August 24th, 2007 | Work

From the August 20 issue:

Crooked Little Vein
By Warren Ellis, William Morrow; $21.95

If you?re looking for an antidote to the stifling formulae of genre fiction, this could be your book. But be warned: The first sentence has a rat pissing in our protagonist?s coffee cup, and that?s about the most normal thing that happens. It?s a detective story, and the plot is loony, involving the retrieval of a secret Constitution that U.S. presidents are supposed to pass on to each other. Ellis, a highly regarded graphic novelist, continually drives the reader to the edge of exasperation with his fetid imagination, and then, just as one?s thoughts turn to hurling the compact volume across the room, delivers a winning bit of totally bent humor.

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  1. You can find Warren on Twitter: @warrenellis