Crack Books


Gun, with Occasional Music by Jonathan Lethem by Crack Books

Gun, with Occasional Music Gun, with Occasional Music by Jonathan Lethem

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I don’t quite remember when I first read Jonathan Lethem’s Gun, with Occasional Music, but I do remember that it fascinated me. While his later work deals with more “serious” topics, Gun, with Occasional Music explores the world of the crime novel, complete with hardboiled detectives, hot broads (or are they dames?), and sci-fi aspects like a talking kangaroo.

Talking kangaroo? Oh yeah, and a gun that plays music when fired, hence the title.

It’s surrealist. It’s postmodern. It’s futuristic. It’s noir. It’s crazy. It’s an awesome good time. This and Motherless Brooklyn are, by far, my favorite Lethem novels. I’m working my way through Chronic City right now, and while it’s definitely fun (and funny), I really enjoy these earlier works for their pure sense of play. Too many modern novelists try too hard to write serious works, when they ought to revel in their freedom to play. Read Lethem to remember that it need not be Life And Death to make a few points.

I would love to see this as a movie, especially if someone could channel Humphrey Bogart to make it happen. Any takers?

View all my reviews >>

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