Crooked Little Vein


I recently finished reading Crooked Little Vein, by Warren Ellis.

It was a fun read, a dark comedy, gumshoe detective romp through transgressive America. It’s about a private investigator, Michael McGill, who is hired by the Chief of Staff for the President to find a book which apparently is the Second Constitution of the United States, designed to be used in emergencies. The book has been lost since Nixon and McGill is hired on the basis that he is a “shit magnet”; that is he encounters bizarre occurrences in his day-to-day life. For instance one case McGill brings up involved sex with ostriches.

While it was entertaining, it was not to the same level as his more recent novel, Gun Machine. Events in Crooked Little Vein border on the absurd, which I suppose was the point, but it’s difficult to believe throughout that McGill is in any danger, except for one particular scene. Conversely, Gun Machine is dead serious all the way through.

If you’re a fan of Warren Ellis’ comics, particularly Transmetropolitan and Global Frequency, then you’ll enjoy this book. However, I do recommend reading Gun Machine first.

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