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The Menstruating Mall

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  521 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
Ten ridiculously stereotypical consumer victims (a yuppie, a housewife, a retiree, a jock, a bible thumper, a cowboy, a preppy, a gamer, a goth, and a white suburban gangsta) find themselves unable to leave the mall one day. There is nothing stopping them. The doors are unlocked. Other shoppers are able to come and go as they please. But for some inexplicable reason, these ...more
Paperback, 104 pages
Published June 1st 2011 by Eraserhead Press (first published February 1st 2005)
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Jan 22, 2009 Jeff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Menstruating Mall, the eighth novel from bizarro author Carlton Mellick III, is part Agatha Christie murder-mystery and part Kurt Vonnegutt science-fiction social satire. We follow ten stereotypical characters (the yuppie, the jock, the cowboy, etc…) who are trapped inside a mall with a killer on the loose. The message "all the mundanes must die" is found after the first murder so the various characters attempt to survive by proving their individuality. When the mall's walls begin to bleed, ...more
Jan 16, 2012 Jason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bizarro, read-2012
I remember watching a documentary on the making of Dawn of the Dead somewhere. On it there is mentioned something to the effect that Romero’s genius lay within his calling out the suddenly present consumerist age with the advent of the shopping mall. Of course his vision was spot on. Watching the hoards of mindless, slow and limping undead approach the mall had a sort of sardonic sarcasm that has not lost its impact today.

If anything, consumerism has become worse, perhaps making Romero a prophet
WARNING: This review contains language similar to the book it discusses, including a few f-words. Please don't read this if you do not want to see the words spelled out.

I’ve been playing around on the periphery of the bizarro for a while now, and though I haven’t fully committed to becoming an aficionado, I have come to expect and demand that the bizarro I’m reading contains some seriously fucked up shit. Shit that wouldn't just be "too-sexy-for-maiden-aunts," but would give said aunts coronarie
Kris Lugosi
This book gives new meaning to breaking out of the mold, going agains the norm , and becoming something other than mundane. I liked the concept: Ten sterotypical "individuals" all trapped within a mall that appears to be menstruating, unable to leave because of some unkown force keeping them there. At first they theorize that once the mall stops bleeding they will be able to leave, but how long does a mall actually menstruate for? A question that gets overlooked as more and more of the mall goer ...more
Oct 23, 2013 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bizarro, favorites
Mellick is one of those writers that can seemingly do no wrong. The Menstrating Mall is bizarro fiction but can be enjoyed by just about anyone if they would just open their minds a bit.

The Mall is a reflection of who we are as a society of good consumers but what if we were forced to go against everything we know and step out of our comfort zone? We all know these characters and that is what makes this book so good.

Mellick is a talented writer and Mall is a quick and enjoyable read that for
Jeff O'Brien
Aug 29, 2013 Jeff O'Brien rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I've been debating checking out this Carlton Mellick III guy for a while and I'm glad I finally did. His ability to combine B-movie excellence with absurdities and heavy satire is second to none.

The only problem, if you buy this book in paperback, is that you're paying 8 bucks for 88 pages of prose. I know that has nothing to do with the content of the book, but I'm just giving a warning to folks who might be expecting a full length novel.

So if you're okay with that and you like what I said in
Ruby  Tombstone [With A Vengeance]
I was really torn about this book until about halfway through. Once you get past the "I'm so punk" posturing, and the author beating you over the head with the ironic 2-dimensional stereotype, it actually does get pretty readable. It doesn't entirely make sense, but then if you're picking a book up off the "Bizarro" shelf that's called, "The Menstruating Mall", a little thing like that isn't going to bother you too much. It's a little hard to take the ironic commentary on sub-cultures and "indiv ...more
Anthony Chavez
Aug 15, 2011 Anthony Chavez rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bizarro
Another outrageous story by Carlton Mellick III. I enjoyed it, it was a quick read, mind you Carlton's novellas usually have pretty big type.

Ten people, stuck in a mall alone as everyone else suddenly disappears. Unable to leave isn't their worst problem though as someone is murdering them one by one, and the only way to escape is to stop being stereotypical.

This story touches on consumerism and cuts deep into our mall culture in a nice dark comedy sort of way. You've got pop culture, American
Anita Dalton
First thing I have to say is that I like Carlton Mellick III (CM3). I like him a lot. I would say bizarro fiction is in my top two fiction genres - the other being traditional mystery, oddly enough - and as the genre's most prolific writer, there is no real way to love bizarro and not love CM3.

