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The Handsome Squirm Paperback – April 9, 2012
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From the Inside Flap
"Easily the craziest, weirdest, strangest, funniest, most obscene writer in America." -- GOTHIC MAGAZINE
"Carlton is an acquired taste, but he hooks you like a drug." --HUNTER SHEA, author of Forest of Shadows
"The most original novelist working today? The most outrageous? The most unpredictable? These aren't easy superlatives to make; however, Carlton Mellick may well be all of those things, behind a canon of books that all irreverently depart from the form and concepts of traditional novels, and adventure the reader into a howling, dark fantasyland of the most bizarre, over-the-top, and mind-warping inventiveness." --EDWARD LEE, author of Header
"Carlton Mellick III is a genius with an insanely beautiful imagination." --JOE AUGUSTYN, writer of Night of the Demons
"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
"Mellick's career is impressive because, despite the fact that he puts out a few books a year, he has managed to bring something new to the table every time... Every Mellick novel is packed with more wildly original concepts than you could find in the current top ten New York Times bestsellers put together." --VERBICIDE
"Mellick's guerrilla incursions combine total geekboy fandom and love with genuine, unbridled outsider madness. As such, it borders on genius, in the way only true outsider art can." --FANGORIA
"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
"I'm a huuuuge Bizarro fan. This new strain of cheerfully transgressive weird fiction is to me the most vibrant, exciting, genre-mangling scene in all of strange literature today. And no one holds dominion over this blossoming underground phenomenon like the godfather of Bizarro, Carlton Mellick III. With the most impressive sideburns in imaginative lit since Isaac Asimov, and a brain that squirts out more shamelessly playful originality in any given chapter than most artists will accomplish in their entire lives, he's the poster boy. The Elvis. As well he should be." --JOHN SKIPP, co-author of The Bridge
"It's not unusual to blow through a Mellick book in one sitting. They're fast-paced with an endless number of surprises, making it tough not to keep turning pages. When the end comes, I'm left with that done-too-soon feeling that I always love experiencing." --RAZORCAKE
"A wormhole of disturbing surrealism and absurd satire." --VICE MAGAZINE
"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
"His fiction blends bizarre scenarios mixed with horror, action, and even more bizarre actions to create fiction that toes the line between the absurd and the dark places of the mind... Shocking yet entertaining" --THE EXAMINER
"I imagine Mellick as a Willy Wonka-type character, someone with personal access to another world, a world of his own creation, but due to its mind-bending energy, he's lost control of it, and it continues to thrive even without him there to pull the strings. And I like the idea of that." --BOOKIE MONSTER
"The imp of the perverse." --3AM MAGAZINE
"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
"Discussing Bizarro literature without mentioning Mellick is like discussing weird-ass muttonchopped authors without mentioning Mellick." --CRACKED.COM
More About the Author
His work has appeared in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, The Best Bizarro Fiction of the Decade, and Vice Magazine, and has been translated into Italian, German, Russian, Spanish, French and Japanese.
He lives in Portland, Oregon, where he obsesses over comic books, micro-brews, video games, and K-pop dance routines. Visit him online at carltonmellick.com
Top Customer Reviews
This is a more simplistic plot than what I am used to from CM3, but that is not to say that it is a lesser work. From page 1, he grabs the reader and doesn't let go. The first third to half of the book is totally riveting as you follow his rushed journey into a world of over-sexed women, who have little to no concern for the male species. You end of feeling as trapped as the poor man who is being held captive. The later part of the book slows down a bit as you spend day after day with a man that is slowly being consumed, hoping, as he does, that he will find a way out. This part of the book isn't any less interesting, just a change of pacing in the story.
This isn't just a bizarro book about some strange society of people that consume their males for baby food.Read more ›
This one isn't so much a hit as it is a bullseye!
Grittier than a lot of his other work, The Handsome Squirm is an erotic alien dystopian novel that asks a lot of questions about family, morals, government, and how the three interact. The other reviews so far provide some good plot points. I'm here to say this book was the perfect blend of off-the-wall craziness and thoughtful depth without being too preachy.
For those of you intimidated by the obvious weirdness of Mellick and craziness in general, this book is a great place to start.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
In a world controlled by the religious right where family comes first and the well-being of a child (even one unborn) is takes priority over all, an unlucky man unknowingly... Read morePublished on January 30, 2014 by Geoffrey Greene
In the introduction, Mellick bemoans the 'children first' moral initiative that plagues much of bourgeouis Middle America. Read morePublished on December 14, 2013 by Jeremy
This is an amazingly insightful tale by CM3 about a swinger who is in a future run by ultra conservatives. Read morePublished on May 6, 2013 by amadeo777
While Mellick doesn't write for the masses he writes a massively fun book. Handsome Squirm is a delightfully crude and wild ride. Read morePublished on April 12, 2013 by sandra Johnston
This is a book you won't be able to put down. very entertaining and enjoyable to read. had me from page one to finish. you won't be disappointed with this one.Published on February 24, 2013 by John P McCrory
This is an amazing, thought-provoking, bizarro book! We are introduced to a society where the concept of "family values" has been taken to the extreme and taken on an amazing... Read morePublished on September 11, 2012 by Suz