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Ugly Heaven, Beautiful Hell Paperback – December 3, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: CORROSION PRESS (December 3, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1929653867
  • ISBN-13: 978-1929653867
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,620,434 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Flamboyantly irreverent depictions of the afterlife give the two semi-satirical fantasy novels in this compilation considerable energy, if little direction. In Mellick's (Satan Burger) "Ugly Heaven," two recently dead souls awaken with new identities in a perplexingly denatured Heaven populated by voracious shadows, unholy angels and strange life forms of inexplicable origin. As they struggle to find safe haven in this hostile environment, they make unsettling discoveries about their mortal lives and their peculiar deaths. Thomas's (Punktown) "Beautiful Hell," a semi-sequel to his Letters from Hades (2003), is set in a Hell where a once-human sinner conspires with his demon lover to prevent wholesale elimination of Hell's satanic overseers by the Creator during one of His periodic visits to the underworld. Although wildly imagined, both novels are aimlessly episodic and revel long and discursively in their idiosyncracies. Only fans of the authors are likely to appreciate this book, and even then they may wish that each title had been fleshed out more fully as a stand-alone volume.
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Customer Reviews

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David W. Mcdonald on January 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is 2 novellas with a similar theme - there's something wrong in both heaven and hell. Each author involved takes on one location. Even though the stories are not intertwined, they compliment each other very well.

I REALLY like the way that Jeffrey Thomas writes and my favourite of his works is Letters from Hades. His piece in this book is a companion piece to that work that centers on a character met in that earlier story. Now immortal "dead" humans are being tormented by demons who are questioning their own place in the "system". And some of them are getting involved in inter-"racial" romances and even falling in love. Throw in a visit by the creator who is having an identity crisis and his son who stops by for a nice chat and this story rocks!

I hadn't read anything by Carlton Mellick III before. In his story, god is absent in heaven, many of the angels are missing and those who find themselves there are left awash without answers and surrounded by mysteries. Those who were once human have set up a barter system for getting along that involves trading small pieces of their souls for what they need - including sex and/or company. Two recently arrived souls find that the terrain is ugly, populated by monstrous creature and deadly. And still, they set out to explore.

I generally don't like stories that leave the endings too open. But, while both of these come to clear conclusions you are left wanting more. And both authors have cleverly left some unanswered questions that would easily allow them to revisit these characters and these locations.

Well done. I am suitably impressed and want more!!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By H. Lounsbury on June 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
I've had the privilege of reading many Mellick books prior to this one, but it was my introduction to Thomas.
The First half of the book is classic Mellick. I do sense the he is getting more ambitious with his characters and settings with time.
It's his humor that keeps the stories together but there is also a linear running plot.
Jeffery Thomas's Beautiful Hell was very good too. Thamas is a talented writer whose descriptions are vivid and wonderful. I felt that His second half of the book was a little heavier than Mellick's.
Either way it's worth picking up and checkout out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By 224perweek on August 29, 2013
Format: Paperback
I loved Jeffrey Thomas's part but found Mellick's to be a little dull. It also ended very abruptly. I was expecting more from this book and it was only ok. Keep writing about Hades, Jeffrey. Lots of good stuff there. Read "Letters from Hades" by Jeffrey Thomas and you'll see what I mean.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Schtinky VINE VOICE on March 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
'Ugly Heaven, Beautiful Hell' is really two separate books. The singular theme holding them together seems to be the appearance of God in both. Carlton Mellick III has come up with some interesting ideas of heaven in the past (Punk Land), and Jeffrey Thomas has explored Hell (Letters From Hades) but each author has come up with something all new for our divine afterlife.

In 'Ugly Heaven', the utopian heaven of the bible has died and been left in ruins. The shadows of hell now stalk the grounds. God is absent and hasn't been seen in eons. A man wakes up, dangling from a twisted tree, with no memory of who or what he was. All he knows is that he's changed. His new name is Tree, and he has yellow skin with patterns whirling over it. He meets Salmon, a pink man with patterns. A third man named Rowak leads them to a city where CLOTTA (all caps) runs the city and decides whether people are accepted in above ground or underground Heaven. Will Tree get to live above or below? Will he pick up too many shadows in Heaven, making him undesirable?

I love Carlton Mellick III. He uses such imaginative, offbeat phrases like "The pain is like bananas on a barbeque" or "Like sun-peaches and pools of mercury swimming through the air." Using unknown colors, bizarre vegetation, smells that don't make sense (and let's not even talk about going to the bathroom) Mellick paints a Heaven that you won't be sure you want to go there. My only problem was that the story ended abruptly, without conclusion, making it frustrating.

Mellick is one of my favorite horror/punk/parody/gross-out authors, a true master of the Bizarro. There is depth behind his simplistic prose, and humor all around it.
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