Music clearly shows--but he's also a craftsman and it's the latter quality that is on display in this, his first novel, though not the first in print in the UK. In previously available (but later) works, Lethem's craftsmanship has come into its own: like Don DeLillo or film maker Hal Hartley, he's a master of characters in absurd situations, as well as absurd characters in sane situations. But his debut shows a different side of Lethem and while still enjoyable, Gun is a prime example of an author getting through the difficult first novel, a storyteller still learning to use his tools.
A Chandler-esque piece of detective noir by way of Philip K Dick or Eric Garcia (Anonymous Rex, Gun is the story of private inquisitor Conrad Metcalf, a down-on-his-luck detective in a world not too different from our own. That is, if you discount the evolved animals and babies (called babyheads), a public injunction against asking questions, self-tailored drugs and the reliance on mortal karma as a criminal deterrent. There's a girl, a gun, a mysterious crimelord and some heavies on both sides of the law to deal with; the usual suspects are all present and accounted for. So too is the stylised dialogue:
She and Stanhunt had been freshly separated and the electricity between them had still been going strong--back when Stanhunt was still capable of generating electricity. Now there was a blackout. I wondered if the lady behaved any differently in the dark. I wondered if maybe she was the one who cut the wires.It's only the knowing tone--the fact that the author realises just how silly all of this is and has some fun with it--that saves this book from being a fourth-rate Chinatown. In Motherless Brooklyn, Lethem revisits crime with better results; and does science fiction better in Girl in Landscape. --Randy Silver --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Marries Chandler's style and Philip K. Dick's vision...an audaciously assured first novel!"--"Newsweek""Marvelous...a stylish, intelligent, darkly humorous and highly readable entertainment."--"San Francisco Examiner""Sharp, funny, visionary."--Jill Eisenstadt, author of "Far Rockaway" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
PROS: 1) If you like classic crime noir and weird science-fiction, you'll love this book. It is a mixture of those two. Basically, it is just your usual old time crime novel set in a future of mutants and intelligent anthropomorphic animals 2) The mystery unfolds quite nicely. Not only the mystery of the plot, but also the mystery surrounding this odd world Lethem has created. 3) Once you get into it you won't be able to put it down.
CONS: 1) While the writing is good, it is still pretty mediocre in comparison to any of his other works. 2) It was originally published by a sci-fi genre publisher, so it feels like run-of-the-mill genre fiction. So if you are a fan of the literary elements of Lethem's work more than the sci-fi elements you might be disappointed. 3) Though it was intentional, the characters are pretty cliche to that of classic detective stories. This might be a good thing or bad thing. Since I am not a fan of detective fiction, it was more of a con for me.
Overall, I give this book 4 stars. It is definitely worth reading. It's just not as good as most of Lethem's other work. I might have enjoyed it a bit better than As She Climbed Across The Table, but it wasn't as unique and smart as that book. Casual readers might like this one best, so start with here if you don't read a lot of literary fiction. Otherwise, start with Girl in Landscape or Motherless Brooklyn.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It is noir, but not; sci-fi (futuristic, but not space opera...) - sort of; literary - yes, but not 'high-brow' or experimental; comedic - often - and maybe because it very... Read morePublished 10 months ago by reader/listener
This was Lethem's debut book and one has to admire his ambition at the very least. It's set in a future American city. Read morePublished on 24 Nov. 2012 by Eileen Shaw