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Gun Machine by Warren Ellis

Gun Machine (edition 2013)

by Warren Ellis

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3142935,401 (3.85)21
Title:Gun Machine
Authors:Warren Ellis
Info:Mulholland Books (2013), Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Fiction, Crime Fiction, Serial Killer, English Literature, England, City Book: New York, 2013

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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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Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
I bought this novel without reading anything about it, simply because it was written by Warren Ellis. I was not disappointed. ( )
  FourOfFiveWits | Feb 23, 2015 |
Gun Machine has an awesome premise; an NYPD detective stumbles upon a bizarre apartments lined with guns from floor to ceiling, arranged in intricate patterns. Each gun is not only linked to a famous murder, the entire collection also seems to correspond to a seemingly unrelated homicide from the past 20 years. When the entire case is dumped on his shoulders, Tallow finds himself tracking a killer who may have connections to the most powerful people in New York City.

Unfortunately, the actual story ends up seeming smaller than initial premise suggests. While the initial set up suggests something much larger and possibly supernatural, the actual solution to the case is smaller and more mundane. The guns and their overall meaning is more incidental to the conspiracy backing the killer.

While the killer ultimately remains an enigma, his identity is never a mystery. The story is instead more of a cat and mouse game, where Tallow and two eccentric CSU officers must ultimately outwit not only the murderer but his wealthy and powerful connections. It’s definitely enjoyable, and I’m glad I read it, but I still came out a bit disappointed. ( )
  lisally | Feb 15, 2015 |
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 |
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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.
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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