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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (4,809 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jonathan Lethem Narrator: Nick Sullivan Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2007 ISBN: 9781482977332
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Gumshoe Conrad Metcalf has problems—not the least of which are the rabbit in his waiting room and the trigger-happy kangaroo on his tail. Near-future Oakland is an ominous place where evolved animals function as members of society, the police monitor citizens by their karma levels, and mind-numbing drugs such as Forgettol and Acceptol are all the rage. 

In this brave new world, Metcalf has been shadowing the wife of an affluent doctor, perhaps falling a little in love with her at the same time. But when the doctor turns up dead, our amiable investigator finds himself caught in the crossfire in a futuristic world that is both funny—and not so funny.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This colorful first novel is a fast and lively read, full of humorous visions and outlandish predicaments.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Tight plotting create a taut sf thriller that should appeal to both sf and mystery fans.”

    Library Journal

  • “Amid its smartly delivered first-person narration and crackling dialogue, even a tough-talking kangaroo that intermittently tangles with Metcalf seems plausible. An outstanding debut for a welcome new voice in both sf and mysteries.”

    Booklist

  • “Marries Chandler’s style and Philip K. Dick’s vision…An audaciously assured first novel.”

    Newsweek

  • “Marvelous…Stylish, intelligent, darkly humorous and highly readable entertainment.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • A Publishers Weekly Pick for 10 Best Genre-Bending Books

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mizmoose | 2/19/2014

    " This is one of my most highly recommended books. It's sci-fi. It's "noir." It's a mystery. It's screwed up. It's insane. It's funny. I love it to pieces. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 -kevin- | 2/15/2014

    " An entertaining book which weaves ideas from many other books. He definitely plays the Burgess card and gives us 'make.' The mystery is straight Spillane, complete with twists and love triangles. While I wasn't wild about it, I would recommend it as a good book to bring balance to the SciFi genre, as it works for a mystery. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liz | 2/15/2014

    " Super weird science-fiction noir tale. Lethem's writing is clear, lively, and hilarious, though the plot seemed secondary to me and I really wasn't all that intrigued by the mystery. Good and strange, nontheless. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Colin | 2/12/2014

    " This one barely eked out three stars, mainly because of the horrendous sexism. The cover touted the influence of Philip K. Dick, but I think his hatred of women is an unnecessary hallmark of his "style," and certainly not worth imitating. On the good side, I found the "evolved animal" aspect of this story to be pretty amusing--RUN! IT'S THE KILLER KANGAROOOO! I don't know if I'd necessarily recommend this one, but as a detective noir novel, it stuck firmly within the (sexist) genre while adding some interesting new sci-fi twists. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Trey | 1/31/2014

    " Awesome book weird drugs, talking kangaroos. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karl Schaeffer | 1/17/2014

    " Hey, this is a good book. Sci Fi film noir in the East Bay with evolved animals. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katherine | 1/12/2014

    " Thoughtful/provoking, hardboiled techno noir. What isn't to like? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike Barnett | 1/2/2014

    " Great read: especially when stuck in a tent on a mountain top waiting out an ice fog storm. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bob | 12/27/2013

    " Great hallucinatory noir, like Hammett meets Dick ... really alot like Dashiell meets Philip, good character developement, interesting plot/interaction, and ...wait for it... weak ending that works. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dirk | 12/22/2013

    " Odd and initially a bit off putting but eventually interesting and entertaining experiment. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andy Shaw | 12/16/2013

    " This was great fun to read. Nice to get a new take on future noir. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 matthew | 12/2/2013

    " all the reviews say it, but it's perfectly apt, so i may as well repeat it: chandler meets phil dick (though he's a bit funnier than both). it's really amazing how closely lethem mirrors chandler's style, which, if you don't know, is beautiful. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 4/28/2013

    " I remember this as an excelent Science Fiction Mystery. Lethem is always good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Letterswitch | 2/13/2013

