Book Review of Killer Vacum (sp) by Spencer Lavender

I know every parent has tons of stuff their kid created and every parent treasures these things, but this is my son’s first attempt at writing a book, so that makes it all the more special.  I don’t recall when my son wrote this, but I estimate it was three or four years ago.

I was going to do pictures of every page, but decided to leave it at the cover only.  Here is Killer Vacum (sp!) written and illustrated by Spencer Lavender. 

Killer Vac by SL

A killer vacuum – where does the kid come up with this stuff?  In an interview with the author, I learned that it he wrote entirely in red ink to subconsciously convey the bloodthirsty intentions of the evil Hoover upright.    I’m paraphrasing, of course.

As this captivating story unfolded, drawing me into a nightmarish world where the main character and antagonist is a sentient household vacuum intent on a murderous bender, only stopping to empty it’s bag once in a while.  I found the character of the vacuum easy to hate but was also intrigued and wanted to know more.  How did a vacuum become sentient?  Why has this otherwise benign appliance snapped?  What could have possibly happened to cause such violent reaction?

As Killer Vacuum scooted around, yelling, “I want to kill you!” I became empathic for the poor, murderous vacuum.  Certainly, sucking dirt all day is a thankless job, and after years of this, it is reasonable that it went a screwy, even so far as to go on a savage rampage.  The author masterfully manipulated this reader into thinking for himself to find the answers to my own questions.

The story concludes, open-ended,  leaving the reader with much to contemplate:  Is this the end of Killer Vacuum?  Do I need to take my boy to a psychiatrist?   Should I start writing in red pen, too?

I’m told this may be the first in a series of books, but true to the author’s mysterious personae, he would not commit completely.  One can only hope, and maybe… just maybe, the vacuum will find peace and redemption, or at least get blown up.

Thanks for reading.


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