Review-Bucket of Face
by Steve Shroyer
I remember when I heard Michael Jackson died; I was coming home from my job as a telemarketer when my mom told me the news. Personally I felt indifferent, as at this point I was experimenting with electronic music and classic rock and to me MJ’s music was too commercial. But for those of us who grew up during his heyday he was the next best thing since sliced bread. It is probably why when I read Eric Hendrixxon’s “Bucket of Face” I found myself laughing and also understanding I was in on a joke that few would get.
“Bucket” Tells the story of Charles, a doughnut shop night clerk who dreams of better cigarettes and a better life for his girlfriend (a sentient kiwi fruit). It is when he witnesses a shootout between two Mafia members (who also happen to be sentient fruit, in this case, a banana and an apple) who leave behind a briefcase of money and the titular bucket that he finds his ticket to a better (and flavor country filled) life. There is a catch though. There is a Tomato hit-man who wants what he has and will stop at nothing to get it.
Right off the bat Hendrixson does not spend a lot of time giving you a backstory on how the fruit in the story became able to walk and talk. Instead he pushes us headlong into the universe he has created and does not pull the brakes until the final page has rolled. The book is also laugh out loud funny in a Douglas Adams, Robert Rankin, Terry Pratchett sort of way. It is this off kilter sense of storytelling, that makes this book a must read for all Bizarro fans.
For a first effort, Hendrixson does not show a single iota of worthlessness. His prose is quick, snappy and quirky. My only complaint is that it ended. So, if you want a fun read for that short break between classes or that bus ride to that convention, get this book. Bravo, Eric, and here’s hope for a sequel!