From Publishers Weekly
At the start of this dark, demented fiction debut from Ellis, the creator of DC Comics' Transmetropolitan
and The Authority
, the U.S. president's heroin-addicted chief of staff hires 25-year-old Lower East Side PI Mike McGill to find the other Constitution. This is a secret document privately authored by several of the Founders detailing the real intent of their design for American society, which a debauched vice-president Nixon lost in the '50s. With half a mill in black ops money, Mike hires cute tattooed Trix Holmes to be his guide to America's deviant underworld, whence the 50-year-old cold trail begins. In their search for the missing document, reputedly bound in the skin of the extraterrestrial entity that plagued Benjamin Franklin's ass over six nights in Paris, the pair make some wild pit stops in Columbus, Ohio; San Antonio, Tex.; Vegas; and, finally, L.A. The home of the free and the land of the brave has rarely looked so creepy in this snappily paced homage to William Burroughs's Naked Lunch
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Comics scribe Ellis has cartoonish fun with his debut novel, which satirizes America's dark underbelly and the authoritarian government out to carve it loose. Private eye Michael McGill doesn't think his luck could get much worse, until the president's chief of staff (think a heroin-addled Dick Cheney) hires him to track down a secret second U.S. Constitution written by the Founding Fathersa sort of practical manual for future White House occupants. The document, which might help purify the nation's wayward populace, ironically has become black-market currency exchanged among power brokers seeking increasingly perverse thrills. This leads McGill and wholesome sex-freak sidekick Trix into a series of encounters straight out of a junior-high session of "You know what's grosser than gross?" Readers who appreciate the two nipple jokes in the first chapter can settle in and enjoy the ride. But they also should know Ellis doesn't trust them very much. He bangs away at the book's thesisthat the Internet has turned underground culture into mainstream farelike a drunk repeatedly shouting out a joke to departing patrons at closing time. Sennett, Frank