Punk Land is that place. The story documents the activities or a band of punks who endeavor to destroy the system and return Punk Land to a place where the individual rules and intelligent anarchy is the order of the day. But if you have a passion for books that go beyond the boundaries of popular fiction and offer unique styles and perspectives, then Punk Land is your next read.
When I found Satan Burger eight years ago in Texas, it was a battered and creased, being passed around a group of friends like some sort of drug, and that's kinda what Carlton Mellick III seems to be good at. Punk Land and Satan Burger both feature good natured, or neutral child-like male narrators. Goblin, the narrator of Punk Land, is a shy recluse who in was in life a collector of dildos, and in punk heaven is physically deformed to the point that it is difficult for him to walk. Actually, everything in these stories is deformed in some major way, and all the main characters have a strong sex-drive (except for secondary male characters perhaps?). Punk Land has an unusual physical presentation in that the book design seems conspicuously inept and awkward without hindering consumption of the text. The plot takes the shape of a traditional action/adventure Odyssey type quest, (to save the world, to restore anarchy to Punk Land) with the exception that things just sort of happen to the narrator as a result of the supporting characters, who drive the plot. Death, drug use, sex, physical deformity, and discussions of various factions of punk and skinhead culture feature heavily, but in sort of a neutral tone.
Don't get me wrong here, since it is one of CM3's most notable qualities as an author to create masterpieces from nutty exposés, but this novel definitely has a different feel to it.
Great ideas and images, occasionally funny, but there wasn't much of a narrative thrust. I think the problem here was that the many ideas going into it didn't come together quite so well--it might have worked better had the ideas been distributed into several different books, each one with a tighter focus. Essentially, by packing as many ideas as possible into Punk Land, few of them end up having any importance to the plot. However, I wouldn't argue that they shouldn't have been cut, because the detours were some of my favorite parts in the book. It's a reasonable enough plot that takes a little while to get going--too much time is spent at the gates of Punk Land, with our "heroes" doing very little.
So Goblin is surprised to find two people who arrive not through the gate, but from within Punk Land itself. Between Shark Girl and the actions of the Punk Council, this book makes the afterlife seem very unpleasant.
Punk Rock and shit!" and shit. If this sounds like a waste of time for you, it probably will be.
And it has the protagonist throwing dildos at God and punk icons.
Carlton Mellick III (July 2, 1977, Phoenix, Arizona) is an American author currently residing in Portland, Oregon. He calls his style of writing "avant-punk," and is currently one of the leading authors in the recent 'Bizarro' movement in underground literaturecitation needed with Steve Aylett, Chris Genoa and D. Carlton Mellick III started writing at the age of ten and completed twelve novels by the age of eighteen.