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Jonathan Lethem$
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James Peacock

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780719082672

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719082672.001.0001

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Private dicks: science fiction meets detection in Gun, With Occasional Music

Private dicks: science fiction meets detection in Gun, With Occasional Music

Chapter:
(p.18) 1 Private dicks: science fiction meets detection in Gun, With Occasional Music
Source:
Jonathan Lethem
Author(s):

James Peacock

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719082672.003.0002

This chapter argues that Lethem's debut novel, Gun, With Occasional Music brings together science fiction and detective fiction (or Philip K. Dick and Raymond Chandler) quite deliberately and ostentatiously in order to explore key ideas in his work – the role of technology, amnesia, and the loss of community. It ends with a discussion of the extent to which Lethem's melding of genres might be called “postmodern” and suggests that the term “critical dystopia” is an appropriate one for this and other Lethem novels.

Keywords:   Jonathan Lethem, Gun, With Occasional Music, science fiction, detective fiction, postmodernism, critical dystopia

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