Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Review of Carlton Mellick III's "Clusterfuck"

If you haven’t read a bizarro novel yet, you are seriously missing out.  The genre takes all the gore of the freakiest horror movies, throws in strange sex and absurd ideas, and gives us some of the most entertaining and often hilarious novels available.

Carlton Mellick III is often called the godfather of bizarro fiction, and his frat boy spelunking horror novel, Clusterfuck, is a sick, demented, and thoroughly entertaining read.

Technically, Clusterfuck is the sequel to Mellick’s novel Apeshit, a favorite among his fans, though it isn’t necessary to read the first before reading the second.  Both are tributes to B horror films, but while Apeshit is about high school kids in a secluded mountain cabin, Clusterfuck is about seven college students who go spelunking in the caves under that same mountain.

The students include Dean, a douchebag frat boy with lactating breasts, Trent, who was encouraged to be an asshole by his mother and has risen to the challenge, Lauren, a seemingly sweet sorority girl with a hell of a disgusting fetish, and adopted sisters Selina and Marta, whose fucked-up secrets are two awesome to give away in a review.

These fools—and yes, all the main characters are all fools—go caving in Turtle Mountain despite warnings from a local ranger to stay the hell out of there.  For Trent, this is all a player, PUA style scheme to get laid.
If you are claustrophobic at all, take this as a warning: Mellick’s protagonists get themselves literally into a lot of tight spots, and not the sexy kind.  I don’t know if this book will help or exacerbate claustrophobia, but I got a thrill out of those intense scenes.

What else is under the ground besides tight spaces?  How about white-eyed children, immortal mutants, and radioactive crystals?  Yep, all there.   We also learn more about what the hell was going on in Apeshit, including the likely background of a couple of monsters in that book.

I’ve read and loved nearly thirty of Mellick’s novels, and I recommend this one as highly as any of the others.  If bizarro sounds intriguing to you, this is a great first book to get you into the genre.  If it sounds too strange and freaky, try it anyway.  You just might become disgusted with yourself when you find that you really, really like it.

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