Book: Bucket of Face
Author: Eric Hendrixson
Type of Book: Fiction, novella, bizarro
Why Do I Consider This Book Odd: Humanoid fruit and a mob tomato obsessed with Michael Jackson, for starters.
Availability: Published by Eraserhead Press for the New Bizarro Author Series in 2010, you can get a copy here:
Comments: Ah yes, a new Bizarro Week begins. And as with all my themed weeks here on IROB, I am giving away free books. This time, I want to see if I can include the contest instructions on a different entry rather than clutter up the discussions with all my site business. So check out the contest rules here and comment away!
Eric Hendrixson got the shaft when I did my New Bizarro Author Series reviews earlier this year. I got a copy of his book later than the others and it was just luck of the draw that he didn’t get included. So I decided to start this Bizarro Week with his book, but before I get started, I feel the need to remind my readers that the books in the New Bizarro Author Series are an audition of sorts. Eraserhead Press gives these authors a chance to show their skills in both writing and encouraging an audience to buy their books. The NBAS writers will only get a contract to write more bizarro books if they sell enough of their “audition” books. So if this review makes this book seem like an appealing read to you, I encourage you to buy a copy of this book and give Hendrixson a chance to continue writing his lunatic tales.
The more I read bizarro, the more I realize that in many respects, these books are retelling stories we already know, using the normal as a framework upon which they build their intensely strange stories. I think that is why I don’t understand it when people look me in the eyes and say, “Bizarro is just too weird for me.” Seriously, many bizarro books are a mild inversion of the same plots we read, watch and inhale on a daily basis, except with more interesting characterization, a better use of pop culture details and a willingness to engage in subversive surrealism. These books are the logical evolution of storytelling wherein the core, the heart, if you will, of the story remains the same but the details evolve. Bucket of Face is a fine example of that evolution.