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Gun Machine [Kindle Edition]

Warren Ellis
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (170 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $17.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Book Description

Warren Ellis reimagines New York City as a puzzle with the most dangerous pieces of all: GUNS.

After a shootout claims the life of his partner in a condemned tenement building on Pearl Street, Detective John Tallow unwittingly stumbles across an apartment stacked high with guns. When examined, each weapon leads to a different, previously unsolved murder. Someone has been killing people for twenty years or more and storing the weapons together for some inexplicable purpose.

Confronted with the sudden emergence of hundreds of unsolved homicides, Tallow soon discovers that he's walked into a veritable deal with the devil. An unholy bargain that has made possible the rise of some of Manhattan's most prominent captains of industry. A hunter who performs his deadly acts as a sacrifice to the old gods of Manhattan, who may, quite simply, be the most prolific murderer in New York City's history.

Warren Ellis's body of work has been championed by Wired for its "merciless action" and "incorruptible bravery," and steadily amassed legions of diehard fans. His newest novel builds on his accomplishments like never before, announcing Ellis as one of today's most daring thriller writers. This is twenty-first century suspense writ large. This is GUN MACHINE.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Detective John Tallow is a classic burnout, sleepwalking on the job until the day his supercop partner (and only friend) is killed by a shotgun-wielding lunatic. The incident was Tallow’s first on-the-job shooting, and he doesn’t disagree with the majority view that he shouldn’t have been the cop left standing. Then, when a shrine of ritualistically displayed firearms is found in the apartment building where his partner died, Tallow finds himself wanting answers. Analysis of the cache connects each weapon to a murder, and Tallow is assigned to work with two wildly eccentric geniuses on the crime-scene unit to try to end the killer’s decades-long killing spree. Gun Machine is built around a trio of intoxicating weirdos who twist the mold of the familiar detective-and-forensic-specialist combo. Strong interplay between historic Manahatta (think Native American) and technology’s future role in policing creates a big-picture backdrop for catch-the-crazy-killer thrills. Lisa Black fans and those who love quirky characters in a high-stakes police procedural will find plenty to like here. --Christine Tran


A magnificently entertaining gun held to the head of the crime thriller genre Guardian GUN MACHINE sees Ellis grab hold of the mainstream by its windpipe and demand acceptance; a perfectly flawless crime book with a feral glint in its eye. Independent on Sunday If only other police procedurals had half the gumption and imaginative power of this novel Big Issue A dazzling oasis in the desert of grimly identical police procedurals Financial Times Sick, slick and very funny...[Ellis] doesn't need pictures to create his gripping, grave new world Daily Telegraph [Ellis] turns to conventional crime fiction with startling success...powerful writing and vast imagination The Times Ellis tackles the police procedural, although it's bloodier and more intriguing than any episode of Law & Order or CSI, and arms it with gallows humor, high-tension action scenes and an unlikely hero USA Today Just about everything in GUN MACHINE, Warren Ellis's dark but pleasingly quirky crime thriller, is a little bit off, not quite what you'd expect...In his way Tallow is almost as weird as the hunter, and yet he's also oddly endearing, so single-minded you can't help rooting for him. New York Times Never stops to draw breath. It's a monster of a book, bowel-looseningly scary in places, darkly uproarious in others, and remorseless as the killer who hunts in its pages...particularly good, even by the high standards of a Warren Ellis tale -- Cory Doctorow Boing Boing

Product Details

  • File Size: 685 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Mulholland Books (January 1, 2013)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007ZFIMC6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,633 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ellis' new novel is addictively fun and insane January 1, 2013
Instead of attending to chores, I procrastinated and began reading read Warren Ellis' book The Gun Machine in the afternoon. As dusk approached, I realized I was deeply and truly in over my head, trapped in a quicksand pit of AWESOME.

This book begins with a naked man with a shotgun. I think you can tell from that if this is a book for you. If you are a fan of Ellis-penned comics and graphic novels, you WILL enjoy this book too. It is all murder and guns-as-fetish-objects and totally insane people and foul-mouthed cops and filthy human beings and EXACTLY what I didn't know I wanted.

It's a lot of the things that I loved about Transmetropolitan, Ellis' best comics work, but in munchable prose snack form. While Warren Ellis' first book, Crooked Little Vein, was amusing, it didn't feel like a full novel because it was a series of disgusting/hilarious but linear events. The Gun Machine has excellent depth of plotting and addictive characterization. Tallow, Bat, Scarly, the Hunter -- now they're in my head and will be running about for a long time. Looks like Warren Ellis taught himself to write a real novel. SO CUTE. In a Ellis-esque violent misanthropic way, of course.

I didn't eat and barely budged from my seat while reading The Gun Machine at breakneck speed. The same may happen to you. Forewarned is forearmed. With guns.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Style, Too Many Coincidences January 8, 2013
Warren Ellis is a superb comic book writer and knows how to create prose that sticks pokes you in the ribs like a dagger. "Gun Machine" has many of his hallmarks, a frustrated and cynical protagonist, a group of oddly endearing supporting characters and horrible people doing horrible things for unusual reasons.

While the set-up is interesting, the reveal of the story is a bit too coincidental, a few too many people show up at just the right time with just the right information and characters go off on long'ish expositional monologues to a leading character they've just met and have little reason to talk so openly to. It doesn't kill the book but it certainly lessens the impact of what is a very clever idea for a story.

