Crooked Little Vein

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Crooked Little Vein
First US edition cover
AuthorWarren Ellis
CountryUnited States
GenreHardboiled detective, transgressive fiction, thriller
PublisherWilliam Morrow
Publication date
July 24, 2007
Media typePrint (Hardback)
Pages304 (first edition, hardback)
ISBN0-06-072393-9 (first edition, hardback)
813/.6 22
LC ClassPS3555.L61717 C76 2007

Crooked Little Vein is the first novel by comic book writer Warren Ellis, published by William Morrow on July 24, 2007.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]

The novel is written in the first-person, similar to much of the hardboiled detective genre. The book was based on research material posted on Ellis' websites, mostly odd news items and disturbing pictures from the web that the author had found or had been sent.

The novel has been translated into Spanish, German, French, Czech, and Italian.[8]

Plot summary[edit]

Michael McGill, a burned-out private eye is hired by a corrupt, heroin-addicted White House Chief of Staff to find a second "secret" United States Constitution, which had been lost in a whorehouse by Richard Nixon. What follows is a scavenger hunt across America, exposing its seedier side along the way. McGill is joined by a college student, Trix, who is writing a thesis on sexual fetishes.

McGill has to deal with strange events sometimes unrelated to his adventures – he describes himself as a "shit-magnet", with weird phenomena following him wherever he goes.

Critical reception[edit] reviewer Jonathan Lasser called Crooked Little Vein "an ace put-up job" and wrote that it was "evidence that freedom is more valuable than repression".[9]

Whitney Pastorek, reviewing for Entertainment Weekly, noted that the work "is not for the faint of heart" and that Ellis has "got a bright future outside of the picture books".[10]


  1. ^ Pastorek, Whitney (July 17, 2007). "Crooked Little Vein". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 16, 2009.
  2. ^ Berry, Michael (August 19, 2007). "Science Fiction & Fantasy: Demons, mental and physical, abound". Retrieved March 16, 2009.
  3. ^ Grainger, James (August 12, 2007). "A comic book hero sends up America". Toronto. Retrieved March 16, 2009.
  4. ^ Lalumière, Claude (January 28, 2008). "Claude Lalumière's 2007: Recommended Reading". Retrieved March 16, 2009. Politically radical, outrageously extreme, surprisingly tender, and always entertaining, this debut novel mixes the conventions the hardboiled detective story, the political thriller, the sexual odyssey, and magic realism.
  5. ^ Weinman, Sarah (December 9, 2007). "Favorite Books of 2007 - Crime spree". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 16, 2009. And then there is comic king Warren Ellis' debut prose novel, "Crooked Little Vein" (William Morrow), a heart-shredding work of scatological brilliance that gleefully annihilates private-eye tropes and pole-vaults over taste lines.
  6. ^ Weinman, Sarah. "When graphic novelists turn to prose, the result is something wicked". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on January 27, 2013. Retrieved March 16, 2009.
  7. ^ Klonick, Kate (August 8, 2007). "Normal Isn't Creepy". Esquire. Retrieved March 16, 2009.
  8. ^ "Comunicato Stampa". Comicus. September 30, 2009. Archived from the original on July 22, 2011. Retrieved September 30, 2009.
  9. ^ "Crooked Little Vein by Warren Ellis, Book Review". Archived from the original on September 12, 2007. Retrieved August 30, 2014.
  10. ^ "Book Review: Crooked Little Vein, by Warren Ellis". Entertainment Weekly.

External links[edit]