“A whole new world // A dazzling place I never knew // But when I'm way up here // It's crystal clear // That now I'm in a whole new world with you”
It can be so magical and wonderful to discover a new world! Learning to adapt to new surprises for all of your senses is never easy, but it can still be exhilarating and life-changing. Right? If I truly believed that BEFORE I read this book, I do not think it possible for me to ever have that same perspective again. Because in this book, the new world is not at all what you think. In this book, the “shining, shimmering splendid” world is only accessible by entering a vagaina. A haunted vagina. A vagina that is a gateway to the world of the dead. Ew.
The Haunted Vagina is the first book I have ever read by Carlton Mellick III and I cannot imagine a better introduction to learning how his brain is wired. If this bizarre story is any indication of the uniqueness for his other books then I am going to ride the Mellick Train for a long time! Never in a million years did I predict I would be praising a book about a vagina, let alone a vagina that you can crawl up inside and travel to a wasteland of the dead. And to be honest I am unsure if I ever thought the two were not already one in the same. Juuuuuuuust kidding!
Did I find myself actually being concerned and scared for the narrator as he is sacrificing everything to climb inside his girlfriend’s vajayjay without knowing anything or anyone (yes, he is NOT alone in here…) while he can feel his whole world slipping away? You bet your fallopian tubes I did! And that is how I know Mellick is brilliant. He made me care about a character in this crazy outlandish story. I wanted that narrator to succeed in his mission, save the day, and thrive!
Mellick also did a great job at trying to appeal to all of my senses. I could see the brand new world inside this haunted vagina. I struggled to see in the darkness as the narrator climbed inside. I felt it every time the narrator slipped. I could even smell every rancid, sour odor described. I know if anyone looked at me reading that my face was scowling out of disgust frequently, but that is only because I was imagining the smell of everything. And what pulled me into the story first was how I could hear the echoes coming from inside this haunted hoo hoo as the narrator was beginning to learn of his girlfriend’s precarious situation. It’s simultaneously eerie and impressive just how detailed the writing is to affect all of these senses in such a short book.
And what’s even better? Somehow Mellick turns this into a little love story! Sure, it’s a love story with skeletons crawling out of vaginas and people being “unzipped” from their skin at times, but love abounded in the end. I mean, it would have to right? Nothing else could explain the motivation behind ANY of the actions taken by a single character. Mellick stunned me in the best way with this piece of bizarro fiction. I give it 5 stars and I cannot wait to read more bizarro and more Mellick!
Alex has always had a strong passion for horror, whether it be in books, movies, or TV shows. In addition to the Night Worms, Alex is also a member of the Ladies of Horror Fiction team. He currently lives in Alpharetta/Atlanta, Georgia where he enjoys life with his husband, cat, and wine.