Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Crooked Little Vein -- Warren Ellis

I've read and reviewed several of Warren Ellis' graphic novels, so I thought I'd read his purely prose work. It's supposedly a p.i. novel, but it's really a road novel masquerading as a p.i. novel. Or maybe it's a p.i. novel masquerading as a road novel.

Here's the deal: Self-proclaimed "shit magnet" Mike McGill is a down on his luck p.i. (is there any other kind?). Then the White House Chief of Staff shows up and pays him half a million bucks to find the Mcgugffin, which is a book that contains the real Constitution of the U. S. It's bound in the skin of an alien who pestered Ben Franklin and paid the price, and it's a document that could change the world as we know it. McGill hooks up with a young woman named Trix, and they travel to Columbus, San Antonio, Las Vegas, and finally Los Angeles in pursuit of the book.

Along the way Mike and Trix encounter enough warped characters, deviant sex, and just plain weirdness to fill a book. According to Ellis, it's all based on stuff he found in the Internet. Maybe that's true, or maybe not. One thing's for sure: There's something here to offend just about everybody. In fact, if you find Joe Lansdale too polite and restrained, maybe you should read this book. It's funny, and it moves right along, but if you're looking for a standard p.i. novel, you're looking in the wrong place.

1 comment:

Patrick Shawn Bagley said...

I read this as an ARC and laughed all the way through. Then I felt guilty for laughing. If Richard Brautigan and James Ellroy had ever collaborated, the result might have been something like CROOKED LITTLE VEIN.