Gun Machine
  • Gun Machine
  • Gun Machine

Gun Machine

4.0 23
by Warren Ellis
     
 

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John Tallow est un flic new-yorkais typique : célibataire, désabusé, plus trop dans le coup. Son équipier de toujours, lui, c'est le bon flic, celui que tout le monde aime. Ils sont appelés pour intervenir dans un immeuble décati de Pearl Street, où un forcené en surpoids nu comme un ver hurle et tire sur tout ce qui bouge dans… See more details below

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Overview

John Tallow est un flic new-yorkais typique : célibataire, désabusé, plus trop dans le coup. Son équipier de toujours, lui, c'est le bon flic, celui que tout le monde aime. Ils sont appelés pour intervenir dans un immeuble décati de Pearl Street, où un forcené en surpoids nu comme un ver hurle et tire sur tout ce qui bouge dans la cage d'escalier. Rosato monte le premier, se fait exploser le cerveau devant Tallow, impuissant, qui est éclaboussé des restes gluants et visqueux de son co-équipier. Fou de rage, il décharge son flingue sur le forcené et défonce en même temps le mur d’un appartement. Quand les techniciens de scène de crime arrivent sur place, ils tombent nez à nez avec une centaine d'armes, fixées sur les murs, du sol au plafond... Des armes qui semblent correspondre à des meurtres non élucidés. Convoqué par sa supérieure, Tallow se fait passer un savon. Le meilleur flic de la brigade est mort et les voilà avec un arsenal d'armes relié à des cold cases sur les bras. Sa punition : démêler l’affaire avec pour seule aide deux bras cassés. Une journée qui commence très mal...
Traduit de l’anglais (Royaume-Uni) par Claire Breton

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times - Charles McGrath
…dark but pleasingly quirky…[Ellis's] writing…races along in crisp hard-boiled fashion…the book's real achievement is to create a world that is so bleakly and comically out of whack that the hunter has half a point, taking refuge in a fantasy land where civilization has yet to intrude.
The New York Times Book Review - Marilyn Stasio
…Warren Ellis has a terrific way with words. Many of the best ones in Gun Machine can't be shared here, and neither can some of the book's extraordinarily violent descriptions. But good is good, and Ellis is a seriously good writer with a seriously wicked imagination.
Publishers Weekly
Reviewed by Jason Starr. In Warren Ellis's riveting new thriller, Manhattan is under siege by the most prolific serial killer in New York City's history. During an exchange of gunfire outside an apartment on Pearl Street, NYPD detective John Tallow's partner is killed by a naked gunman. In the aftermath, Tallow makes a surprising discovery when he pokes through a wall into an apartment near the crime scene: dozens of guns arranged in what seems to be an ordered pattern. Matters are complicated when he learns that the guns are connected to unsolved homicides over the past 20 years, and one of the weapons is the Bulldog .44 used by the Son of Sam, stolen from an evidence room in the Bronx. The killer who calls himself The Hunter -- we are introduced to him early on -- is a delusional schizophrenic who believes that he lives in old New York. The chapters from the Hunter's point of view are particularly effective, as Ellis writes in a close third-person voice, letting us in on the distorted thoughts of a mad man: "Parts of New Manhattan dropped out of his sensorium. He could smell oak, pine, and sweet birch. Heard a flock of plovers clatter out of the treetops in fright." Tallow, who has fallen out of his lieutenant's favor, is given the seemingly insurmountable task of investigating dozens of unsolved murders and ultimately tracking down the Hunter. While the novel has the basic structure of a cat-and-mouse serial killer thriller, Ellis does a fine job of adding a highly unusual spin on the genre. The Hunter is obsessed with New York City's history; through his thoughts we experience glimpses into the city's past, and the explanation for the gun trophies from his crimes is inspired. Tallow's investigation of the guns is fascinating as well, and he rises to the occasion and proves to be a tough, clever, likable hero. Primarily known as a prolific writer of comics and graphic novels (Transmetroplitan, Hellblazer), Ellis makes his second foray into prose novel writing after Crooked Little Vein, and his visual skill and attention to detail is evident, especially in his depiction of violence: "The hunter drove his knife through her hard palate and twisted. She died right there, and the only sound she made was the splashing of all the blood in her head falling out of her mouth and onto the concrete floor." Ellis, a U.K. native, writes about New York and New Yorkers with no missteps, and while his vision of the city is that of an ultra-violent hellhole where vicious murders are commonplace, he peppers the narrative with humor and vivid descriptions of violence that are simultaneously beautiful and terrifying. Ultimately, the vivid violent set pieces stand out, especially in the final confrontation between Tallow and the Hunter. Gun Machine propels the multitalented Ellis, already a household name in the world of comics, into the ranks of the best crime writers in the business. (Jan.) Jason Starr is the international bestselling author of many crimes novels, including The Follower and Panic Attack, and writes the ongoing Marvel Comics series Wolverine Max. Jason Starr is the international bestselling author of many crime novels, including The Follower and Panic Attack, and writes the ongoing Marvel Comics series Wolverine Max.
Wired
"Warren Ellis's work displays a knack for mad hilarity, merciless action, dark cynicism and incorruptible bravery."
From the Publisher
"Warren Ellis has a terrific way with words...vivid [with] fully fleshed characters...a seriously good writer with a seriously wicked imagination."—Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review"

GUN MACHINE has a bunch of Ellis' signature gestures: characters with resonant names or no names at all, nightmarish near-future (and recent-past) gizmos, constant and gleeful vulgarity...The brutal cat-and-mouse game between Tallow and the killer suggests that the chaos of human malice can gum up even law enforcement's most elegant systems. More deeply, though, GUN MACHINE is about the ways the grimmer parts of America's history can ooze into the present day, and in particular about the country's deep, horrible connection to firearms."—Douglas Wolk, Los Angeles Times"

A pleasingly quirky crime thriller...Tallow is oddly endearing, so single-minded you can't help rooting for him...There is nothing comic-bookish about [Ellis's] writing, which races along in crisp hard-boiled fashion."—Cip McGrath, New York Times"

Wonderful...a blast...barbs that should have the scriptwriters for Bones scribbling on napkins. More fun than I've had out of a crime novel in a long time."—Michael Robbins, Chicago Tribune"

Bloodier and more intriguing than any episode of Law & Order or CSI...gallows humor and high-tension action."—Brian Truitt, USA Today"

From the wrenching violence of its first pages to its bone-jarring conclusion, Gun Machine never lets go of the reader and never flags in its relentless pace. In the course of 300 tightly wound pages, Ellis unloads a full clip of ideas, black humor, character, and copper-sheathed action scenes. Every sentence is a bullseye."—Joe Hill, author of A Heart-Shaped Box and Horns"

Gun Machine is packing heat: wonderfully demented misfits, killer dialogue, a helluva story. Warren Ellis is a twisted genius and this is his grittiest, sexiest, and best work by far."
Lauren Beukes, Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning author of Zoo City and Moxyland"

GUN MACHINE redraws the crime map of Manhattan; Ellis's bizarre, febrile imagination and mordant wit makes a serial killer thriller for a new century."—Charles Stross, author of Accelerando and Singularity Sky"

Underneath the pyrotechnic prose lies a perfectly paced mystery thriller. Ellis gets it so right."—Mike Carey, author of The Devil You Know

William Gibson
"A mad police procedural just north of the border of dark fantasy. Delightful."
C.A. Bridges
"The dialogue is rapid and witty, the action moves along, the city and its inhabitants are wonderfully violent, and the cat-and-mouse plot is satisfyingly solid...Ellis, an Englishman, completely nails New York and New Yorkers."
Douglas Wolk
"GUN MACHINE has a bunch of Ellis' signature gestures: characters with resonant names or no names at all, nightmarish near-future (and recent-past) gizmos, constant and gleeful vulgarity...The brutal cat-and-mouse game between Tallow and the killer suggests that the chaos of human malice can gum up even law enforcement's most elegant systems. More deeply, though, GUN MACHINE is about the ways the grimmer parts of America's history can ooze into the present day, and in particular about the country's deep, horrible connection to firearms."
Darren Richard Carlaw
"GUN MACHINE gives the fast paced, visceral detective story a sublime new treatment. Here is a book anyone interested in the Big Apple should read--it is not only a hunt for an unforgettable killer, but a quest to exhume the many New Yorks that have evaded our eye."
Joe Hill
"From the wrenching violence of its first pages to its bone-jarring conclusion, Gun Machine never lets go of the reader and never flags in its relentless pace. In the course of 300 tightly wound pages, Ellis unloads a full clip of ideas, black humor, character, and copper-sheathed action scenes. Every sentence is a bullseye."
Lauren Beukes
"Gun Machine is packing heat: wonderfully demented misfits, killer dialogue, a helluva story. Warren Ellis is a twisted genius and this is his grittiest, sexiest, and best work by far."
Jason Starr
"Riveting. Inspired. Ellis does a fine job of adding a highly unusual spin on the genre. Ellis, a U.K. native, writes about New York and New Yorkers with no missteps, and while his vision of the city is that of an ultra-violent hellhole where vicious murders are commonplace, he peppers the narrative with humor and vivid descriptions of violence that are simultaneously beautiful and terrifying. Gun Machine propels the multitalented Ellis, already a household name in the world of comics, into the ranks of the best crime writers in the business."
Marilyn Stasio
"Warren Ellis has a terrific way with words...vivid [with] fully fleshed characters...a seriously good writer with a seriously wicked imagination."
Brian Truitt
"Bloodier and more intriguing than any episode of Law & Order or CSI...gallows humor and high-tension action."
Charles McGrath
"A pleasingly quirky crime thriller...Tallow is oddly endearing, so single-minded you can't help rooting for him...There is nothing comic-bookish about [Ellis's] writing, which races along in crisp hard-boiled fashion."
Michael Robbins
"Wonderful...a blast...barbs that should have the scriptwriters for Bones scribbling on napkins. More fun than I've had out of a crime novel in a long time."
Ian Rankin
"Hellish fun."
Cip McGrath
"A pleasingly quirky crime thriller...Tallow is oddly endearing, so single-minded you can't help rooting for him...There is nothing comic-bookish about [Ellis's] writing, which races along in crisp hard-boiled fashion."
Charles Stross
"GUN MACHINE redraws the crime map of Manhattan; Ellis's bizarre, febrile imagination and mordant wit makes a serial killer thriller for a new century."
Cory Doctorow
"Gun Machine is a novel that never stops to draw breath. It's a monster of a book, bowel-looseningly scary in places, darkly uproarious in others, and remorseless as the killer who hunts in its pages...[GUN MACHINE] is particularly good, even by the high standards of a Warren Ellis tale."
Nick Harkaway
"Ellis has a knack for taking familiar pop culture shapes and making them new and remarkable. He's also funny, inventive, and into the bargain he can sneak pathos on you when you aren't looking. Oh, and he does great character and dialogue.

"GUN MACHINE is very, very Ellis. A detective hunting a serial killer in Manhattan could be totally run of the mill, but it isn't. In that respect the book reminds me of Josh Bazell's brilliant Beat The Reaper or one of Carl Hiaasen's off-kilter thrillers: it's acutely witty, a bit haunting, and huge fun."

Christine Tran
Gun Machine is built around a trio of intoxicating weirdoes who twist the mold of the familiar detective-and-forensic-specialist combo. Strong interplay between historic Manahatta (think Native American) and technology's future role in policing creates a big-picture backdrop for catch-the-crazy-killer thrills. Lisa Black fans and those who love quirky characters in a high-stakes police procedural will find plenty to like here."
Mike Carey
"Underneath the pyrotechnic prose lies a perfectly paced mystery thriller. Ellis gets it so right."
Brian Michael Bendis
"Warren Ellis is one of the greatest writers of my generation not to mention my personal favorite. GUN MACHINE is a perfect example of why. Fiercely entertaining, compellingly crafted, and filled with big ideas and small that make the writer in me growl: damn, I wish I would've thought of that."
Library Journal
John Tallow is having a rough day. His partner is killed by a naked lunatic with a shotgun, and the investigation of the crime scene uncovers an unused apartment bristling with guns from all time periods. There is a pattern to the disturbing collection, however, that reaches back to a dead language of magic, incantations, and totems. The case of the hidden Manhattan steel stash is given exclusively to Tallow, who reluctantly takes it on only to discover the room’s contents are linked to hundreds of crimes.

Verdict Ellis, author of Crooked Little Vein, and winner of many comic book writing awards, has written a compact and inventive thriller mapping out murder in New York. It hooks the reader from page one and remains entertaining until the end. Fans of edgy thrillers will be impressed. [See Prepub Alert, 7/15/12.]—Russell Miller, Prescott P.L., AZ(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Reviews
Manhattan's Native American past and seedy present merge in an inventive police procedural by graphic novelist and screenwriter Ellis (Crooked Little Vein, 2007, etc.). John Tallow is a demoralized NYPD cop who, in this book's opening sequence, has good reason to check out entirely: His partner is shot dead when they respond to a call to investigate a naked gunman in a run-down tenement. Worse, Tallow discovers a massive cache of guns in the apartment that turn out to be connected to dozens of homicides, some dating back decades. With a massive stack of newly reopened cold cases now attached to his name, Tallow is persona non grata at the precinct. But his newfound survival instinct pushes him to uncover the perpetrator and recover his good name. This book is thick with some familiar types: the brilliant but socially inept officers who help Tallow conduct his investigation, the corrupt top brass, the cocksure CEO standing between Tallow and the truth, the trophy wife hiding an important secret. But Ellis is entertainingly fixated on showing how one of the centers of civilization can't tame its wildness. The "hunter" responsible for the murders is a sociopath consumed by double visions of the city, past and present; his cache of guns was arranged in a wampum pattern, and much of the climactic action focuses on Werpoes, a former Native American settlement in what's now lower Manhattan. As serial-killer rationalizations and behaviors go, the hunter's is complicated, but Ellis' prose couldn't be more clean: His hero is a deep well of noirish bons mots, and sequences featuring police radio reports of humanity's daily degradations give the novel a grim but surprisingly poetic lift. The high concept doesn't entirely cohere, but more crime fiction could stand to overreach like this.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316215251
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
01/01/2013
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
233,672
File size:
1 MB

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What People are saying about this

Lauren Beukes

Gun Machine is packing heat: wonderfully demented misfits, killer dialogue, a helluva story. Warren Ellis is a twisted genius and this is his grittiest, sexiest, and best work by far. —Lauren Beukes, author of The Shining Girls

Joe Hill

From the wrenching violence of its first pages to its bone-jarring conclusion, Gun Machine never lets go of the reader and never flags in its relentless pace. In the course of 300 tightly wound pages, Ellis unloads a full clip of ideas, black humor, character, and copper-sheathed action scenes. Every sentence is a bullseye. —Joe Hill, author of A Heart-Shaped Box

William Gibson

A mad police procedural just north of the border of dark fantasy. Delightful. —William Gibson, author of Neuromancer, Pattern Recognition and Spook Country

Stross Beukes

Gun Machine redraws the crime map of Manhattan; Ellis's bizarre, febrile imagination and mordant wit makes a serial killer thriller for a new century. (Charles Stross, author of Rule 34, Accelerando and Singularity Sky)

Brian Michael Bendis

Warren Ellis is one of the greatest writers of my generation not to mention my personal favorite. GUN MACHINE is a perfect example of why. Fiercely entertaining, compellingly crafted, and filled with big ideas and small that make the writer in me growl: damn, I wish I would've thought of that. —Brian Michael Bendis, writer of The Avengers, Ultimate Spider-Man, and Ultimate X-Men

Charles Stross

Gun Machine redraws the crime map of Manhattan; Ellis's bizarre, febrile imagination and mordant wit makes a serial killer thriller for a new century. —Charles Stross, author of Rule 34, Accelerando and Singularity Sky

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