Warren Ellis – Gun machine

Ikke norsk omtale denne gangen, men den kommer på norsk på Vendetta forlag snart.

Contains spoilers and things from the book. Watch the video and read the book. If you want my two cents without spoilers, well, I loved it. I don’t really read a lot of crime novels, I have three criteria where at least one, or preferably two needs to be (should) be present for me to want to read it.

1) It’s written by an author I already love.

2) Contains a serial killer.

3) Plot or title sounds real effing cool.

This has all three.

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I must confess that I haven’t read Crooked little vein yet, so the novel-form Ellis is new to me, but his brilliance isn’t. Quite frankly, I expected no less than brilliance (no pressure, eh) and yet somehow he manages to exceed my expectations.

The hero, Tallow, a disillusioned police man, a detective, and his partner Jim Rosato, answers a random call on the police radio about a naked man with a shotgun. They respond and only Tallow makes it out alive. But one of the shots fired from the guns goes through the wall of an apartment and Tallow, making sure no one inside is wounded or worse, finds something mystifying.

 

It seems the protagonist, Tallow, has more of the Ellis-sound that we’re (I’m) accustomed to. This is something I recognize from Transmetropolitan, where Spider has the Ellis-sound, (if you haven’t read Transmetropolitan already, go do that. And for shame.) and the Smiler is slicker, smoother, the crooked politician-scum that he is. The Beast wasn’t as slick, but still used less profanity than Spider, for one thing (only just). The Hunter is a character within the book, and he seems to come from a place both beautiful and incredibly primal. I don’t even hear Ellis’ voice in him, which is something unexpected and delightful. And strange. I wonder if this heroes with anti-social behavior and villains with slick-smooth-fitting in behavior is a coincidence or willed. I’ll have to read everything he’s written to know, I guess.

The plot itself is utterly delicious. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the book, and if you’re not enticed by the plot, try it anyway. The mind of the hunter is like nothing I’ve ever read. Fluent madness, it’s so scary it’s beautiful. The details is Ellis through and through, though, and it shows. Take his description of Tallows breakfast (on page 121-122) for instance, or Bats joyous outburst of coffee. (page 150)

 «Fuck me», Bat gasped, «It’s like an agel shat ice cream coffee rainbows in my mouth».

Or the details in a kill, he describes the hunters emotions, the preparations and the mechanics of a kill, down to the bowel disposals of the one being killed.

Bat, a bi-character, a cool dude, a total goofball, comic relief chara perhaps, but he’s also someone you’d love to have as a friend. (At least I would.)

«Flows of shit» , muttered Bat, «I’d go insane, listening to that all day. It’s just a river of ‘Hey, this crazy, disgusting thing just happened, and hey, here’s another one, and another, and another, has your brain caught fire yet?’ It’s like disaster porn or something.»  (page 181)

Quite poetic, considering.

Bat stood in the open door and said «I am a crime scene unit detective from the New York City Police Department, you heinous fucking mongoloid, and there is nothing I cannot do.» page 192 

(I read this part when people were asleep, but I couldn’t stop myself from loudly going «HAHA!» victoriously.) (Also, how Spider is that? Bat fucking rocks.)

The stories from the police radio seems like stories urging to be told, all rambling pieces of a city broken by it’s own madness.

Gun machine is a book you should read, however many criteria you have to read a book, because it will rock your socks off.

9 out of 10 – although I’m not sure why there’s not 10. Maybe I wanted to read a more expanded ending. (I always do, don’t I.)

 

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