A friend recommended me this book, with a warning: "It's not for the timid", he said, fully knowing that I am far from timid. And I agree with him. I wouldn't recommend this book to just anyone. If you are easily offended by the frequent use of straightforward mentions and namings of male and female genital parts, explicit sexual descriptions and so called deviant sexual behaviour, then this book is not for you. However, if you do appreciate a truly innovative and provocative use of the English language, and of how to narrate a story, then this might still be an interesting read. The story is set in an undefined future, where men are extinct, and women use genetically custom designed sex toys for pleasure and procreation. This is the story of one such sex toy. It lives with its owner, whom it loves, and observes and interacts with the owner, her sister, her house and the ghosts of previous inhabitants, who now roam the house. It is the story of how the relationship between the sex toy and its owner develops over time, and changes with the events in their lives and in the surrounding world. The story is told very much through the nature of the sado-masochistic nature of the relationship between the two, and culminates in an exquisite description of dying, fertilization and love.
This is one of my favorite Mellick novels. The surrealistic future world is very well thought out. The sexual images here are incredible... the women exotic. Who else would have thought to create a work of fetish erotica set in the far future. The use of metal here is interesting. As usual for Mellick, there are some diverse characters and many original ideas. The prose flows incredibly fast, and the short chapters keep you turning pages. I was sorry to see this one end. Mellick has definitely joined the ranks of the bizarre literary geniuses such as Burroughs, Philip K. Dick, and Vonnegut. I know everybody says that, but it's true. He should get the recognition that these artists get, because his books make just as strong of a statement and are often faster moving and more engrossing.
Carlton Mellick has a hell of an imagination. Although the book's setting is surreal and fantastical, his writing makes it seem real, as if it were existing in my own head. And his unique characters are a great extension of their environment. The sexual permeates the entire book, and unlike most authors who manage to make sex boring and bland, Carlton makes it highly entertaining.