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Crooked Little Vein: A Novel | [Warren Ellis]

Crooked Little Vein: A Novel

Michael McGill is a burned-out private detective who suddenly becomes enlisted by an army of presidential goons to retrieve the Constitution of the United States, but not the one we all know about. This would be the real Constitution (the one with invisible amendments), created by some of the Founding Fathers as a fall back for their great experiment.
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Publisher's Summary

Michael McGill is a burned-out private detective who suddenly becomes enlisted by an army of presidential goons to retrieve the Constitution of the United States, but not the one we all know about. This would be the real Constitution (the one with invisible amendments), created by some of the Founding Fathers as a fall back for their great experiment. Along the way, McGill gains a polyamorous sidekick named Trix, gets scared to death by what men do with warm salty water, and descends into a world where crime, sex, and madness all seem to be the same thing.

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 anybody looking for a riotous adventure.

©2007 Warren Ellis; (P)2007 Tantor Media Inc.

What the Critics Say

"[A] snappily paced homage to William Burroughs'sNaked Lunch." (Publishers Weekly)
"It's a high-energy joyride." (Library Journal)
"Funny, inventive, and blithely appalling, this book isDante on paint fumes." (Joss Whedon, creator, writer, and director of Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (104 )
5 star
 (43)
4 star
 (27)
3 star
 (15)
2 star
 (10)
1 star
 (9)
Overall
3.7 (57 )
5 star
 (25)
4 star
 (11)
3 star
 (9)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (8)
Story
4.1 (57 )
5 star
 (32)
4 star
 (8)
3 star
 (8)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
 (3)
Performance
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  •  
    01-14-08
    01-14-08 Listener Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    121
    3
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    "Ignore the prude"

    This book was hilarious. Yes, there are some cringe-worthy moments but it was all in good fun. The narrator was excellent. I lost a lot of sleep with this book because i could not stop listening to it.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bridget 08-02-13
    bridget 08-02-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    61
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    93
    28
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    7
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    Story
    "The wonders of being a sh*t Magnet"

    I loved this book. The wonders of being a sh*t magnet is the talent of the main character. The people this guy attacks are bottom feeders. The fact that people tell this guy stuff that should never be told puts this guy in some situations that are hilarious. The dialog with the serial killer on a plane had me laughing out loud for at least a minute.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer 06-20-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    352
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    7
    Overall
    "WOW!"

    It's has been a few month since I have listened to this book and it has stuck with me like few books have. Sometimes I laugh out loud, others I almost gag. This book was an experience. Good, bad and ugly. I would highly recommend this book if you have a sense of humor and aren't easily offended - well, even if you aren't easily offended this book will probably test your limits. I remember exactly where I was driving when I actually gagged because of a disgusting sexual perversion described in the book. So, in all fairness, be careful because this book is graphic and pretty hardcore - but if you can keep it in perspective - it is a pretty good experience. I have been excitedly - but cautiously - waiting for the next novel.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas Whittaker, MI, United States 06-08-13
    Douglas Whittaker, MI, United States 06-08-13 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    91
    10
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    Story
    "Not sure I get the point of this book"
    Would you try another book from Warren Ellis and/or Todd McLaren?

    Yes, I have read good things about Gun Machine and will give it a try. But, if it is equally bad, I won't try any others.


    What was most disappointing about Warren Ellis’s story?

    There did not seem to be much point to the story other than a series of descriptions of intended-to-shock sexual practices. I don't know which are intended to be truthful, and therefore legitimate food for thoughts, and which are intended to be so outrageous as to be shocking within the story. But, a bigger issue is the factual errors. I don't know the facts on much of what he describes, but when he describes accessing an office building by cutting through the floor of a room from the room below, using a kitchen knife, I had to laugh. This is so utterly ridiculous that it makes me question absolutely everything else about the book.

    In the end, I found the book a waste of time. I am not easily shocked, and like authors that attempt to shock (Richard K. Morgan for one), but this book seemed to have no point beyond trying to shock. These attempts seemed laughable.

    I saw the reference to Naked Lunch. If this is supposed to be hallucinatory, it just does not pull it off. Skip it.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It is good that the "hero" is seriously flawed, but then so is the book


    Any additional comments?

    I suggest skipping this one. If you want to feel like you are flaunting the prudes, there are plenty of other books better worth your time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RKR Georgia 05-06-13
    RKR Georgia 05-06-13 Member Since 2007

    Drama teacher and Sci-Fi/Fantasy fan

    HELPFUL VOTES
    38
    ratings
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    44
    30
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    3
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    "Interesting and appalling at the same time"

    I am more familiar with Warren Ellis through his comics, so this novel seemed like a good idea. I can't say that I didn't enjoy it. I listened to it in about three days, but I felt "dirty" for listening to it -- which I suppose is the point.

    Warren Ellis has a knack for forcing his audience to look at the seedy underbelly of society. Arkham Asylum was nothing if not a great look into a crazed mind in Gotham's history. But this sometimes read as if he googled unseemly activities -- some which I am convinced don't really exist -- and he puts them in the plot for shock value. However, I can see this book being compared to George Lippard's QUAKER CITY in a less political way.

    Todd McLaren was unexceptional with the narration -- not bad but not phenomenal either. If I had it to do over, I might pass this one up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cather Cumberland, VA, United States 02-03-08
    Cather Cumberland, VA, United States 02-03-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    291
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    117
    76
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    10
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    Overall
    "Enjoyable."

    This is not the greatest book in the world. There are plot holes and contrivances that are just staggering, and sometimes it seems like excuses to show weird things. But the overall package is still a lot of fun, with plenty of laugh out loud moments.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ComicGurlGeek Roswell, GA, United States 08-16-13
    ComicGurlGeek Roswell, GA, United States 08-16-13

    wheee

    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    37
    26
    FOLLOWERS
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    5
    4
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    Performance
    Story
    "It was okay"

    That's really the best I can give it.

    The story was interesting, and I saw where the author was trying to go with it; an ironic "present dystopia" taking elements of our everyday life that we take for granted to their inevitable extreme. But ultimately the characters were one-dimensional and all equally unlikable, the sarcasm was too heavy-handed to be funny, and the whole project just fell flat.

    I felt like the author was trying to emulate Christopher Buckley, but this novel was to "Thank You for Smoking" as a Big Mac is to a well-grilled steak.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Connie Lebanon, Ohio, United States 11-19-11
    Connie Lebanon, Ohio, United States 11-19-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    49
    ratings
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    473
    13
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    6
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    Story
    "Awful! Couldn't finish"
    Any additional comments?

    The synopsis led me to believe this was about the hunt for a lost U.S. Constitution. Instead I got a catalog of strange sexual perversions. Don't listen if you don't have the stomach for it.

    1 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angel 12-04-07
    Angel 12-04-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    244
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    704
    51
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    16
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    Overall
    "ugly"

    This "novel" is art in the same way that art works steeped in waste products are art. It's a series of offensive vignettes glossed over with a filthy wash. Don't waste your money or time.

    1 of 19 people found this review helpful
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