Gun, With Occasional Music

★★★☆☆

Review:

A kind of mashup of a Philip K. Dick science fiction novel with a Raymond Chandler detective novel. That’s not just me saying so—one of the book’s main characters is an evolved, sentient kangaroo, inspired by this line from Chandler’s Playback:

There was nothing to it. The Super Chief was on time, as it almost always is, and the subject was as easy to spot as a kangaroo in a dinner jacket.

And Lethem is the unofficial keeper of PKD’s legend, as evidenced by his editing the Library of America volumes. Back to the point, this book was good, but not amazing. My favorite moment is early on, when you haven’t heard about the sentient animal characters yet. The detective protagonist gets in an elevator with a woman he describes as “an evolved sow,” a perfect imitation sexist Chandlerism—but then she really is one, literally a cow.

★★★☆☆
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