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Crab Town Paperback – January 24, 2011

26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Praise for Carlton Mellick III

"Easily the craziest, weirdest, strangest, funniest, most obscene writer in America."
- GOTHIC MAGAZINE

"Carlton Mellick III has the craziest book titles... and the kinkiest fans!"
- CHRISTOPHER MOORE, author of The Stupidest Angel

"If you haven't read Mellick you're not nearly perverse enough for the twenty first century."
- JACK KETCHUM
, author of The Woman and The Girl Next Door

"Carlton Mellick III is one of bizarro fiction's most talented practitioners, a virtuoso of the surreal, science fictional tale."
- CORY DOCTOROW, author of Little Brother

"Bizarre, twisted, and emotionally raw--Carlton Mellick's fiction is the literary equivalent of putting your brain in a blender."
- BRIAN KEENE, author of The Rising and Dead Sea

"Carlton Mellick III exemplifies the intelligence and wit that lurks between its lurid covers. In a genre where crude titles are an art in themselves, Mellick is a true artist."
- THE GUARDIAN

"Just as Pop had Andy Warhol and Dada Tristan Tzara, the Bizarro movement has its very own P. T. Barnum-type practitioner. He's the mutton-chopped author of such books as Electric Jesus Corpse and The Menstruating Mall, the illustrator, editor, and instructor of all things Bizarro, and his name is Carlton Mellick III."
- DETAILS MAGAZINE
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 100 pages
  • Publisher: Eraserhead Press (January 24, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936383411
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936383412
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,287,981 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Like a real world Kilgore Trout, cult author CARLTON MELLICK III has been pumping out some of the weirdest, trashiest, most imaginative books that you'll never want to admit you secretly love.

His books are released on a quarterly basis (every January, April, July, and October).

Best known as one of the leading authors of the bizarro fiction movement in literature, he is also one of the most prolific authors of his generation with over 40 books in print since 2001. He won the Wonderland Book Award for his novel "Warrior Wolf Women of the Wasteland" and has had short stories make it into The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror and The Best Bizarro Fiction of the Decade.

Although many of his earliest works are on the surreal and experimental side, his current style is to take the most ridiculous concepts imaginable and approach them with complete sincerity, as if they are not intended to be ridiculous at all. Always full of tongue-in-cheek humor, social satire, and told in a simplistic straightforward prose style similar to that of children's literature or early pulp fiction, Carlton Mellick III's work is one of a kind, to say the least.

He lives in Portland, OR, the bizarro mecca.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Steve Lowe on April 28, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Some writers, you can just tell, are brimming with ideas and creativity. Prolific bizarro veteran Carlton Mellick III is one of those writers, and his long short story Crab Town is evidence of this. After writing a couple 300+ page novels (veritable epics in the bizarro genre), he put out this 85-page novella earlier this year. It's a short, entertaining ride through the weird world of Freedom City, and its adjoining slum, known as Crab Town.

This is the story of a bank heist gone bad, in a world where two nuclear wars have left the city in shambles and the economy in a mess. In Freedom City, if you lose your job and can't pay your bills, your only choice is to move to Crab Town. Once you're in Crab Town, you're stuck, because no one will hire you again, no landlord will rent to you again, and you're essentially a social pariah. It reminds me in a lot of ways of our national welfare system, where once you're in, it's difficult to get back out. Some denizens of Crab Town form the House of Cards, a group dedicated to improving life in Crab Town and getting a fair shake from the folks in charge of Freedom City. They don't want a handout, they simply want equal opportunity for jobs and such - a little life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. So, yeah, I like the message behind this story.

As Mellick writes in the book's introduction, this story started with the cover image. Mellick liked it so much, he decided to write a story around the picture of the babe on the bomb, basically working backwards with the actual writing of the story being the last part of the process. In other words, he didn't begin with a premise and a set of characters, he saw a picture, came up with a title and a cover blurb, then wrote the story from there.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R. Moschgat on August 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
Welcome to CM3's "Crab Town." A place where people can be turned into balloons and have to pay for gravity. A place where kids have to pay their parents back for raising them. A place filled with radiation, gangs, and giant crabs.
This is the story of a bank robbery gone bad. A robbery that the "House of Cards" gang was hoping would finally bring the attention of the city to their plight for equality and jobs.
Carlton takes us through their world in which each chapter tells the back story of the main characters and how they each came to where they are in life.
Crab Town is a fun read and one that you should add to your collection immediately.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JB on May 18, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Yet another gem from CM3. He packs so much into an 85 page book. He creates characters you can about and sympathize with, yet you aren't shocked by some of their inhuman actions. He paints a picture of a society that is only two or three steps removed from ours. Demented sex, uber-violence, everything that makes a CM3 novella is here. If you are a long time fan, don't miss it. If you're new to CM3, Crab Town is a good place to start.
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Format: Paperback
For my 6th Carlton Mellick review I was drawn to this one, like many, by the wildly out of place images on the cover. I pondered, "what could this novella, with this title, with these images, and this writer culminate into?" And readers, it was a great little action packed punch to the jugular that I did not see coming. In my opinion it goes up there with CM3's "Sausagey Santa." Most of the time when reading Mellick III you get a novella with big spacing, large font, and a page number around a usual bizarro novella (maybe 90-120 pages); however, this one, at least the ebook version I read, was regular type and spacing and clocked in at around 60 pages, which I kind of liked better. I'm guessing with the big font and spacing it would be about the same.

Welcome to CM3's "Crab Town." A place where money is king and the vagrant and lowlives are shunned and forced to make a living in Crab Town. People can be turned into balloons, an operation that by selling their organs SHOULD get them a lot of money, but then they have to pay a monthly gravity bill or well... float away. A place where kids have to pay their parents back for raising them, that's right people, parents keep a bill for everything spent on the kid and when they are "of age" they have to begin to pay them back; moreover, this forces many kids to get jobs very young. Crab Town is a place filled with radiation fallout, child gangs, and giant crabs that hunt the weak. This is the story of a bank robbery gone bad. A robbery that the "House of Cards" gang was hoping would finally bring the attention of the city to their plight for equality and jobs.

Carlton takes us through their world in which each chapter tells the back story of the main characters and how they each came to where they are in life.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By William M Miller on August 30, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
4 AND 1/2 STARS

This is a heartfelt commentary on Obama's big government, over-regulation, the jobless economy and the slow downfall of our country in general. Mellick's characters are filled with passion and honesty, trying their best to survive in a hopeless and oppressive land. The descriptions are vivid and the action is written with a clear and concise method. Mellick is so good, he makes it look easy. He writes with a brave confidence that stands out from most other authors and is simply a joy to read.

One small problem I had was that if everyone hates the balloon people so much and there is no penalty for popping them (killing them), then everyone outside of Crab Town would do it. I mean, if a child in a bank can kill them so easily with his mother, bank customers, and security guards standing around watching and doing nothing about it, then lots of other people would do it, too. There is so much distain for balloon people, they would be hunted down by others as casually as playing a video game. They would be extinct in a matter of days. It seems with this one detail, Mellick indulged a bit too much without thinking it through.

This book is filled with unfulfilled hopes and dreams in a world of overwhelming government oppression. Mellick balances his anger at big brother with gentle insight into the lives of a few remaining patriots who risk everything to better their world. They don't want a handout like entitlements, only a fair chance to earn an honest living. "Crab Town" is another great story from the bizarro genre's best and most influential writer.
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