Crooked Little Vein

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Crooked Little Vein
Crooked Little Vein.jpg
First US edition cover
Author Warren Ellis
Country United States
Language English
Genre Hardboiled detective, transgressive fiction, thriller
Publisher William Morrow
Publication date
July 24, 2007
Media type Print (Hardback)
Pages 304 pp (first edition, hardback)
ISBN 0-06-072393-9 (first edition, hardback)
OCLC 80361435
813/.6 22
LC Class PS3555.L61717 C76 2007

Crooked Little Vein is the first novel by established 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 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 surreal college student side-kick, 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 takes pains to note 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). 20046868,00.html "Crooked Little Vein" Check |url= value (help). Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2009-03-16. 
  2. ^ Berry, Michael (August 19, 2007). "Science Fiction & Fantasy: Demons, mental and physical, abound". Retrieved 2009-03-16. 
  3. ^ Grainger, James (August 12, 2007). "A comic book hero sends up America". Toronto: Retrieved 2009-03-16. 
  4. ^ Lalumière, Claude (January 28, 2008). "Claude Lalumière's 2007: Recommended Reading". Retrieved 2009-03-16. 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 2009-03-16. 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. Retrieved 2009-03-16. [dead link]
  7. ^ Klonick, Kate (August 8, 2007). "Normal Isn't Creepy". Esquire. Retrieved 2009-03-16. 
  8. ^ "Comunicato Stampa". September 30, 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-30.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  9. ^ "Crooked Little Vein by Warren Ellis, Book Review". Retrieved 2014-08-30. 
  10. ^ 20046868,00.html "Book Review: Crooked Little Vein, by Warren Ellis" Check |url= value (help). Entertainment Weekly. 

External links[edit]