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Bizarro Starter Kit (orange) by Carlton…

Bizarro Starter Kit (orange)

by Carlton Mellick III

Other authors: Steve Beard (Contributor), Kevin L. Donihe (Contributor), Andre Duza (Contributor), Jeremy Robert Johnson (Contributor), John Edward Lawson (Contributor)4 more, Gina Ranalli (Contributor), Vincent W. Sakowski (Contributor), Bruce Taylor (Contributor), D. Harlan Wilson (Contributor)

Series: Bizarro Starter Kit (1)

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The Bizarro Starter Kit (Orange) is a book that's designed as an introduction to bizarro fiction. It's a collection of novellas and short stories by some of the top writers in the genre. I will say that I generally enjoyed the novella length works better than the short stories, but even the short stories were pretty good.

The collection starts off with a selection of short stories by D. Harlan Wilson. I thought these were all cool, but my favorite had to be "Classroom Dynamics," which is a strange college tale. These were all great.

Next up was Carlton Mellick III's Baby Jesus Butt Plug. Mellick is one of the best writers in bizarro, and while I don't think this novella length story is his best, I did think it was still pretty enjoyable.

Following Mellick's work, we have the novella length Extinction Journals by Jeremy Robert Johnson. This was a really cool story of a man in a cockroach suit surviving in a post-nuclear-holocaust world. I enjoyed this one.

Up next was Kevin L. Donihe's The Greatest Fucking Moment In Sports. As the title suggests, this is indeed a sports story, and it is indeed the greatest fucking moment in sports. A great read.

Then comes Gina Ranalli's Suicide Girls in the Afterlife, which I had actually read previously and was going to give it's own bizarro month entry before I picked up the Starter Kit. This is a very peculiar version of the afterlife with some really weird characters.

Then next is Andre Duza's Don't F(beep)k With The Coloureds which is a novella about rampaging cartoon characters. Another cool story.

That's followed by a selection of short stories by Vincent W. Sakowski. These were some weird and entertaining stories.

Up next is Steve Beard's Survivor's Dream, which, while good, was probably my least favorite of the novellas. It's about a girl called Dead Girl who has to track down the Witch Doctor for her Fairy Sugardaddy. It was strange enough, but I found it a bit tedious.

Then comes John Edward Lawson's Truth In Ruins, which is a strange apocalyptic novella set in a world where everyone is either a serial killer or a profiler.

The book ends with a collection of short stories by Bruce Taylor, which I found to be a bit of a mixed bag. I really enjoyed his "The Breath Amidst The Stones," but didn't care for the other stories as much.

Overall, this is a great collection, and since buying the individual works contained in it would probably cost more than three times as much as the Starter Kit, it's a great value too. This is a great but not just for people who are new to bizarro, but for people who want to expand their bizarro libraries without paying to much, too. ( )
1 vote yoyogod | Apr 1, 2012 |
This is a good introduction to the bizarro genre. Although, I don't think the shorter stories were as good as the longer ones. Of the authors featured, my favorites were Mellick, Johnson, Donihe, Ranalli, and Duza. ( )
  crmass | Apr 18, 2010 |
Yikes. Cops and bodybuilders. Suicide girls in the afterlife. The greatest fu**ing moment in sports. Are these avant-garde short fictions, underground comics without the pictures, or the juvenile jottings of misfits and oddballs? Yes. Bizarro is funny, sickening, and occasionally ingenious.

I look around. The books are talking among themselves. Suddenly there is a paper-thin scream. Tropic of Cancer has just opened its pages and exposed itself to Jane Eyre. Portnoy is complaining again . . . The I Ching is tossing yarrow sticks and the Bible is screaming, ‘Pagan! Heathen!’ The dictionary is looking into itself and shouts words that it finds amusing: ‘Foregut!’ Rustle of pages. ‘Galago!’ Then, ‘Micronutrient!’ (Bruce Taylor, “The Breath Amidst the Stones”)

Gonzo Imperial Porter
Snake Dog IPA
  MusicalGlass | May 23, 2009 |
Wow…not only a fun romp through the absurd, but also a great introduction to a previously unknown (for me) genre.

So, imagine all of the great (and not-so-great) cult films influencing a generation of authors to do exactly what those movies did: shock, awe, and inspire a new way of looking at how you perceive a story.

Many of the authors in this collection admit to enjoying the visual works of David Lynch and the authorial extrapolations of Kafka.

I think while reading this collection, many readers may have to stop and realize that what is going on in these stories is just how their world works—it is beyond Magical Realism. This collection is a landscape that covers unexplored areas of the avant-garde.

The only reason I am not giving it 5 stars is simply because two of the stories I did not like all that much. One just seemed like a visceral version of Who Censored Roger Rabbit? In addition, the other story had no organization whatsoever.

I have the other collection (Blue) and I can hardly wait to start reading the many surprises it will have to offer. ( )
3 vote bardsfingertips | Mar 30, 2009 |
Showing 4 of 4
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
III, Carlton Mellickprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Beard, SteveContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Donihe, Kevin L.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Duza, AndreContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Johnson, Jeremy RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lawson, John EdwardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ranalli, GinaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sakowski, Vincent W.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Taylor, BruceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wilson, D. HarlanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Features short novels and story collections by ten of the leading authors in the bizarro genre.

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