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 20 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 audiobook builds on his accomplishments like never before, announcing Ellis as one of today's most daring thriller writers. This is 21st-century suspense writ large. This is Gun Machine.
©2012 Warren Ellis (P)2012 Hachette Audio
Gun Machine is a dense and fast-paced work, which is perhaps expected from a author who traditionally writes comics and graphic novels, but what most struck me was how complex the characters were and the attention to agency and venue (how they modulated their personalities based on their company, location and situation). It really became apparent in Talia's house, but is seen throughout and is quite remarkable. Similarly this story is a great example of umwelten (overlapping, unique environments created by the perceptions of the characters). Serial killer novels rely heavily archetypes and Warren Ellis does a superb job rendering both the damaged hero and killer's method, mythology and madness.
Gun Machine is an eerie tale of serial murder over several decades, a tale that spins a web of history and police corruption around its protagonist. Warren Ellis is among the smartest and most inventive writers of the new millennium. Here he handles a new genre with his typical ease, with characteristic descriptiveness and intensity. Reg Cathey's gravelly narration is perfect for a gritty noir story like this. If the book has a fault it's that it builds to what feels like something of an abrupt stop at the end, but it'll definitely keep you listening right up to that end.
Tighter and more grounded than his previous novel, Crooked Little Vein, there is still plenty of the Warren Ellis outrageousness we know and love. This is an excellent, quick, fun read. Highly recommended.
If you're a movie fan, Reg E. Cathey sounds like a dead ringer for Eric Roberts in Pope of Greenwich Village. This is an amazing story, with a perfect marriage of author and narrator. What a great ride.
Pretty darn good, gritty, hardboiled, noir detective story with a hint of scifi. Feels like The Wire meets Se7en, with a little William Gibson on the side, a scene or two evocative of Robocop and Silence of the Lambs, and a history lesson that nods to a Neal Stephenson approach. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and look forward to more from this author.
While the reader's voice was certainly well matched to the "gritty and hard boiled" feel of the novel, the voice characterizations were all too similar and inflected in such a way that I had a hard time differentiating the cast of characters. For the "movie in my head" a Denzel Washington as from Book of Eli or Man on Fire would be perfect in the lead, but the rest of the cast can't all be "the black guy from The Wire" (relax, that's a joke - the reader Reg Cathey is just that). I am just saying that all of the voices sound the same, and you have to pay very close attention to the he-saids to follow some of the dialog. Bronson Pinchot (reader for Matterhorn) on the other hand, for example, disappears into his characters, of many ethnicities and regional dialects, without even a trace of Balki. PLEASE DON'T LET THAT STOP YOU it's definitely a great story and worth a listen or read.
Plenty of blood and graphic violence, if that's not your bag.
Yes. It had twists, turns, doublebacks, and lots of research went into it that he shared without being didactic. The ancient history of Manhattan fit smoothly into the narrative.
Ellis wove new (to me) ideas into the narrative and still was able to keep it naturalistic, unlike his work in other genres.
No. He reminded me a lot of George Guidall, who did excellent work in the first version of American Gods.
I normally listen to books with a fantastical aspect to them, e.g. zombie apocoplyses, space operas, etc., and was expecting a mind-bending story like so many of his others, but I was pleasantly surprised by the lack.
Reg E. Cathey was the perfect narrator for this story. The narrator made Ellis' writing even better.
The @#$% You robot had my sides splitting.
I laughed very much through this book. .
Ellis imagination is twisted and fun. I love his comic's especially Transmetropolitan His novels are just as visually spectacular as any work an artist has done in his funny books. I can't wait till he does more. I also wouldn't mind if he ever finished his New Universal Story..... I know its been ages but damn I need some closure.
I typically hate stories with unlikeable and boring main characters. It's particularly bad when the reader is not very good. The reader uses the same voice for all characters and moves between them without pause. Only got a few hours into book before I ended the suffering.
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