Gun, With Occasional Music

Jonathan Lethem
Gun, With Occasional Music Cover

Gun, With Occasional Music


Dialogue by Raymond Chandler, setting by Philip K. Dick. The best part of this hard boiled mystery is the setting, worn like a wrinkled suit by the main character and sometimes unexplained. This near-future west coast has more in common with 1984 than Chandler's City of Angels.

Sometimes the setting is spread a little too thin, though apparently hints at settings used in other Lethem books. This being his first, I wonder if the lack was editing or hinting - I suspect the former. I found a technical paper that connects some of the dots between this and As She Climbed Across the Table, which was the first Jonathan Lethem novel I read.

Speaking of firsts, this was the first novel published by Lethem, a New York native who also uses the name Harry Conklin.