Thursday, July 19, 2007

Initial Thoughts on Crooked Little Vein

I spent this afternoon (or chunks of it) reading Crooked Little Vein, which arrived via today (along with the third Punisher MAX hardcover). So, how does Warren Ellis' first novel read?

Rather well.

First, a couple of things that are really meaningless, but worth mentioning: the book itself is smaller than the average hardcover and I like this size better. Easier to hold while reading. Also, I do like how Ellis' comic work is included at the front where the usual "other works by the author" bit is. All creator-owned stuff, obviously--as well as Come in Alone and Available Light. It makes a lot of sense to include these works.

Now, the actual book: it's pretty much what you'd expect Warren Ellis to write. Hell, longtime fans of Ellis may find themselves wondering if they'd read it before because it's steeped heavily in the style Ellis has, well, always written in. I think only a few bits actually seem like they've been taken from previous works and altered a little. The most obvious thing that I recognised was "They want to fuck Godzilla."

The pace is brisk and light with really short chapters. My favourites are the ones that only last a few lines, because that's usually when the humour comes in. And the book is wonderfully funny. It's not often that I laugh out loud while reading, but I did throughout this.

I actually don't feel like discussing it in much more detail just because the book hasn't been widely released/discussed yet. Needless to say, it's a good book. It also happened to come out at a time when I've been reading Chandler and generally been in the mood for detective fiction, so that's another plus for it (although, I don't see that translating to too many others necessarily).