- Paperback: 300 pages
- Publisher: Eraserhead Press (January 1, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1621051374
- ISBN-13: 978-1621051374
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 18 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,217,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hungry Bug Paperback – January 1, 2014
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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
"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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It has all the highlights. Creepy, weird, funny, goofy, gross, controversial, and thought provoking. It touches a wide variety of subjects and since it's a collection of interconnected stories it gives a lot of tiny resolutions. CMIII's main flaw has always been endings that suddenly unravel to nowhere. Here, that doesn't seem to be an issue. Each short story is resolved to a degree, and the total combination gives a good sense of resolution by the time you finish the book. As well, it doesn't carry the burden of his early "controversial shock rock" topics. It doesn't hit fast with heavy blasphemous pornographic gore covered scenes. Things are pretty edgy and heavy, but it's a more subdued version.
If you like Carlton's work, then this is another good highlight in his library. If you're new to his work, this is a great way to start.
Definitely looking forward to more from this great author.
Hungry Bug is written in a sprawling Sin City-esque voice where stories crossover, intersect and tangle together as characters from one story can serve a crucial role in another's story or even make a small cameo appearance to remind the readers they're there. It's set in Hell's Bottom, a humid metropolis whose denizens all find themselves there as a result of magic abuse, much like drug abuse.
There's Bee, who has sucked the memories from the minds of many Hell's Bottom occupants as a result of her alter ego who sometimes takes over when she's had too much to drink or she's feeling horny.
There's Hoggins who takes in newcomers and gives them the basics on how to survive in Hell's Bottom. He has a bond with Bee that gets him into no end of trouble.
There's little Elmore, an eighty year old man trapped in a child's body due to his mother's intense desire to keep him her baby forever.
There are the fearsome Arachnes who are like the Mafia of Hell's Bottom. Piss off an Arachne and you probably won't live to tell about it.
There's Big Strange, a giant rhino beetle whose answer to everything is 'Bloopa-bloo'. Even he gets his opportunity to shine in the final chapter as he prepares a special dish for a Thanksgiving celebration in Hell's Bottom.
Something else to appreciate from the newer Mellick books: He wraps up every recent novel with a morbid comic strip of himself and the obstacles he faced in writing the novel you've just finished. In this one, he briefly touches on the dilemma of his computer biting off his hands. Thankfully, he has several clones on standby to sacrifice their hands. But they're terribly clingy and like Disco and Mr. T. See? You want to read this already.
This is a world where magic exists. But the universe doesn’t know how to handle the magic. So people that use magic too much are transformed by it. They’re bodies will change into something that resembles the spell that have been casting. For example: a person who uses magic to become a better writer might himself turn into a book. His skin made of paper. His mid section a thousand-plus page book. Magic is not good. People use it for their own gain, for money or fame or whatever, but using it comes at a cost. Once they use too much magic, they are taken away from the world. Brought to a place called Hell’s Bottom. A place full of sorcerers and freaks and tiny porcelain dolls.
Not to give too much of the story away, because that is always the best part about reading a CM3 book. The inventiveness of the story. The crazy. The funny. The gross. It’s all here, in classic Carlton Mellick form.
Each of these connected short stories tells a little bit more of the overall story that is going on in HUNGRY BUG. And storylines cross over each other. Characters interact across stories and the stories build off each other. In that way, it reminds me a lot of ARMADILLO FISTS. But this is told in a more linear fashion.