Ellis's flair for prose is in full bloom. If only the plot were just as ripe.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cracking great thriller that makes you think January 4, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Gun Machine is a story working on two layers. The first layer is a well written thriller where a policeman and a serial killer stalk each other across Manhattan. The second layer is more interesting to me- the ghost maps of modern life. "Ghost Maps" is a term Ellis introduces midway through the book, describing things like the old paths of rivers running across the island, the geographical distribution of surveillance cameras, police precinct boundaries, informational lag time in information networks as a measure of distance versus geographical distance and many more ideas of a similar nature. It is the informational overlay we place over our environment, and how that environment is shaped by forces invisible to us, that forms the intellectual backbone of Ghost Machine. It is a highly sophisticated view of cities and very thought provoking. It is a particularly unusual way to frame a murder mystery.

And more than brainy- Gun Machine is funny. Bleakly, blackly, horribly funny. Warren Ellis established his gift for a searing turn of phrase back in his graphic novel days and it's put to good use here! His description of Sumo should see the sport spike in popularity in bars across America. I won't spoil the jokes, but oh god are they funny. Ellis is clearly a firm believer in the theory that tragedy and comedy are best deployed proportionately and in conjunction.

The characters are well rounded and interesting. They live in a plausible world, and they behave with a pleasing degree of rationality. This may be an overreaction on my part, but I seem to have read a great number of books recently where many plot defining challenges would have been overcome by a reasonably emotionally stable seventh grader.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great way to start the year January 2, 2013
No, I haven't got it backwards...the title of Warren Ellis's latest novel is Gun Machine.

And it was a great book to start off the New Year with a bang. The opening line hooked me...

..."On playing back the 911 recording, it'd seem that Mrs. Stegman was more concerned that the man outside her apartment door was naked than that he had a big shotgun."

Detective John Tallow is sent to investigate and what he finds is more that anyone could have imagined. One of the apartments in the building is full of guns. Not piles of guns, but meticulously displayed and mounted guns, all in a unfathomable pattern. And when the techs start testing the guns they find something even more unthinkable. Each of the guns has been used in an unsolved murder, starting over twenty years ago.

Tallow is one of those burned out but brilliant characters I love to discover. "You're at the age where the rush of the job has passed and the grind of the job is taken in stride, and this is the time when you're wondering if it wouldn't be so bad if you just stopped giving much of a s*** and rolled along doing as little as possible."

Just as intriguing were the pair of supporting characters in the cast - Bat and Scarly - brilliant Crime Scene Unit Investigators, but misfits themselves. Yes, they were a bit over the top, but I really enjoyed them.

But, it seems that the higher up really don't want the case solved - roadblocks appear in Tallow's path and the owner of the guns has Tallow in his sights....

Ellis has penned a unique entry in the crime scene genre - the characters really grabbed me and I hope he plans to employ them again. The killer was truly psychotic - his view of the world past and present was a technique I quite liked.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars and I enjoyed it
Warren Ellis writes prose as if it were a graphic novel, and I enjoyed it immensely
Published 1 month ago by Tom Phoghat Sobieski
5.0 out of 5 stars Dirty, nasty, sexy. Five stars!
Seriously, Warren Ellis has been one of my favourite comic book writers for years, and Gun Machine was exactly what I expected from him - a creative mystery full of delicious text... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ru Hickson
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Nice writing, gripping story, just couldn't identify myself with neither the protagonist nor the villain...
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, but doesn't quite live up to its own premise
Gun Machine has an awesome premise; an NYPD detective stumbles upon a bizarre apartments lined with guns from floor to ceiling, arranged in intricate patterns. Read more
Published 3 months ago by lisally
5.0 out of 5 stars A sharp new take on noir.
Gun Machine moves like clockwork, with original, concise characters and a gritty cinematic lens towards modern New York. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Rachel Edelson
5.0 out of 5 stars Ellis' second novel really, truly shines
I'm a big fan of Warren Ellis' comics writing, and I enjoyed his first "proper" novel, "Crooked Little Vein," though it did seem a bit meandering, and had one... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Dirkydoodle
5.0 out of 5 stars I liked it
Great noir story, a good read that is hard to put down until you finish.
Published 5 months ago by E. G. Brooksbank
5.0 out of 5 stars yup, this is a good one.
Warren Ellis is at the top of his game with Gun Machine. It's not easily classified. Just read the damn thing.
Published 6 months ago by Gerald Conroy
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling, gritty and unique
Gun Machine is the real deal. Warren Ellis has captured the down and dirty work in the trenches of New York City's dark pulse. Read more
Published 7 months ago by LAS
5.0 out of 5 stars A dark, complicated crime thriller charged with Ellis' standout wit...
It really doesn't get much better than Warren Ellis. He's an expert, prolific sculptor of intense stories, hilarious characters, and some of the blackest humor being printed these... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Ryan Sanford Smith
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More About the Author

Warren Ellis is the award-winning writer of graphic novels like TRANSMETROPOLITAN, FELL, MINISTRY OF SPACE and PLANETARY, and the author of the NYT-bestselling GUN MACHINE (being adapted for TV by Microsoft Xbox) and the "underground classic" novel CROOKED LITTLE VEIN. The movie RED is based on his graphic novel of the same name, its sequel having been released in summer 2013. His GRAVEL books are in development for film at Legendary Pictures. IRON MAN 3 is based on his Marvel Comics graphic novel IRON MAN: EXTREMIS. He's also written extensively for VICE, WIRED UK and Reuters on technological and cultural matters. Warren Ellis is currently working on a non-fiction book about the future of the city for Farrar Giroux Straus.

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.

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