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Gun Machine [Kindle Edition]

Warren Ellis
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $17.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $7.01 (41%)
Sold by: Hachette Book Group

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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

Review

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 Hellish fun Ian Rankin A mad police procedural just north of the border of dark fantasy. Delightful. William Gibson GUN MACHINE never lets go of the reader and never flags in its relentless pace. In the course of 300 tightly wound pages, Ellis unloads a full clip of ideas, black humor, character, and copper-sheathed action scenes. Every sentence is a bullseye. Joe Hill Underneath the pyrotechnic prose lies a perfectly paced mystery thriller. Ellis gets it so right. Mike Carey Sharp, dangerous, beautifully observed... Some things about Warren Ellis's writing never change, including - I imagine - his ability to make even maniacs worry that they're boringly sane. Jon Courtenay Grimwood GUN MACHINE is packing heat: wonderfully demented misfits, killer dialogue, a helluva story. Warren Ellis is a twisted genius and this is his grittiest, sexiest, and best work by far. Lauren Beukes GUN MACHINE redraws the crime map of Manhattan; Ellis's bizarre, febrile imagination and mordant wit makes a serial killer thriller for a new century. Charles Stross

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:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,651 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ellis' new novel is addictively fun and insane January 1, 2013
Format:Hardcover
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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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Style, Too Many Coincidences January 8, 2013
Format:Hardcover
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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16 of 17 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
Format:Hardcover
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
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth a Try
I was hooked by the beginning excerpt (the trailer and endorsement by Wil Wheaton didn't hurt either).

However, the story fizzles after the first 33%. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Eric J. Juneau
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
fantastic an entertaining read that could've easily been a conviction. burned through in only a few days, and wanted more.
Published 12 days ago by derek crimmins
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, quick read
Good characters (especially Scarly and Bat)in a compelling plot with surprisingly brief chapters (geared for a short attention span?) made for a very quick, enjoyable read.
Published 22 days ago by nprgirl
1.0 out of 5 stars A Page Turner (also Stomach)
Just as all eight revolutionary model operas/plays promulgated by Mrs. Mao were all pretty much the same (the revolutionary spirit of the proletariat triumphs over the capitalists... Read more
Published 26 days ago by Keith Otis Edwards
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent story!
Loved the characters and historical reference. The unseen technical maps were intriguing. Would have liked to have known how the Hunter acquired his skills. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Peggy A. Perkins
3.0 out of 5 stars Really fun book with a couple of flaws
Just finished this and, sometimes, I couldn't put it down. It's got edge and humor and an interesting idea at its heart. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Gordon E. Anderson
2.0 out of 5 stars "I am disappoint."
I can't finish this right now. It started off great. I like Warren Ellis. CROOKED LITTLE VEIN was good. Not so good at parts, but, for the most part, good. Read more
Published 2 months ago by mikedoeseverything
5.0 out of 5 stars Keeps one's attention
Gun Machine, by Warren Ellis, is something I am listening to right now on my morning commute, and I have to say it’s head-slappingly strange. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Lane N Copley
4.0 out of 5 stars damn good thriller
A book that I was unable to put down. At its heart, a police thriller, but with interesting and mystical touches. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Steven Caplan
4.0 out of 5 stars Charged, crazed, and unnerving. In the best way!
Only gave it four stars because it lacked polish. It really felt like the author favored the development of some characters over others. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Andrew
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More About the Author

WARREN ELLIS is an author, graphic novelist, columnist and speaker. His new novel, GUN MACHINE, was released by Mulholland Books in January 2013, and is being developed for television by Chernin Entertainment and FOX.

CROOKED LITTLE VEIN, his last novel, was described by Joss Whedon as "Funny, inventive and blithely appalling... Dante on paint fumes."

His graphic novel RED was made into a successful film starring Bruce Willis and Helen Mirren, and its sequel film is released in August 2013. His other graphic novels, including TRANSMETROPOLITAN, PLANETARY, GLOBAL FREQUENCY and FREAKANGELS, have won multiple awards, including a Lifetime Achievement prize from the Eagle Awards and the NUIG Lit & Deb's President's Medal in recognition of support for free speech. MINISTRY OF SPACE became the first graphic novel to win the Sidewise Award for alternate history fiction. His GRAVEL sequence of graphic novels has been optioned by Legendary Pictures, with Tim Miller attached to direct.

Previously a commentator for Reuters and WIRED UK magazine, he is currently writing a weekly column for VICE.

His first non-fiction book, from Farrar, Straus & Giroux, is due in 2014. He lives mostly in Britain.

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