William's Reviews > Crooked Little Vein

Crooked Little Vein by Warren Ellis
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's review
Sep 02, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: science-fiction, suspense-thrillers, humorous
Read in September, 2008

First off, if you're a music fan, this P.S. version includes a list of twelve songs Ellis calls the "soundtrack that inspired the book." All these songs are easy enough to find at the Zune Marketplace, on Amazon MP3, and for free on MySpace.

"Slippi" - Animal Collective
"Murray Ostril: They Don't Sleep Anymore on the Beach" - Godspeed You Black Emperor!
"Ladyflash" - The Go! Team
"The New Sound" - The Capricorns
"O.K." - Talvin Singh
"Dirge" - Death In Vegas
"Nightly Cares" - Mum
"Marconi's Radio (Again)" - Secret Machines
"Section 8 (Soldier Girl)" - The Polyphonic Spree
"Odin's Gift to His Mother" - Brain Donor (Julian Cope)
"Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts" - Wolf Parade
"Zouave's Blue" - Xinlisupreme

It's pretty good stuff. Now...

* * *

"Crooked Little Vein" is a darkly satirical, wildly explicit, barely serious crime novel that I found to be ridiculously humorous in places – and I am no big fan of humorous novels or those that purport to be. The plot is straightforward enough, and there is an attempt, all too obvious in places, to summarize the politics and issues of contemporary America, but, really, the novel works best as a genre-influenced joyride that is as much like a work by Hunter Thompson as it is one by George Orwell. Warren Ellis himself is not entirely unlike Andrew Vachss given the political wit of Mark Twain and a bit of the technolust of William Gibson. This isn’t a novel you read seriously, or approach too deeply, but it is great entertainment while it lasts.

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