Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Book Review: Crooked Little Vein (2007)

This month I decided to step out of the sort of fiction I usually read and checked out Warren Ellis's 2007 novel Crooked Little Vein: A Novel. It was a pretty quick read, so here's a book review for you:

The Plot

Down-on-his luck private detective Michael McGill is hired by the rather conservative White House Chief of Staff to find a supposed backup copy of the U.S. Constitution that the man is convinced will restore the United States to a much more moral, pristine state. Between coercion from Secret Service and the prospect of an unlimited expense account, Michael sets off on an adventure through the sleazy underbelly of the United States.

The Good

*The book is quite amusing. I particularly enjoyed it when Michael and his love interest Trix visit Texas and a ranch belonging to a powerful conservative political family who are not the Bushes (look at my eye it's winking see). There's political satire, there's over-the-top sexual or vulgar humor, and there's this delightfully insane combination of both.

*In general, the voice Ellis uses for Michael is really smart-alecky and really funny. He's a fun character to follow on his epic journey through some of the weirdest places in the United States imaginable.

*The book isn't very long and moves along nicely, so it's a quick, fun read.

The Bad

*I found the extremely lowbrow Refuge in Audacity type humor to be pretty funny, but not everybody will.

*Its shortness can work against it. It's not a slog, but there could be more room for further insane adventures.

The Verdict

It's a quick, amusing read that I recommend getting from the library because reading it once is fine. 8.5 out of 10.

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