"Ice Cream Man" Book Review

Written by Gabino Iglesias

Published by Jimmy M.F. Pudge

Written by Jimmy Pudge
2012, 67 pages, Fiction
Released on May 20th, 2012


Here's something you've probably never come across before when reading a book review: an invitation to be brutally honest. I want you to think back to a moment in your life when you did something you'd be ashamed of if anyone knew, but that felt great. Maybe it involved someone else, a lot of nudity and unhealthy amounts of booze or some chemical of dubious legality. I bet you felt dirty and needed a shower afterward. I also bet you took that shower smiling to yourself. You get the same feeling when reading Jimmy Pudge's work: it's kinky, dirty and smells a bit like old sweat, but it's so much fun.

Ice Cream Man begins in 1984, when three boys with nothing better to do decide to rob the ice cream man. Their plan goes horribly wrong and the resulting mess leaves the brains of the purveyor of cold treats splattered all over the inside of the truck. However, instead of being charged with murder, the boys become heroes for stopping the Pussy Willow Maniac. The next 28 years go by and the kids turn into adults. They dealt with the guilt in different ways, but none could imagine that the story was far from over. Out of nowhere, the Pussy Willow Maniac comes back and the bodies start to pile up. Confusion, fear, adrenaline, death, and a lot of remorse ensue. In the end, the killer behind the strange mask will surprise everyone...twice.

Pudge's prose is brutally honest and his characters are pulled from a seedy world full of trailer parks, broken dreams, corrupt detectives, bitterness and mature hookers past their prime. The result is an engaging story that pulls you in and keeps you there with its perfect mix of raunchiness, horror, and humor. Also, the author manages to make you laugh in one paragraph, grimace the next and creep you out with a tall freak in a latex mask in the following one.

I think folks that like to talk about movies without ever reading a book about film have ruined the term "campy." The McMillan Dictionary defines it as "a style of art or entertainment that deliberately does not follow traditional ideas about what is considered good in order to produce a humorous effect." What that definition fails to mention is that, besides being humorous, campy things are often brilliant in their own way and sometimes lead to a film or book turning into a cult classic. In addition to its depraved violence, Ice Cream Man is campy in the best sense of the word: it's entertaining and as scary as it is fun.

The world of underground horror is full of mediocrity. Luckily, a man with no moral compass and a truckload of talent is sitting at the top of that underworld. His name is Jimmy Pudge and, if you're missing his work, you're missing on one of those smutty, grimy pleasures that put a smile on your face. Get dirty with Pudge today and thank me for recommending him tomorrow.

Note: While writing this review, I learned that you can now wear Jimmy Pudge's mug on your chest. Sam McCanna's Skurvy Ink, the finest purveyor of t-shirts for lovers of horror, bizarro, and superb art, now offers a Pudge t-shirt full of love. You can get one here.



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