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Gun Machine [Paperback]

Warren Ellis
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
RRP: 13.99
Price: 12.70 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

3 Jan 2013

This morning Detective John Tallow was bored with his job.

Then there was this naked guy with a shotgun, and his partner getting killed, and now Tallow has a real problem: an apartment full of guns. Old guns. Modified guns. Arranged in rows and spirals on the floor and walls. Hundreds of them.

Each weapon is tied to a single unsolved murder. Which means Tallow has uncovered two decades' worth of homicides that no one knew to connect and a killer unlike anything that came before.

Tallow's bosses don't want him to solve the case. The murderer just wants him to die. But there's a pattern hiding behind the deaths, and if Tallow can figure it out he might even make it out alive.

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Gun Machine + Crooked Little Vein: A Novel (P.S.) + Warren Ellis Crecy
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Mulholland Books (3 Jan 2013)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 1444730649
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444730647
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15.2 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 242,785 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


A magnificently entertaining gun held to the head of the crime thriller genre (Guardian)

GUN MACHINE sees Ellis grab hold of the mainstream by its windpipe and demand acceptance; a perfectly flawless crime book with a feral glint in its eye. (Independent on Sunday)

If only other police procedurals had half the gumption and imaginative power of this novel. (Big Issue)

A dazzling oasis in the desert of grimly identical police procedurals (Financial Times)

Sick, slick and very funny...[Ellis] doesn't need pictures to create his gripping, grave new world (Daily Telegraph)

'[Ellis] turns to conventional crime fiction with startling success...powerful writing and vast imagination' (The Times)

Ellis tackles the police procedural, although it's bloodier and more intriguing than any episode of Law & Order or CSI, and arms it with gallows humor, high-tension action scenes and an unlikely hero. (USA Today)

Just about everything in GUN MACHINE, Warren Ellis's dark but pleasingly quirky crime thriller, is a little bit off, not quite what you'd expect...In his way Tallow is almost as weird as the hunter, and yet he's also oddly endearing, so single-minded you can't help rooting for him. (New York Times)

Never stops to draw breath. It's a monster of a book, bowel-looseningly scary in places, darkly uproarious in others, and remorseless as the killer who hunts in its pages...particularly good, even by the high standards of a Warren Ellis tale. (Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing)

Hellish fun (Ian Rankin)

A mad police procedural just north of the border of dark fantasy. Delightful. (William Gibson)

GUN MACHINE never lets go of the reader and never flags in its relentless pace. In the course of 300 tightly wound pages, Ellis unloads a full clip of ideas, black humor, character, and copper-sheathed action scenes. Every sentence is a bullseye. (Joe Hill)

Underneath the pyrotechnic prose lies a perfectly paced mystery thriller. Ellis gets it so right. (Mike Carey)

Sharp, dangerous, beautifully observed... Some things about Warren Ellis's writing never change, including - I imagine - his ability to make even maniacs worry that they're boringly sane. (Jon Courtenay Grimwood)

GUN MACHINE is packing heat: wonderfully demented misfits, killer dialogue, a helluva story. Warren Ellis is a twisted genius and this is his grittiest, sexiest, and best work by far. (Lauren Beukes)

GUN MACHINE redraws the crime map of Manhattan; Ellis's bizarre, febrile imagination and mordant wit makes a serial killer thriller for a new century. (Charles Stross)

Book Description

An apartment full of guns. A hundred unsolved murders. An explosive, utterly unique crime novel from world-famous comics writer Warren Ellis.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The hunter and the hunted 21 Mar 2013
I loved this.

While in its theme the book is loosely a police procedural, it's actually a lot odder and more interesting. The premise is simple. A disenchanted policeman in (possibly near future?) New York City stumbles on an apartment in a condemned building that contains hundreds of guns. There are guns everywhere - on the floors and the walls, arranged in bizarre patterns. Each has, it seems, been used to kill recently: but also, to commit a historic murder.

Our detective should have been sent off duty after a traumatic incident. Instead, he's assigned to investigate this stockpile of murder - with no partner, and almost no resources (he's allocated the most truculent and obstructive forensics team imaginable). Has he been set up to fail?

