I recently finished Gun, With Occasional Music by Jonathan Lethem.
I haven’t sat down and read a book like this in a while, all my recent reading has been comics/graphic novels, humorous writing (the works of the hilarious Laurie Notaro), or re-readings of old favorites.
My girlfriend warned me, having read this before, that it was a little bit sci-fi, but I’d sort of forgotten until I got into it. And in the beginning, it seems like any typical detective story.
Then, you sort of get the idea that there are a few sci-fi/futuristic elements in the setting, and that this isn’t any LA that we know.
By the end, when you really realize the scope of the world that Lethem had created, that’s what it hits you what kind of book this was. It’s like a noir reimagining of ridiculous pre-cyberpunk sci-fi literature. I like noir/pulp-styled work, even these days when anything with the most vague connections to detective-oriented protagonists and stories gets slapped with the “noir” title. This however is totally not like that, very much being in the tradition of classic detective fiction, letting the more fantastic science fiction elements leak into it more slowly, naturally.
I haven’t read anything else by Lethem, though now I’d definitely like to (I know Motherless Brooklyn is hot shit apparently) having seen how well he handles this style.