Bucket of Face by Eric Hendrixson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
In a world where much of the fruit has become sentient due to a horticultural genius's experiments going out of control, fruit and humans struggle to live in harmony. When Charles witnesses a banana and apple killing each other in the doughnut shop where he works, he seizes the briefcase and the bucket of human faces they left behind and attempts to start a new life with his kiwi girlfriend Sarah. Things look as if they might be going Charles's way until a Michael Jackson-obsessed hit-tomato shoes up looking to recover the goods...
I don't really know how to start writing a review for this. Do I mention the crazy world Hendrixson has fashioned where humans and fruit attempt to live side by side? Or the hilarious pop culture references? Or the fact that Hendrixson has managed to turn a walking talking tomato into a fairly chilling antagonist? Eh, I'll wing it...
Bucket of Face is an entry in the New Bizarro Author Series and sure as hell doesn't read like a first book. Hendrixson's writing style reminds me of Christopher Moore doing noir. Like I said before, he makes talking fruit seem like believable characters. The relationship between Charles and Sarah was actually pretty believable once you disregarded the talking fruit aspect. The pop culture references were plentiful but not overdone. I caught references to the Karate Kid, National Lampoon's Vacation, and a couple others.
Uniqueness always scores points with me and Bucket of Face has uniqueness coming out of every orifice. Come on! It's got a doughnut shop worker named Anakin, a Stallone-esque Strawberry everyone calls Bear, cops that talk in high class British accents when nobody's around, and a Michael Jackson worshiping tomato! Where else are you going to find anything like this?
To sum it up, if Eric Hendrixson is this creative right out of the gate, I'm ready for his next book right now. Give him a chance if you're a fan of Christopher Moore or similar authors.
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