Crooked Little Vein

Posted on August 2, 2007

I’ve never really been much of a fan-boy, so its rare to actually see any sort of “collection” in my collection of books. If you can call the disparate piles of books anything, “mess” would probably suit it best. There are almost no recurring themes in terms of authors, publishers, styles, or even genres. I haphazardly mix graphic novels and short-press chapbooks. Some pile on my mantle between my model ships and random assortments while others are tucked away in the myriad boxes that openly haunt my house. I live like a spartan and my humble collection of books shows it quite well.

However, if there is one author who does happen to have more than one piece of work in my mess, it would be Warren Ellis. I don’t really know why entirely yet. For all intents and purposes, his work can appear outright boring — his use of language, while colourful, always inhabits an extreme from page one. His characters are much the same, which gives his work that “if you’ve read him once, you’ve read it all” feeling. Still, I have managed to collect all of Transmetropolitan, a copy of Desolation Jones, and now Crooked Little Vein. It doesn’t encompass the breadth of his work, but it’s the only author other than William Gibson or Howard Jacobson who has more than one book in my pile.

Despite my vague criticisms however, Warren Ellis’ work is actually very exciting to read and Crooked Little Vein is a concoction of literary amphetamines. I’ve only made it to chapter five since the delivery guy dropped it on my desk at lunch — but I’m already having that twitchy craving to pick it up and read it until the final page. The first chapter is available online for free and despite my speculations after reading it; the following chapters are what really counts. It continually manages to get better, more eerie, and twisted. I have a feeling even Grindhouse might blush if it could read this slim volume.

Well… I can’t wait to finish it. If you haven’t got a copy yet, look for it on Amazon or something. Read it.

PS: Warren also posted a sample of Chapter 16 on his livejournal.