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Gun Machine by Warren Ellis
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Gun Machine (edition 2013)

by Warren Ellis

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2792640,505 (3.89)20
Member:oldflame
Title:Gun Machine
Authors:Warren Ellis
Info:Mulholland Books (2013)
Collections:Toronto, Your library (inactive)
Rating:*****
Tags:crime, police, new york city, history

Work details

Gun Machine by Warren Ellis

  1. 00
    Love is the Law by Nick Mamatas (Longshanks)
    Longshanks: An unconventional detective story with a dry, perceptive sense of humor.
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English (25)  German (1)  All languages (26)
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
I love Warren Ellis's comic work (like [b:Transmetropolitan, Vol. 1: Back on the Street|22416|Transmetropolitan, Vol. 1 Back on the Street|Warren Ellis|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320606005s/22416.jpg|23442]) so I was eager to read this novel.

It starts off interesting and builds well... interesting characters and an intriguing mystery. But then it kind of levels off towards the end and is really kind of unsatisfying. There's an ending, I guess, but it is anything but fulfilling. It's very much a story with a thrilling hunt and fascinating history that just kind of stops and says, "Yeah, that's cool and all, but here's this ending that doesn't really use all of that stuff we just talked about for 300 pages."

I enjoyed it, but the ending was just blah. ( )
  RottenArsenal | Jul 28, 2014 |
A compelling, creative premise for a police procedural--a cop stumbles on a shrine in a secure apartment in a Pearl St. tenement. The walls and floors are all covered with guns that, upon test firing a few of them, turn out to be linked to unsolved homicides.

In some ways it is a standard police procedural set in New York City. In other ways, it is a much darker, more surreal New York--every time he listens in to the police radio he hears about a string of brutality well beyond the magnitude/frequency served up the real city. And the villain of the book is responsible for hundreds of completely unsolved murders. And all of this is surrounded by "Manahhata"--the ancient Manhattan when it was populated, or co-populated, by Indians.

All of this makes for a fast-paced, interesting read. There is not much whodunnit suspense, you basically meet the character early on and his confederates are all pretty obvious too. It is more a question of whether and how he will be tracked down and stopped and what is the greater meaning of the "Gun Machine" he is building. ( )
  nosajeel | Jun 21, 2014 |
I was hooked by the beginning excerpt (the trailer and endorsement by Wil Wheaton didn't hurt either).

However, the story fizzles after the first 33%. It's a fantastic draw-in, just like any good comic book writer should do. There's no real twists or gotchas through the plot. Everything you thought was happening is what's happening. I guess my problem was that the promises set up by the beginning don't reflect the ending.

And what you think might be bizarre or supernatural turns out to be normal realism. It's called "Gun Machine" but there is no machine, much less one made of guns. Big locked door, guns in circles. You're thinking aliens? Cult ritual? Something ethereal (at least based on the trailer). And it turns out to be mundane.

That being said, the characters (especially the CSI forensics team) are fantastically written, as are the antagonists and the smart protagonists. It's a crime thriller written by a comic book writer, one who subscribes to the Neil Gaiman school of writing. That means it's sharp, short, and witty. I think it's worth a try. ( )
  theWallflower | Apr 9, 2014 |
I enjoyed the story, but found many of the leaps of logic far too coincidental for dramatic crime fiction. I liked the characters. Tallow, Bat and Scarly are an investigative team I'd enjoy visiting with again. I also liked the premise of the hunter and his gun machine of wampum magic.

However, the elements that bring it all together felt forced and lacking. Ellis provides a core team of a detective and two CSIs, but there isn't a lot of detective work done, nor a lot of scientific investigation that the reader gets to see. We know prints get run and previous cases are tied in through searching in computer databases...but it all feels a bit dry. And the big breaks are where the incredible happens...not because the team is good at what they do, but simply because they are lucky.

It's difficult to care about the central conflict when the main characters are succeeding because they are in the right places at the right times. There is very little in this book that made me feel as if the good guys wouldn't win. There just wasn't enough difficulty thrown in front of Tallow. Everything breaks his way. That doesn't make for tense reading.

I like Ellis and loved Crooked Little Vein. This felt like a watered down crime drama without direction or difficulty for the main character. It was entertaining, but not in a "I can't put this down" sort of way. ( )
  ExLibrisVita | Oct 1, 2013 |
Original and a little weird plot, interesting characters. I found sometimes author going on a tangent and in those cases it was becoming boring. Fortunately, there were not that many places like that. ( )
  everfresh1 | Sep 29, 2013 |
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For Ariana and Molly and Lydia and Angela and Niki and Lili
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On playing back 911 recording, it'd seem that Mrs. Stegman was more concerned that the man outside her apartment door was naked than that he had a big shotgun.
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This, he knew, was what he'd been avoiding. Seeing other people live lives. Something as mundane and utterly dull and ubiquitous in the world as watching one person cook for a loved one was crushing his heart in its plain little fist.
In my own defense, I was completely insane.
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After losing his partner in a shootout, Detective John Tallow discovers an apartment filled with guns that were each used in an unsolved murder stretching back over twenty years.

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