…An effed up book, but a book nonetheless. Now you may be asking yourself, “What’s the big deal? So you read a book. You’re a writer, right? Writers are supposed to read.” Well, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m horrible when it comes to reading as much as I should. Compound my generallackadisical attitude toward reading with the limited amount of time that I actually have to “curl up with a good book” and it turns out that finishing a book in the past couple of years has turned out to be nothing short of a minor feat.
The object of my accomplishment was Crooked Little Vein, a novel by Warren Ellis. It was a quick read that could probably be finished in a day or two — but because of my reading habits it of course it took me a couple of weeks. I read it mostly while flying on business or in my doctor’s waiting room. I’ve recently had to go in for a number of tests and I tell you, the Phlebotomy Techs got a kick out of the title of the book. Anyway, it’s not a book that I’d recommend to my Mom — like I stated, it’s an effed up book. To be honest, it wasn’t the fact that the book was written by a well-known comic book writer that initially had me picking it up (at a comic book shop nonetheless) . It was the fact that it looked like a quick read — small in size with 277 pages broken up into 57 chapters — a book for a reader with a short attention span.
It may appear that Ellis is out to simply shock the reader with various exploits of America’s perverse sexual underbelly with scenarios “so far out there” piled on top of each other without letting up for a chance to catch one’s breath. There’s not a lot of weighty subtext with a book like this. It was something similar to what I might compare to the literary equivalent of one of those bizarre fun house rides operated by carnies missing a chromosome or two on the county fair midway. But when I read the last page, closed the book, and tossed it on the floor next to my bed, I felt satisfied. That, and I’m a sucker for down on their luck detective stories.