This having been said, I had issues with The Menstruating Mall. These problems annoyed me to the point of anger in another venue, which was weird because generally I don't take fiction quite so personally.
Danger Kallisti
Feb 12, 2008 Danger Kallisti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people looking for a mindf*ck, anarchists, sleazy punkrock miscreants
Shelves: po-mo-craziness
There's a new game in town, and it goes by the name “Bizarro”. I would make a tentative statement that this is the first truly new style of storytelling in my generation. Written, as near as I can tell, by people better equipped for trashy punk bands and radical 'zines, the books rarely even pretend to be edited. The font size would be better suited to a third-grader's book than an adult novel, and much of the writing is peppered with crude and generally obscene doodles. What else do I need to s ...more
Dec 31, 2007 Bradley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was so much fun that I read it in one sitting, and this is a rarity for me.

For me, the book is a surrealist account of the evolution of mankind if we lived in a mall rather than on planet Earth.

Although I would thoroughly despise the main character if I met him in person, he is written so well that he's probably my favorite character of all the Carlton Mellick books that I've read.

And the illustrations are great!

This is one of my favorite books by this author. Carlton's writing keeps g
C.J. Cummings
Apr 05, 2015 C.J. Cummings rated it really liked it
Well, this was the fourth Mellick book I've read. I began with Cuddly Holocaust, still my favourite bizarro story. I continued with I Knocked Up Satan's Daughter, which was a lot of fun. I ran through Hammer Wives which featured three short stories I really liked, and went onto this. The Menstruating Mall. I loved the concept of this. A group of stereotypical mall consumers who are, for some unfathomable reason, unable to leave the mall and things go from weird, to weirder, as they try to put th ...more
Jan 08, 2014 Frank rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ever since Carlton Mellick appeared as a character in Brian Keene's TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME, phychotically reapeating, "The mall is menstruating, the mall is menstruating", I've had every intention to read this book. Though it has taken some time since then to finally get to it, I'm not left disappointed by that unique recommendation.

Mellick is masterful, as always, in keeping hid prose very tight, only saying the absolute minimum of what needs to be said to convert this entertaining. The Breakfa
William M.
Mar 10, 2012 William M. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, bizarro
This book is probably closer to a reading a dream than anything in print I have come across before. At first, things appear specific, yet with closer inspection become vague. You seem to grasp it and then it slips away. Seemingly familiar people suddenly change into strangers. This book definitely belongs in the Bizarro genre and it is quite a ride, accomplished in classic Mellick style.

The social commentary is very amusing, but the author dives into a lot more areas and, by the end, somehow man
Apr 10, 2016 Ruxie rated it it was ok
Definitely by far the weirdest book I have ever read. Not bad just totally weird. Also very explicit so don't read it if you are faint of heart at blood gore and sex. But interesting.
Brennon Thompson
People that are 2D cardboard cutout stereotypes are trapped in a 3D mall and are unable to leave. They try but for some reason can't bring themselves to walk out the doors. Slowly things get more bizarre(o). The 2D people, in the 3D mall head into 4D strangeness, that by the end seems almost normal.

This was an interesting read that kind of makes you think. Wondering about yourself and just where you would fit in with this gaggle of "paint by the numbers." Would you go along with them and their
Jarrod Scarbrough
Sep 03, 2013 Jarrod Scarbrough rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
I haven't enjoyed a Mellick book this month since TBJBP! I loved this book! You take 10 hyper stereotypical people, trap them in a shopping mall (a mall which just so happens to be menstruating), and add a killer picking them off one by one until they stop being so mundane and break out of their molds, and just sit back and watch what happens! This is satire and social commentary like only Carlton Mellick III can do it! Get your conformist asses to a mall and grab a copy of this book (although s ...more
Richard Kelly
Mar 01, 2016 Richard Kelly rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Mellick Fans
Carlton Mellick III has a very specific voice in his books. His narrator is similar every time. It is a very neutral and to the point voice that moves the story along. This isn't a bad thing, it actually makes the book about the plot as opposed to book that is about characters and psychology. It makes it good for a quick read which is what he produces.

The characters as usual are very stereotypical and the plot seem weak throughout most of the book. It isn't, it twists and turns, but you don't re
Feb 16, 2010 Jed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This, to me, is Mellick's best work. It's bizarro but very coherent and suspenseful. I love the social commentary.

