Mellick III, Carlton. Adolf in Wonderland. Portland: Eraserhead Press, 2007. 180 pp. $10.95. ISBN 1933929618.
If you're reading this journal, you should know who Carlton Mellick III is by now. Master of the weird, Bizarro High Priest, blah blah blah. You get it. After about twenty books, how is he holding up? Can his new work still match the awesome strangeness of early classics? Adolf in Wonderland is his eighteenth book and, while not an instant classic, it still retains that Mellick flavor we all crave.
A young Nazi officer is sent on a mission to a distant town to find and eliminate the last imperfect human. He is quickly derailed from his task when he finds himself suffering amnesia and lost in a world that defies logic of any kind. The only thing he knows is that he must find the imperfect human. If memory loss was not enough, he must also deal with ghosts, Dakar Spiders, and pig people.
Mellick writes in the introduction that his idea for Adolf in Wonderland was to introduce a Nazi, a person obsessed with order, to Alice's Wonderland, a place devoted to chaos. With this theme in mind, Mellick explores a man who has his personal order systematically destroyed. His sense of purpose, relation to the world, and relation to others are relentlessly assaulted by Mellick's creations.
Unfortunately, Adolf in Wonderland fails to completely deliver on its promise. While it contains all the weirdness that one would expect from a Carlton Mellick world, it never fully capitalizes on it all. There is no specific lacking aspect of the book that one can point to, but it is missing a certain magic found in his earlier work.
If you somehow stumbled here and have not read Carlton Mellick III, you would be better served starting with The Baby Jesus Butt Plug or The Menstruating Mall. For those already devoted fans, Adolf in Wonderland is an enjoyable, if unremarkable, foray into a very strange world.