Jonathan Lethem. Gun, With Occasional
Music (1994) 262 pp.
Gumshoe Conrad Metcalf has problems—there’s a rabbit in his waiting
room and a trigger-happy kangaroo on his tail. Near-future Oakland is a
brave new world where evolved animals are members of society, the police
monitor citizens by their karma levels, and mind-numbing drugs such as
Forgettol and Acceptol are all the rage. Metcalf has been shadowing Celeste,
the wife of an affluent doctor. Perhaps he’s falling a little in love with
her at the same time. When the doctor turns up dead, the investigator finds
himself caught in a crossfire between the boys from the Inquisitor’s Office
and gangsters who operate out of the back room of a bar called the Fickle
Muse. Mixing elements of sci-fi, noir, and mystery, this is the first novel
from the author of Motherless Brooklyn and The Fortress of Solitude.