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review 2015-08-05 10:07
Clownfellas by Carlton Mellick III
ClownFellas: Tales of the Bozo Family - Carlton Mellick III

About Clownfellas: Tales of the Bozo Family

  • Publisher: Hydra (July 14, 2015)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC

“Carlton Mellick III goes past silly, through weird, detours around dumb, blasts through bizarre, and gets to a place where the normal physics of narrative no longer apply. You will never be the same.”—Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother and Homeland

In a topsy-turvy world where clowns are killers and crooks, Little Bigtop is a three-ring circus of crime, and no syndicate is more dangerous than the Bozo family. From the wildly original mind of Carlton Mellick III comes the short-story collection ClownFellas—an epic mob saga where life is cheap and the gags will slay you.

For years, the hard-boiled capos of the Bozo family have run all of the funny business in Little Bigtop, from the clown brothels to the illegal comedy trade. But hard times have befallen the Bozos now that Le Mystère, the French clown Mafia, has started moving in and trying to take over the city. If that weren’t enough, they’ve got to deal with the cops, the Feds, the snitches, the carnies, the mysterious hit man Mr. Pogo, and the mutant clowns over in the Sideshow district. With the odds stacked against them, the Bozos must fight to survive . . . or die laughing.

“Mario Puzo meets Barnum & Bailey . . . You just can’t look away as the ridiculousness escalates.”Publishers Weekly

“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. In my opinion, ClownFellas is his best work to date.”—Edward Lee, author of City Infernal and Header

“I rarely enjoy clowns—which is ironic since I’ve been one for over four decades—but ClownFellas is great on so many levels, irony being one of them. What can I say besides I love it! Great read, and funny as hell . . . I have been accused of being unfunny before, and after the trial I had to enter the Witless Protection Program. This is funny!”—Barry Lubin, aka Grandma, longtime Big Apple Circus clown

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Review

In all fairness, I did expect clowns more in line of Pennywise from It than the clowns that were in this book. I thought I was reading a horror book, but it was too much humor for it to be called horror (in my opinion) I did like the Clown world and the characters. It was just not what I had expected and also, even though it had its charming moments, I just couldn't really find myself enjoying the whole book. Some parts were better than the other.  But I must admit that even though I felt that it wasn't my kind of book wasn't it in any way bad. It was well written and I love the idea of a mafia type of family of clowns.  I really liked Little Bigtop and its clown population. But I was just not totally taken with all the stories in the book.

 

The book has six parts, every part is independent, but they still are connected to the whole story. You can say that every part have a different character that's the focus of the story. I liked the first part best because it was a great introduction Little Bigtop and the Bozo crime family.  Earl Berryman, a veterinarian, is on his way to help a lion for Don Bozo. The problem is that he is terrified of clowns. Great story, I love the ending.  The rest was also ok, but the one that I felt really wasn’t that interesting to read was Funny Business with Buggy Buttons. You would think that everything going bad for Buttons all the time would be funny, but it just get’s annoying. The last part, the Wedding Day was also a bit weak, but at least the bridezilla made the story a bit fun. I was mostly quite tired of Uncle Jojo and his problems towards the end of the story.

 

I think Vinnie Blue Nose was the one I liked the best out of all the clowns. Captain Spotty was also alright and of course I must mention Bingo Ballbreaker, he may not be the smartest of all the clowns, but he sure is the hardest to kill.

 

Would I read more? Yes I would, now that I know that is more humor than horror. I just need to be in the right mood for more. And, I do hope if it will be more Clownfellas books that Vinne Blue Nose will be in it!

 

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

 

 About Carlton Mellick III

 

Carlton Mellick III is an oafish gentleman with the stylishest of sideburns. He is one of the leading authors in the bizarro fiction genre—a booming underground movement that strives to bring weird, crazy, entertaining literature to the masses. Imagine a mixture of David Lynch, Dr. Seuss, South Park, and Troma movies. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

 

 

Carlton Mellick III’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, July 13th: For the Love of Fictional Worlds

Wednesday, July 15th: PromoteHorror.com

Wednesday, July 15th: Wildfire Books

Monday, July 20th: No More Grumpy Bookseller

Tuesday, July 21st: Wag the Fox – author interview

Thursday, July 23rd: The Qwillery

Friday, July 24th: From the TBR Pile

Monday, July 27th: W. A. R. G. – The Writer’s, Artist’s & Reader’s Guild

Wednesday, July 29th: Mallory Heart Reviews

Thursday, July 30th: Bibliotica

Monday, August 3rd: Bewitched Bookworms

Wednesday, August 5th: It’s a Mad Mad World

Friday, August 7th: Life is Story

TBD: The Scary Reviews

TBD: Bell, Book & Candle

TBD: Kari J. Wolfe

TBD: The Horror Honeys

 

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review 2014-03-11 18:51
The Deepest Secret
The Deepest Secret - Carla Buckley

I had NO idea what to expect when I started reading The Deepest Secret. Straight adult contemporary is not a genre I venture into often. I used to read a lot of Jodi Picoult, but it has been many, many years. And yet, I have always said that I read books based on blurb, not genre. If the blurb interests me, I am interested in reading it. First of all, I like learning things. I tried to read a book about XP last year (What We Saw at Night), but I didn't like it. I thought I would try again with this book, and I am glad I did.

I have never read a book by this author before, but I will be certain to do that again in the future. I really like Carla Buckley's style. She is great at building atmosphere, and it REALLY felt like the majority of this book was set in the middle of the night. It's not an easy thing to accomplish, making a reader be able to get lost in the book and forget about the world around them. But I sat up at night with this book in my hand for three days, reading and burning the midnight oil. The book gave off a Rear Window by Alfred Hitchcock vibe for a little while there, and I was in LOVE.

The Deepest Secret is written in multiple POVs and I know some readers don't like that, but I was completely satisfied with the way they were handled. The voices of each character were different--Eve sounded like a troubled mother who was trying her hardest to keep her son alive, David felt like a disillusioned, lonely father trying to make the best of the living situation he has to deal with, and Tyler REALLY sounds like a restless teenage boy suffering from a terminal illness. I was convinced. And if an author can convince me that their characters really do exist, they can write in TWENTY different POVs, for all I care. The characters were all remarkably well-developed, and even if you don't like them, you will think about them and be invested and question their choices.

That said, I had a few small issues, and man they are really small because I so badly wanted to give this book 5 stars but I sat and thought on it for almost 24 hours, and I just couldn't do it. This is primarily a character-driven novel. And I know the blurb makes it seem like that is not the case, it just isn't so. That is not what I am marking the book down for. I had a few pacing issues. The book gets off to a bit of a boring start. There is all this exposition and getting to know the characters going on, and I was never bored, but I do think it could have been shortened. And then...I also felt there were some unnecessary scenes that really didn't add much to the story. It is a bit repetitive at times but I was really invested in the characters (mainly Tyler) so I didn't care about that so much. What I really would have liked to see is a bit of a shorter book by maybe 50 pages. But I don't think it's the type of thing that is going to make you not like the book, because I really still did love it despite that small issue. 

All in all, this is probably the best book I have read this year so far. It took me away from the world, made me question my moral choices, and wonder how I would react in the situations these characters faced. This is one of those books that I call a thinking book, and there is nothing more that I like than a book that makes me get all philosophical in my head. 

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