    " When I say this one's reminiscent of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," I mean it as the utmost compliment. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eel IzCool | 1/28/2013

    " great hardboiled science fiction. clever and snappy; i keep involuntarily thinking like a noir detective. not the most believable vision of the future but it isn't supposed to be, and it works great with the mystery. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve | 7/27/2012

    " film noir hardboiled detective looks for the truth in a world peopled with evolved animals, baby heads and the usual film noir cast of sleazy and sexy characters "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Justus | 5/27/2012

    " Do you like mysteries? Do you like sci-fi? Do you like weirdness? Read this book... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Adam Cohen | 4/16/2012

    " Sci-fi concepts, action-pacing, snappy hard-boiled detective lingo. It works really, really well. Recommended for a Philip K Dick Fan. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer March | 2/6/2012

    " I love the premise and what he was trying to do, and it's inspiring to watch Lethem's evolve. I think this book was a step toward creating his masterpiece: Motherless Brooklyn. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 A. D. Jameson | 10/6/2011

    " Very cute, albeit under-realized. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Maridee Serebrov | 7/16/2011

    " not a thrill to read "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael | 5/22/2011

    " ,A hardboiled sci-fi mystery, Gun keeps it moving fast and light, choosing to play with references to Raymond Chandler and Philip K Dick rather than the deep implications of its 'too-true-too-be-strange' setting. Not a great book, but it kept me interested to the end, which is enough. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Adam | 4/19/2011

    " Sci-fi concepts, action-pacing, snappy hard-boiled detective lingo. It works really, really well. Recommended for a Philip K Dick Fan. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jamie | 4/17/2011

    " Everything I love about Raymond Chandler, plus clones and talking animals. OMG, I think I love Jonathan Lethem. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bret | 3/28/2011

    " Not very good. I have to get away from detective stuff for a bit. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 daniella | 3/21/2011

    " Bittersweet, the way all good detective novels end. I'm willing to write off You Don't Love Me Yet. But don't disappoint me again, Lethem... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 anthony | 3/20/2011

    " Unique, interesting and eerily prescient of where we seem to be going as a society. The symbolism runs rampant, but the cynical view of society's push toward the ultimate escapism, combined with the utter lack of morality, runs amok as well. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 RJ | 3/16/2011

    " Was just OK for me, of course this isn't really genre type. The writing was quite good and Lethem was able to keep the story up, but I just didn't connect with anything in the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matt | 3/8/2011

    " Phillip K. Dick meets the guy who wrote the Big Sleep (Hammet, Dashielle maybe), with new drugs like forgetol and sleepol. There's also a kangaroo hitman. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Peter | 3/5/2011

    " A sci-fi detective story. Reads like a hard-boiled private eye story. Entertaining. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aaron | 3/2/2011

    " mix sci-fi and Raymond Chandler. Good read "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth | 2/20/2011

    " This really grew on me and I wind up reading it in just a couple of days, but it wasn't as good as Motherless Brooklyn. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jake | 2/16/2011

    " Very well done. A very palatable blend, and a good addition to the existing roster, of pulp detective and science fiction. Fizzles a little at the end, but gets you there in style. "

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About the Author
Author Jonathan Lethem

Jonathan Lethem is the author of a number of critically acclaimed novels, including National Book Critics Circle Award–winning Motherless Brooklyn and The Fortress of Solitude. Lethem’s stories and essays have appeared in the New Yorker, Harper’s, Rolling Stone, Esquire, and the New York Times, among others. He lives in New York City.

About the Narrator

Nick Sullivan has worked extensively on Broadway and at many theaters throughout the United States. His television credits include The Good Wife, Madame Secretary, Boardwalk Empire, 30 Rock, Elementary, Alpha House, Royal Pains, All My Children, Reading Rainbow, and all three Law & Order series. Film credits include Our Idiot Brother, Prison Song, and Puccini for Beginners. He has recorded hundreds of audiobooks, is an Audie Award winner, and has received numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards.