this was loaned to my by s. she had told me about her boyfriend reading it and i had loaned him "transmetropolitan", and he in turn sent this my way. within the first chapter i thought to myself, "wow, this is the singularly most depraved, degenerate, deviant book i've ever read." and yet, i kept reading it. partially for the train wreck effect of reading something that makes your eyeballs hurt, and partly for the fact that it was written by warren ellis, and i highly respect his contributions to the world of comics. anyway, turns out i'm glad i did continue reading it because this novel really is more than just a shock-fest. it's a look at modern america, a country that has seemingly left behind those halcyon roots that were so evident to the world in the 50s. it is about a country quickly travelling downhill, and asking the question if it is really so bad that society is not so strait-laced anymore. it is a redefining of the mainstream and our definition for what is mainstream. if i can find it on the internet it must be mainstream because the internet is mainstream. it is a novel populated with serial killers, junkie politicians and much much worse. it is also a story about a man who thinks he has finally hit bottom being given another chance at the top, and while he's at it finding love. it's a bit of a weird balance, but ellis makes it work. i would exercise caution with recommending this book because it is just that hardcore. however, if you are a fan of patrick neate's "city of tiny lights", or the work of chuck palahniuk, or bret easton ellis this might be something you'd want to give a try.