It's a short book, but Ellis packs in a lot of compelling mystery. What's the relationship between the old Native American trackways of Manna Hatta island and the streets of modern New York City, built over them? How do the strange information pathways of the finance industry relate to both? And how do the killings arise from these? What is the killer's purpose? What is the point of the gun collection?

We see the reaction of the killer to the loss of his hoard of weapons, and Ellis almost makes him a sympathetic figure - until one horrific scene which brings home the savagery of what's been going on. The whole story is set against a background of constant, random and gruesome crime called in over our cop's radio, giving an almost apocalyptic sense of societal disintegration as a counterpoint to the killings which are the focus of the story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly constructed 9 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Incredible concept, great characterisations - good and bad -
and a really well-constructed story that pulls you in and won't let you go.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A roller coaster ride 16 May 2013
By Marat
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Fast paced thriller that must be the basis for a great film.So American in its style of hard boiled fiction it's amazing the author lives in Essex!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Weird and wonderful 8 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you know Warren Ellis' other works, then you know you're in safe hands.if you don't, then be prepared to go on a journey that reminds you how much you enjoy detective stories and how much you don't know about New York.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars insane genius 4 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Warren Ellis' second book seems more mainstream than the fetishpulp of his first (crooked little vein). But only until you realise that the veneer of procedural cop fiction covers a heart of near future weird. Brilliant
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fast, furious and immensely fun 9 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Hard-hitting prose that leaves you gasping for air. Poetic imagery and vivid characterization makes this an unforgettable read. I could almost smell the hot air steaming through the holes in NY's tarmac.
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2.0 out of 5 stars started well, ended poorly 31 Mar 2014
By Orinoco
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was my first time reading a book by Warren Ellis & I regret to say I wasn't impressed. The story started well and kept my interest until about half way. Then it became predictable and relied on co-incidences to keep the plot going. The supporting characters were uninteresting and reminded me of 1) comic characters & 2) characters from American police TV programs. A good point was the linking of present and past Manhattan. However, this wasn't enough to save the story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars dark, funny and gripping 26 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love Warren Ellis' work in comic books so took no convincing that a novel of his would be good and was not disappointed. I love the characters and the dialogue, with the descriptions it almost makes you wish there was a graphic nobel to come
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Not what I'd expected, but a good read nonetheless
I'd been half-expecting another 'Crooked Little Vein' when I bought this, so I was surprised to find myself reading a more or less conventional (although solidly crafted and... Read more
Published 2 months ago by SQG
3.0 out of 5 stars Huge potential.....
I really enjoyed this book and wished I could have give it more stars but for the future if Warren Ellis wants to be a mainstream writer he needs to improve the linkage between the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by A. F. Prestwich
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Warren Ellis, you need another reason?
Author of Transmetroplitan, Warren Ellis is a brilliant writer. If you have even a slightly 'unusual' sense of humour or the desire to read something strange, deeply amusing and... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mr. P. Wray
3.0 out of 5 stars Relies too much on coincidence
I really, really wanted to love this book. I could damn it with faint praise and say it is a better book than Warren Ellis' first novel, but it's just too anaemic. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Nicholas Goodchild
4.0 out of 5 stars Smart
Detective Tallow's world changes when he investigates one if New York's many crimes.

Clever and witty police mystery, with great characters and some nice humour.
Published 9 months ago by
5.0 out of 5 stars Just fantastic!
PIcked this one up having never read any of Ellis' stuff before and was very agreeably surprised! Starts off with the pace of Neuromancer or Snow Crash but manages to maintain it... Read more
Published 9 months ago by DJH Rangdale
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly ...
... brilliant. Probably the best crime thriller I've read in ages. Well done, Warren! I'll now be catching up on more of your titles.
Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Off Kilter Policier
I'm a fan of Warren Ellis as a a comic book writer and while I've enjoyed his novels, this one included, they don't have quite the confidence of his other work. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Tom O
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