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"Gun, With Occasional Music" by Jonathan Lethem
Awards: Nebula (nominee), British Fantasy Society (nominee)
The first novel by Jonathan Lethem is a hard-boiled, noir mystery, a dark and funny post-modern romp serving further evidence that Lethem is the distinctive voice of a new generation. 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 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 gangsters who operate out of the back room of the Fickle Muse.
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.
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.
Private detective Conrad Metcalf finds himself the victim of an official inquisition when the murder of a former client and an obvious cover-up attempt lead him into dangerous political territory. Set in a near-future where only police and detectives are licensed to ask questions and where drugs to suppress memory are commonplace, this first novel imparts a new meaning to the word mystery . Spare prose and tight plotting create a taut sf thriller that should appeal to both sf and mystery fans.
Една доста любопитна книжка за феновете на научната фантастика и детективските романи. За да я свалите, щракнете върху емотикона