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Crooked Little Vein: A Novel

Crooked Little Vein: A Novel back

Warren Ellis


Page 45 Review by way of the internet

"Shopping for clothes is a Boyfriend Thing. You stand around and look blankly at a bunch of pieces of fabric and you look at the price tags and you wonder how something that'd barely cover your right nut can cost the price of a kidney and you watch the shop assistants check you out and wonder what you're doing with her because she's cute and you're kind of funny-looking and she tries clothes on and you look at her ass in a dozen different items that all look exactly the same and let's face it you're just looking at her ass anyway and it all blurs together and then someone sticks a vacuum cleaner in your wallet and vacuums out all the cash and you leave the store with one bag that's so small that mice couldn't fuck in it. Repeat a dozen times or until the front of your brain dies."

Easily the most entertaining prose I've read since Charlie Brooker's Screen Burn, every roguish sentence delivered with relish. Private Investigator and all-round shit-magnet Michael McGill is rudely interrupted mid-sulk by Chief Of Staff to the US President, and sent on a mission to recover the most powerful book in America which has swapped very dirty hands many times over the last five decades, and now finds itself in the clutches of worse. Snaking his way across America he discovers that what he thought was obscure sexual sub-culture has now become the country's mainstream. It's something that that the Chief Of Staff, popping up all over the place to ruin Mike's day, is eager to reverse. In the meantime, please take your seats as we're about to take off...

"An older guy in a short-sleeved shirt with bloodstains on the front sat in the aisle seat next to mine. He gave me a secret little smile. "You know," he said. "You know. If you drink whiskey. And I don't mean a lot of whiskey, just enough to keep the little engines in your head alive. If you drink a bunch of whiskey, you can piss in a cup before you go to sleep. And in the morning all the alcohol will have risen to the surface of the piss. And you can drink it off the top of the piss with a straw."
"I'll, um, I'll certainly bear that one in mind."
He made a happy noise and stuck out a big hand with caked blood all over the fingernails. "Excellent. I'm the pilot.""

"Crooked Little Vein is perfect Warren Ellis -- ruthless, unforgiving, and oddly beautifully bitterly human. Plus it's packed with all my favourite references: porn theories,
Alan Alda, seventy-one year old serial killers, and an alternate U.S. Constitution bound in alien skin. Get ready for a wonderful kick in the teeth that'll make you lick your bloody lip with masochistic joy."
- Brad Meltzer, New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Fate, or as we know him, the writer of IDENTITY CRISIS.

"I think this book ate my soul. Warren Ellis has mapped out the psycho-sexual underbelly of America with a foreigner's clarity and a lunatic's glee. Funny, inventive and blithely appalling, this book is Dante on paint fumes."
- Joss Whedon, creator of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series, and writer of ASTONISHING X-MEN.