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The Steel Breakfast Era: A Postmodern Zombie Novel Paperback – June 29, 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 114 pages
  • Publisher: Eraserhead Press (June 29, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1621050378
  • ISBN-13: 978-1621050377
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #166,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Praise for Carlton Mellick III

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

"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."
, 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."

"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."

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 8 customer reviews
Personally, I liked the subtext.
When the last of the known somewhat still humans try to help get a few more living salvagable humans to safety it becomes and all out race for life and a twisted love.
The Big G. Spot
This is a book that will make your heart race and break it at the same time.
Steven R. Shroyer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steven R. Shroyer on October 2, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love a good zombie novel. I may have read about a dozen in the few years since the walking dead became more than just fodder for bad Italian splatter films and cheaply made Drive-In fodder. That being said, I have never read anything like this book.

The book takes place during the aftermath of the zombie apocalypse. Our narrator lives in an apartment building populated by freakish humans, an odd cult, and metallic monstrosities known as "Tik Worms" that turn people into freakish metal/human hybrids. When he finds out how to make a human being out of an odd assortment of parts that may or may not be human, he decides to make a companion. But his companion, Cyn, has some odd quirks, such as cannibalism and a necrophilia and these become apparent as time goes on. But, things are about to change for them. Help is coming in the form of a team of aliens that look like the rejects of a bad Kaiju kids show. But are they the heroes or the villains?

Right in the intro to this book, Carlton Mellick III explain that this book is an homage to Japanese Cyberpunk films like Tetsuo the Iron Man, which is one of my new favorite films. I can definitely see the similarities when it comes to the role of the "Tik Worms". Yet this book is so much deeper than some kind of homage to Shinya Tsukamoto and George Romero's third "Dead" Film "Day of the Dead".

The underlying theme is that no matter how much we try to shut out the outside world we need to let some things in, primarily love. This book is an ode to the need for companionship and interpersonal relationships in our lives and how it makes us human. This is a complex idea, an idea that is not normally found in an author's early work. particularly a young author.

This book is a great quick read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By codexstatic on August 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
Probably my new favorite of CM3's early work. You can see the Burroughs influence, a bit of Tetsuo, a bit of Return of the Living Dead. And, of course, a teaspoon of David Lynch. Reads somewhere between an 80's anime and a 70's horror film. Relentlessly paced. As with any young writer's work (he was, what?, 26 when it came out), it has its share of imperfections. So does early work by Thomas Pynchon. (Slow Learner, anyone?) I don't listen much to the Naked Lunch comparisons, truth be told, but that's mostly because I don't compare Naked Lunch to anything but itself. That's kinda how you have to look at this book, too. It stands on its own, even among his other strange work. It does, however, appear a "thematic" sequel to Electric Jesus Corpse (machinery becoming man, vice versa) without so much of the religious stuff, and with a more experienced sense of style. But that's a bit like saying Apocalypse Now is a natural conclusion to The Godfather Part 2, y'know? You can but you can't. Personally, I liked the subtext. I liked the ending. The mutations. And for eight bucks, I don't see much to lose, except maybe yourself for an evening.
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Format: Paperback
From the opening pages, I knew this was no typical zombie book. There is a refreshing and unique spin that was quite a bit more than I expected. The love story component is also something that carries you through a dark, fascinating tale.
It has been hundreds of years since the zombie outbreak and the few humans that are left are progressively less alive. The protagonist comes across a man building his own wife and with help from a few others begins to do so himself.
The thing I like best about Mellick's books is the way he paints a scene and pulls the reader in with oddly whimsical elements. This novella was no exception. In particular, the concept of the tik worms and their effects were fascinating.
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By Vincenzo Bilof on September 25, 2013
Format: Paperback
Mellick's introductions always seem to articulate the book's intent; I mention this because after reading the intro to Steel Breakfast Era, I felt like the story was the perfect rendition of the influences and concepts the author cited. Mellick always provides plenty of vivid action in his work, but I felt like I was reading a graphic novel that didn't need pictures, because the author explained what those pictures looked like in concise, fast-moving prose.

I bought this book solely because it's supposed to highlight a variation of the author's writing style, and I was treated to some beautiful, horrific "pictures." Each chapter was a portrait. Zombies, sex, violence; all of these concepts are bluntly stated with frantic sentences that portray a lucid, dream-like setting. This is David Lynch's interpretation of Anime. Mellick bombards the reader with ideas and mysteries that seem to mirror something incomplete, like the seemingly unfinished people who are built or modified by the technology-infused survivors of a dying world. The characters in this book are not "human" in the way we might understand or identify, but their intentions and desires are all-too real, and desperate. It's this desperation, and a feeling of desolation, that keeps this story from becoming as cold and lifeless as the zombie menace.

Our protagonist wants what the majority of us want; love, or a sense of belonging. A sense of being complete. With masterfully fragmented sentences which describe a broken future, I felt like the entire composition fulfilled the promise in Mellick's introduction. A cyberpunk splatterfest that fuses William Gibson with Shinya Tsukamoto, The Steel Breakfast Era is a feast for the eyes, at least until the tik-worms seize control...
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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.

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