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The Handsome Squirm Paperback – April 9, 2012

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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 is an acquired taste, but he hooks you like a drug."
- HUNTER SHEA, author of Forest of Shadows

"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

"Discussing Bizarro literature without mentioning Mellick is like discussing weird-ass muttonchopped authors without mentioning Mellick."
- CRACKED.COM

"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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"Pathfinder Tales: Lord of Runes"
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 158 pages
  • Publisher: Eraserhead Press (April 9, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1621050262
  • ISBN-13: 978-1621050261
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,045,899 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dave Anderson on August 8, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mellick is back with another classic bizarro book that describes a possible future america. My favorite Mellick stories are when he rights about a future where the government makes up most rules about how one should live similar to 1984. In The Handsome Squirm we see the government enforcing a new law where woman cannot have children out of wedlock. If this does happen, you must get married or go to jail. The main character sleeps around and does not remember even hooking up with this one woman as the police drag him out of his house for missing his wedding that actually took place a few hours ago. But the main character claims he never got the wedding invitation because ever since the mail became privatized, it cost money to receive mail. So he only does email. So he pleads to the cops that since its not midnight and the day is not officially over, can he just get married instead of going to jail. This is when the bizarro kicks in as he marries into the Usagi family. An alien human mutant who finds no problem with one life ending so another can begin. The one life ending is the main characters. So he tries every way possible to survive and what we get is an excellent interesting story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Buckeye Nick on January 22, 2013
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This was another great read by the bizarro mastermind Carlton Mellick III. This time around we are introduced to a new society where only the good of the children matter. Imagine being a single man not allowed to go out during school hours for fear of you. This is the new world that our protagonist is set in, he is an established editor that has a unique appetite for sex. This appetite takes him to a place where he never even knew existed but is only a few miles from where he has been living. He gets introduced to a different form of people who have their own unique birthing rituals. One of these includes the father to be ingested by the pregnant mate in order to get nutrients to the babies. This leads to some very weird and unsettling situations for our friend. As always I loved how CM3 ended the book and makes you think about certain choices one might make. Another highly recommended book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Fabina R. Bacoo on August 27, 2012
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Love Mellick, am slowly savoring all his books, I have read at least a dozen by now & in just a few short chapters, this one proves to be a very well-written, typically insanely imaginative read, you can't guess what will happen in the next chapter of his books & Handsome Squirm is one of his best. If you haven't tried Mellick or a Bizarro Book (& even if you have), this is a must read for something unlike anything else out there on the straight, carbon-copy, boring, predictable book market!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Meridian on July 8, 2012
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What would you do if you found yourself living in a world where family values trumped the rights of the individual? A society where you're fined for swearing in public, it is illegal to divorce if there are children involved, all media has to be 'safe' for the entire family, and women are not allowed to have children outside of marriage. Moochy (or so his mother likes to call him) finds himself in a predicament with one of these laws when police show up to arrest him for not showing up to his court-mandated wedding. Apparently he has impregnated a woman, therefore, he is now required by law to marry her or serve 18 years in prison. And this is no ordinary woman...her name is Dokura, and she is part of a group called the Usagi. She has glowing blue eyes, shows no emotion of any kind, and oh, she wants to slowly digest him to feed the litter of babies she is carrying. Now he must figure out a way to escape before he ceases to exist, but it seems that he has the world working against him, including his own mother.

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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Bouthiette Jr. on July 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
I may have already mentioned in my other reviews of Mellick's book that they're very hit-or-miss with me.

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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By B-Movie Man on March 25, 2013
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I'll admit I was a little gun shy checking out this new bizarro genre. My fears were put to rest with The Handsome Squirm. Reading like a fable with jilted sexuality and monster cravings, The Handsome Squirm delivers the goods in a gross dripping grocery bag. This has a fun plot, sympathetic characters, rise and fall of conflict, and turned out to be a well told yarn. It's freaking crazy, yes, so for those who can't suspend their disbelief too far should stay away, but for those who crave something out of the norm, Mellick is your guy. Bizarro newbies, this is where it's at.
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