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The Haunted Vagina Paperback – September 18, 2006
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In Carlton Mellick III's fourteenth bizarro novel, The Haunted Vagina, the reader is presented with another Mellickian mind-bending concept--what if your girlfriend's vagina was a gateway to another world? We are introduced to Steve and his girlfriend Stacy, whose "haunted" vagina is a problem for their sex life. When a skeleton-like creature emerges from Stacy's vagina, the two decide to explore what may be inside of her.
When Steve explores (and becomes trapped in) Stacy's vaginal world, he reflects upon his relationship with her. Mellick makes it obvious through clear dialogue and abstract imagery that their relationship is not healthy. Despite these strange occurrences and relationship problems, Steve remains hopelessly devoted to Stacy. This love is the basis for Mellick's return to a common theme: the power, figuratively and literally, a women's vagina can hold over a man.
The joys and terrors that Steve finds in the vagina reflect his relationship with Stacy. The power and trust struggles are seen from inside both characters--inside Steve, who is the narrator of the story, and from literally inside Stacy. This allows the reader a uniquely personal viewpoint of Steve and Stacy's downward spiral as lovers.
Mellick has made a name for himself by writing consistently engaging, strange, and downright weird stories. His characters can sometimes get lost in the weirdness. The Haunted Vagina is not really about the hallucinogenic world Steve finds inside Stacy; it is about the characters themselves. Their doubts and fears fuel the plot.
Fan's looking only for Mellick's hardcore gore and extremely bizarre imagery may be disappointed, as this book is more subtle than its predecessors. Don't be mistaken: this is still very much a horror book that explores the vagaries and dangers of lust, love and obsession. In this Bizarro novel, Mellick illustrates the human condition better than many authors of "realism."
Despite having dealt with similar themes before (e.g. Razor Wire Pubic Hair and The Steel Breakfast Era), this is Mellick's most mature and effective representation of men's sexual fears. His sparse style paints an intimate portrait of Steve and Stacy's relationship. The Haunted Vagina deserves attention; it's among Mellick's very best.
--The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction, Fall 2009
From the Back Cover
"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
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Top Customer Reviews
Thematically similiar to "Razor Wire Pubic Hair," "the Haunted Vagina" is an exploration of the female body and the power it can hold over men (figuratively and literally). The tale is dark, disturbing, and funny. But most importantly, it causes the reader to think. If you have ever been in love, this book will pose some unsettling questions.
I am also pleased to say that this book features some of Mellick's best characterization. Sometimes Mellick's characters become secondary to the strangeness of the story; not in this book. You will be consumed with and his relationships in the real world and in the vagina world.
Don't let the small size fool you. There is a lot to this book. Highly, Highly recommended.
This is by far one of Mellick's best books ever. The alternate world is rich and mysterious, and occasionally frightening. The sheer strangeness of the tale will keep you turning pages until the end. My only complaint is that the book is short; I could have stayed much longer in Stacy's southern hemisphere. I highly recommend this book for aficionados of horror, punk, cult, or outlandish fiction. Enjoy!
Like other reviewers have lamented, it's expensive for what it is. $4 if you buy it used, then another $4.99 for shipping. Would I buy it again? Probably not. Would I read it again? You bet. It's a quick, enjoyable read that can be finished in an evening, even if all your pretentious literary friends will look down on you for it.
This is a wacky story from page one, establishing its offbeat sensibilities when the narrator gushes over with adoration for his girlfriend but admits that his devotion is tested by the haunted quality of her vagina. What you won't get from the cover, the summary, or the preview, though, is a sense of how dark the story will turn as the narration progresses. It never loses its sense of whimsy, and I hate spoilers, so I won't say whether or not the tone swings back up at the end. But I would characterize it as a horror story with elements of romantic comedy, not a romantic comedy built around a horror-story concept.
It is also NOT erotica or pornography, despite some very graphic (and insanely bizarre) sex scenes.
With those caveats, if you like stories with rich characterization that explore serious issues in human relationships, and if you also like wildly inventive fantastical worlds, and if you don't mind some darkness and some explicit and peculiar bedroom scenes, you'll probably end up finding this worthwhile. Be prepared, though, to reassess your opinions of the situation and the characters several times throughout the book. Mellick intentionally keeps the reader guessing, and if you don't buy into that, you might get blindsided.Read more ›
Will Stacy ever find out the truth about her hoo-ha? Who could be haunting Stacy’s fiddly bits? Will Steve be able to find true love deep in the panty hamster? All these questions and more will be revealed from down under in the great vagoo.
Sometimes, I just make myself laugh. Like when I looked up silly names for the vagina on the internet while hanging on the couch with my wife. She kept wondering why I was sitting there giggling to myself like a moron. Just in case you’re interested, Googling funny names for the vagina will bring up all kinds of whacky things. Be forewarned. And if you are immature like me and have the mentality of a 14yr old school boy, then have fun.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The author's writing style is incredible. I could not put this book down. The story itself is SERIOUSLY F'D UP. I suppose that's the point of bizarro fiction though.Published 1 month ago by Mark Witczak
I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop...but it didn't. It's refreshing to read and be this surprised. Very strange.Published 2 months ago by C & J
Another amazing work by Carlton Mellick III. Short, wonderful, and unique. I highly recommend!Published 7 months ago by SiouxieFan5432
It's terrible, it mostly feels like a laundry list of fetishes that I don't have, but it's hella fun to read. And read out loud to roommates. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Connor Wilson
Readable but a bit weird. I know it's fiction, but a little bit of reality might have helped. If you have nothing else to read, it's okay. Not my favorite.Published 8 months ago by Kristen Brickner
Very imaginative but I got lost in the story, it was like an acid tripPublished 8 months ago by Melanie Nielsen
Great book, You don't think you can care and connect with such a bizarre story but you are wrong. This author makes characters anyone can like. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Barbara B.
I really have no idea what to say about this book. It's just- wow. I don't even know. I mean it was so absurd that I can't imagine how someone came up with it. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Chloe French
Wow this book completely blew me away. I didn't think anything could top Warrior wolf women of the waste land, but this one did. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Jrock