I'm a definite Mellick fan and have at least 10 of his books. To me, he is the Godfather of Bizarro. So when I say this is his best work, it means you should buy the book and read it or I'll hunt you down and wrap you in an unfamiliar substance.
Lee Howard
May 05, 2013 Lee Howard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mellick is a master of bizarro. This is like Ten Little Indians in a surreal, bloody shopping mall. So far, I like this one the best of his works.
Sep 13, 2013 Nicki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first bizarro I have read. Definitely coming back for more!
Paulo "paper books always" Carvalho
This was an interesting read. Bizarro is not my favourite genre and it will never be. But it's a genre I enjoy reading about from time to time. Carlton Mellick III is one of those writers I read and enjoyed it. Never to the point of being a fan but nevertheless I have three books by him. I tried other two books in the Bizarro genre and I didn't enjoy them thinking they were too odd for me.

This novel reminds me of Agatha Christie "And then there were none" (or the original title "Ten Little Nigg
Lunar Lunacy
Jul 27, 2012 Lunar Lunacy rated it liked it
If you've ever read a bizarro book, or anything by Carlton Mellick III (CM3), you know what to expect by now. Craziness. Just... totally bananas. 10 stereotypes get stuck in a mall that is menstruating. They are unable to leave, and their numbers are slowly dwindling at the hands of an unknown murderer. 'The Menstruating Mall' is a look at consumerism as a whole, and stereotypes. Is it wrong to be one? Should you act like something you're not just to 'be different'? And will buying junk ever mak ...more
Dec 02, 2009 Tressa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The illustrations prevented The Menstruating Mall from being added to my library's tiny collection of bizarro. That and the fact that this book wasn't reviewed in major publication journals, as if that's the measure of a good book, especially these days when so many writers are using unconventional means of publishing and promotion. The upside of this is that my boss gave me the book for my collection.

I enjoyed this book about a group of mall rats that get trapped in a mall that's on the rag. Co
I read somewhere that this novel is classified as "bizarro," which surely explains the illogical, impossible plot. What the Bizarro genre fails to include is the glut of run-on sentences, misspelled words, nonsensical illustrations, and otherwise just plain bad grammar. I don't even know how to begin to tell you about the plot, so I'll just say this. Ten people get stuck in a shopping mall from which there is no escape. Then there are murders, and an inadequately explained menstrating shopping m ...more
Dec 18, 2008 Chris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Carlton Mellick III is an entertaining author in that he isn't very good at all, but he's a quick read. Cram all the possible cliches of cyberpunk, erotic fiction, and modern goth fiction into one thin paperback (with gigantic typeface, I might add -- this book would be about 12 pages long if it weren't for the typeface size and double spacing) and top it off with some TOTALLY RANDOM and OH SO CRAZY SURREAL SHIT (i.e., "I don't know what else to write so I'm going to write the rest of this book ...more
Jun 16, 2014 Glenn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I usually enjoy CM3's books, but this one fell short for me. I thought the story was good, but there really wasn't a whole lot of "bizarro" in most of the book. It was like he got to the end of the book and realized it wasn't very "bizarro" so he tried to pack the final few chapters with as much of it as he could. Not his best work.
Sharon Stevenson
Mar 14, 2015 Sharon Stevenson rated it really liked it
'The Menstruating Mall' is the tale of several shoppers who come to find they are unable to leave a mall, which it turns out is menstruating.

This book is pure entertainment and I loved every minute of it. Admittedly it didn't have as much depth as the other books I've read by this writer, but I still found it to be a great read and totally unpredictable. I love this author's sense of humour. There was one really weird and gross bit that made me laugh hysterically for at least five minutes!

This book is about 10 people who enter a mall, but they can't leave for some reason. The outside of the mall is covered in blood...menstruation blood.

This is a book you can read in one sitting. This book starts out very interesting and then just gets bizarre. Very bizarre. I can't recommend it simply because it starts out promising and holds your attention, and at the end it just gets insanely weird.

I know what message the author was trying to convey, but it just was a disappointing end. The end
Dec 29, 2013 Rechan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
I found this disappointing and a little confusing.

Yes, the author likes bizarre fiction, and I can accept the premise. However a premise needs internal consistency, and to a degree, some explanation - we get no explanation as to why the mall is menstruating or how that is connected to the characters. Worse, I don't really see how the ending is related to the situation - the events of the climax aren't given any explanation, so it feels bizarre for bizarre's sake.

Also the source of the deaths wa
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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 literature[citation needed] with Steve Aylett, Chris Genoa and D. Harlan Wilson.

Mellick's work has been described as a combination of trashy schlock
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