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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.

Critic Reviews

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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  • Overall

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

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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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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try hard ultra gonzo noir

nothing memorable happens here at all. just one "shocking" situation after another with no humor or charm until each escalating situation means nothing. it's like all of the ideas Ellis ever had rejected complied into the most boring detective noir ever.

skip it

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  • Story

A bit of the perverse but you keep going..

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Ellis takes you across the States on a tour of an underlying layer of perversion and strangeness and keeps you interested in what is next on his warped tour. I thought I was well versed in weirdness but did have to research some of the episodes as to whether they are based on reality with a twist of the author's imagination or just the workings of a unique imagination. Ellis keeps the story moving and avoids any doldrums that may be encountered.

What does Todd McLaren bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Todd McLaren does an excellent job narrating the story. However, I did find his portrayal of female characters became annoying as the story developed.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Again the story is full of fetishes and perversions that may disgust certain readers from enjoying the story. The story is a tour de force of these subjects wrapped in a detective story. If you get through Burroughs "Naked Lunch" then you will have no problem with this.

Any additional comments?

I recommend indulging your curiosity of the world that Ellis weaves in this (or in any of his work) story go into it with an open-mind and the experience will be worth your while.

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  • Story

strange tale for strange times

feel like culture is getting hyperbolically weirder, meanwhile you're feeling more conservative and having trouble finding your place in the world. Then, this book is for you.

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One of the funniest and disturbing novel ls I read

When I first learned about this book, I was told it wasn't for the light hearted, and boy was that true. It's simple, funny and a bit cartoonish, in a good way.

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  • Story
  • Douglas
  • Whittaker, MI, United States
  • 06-08-13

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. <br/><br/>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.<br/><br/>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.

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  • RKR
  • Georgia
  • 05-06-13

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.

  • Overall
  • Cather
  • Cumberland, VA, United States
  • 02-03-08

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