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Gun Machine by Warren Ellis
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Gun Machine (edition 2013)

by Warren Ellis

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3923427,329 (3.81)22
Member:sollocks
Title:Gun Machine
Authors:Warren Ellis
Info:Mulholland Books (2013), Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Fiction, Crime Fiction, Serial Killer, English Literature, England, New York, 2013

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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Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
My first contact with Warren Ellis.

When I started reading the book I only knew that the movie “Red” with Bruce Willis and Helen Mirren was based on a book written by him. Apart from that I had no idea who Warren Ellis was (now I know...), that is, what kind of books he'd written, what his Weltanschauung was, etc, etc.
What a fantastic book. Visceral" is the word that comes to mind after having finished it. Hard-boiled fiction of the highest calibre.

One the things that I really liked was his ability to make the main character, Tallow, make his realisations and advancements at the same moments as me the reader. There is no tiresome wait for the main character to realise what is really going on.

While reading it, I also kept thinking about one the best books I've read in 2012, "A Dark and Broken Heart" by R. J. Ellory. Both books impart the same gritty, shitty reality. Ellis also has a knack to make the most pedestrian scene or set of events pop off the page like it’s some secret history in the making. We get the feeling that something lurks under the surface. It's quite palpable and it's one hell of an experience.

Also on the plus side was the fact that it wasn't filed with the usual twists and turns so in vogue nowadays. Once you realize where the novel is headed you won’t be wholly surprised it went there. But what a ride it was!

One other thing that popped R. J. Ellory into my mind was the fully fleshed characters in the book: Tallow, Scarly, Bat, the Hunter,...

In my mind what remained after I finished it was not the story in itself, compelling as it was, but the quality and verve in Ellis’ prose.

"Crooked Little Vein" is already on the top of my 2013 TBR pile...
" ( )
  antao | Dec 10, 2016 |
This is one of the grittyiest, graphic crime novels I've read in a long time. It sets the tone almost from teh opening sentence. Detective John Tallow and his partner are responding to a disturbance in a tenement building that leads to a violent exchange of gunfire that leaves his partner and the criminal dead on the stairs. A hole in the wall from a stray bullet leads the police into a whole different kettle of fish. They find a highly secured apartment that is covered floor to ceiling with guns (lots of guns). Tallow and a CSI tem starts to research the trove and find that each gun was used in an unsolved murder. There are blanks in the mosaic, which means the killer isn't done yet.

The story style jumps points of view between Tallow, as he discovers a conspiracy that that threatens to undo his investigation, to the killer (only known as The Hunter) on the trail of his snext kill. Its graphic and it has an almost paranormal feel that kept engaged to see where the story was going to go. One thing that Ellis did that was interesting and different, was that every time Tallow was in his car, he turned on the police radio and we got to "hear" snippets of radio chatter about the most extreme crimes that were being reported throughout the city. It was almost like he had a file of all these wild, crazy scenarios that he wanted to get into the novel somehow. Pretty interesting technique that gave me the sense of a larger world that Tallow and his story were just running thru.

All in all, a very "enjoyable" story.

"The Hunter had time to kill. He was experiencing a thing that he'd come to think of as the exhaustion of revulsion"

8/10

S: 8/24/16 - F: 8/28/16 (5 Days) ( )
1 vote mahsdad | Sep 8, 2016 |
This was a fun quick read but I felt it would make a better movie than book ( )
  Hassanchop | Jul 4, 2016 |
A book full of action that is a quick read to boot! Nice, strong characters, like The Hunter, Detective John Tallow, and CSU agents, Bat and Scarly. The story is that three men turn a crazy killer on the loose in Manhattan, but the killer views it as both the modern Manhattan, and the older Mannahatta. And, the killer likes to keep the guns too - one gun for one kill that he carries out. When Detective Tallow accidentally stumbles upon the weapons cache in apartment 3A, arranged in a wampum pattern, all heck breaks loose! Fast and furious, the chase between Tallow and The Hunter burns up the pages right until the end! ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Jan 22, 2016 |
Serial killer in New York ( )
  mgriel | Jan 18, 2016 |
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Epigraph
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For Ariana and Molly and Lydia and Angela and Niki and Lili
First words
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.
Quotations
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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