Synopses & Reviews
Burned-out private dick Michael McGill needs to jump-start his career. What he gets instead is a cattle prod to the crotch.
The president's heroin-addicted chief of staff wants McGill to find the Constitution the real one the Founding Fathers secretly devised for the time of gravest crisis. And with God, civility, and Mom's homemade apple pie already dead or dying, that time is now. But McGill has a talent for stumbling into every imaginable depravity and this case is driving him even deeper into America's darkest, dankest underbelly, toward obscenities that boggle even his mind.
"At the start of this dark, demented fiction debut from Ellis, the creator of DC Comics' Transmetropolitanand The Authority, the U.S. president's heroin-addicted chief of staff hires 25-year-old Lower East Side PI Mike McGill to find the 'other' Constitution. This is 'a secret document privately authored by several of the Founders' detailing 'the real intent of their design for American society,' which a debauched vice-president Nixon 'lost' in the '50s. With 'half a mill' in black ops money, Mike hires cute tattooed Trix Holmes to be his guide to America's deviant underworld, whence the 50-year-old cold trail begins. In their search for the missing document, 'reputedly bound in the skin of the extraterrestrial entity that plagued Benjamin Franklin's ass over six nights in Paris,' the pair make some wild pit stops in Columbus, Ohio; San Antonio, Tex.; Vegas; and, finally, L.A. The home of the free and the land of the brave has rarely looked so creepy in this snappily paced homage to William Burroughs's Naked Lunch." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Funny, inventive and blithely appalling, this book is Dante on paint fumes." Joss Whedon, creator, writer and director of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series
"Crooked Little Vein is surprisingly funny (with shades of Lamb author Christopher Moore) and crammed with more dodgy material than a package of nonkosher franks. But at heart, it's simply a hard-boiled detective novel, in which Ellis nails every trope in the canon. (Grade: B)" Entertainment Weekly
"It's a high-energy joyride through a collection of lecherous situations best left undescribed here and likely to appeal primarily to adolescent males." Library Journal
"Comics scribe Ellis has cartoonish fun with his debut novel....Readers who appreciate the two nipple jokes in the first chapter can settle in and enjoy the ride." Booklist
"No matter how outlandish McGill's adventures through seedy Manhattan get, Ellis's ferocious, idiosyncratic brand of satire teases out the glimmers of truth lurking deep within genre conventions and the American psyche. For those reasons, Crooked Little Vein might be the saving grace of contemporary crime fiction even as it rejects such an idea outright." Sarah Weinman, Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind
"While Crooked Little Vein never ceases to entertain, it takes few chances....Still, Ellis is a formidable talent whose wit and insight fit perfectly into the crime genre. Perhaps next time he'll go as deep as his gifts can take him." Los Angeles Times
"Trust me, the book is not for the faint of heart...it's vulgar, nauseating, perverted, and the most damn fun I've had in a long, long time....A lot of people will find it offensive and loathe its very existence....Me, I loved every second of it and couldn't get enough." Fantasy Book Critic
"It is a very funny novel, and the dialogue often shines, but Good God, it got old fast....It's about as edgy as a Carlos Mencia stand-up special with Nickelback playing in the background. It always feels like Ellis just read about the stuff he writes about, but never participated in." Cameron Hughes, CHUD
"Reading Crooked Little Vein
...is like being hit by a truck a dark, perverted truck, that, if it's anything like the one described in the book, is full of blind men humping their seeing-eye dogs before being rear-ended by a Miata full of Latino trannies in clown suits....No matter how disconcerting you may find Vein
to be, there is one comforting thing to come out of reading it: You'll never be as messed up as these guys." Kate Klonick, Esquire
(read the entire Esquire review
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 all readers looking for a riotous summer reading adventure.
About the Author
Warren Ellis is one of the most prolific, read, and admired graphic novelists in the world and the creator of Transmetropolitan and The Authority. He lives in southern England with his partner, Niki, and their daughter, Lilith. He never sleeps.