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Crooked Little Vein Paperback – July 22, 2008
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Full of mind-bending style and packed with a wild cast of characters, Crooked Little Vein infuses Robert B. Parker with Kurt Vonnegut and the madness of the graphic-novel world. A surprisingly surreal treat, it will appeal to hardcore comic fans, mystery aficionados, and all readers looking for a riotous summer reading adventure.
Sample Chapter One of Crooked Little Vein
"Chapter One. I opened my eyes to see the rat taking a piss in my coffee mug. It was a huge brown bastard; had a body like a turd with legs and beady black eyes full of secret rat knowledge."
Crooked Little Vein puts you right in the gutter from the first sentence and doesn't let up. Sample the goods with a look at the complete first chapter, and see if you don't get hooked.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
His newest publication is the digital short-story single DEAD PIG COLLECTOR, from FSG Originals. His next book will be the novella NORMAL, also from FSG.
A documentary about his work, CAPTURED GHOSTS, was released in 2012.
Recognitions include the NUIG Literary and Debating Society's President's Medal for service to freedom of speech, the EAGLE AWARDS Roll Of Honour for lifetime achievement in the field of comics & graphic novels, the Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire 2010, the Sidewise Award for Alternate History and the International Horror Guild Award for illustrated narrative.
Warren Ellis lives outside London, on the south-east coast of England, in case he needs to make a quick getaway.
Top Customer Reviews
The story involves Michael McGill, a struggling private investigator in New York, who is described as a "s..t magnet". Because of his unwanted ability to turn up in situations involving the seamy, ugly part of human activities, he's hired to track down a special book. The book is an alternative Constitution to be used if and when the original version stops influencing society. A whacked-out chief of staff to the President brings him up-to-date on what the government knows, and McGill has to pick up the cold thread from there. Half a million dollars for expenses and a tattooed girlfriend with unique views on sexuality, and he's off on a cross-country trip that exposes him to practices and kinks that he didn't know existed. Along the way, he has to confront his ideas as to what is right and wrong, what should and shouldn't be allowed in a free society.
The book isn't overly long (280 pages in a format about 2/3 the page size of a regular book), so the read is quick. The language would give it an R rating from page 1 if this were a movie. And the kinky practices... These are some things I've never heard of nor imagined. What's scary is that a search of the internet confirmed that these things are truly fetish practices, complete with pictures (e[...]) There's a deeper message that Ellis is trying to convey (I think), but it's definitely not a message or philosophy that would mesh with my own.Read more ›
Which makes me all the more sad to say that I was disappointed in it. It felt like Transmet's little brother, who hadn't grown enough plot to stand on it's own two feet yet. The storyline is a parade of 'underground' fetishes, with a special float dedicated to the wonders of technology thrown in right after the marching band of bukkake fans. I kept wondering why the hell a private detective would have been put on the case, when the 'leads' were a straight line that a community college criminal justice major could have followed, much less the combined powers of the government spooks. And while the dialogue was entertaining, I didn't feel any kind of attachment to the two dimensional characters either.
I did find Ellis' writing style to be intriguing and the book certainly sucks you in, though I think that's more because I kept wanting to see what bizarreness is going to pop up next and hoping maybe it will start to have some meaning.
I'm sure that some with argue that there are plenty of themes and metaphors and deep universal truths to be found in the book, and maybe so, but it still feels watered down compared to what I was hoping for. That said, if you're not as jaded to the multitude of sexual deviances as I am, it's certainly worth a read for the amusing sideshow, if nothing else.
Take away the fetishes and you're left with an ostensible mystery in which the heroes are handed the exact clue they were looking for at the right time without any real pitfalls or dead ends. It's well written, but that's not enough to disguise a plot that is little more than very kinky ride at Disneyland: it may appear dangerous and edgy at first glance, but really you're on rails for a guided tour. "The Godzilla fetishists are chasing us! Whew! That was close, wasn't it?"
Not even close. Our Heroes move from plot point to plot point without any sense of tension or dread, just an ever diminishing sense of shock.
I'm glad I read it, I guess, but I wouldn't exactly want to recommend it to anyone else.
A moment for a major qualm: Ellis seems a little too eager to, you know, really "push the envelope" of taste & co., and this novel--strike that, this novella--is rife with "lurid" and "in-your-face" descriptions of "unnatural" or "perverse" acts. The majority of this material is too obviously endweighted for shock effect. And I don't think that the modern reader really can be shocked, inasmuch as s/he wants to be. Instead, there's this niggling sensation that one is supposed to be shocked, that the author wants this reaction, and thus the reader is kind of slapped in the face with the artifice of the story.
Then again, cultural approbation and acclimation are underlying themes of this novella, as is the supervening relationship between culture and technology. More here than in any of Ellis' other works, you get the sense of an emerging thesis--that we are all of us only catching on to the possibilities of an ever-emerging world for which we are never fully prepared, etc.
There are approximately two people and one human relationship in the novel; everything else is a glorious cartoon, and to be taken as such. The two main characters--Mike the protag and his galpal Trix--are real enough for as short a story as this is. And because the book's so short, their relationship seems a little too fast. Ellis gets us from zero to love in about 240 pages; that's slower than Harlequin, but almost double the speed of mainstream chick lit. But we're not reading it for the romance, are we?
No, we're reading it because it's funny.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What's that mean? the writing is good, the story(s) are better. Warren has many more tales to tell. get to work!Published 1 month ago by Tom Hailand
This book showcases the insanity of Warren Ellis quite perfectly. The plot is pretty basic: PI gets hired to retrieve something by shady individuals. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Edward Burton
Not bad. I wouldn't say it was my favorite book but it was definitely a good read. It had some pretty gory content but it definitely intrigued me.Published 2 months ago by Ashley Elizabeth Bell
confirm receipt--fast delivery--third time I've bought this book (I keep letting friends read it; they let their friends read it and the book never finds its way home).Published 3 months ago by Robert Hoagland
The plot is unique and interestingly dark while retaining a sense of humor--Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" comes to mind--but the language strays beyond the gritty... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Andrew Kozak
Brings up some interesting questions of what is normal and not.Published 6 months ago by Matthew L. Morava