somebody lent me this book because they know i love my noir, and the book pays off in that regard but the notion that this is science fiction or a successor to pkd is confusing to me -- the world lethem introduces us to has drugs coming out the wazoo, and there are evolved animals yes, but really? that all seems window dressing, a spin on what is primarily a detective story. lots of what i would consider the speculative elements don't actually seem to go anywhere -- why is text outlawed? what's this about musical news? i never did understand the society that the story spins out in -- these sci-fi elements don't seem to signify.
it also felt a helluva lot like chandler in terms of plotting: who killed who and for why now? does it matter? not really. a good beach book, i think. i'd give it 3.5 stars but i can't get excited enough about it to give it 4 -- it's good writing but something about his voice seemed a little smarmy at times, perhaps because it was his first novel?