Customer Reviews


 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The hunter and the hunted
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...
Published on 21 Mar. 2013 by D. Harris

versus
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 story segments; there was just too much left to assumption. When I read he had a strong following in the comic world I could see why he wrote the story the way he did but it is a big jump I...
Published 18 months ago by A. F. Prestwich


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The hunter and the hunted, 21 Mar. 2013
By 
D. Harris (Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Gun Machine (Paperback)
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.

There are lighter moments - especially the relationship between Scarly and Bat, the truculent forensic scientists, and between Scarly and her wife Talia - and some fine observation and writing. For example, when the detective finds an old vinyl record which has been turned into an ashtray, he tenderly cleans it up to find what was on it and reveals "... a butterfly motif. That and the exposed white C meant the label was Chrysalis. A fossil brand... a pretty little butterfly that got eaten by a business spider that got eaten by a corporate bird that got eaten by a big multinational cat." There's an almost mythic sensibility to the book, with some characters only referred to by function and never named - "the hunter", "the lieutenant" - which both reduces them to their function but also rather oddly highlights them as characters.

The book isn't perfect - the plot perhaps depends too much on accidental encounters, and arguably it ends a bit suddenly - but the quality of the writing, the characters and the sheer overall verve more than make up for these.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly constructed, 9 Mar. 2013
By 
This review is from: Gun Machine (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Weird and wonderful, 8 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Gun Machine (Kindle Edition)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars insane genius, 4 Mar. 2013
By 
G. Davies - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Gun Machine (Kindle Edition)
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
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars I recently read the Trees graphic novel and thoroughly enjoyed it so searched for more of Ellis work, 13 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Gun Machine (Kindle Edition)
I recently read the Trees graphic novel and thoroughly enjoyed it so searched for more of Ellis work. I downloaded Gun Machine and was absorbed from the start. The theme of the killers obsession was very original, in my experience, and fascinatingly outlined with Manhattan old and new fading in and out of the hunters perception.
John Tallow is a clichéd NY cop but one you sympathise with from the beginning. Are CSU's as crazy as Scarly and Bat? Whatever the truth they make a great foil for Tallow and pepper the story with some necessary contrasting humour.
If you're looking for something a little different then I highly recommend Gun Machine.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars The principal antagonist's mind moves ethereally between Native American Mannahatta and contmeporary/near future Manhattan and t, 19 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Gun Machine (Paperback)
Reluctantly lone-wolf cop gets landed with a mystery (and a puzzle) that no one wants to touch. A lot of them don't want him to touch it either but he finds a determination in himself that he didn't know was there. The principal antagonist's mind moves ethereally between Native American Mannahatta and contmeporary/near future Manhattan and the history lesson is fed nicely though the narrative and not dumped. His characters are colourful (the women are great and strong), there is humour, and a tech type that takes you through some clever uses through to the solve. Good, pacy book. I'll read more of Ellis.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Not what I'd expected, but a good read nonetheless, 30 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Gun Machine (Paperback)
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 well-executed) crime thriller. I'm not usually a fan of the genre, but Ellis's style and storytelling skills won me over, and - although I didn't devour this novel as voraciously as I did 'CLV' - I was still very glad I read it. While it lacks the shocking and absurdist elements that flavoured a lot of Ellis' other writing, there's no arguing that it nonetheless tells a compelling story with aplomb and originality.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Huge potential....., 30 Jan. 2014
By 
A. F. Prestwich (West Sussex) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Gun Machine (Paperback)
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 story segments; there was just too much left to assumption. When I read he had a strong following in the comic world I could see why he wrote the story the way he did but it is a big jump I suspect from comic readers to serious crime equivalent. I loved the hero and his two eventual sidekicks made for a very enjoyable read and if he choses, a useful team for any future books involving our downtrodden hero.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Relies too much on coincidence, 25 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Gun Machine (Kindle Edition)
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.

The story is slight and largely predictable and relies on an implausible coincidence or two. There is a climatic scene that you can see coming as the elements were introduced and as cheesy as anything on a bad tv cop show. It's a shame, because so many of the details are strong. Ellis excels at characterisation and details, but his overreaching story needs some work.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars He did it again, 26 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Gun Machine (Paperback)
Solid. Funny. Gutsy. Entrancing. When Warren Ellis writes, be it a graphic novel or some fiction, you know that you'll have fun, you'll crave the next story bit like oxygen, you'll leave the book richer than before you started reading it. Crooked little vein was slightly a funnier read because it went OTT, Gun machine is more consistent, but never less tasty. A crazy cop - serial killer confrontation involving an apartment completely covered by deadly guns, a two-way hunt in the heart of NYC. Read on!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Gun Machine
Gun Machine by Warren Ellis (Hardcover - Jan. 2013)
Used & New from: £1.77
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews