Gaudeamus was reviewed back in 2006 by Malabar, another of Doug's book review forum participants. Her review was short & sweet. I liked the sound of it, so I eventually got a copy.
I'm glad I did. This was a fun read. Not all that serious - almost a farce - but it was a good time.
The narrator is John Barnes himself, SF author of some note. In here he encounters a story about industrial espionage, unusual machines taking advantage of weird properties of physics, aliens, a strange new drug, intergalactic law, flying saucers, a really bad band, and a few other oddities. The author doesn't actually tell the story, though. Instead it is mostly told to him by another character, Travis Bismark, private investigator and college buddy of the author.
That odd story structure worked for me. I found the story fun and light hearted in ways that held it together. Some reviews on amazon.com haven't been as positive, saying it has essentially no plot, or that the entire thing is just too silly. I disagree, but I can see their point to some level. This is science fiction humor. If you take it that way, it's fine. If you're looking for something deeper, it's probably not going to interest you.