One pet crow fights to save humanity from an apocalypse in this uniquely hilarious debut from a genre-bending literary author.
S.T., a domesticated crow, is a bird of simple pleasures: hanging out with his owner Big Jim, trading insults with Seattle's wild crows (those idiots), and enjoying the finest food humankind has to offer: Cheetos (R).
Then Big Jim's eyeball falls out of his head, and S.T. starts to feel like something isn't quite right. His most tried-and-true remedies--from beak-delivered beer to the slobbering affection of Big Jim's loyal but dim-witted dog, Dennis--fail to cure Big Jim's debilitating malady. S.T. is left with no choice but to abandon his old life and venture out into a wild and frightening new world with his trusty steed Dennis, where he discovers that the neighbors are devouring each other and the local wildlife is abuzz with rumors of dangerous new predators roaming Seattle. Humanity's extinction has seemingly arrived, and the only one determined to save it is a foul-mouthed crow whose knowledge of the world around him comes from his TV-watching education.
Hollow Kingdom is a humorous, big-hearted, and boundlessly beautiful romp through the apocalypse and the world that comes after, where even a cowardly crow can become a hero.
Kira Jane Buxton's writing has appeared in the New York Times, NewYorker.com, McSweeney's, The Rumpus, Huffington Post, and more. She calls the tropical utopia of Seattle, Washington, home and spends her time with three cats, a dog, two crows, a charm of hummingbirds, and a husband.
" Hollow Kingdom is a nature book for our own age, an exuberant, glittering, hard-hitting mashup of Dawn of the Dead and The Incredible Journey. It's an adventure lit by strange myths, brand-names, television and smartphone screens, a fable with teeth and claws about animals making new lives amongst the ruins of humanity. It's transformative, poignant, and funny as hell. S.T. the irrepressible, cursing crow is my new favourite apocalyptic hero."-- Helen Macdonald, New York Times bestselling author of H Is for Hawk
"A plucky hero, a boisterous tale, startling prose and eerie events combine for a thoroughly enjoyable account of the end of the world as we know it.The Secret Life of Pets meets The Walking Dead."-- Karen Joy Fowler, PEN/Faulkner Award-winning author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
" Hollow Kingdom offers a bird's-eye view of the apocalypse we all want and need-especially when the bird in question is a plucky, Cheeto-loving domesticated crow . . . With infinite heart and humor, Kira Jane Buxton's fine-feathered narrator guides us through richly imagined animal realms while braving the terrifying collapse of the human world. A dazzling, wholly original debut, revealing the great paradox of humanity's fatal flaws and resilient spirit."-- Mona Awad, author of 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl and Bunny
"Everything you're hearing about Kira Jane Buxton's Hollow Kingdom--that it's wildly original and inventive, funny and profane--is wonderfully true. But even better, this book is timely, smart, movingly written, and beautifully
"What a surprising, funny, terrifying, marvelous, wholly original novel! Buxton combines a vivid horror show (think zombies and the gruesome, bloody extinction of man) with a touching love story between the unlikeliest of BFFs: a crow, a hound, and a man who's had a tough go of things on Tinder, and that was before his eyeball fell out. With humor and a style that brings to mind Tom Robbins and Karen Russell, Buxton's debut is heartwarming and heart stopping, hilarious and tragic."-- Amy Poeppel, author of Limelight and Small Admissions
"A hilariously exuberant and heart-bursting fable for our times, Hollow Kingdom reminds us that creativity and determination (and a whole lot of love) can go a long way toward saving the world. When Mr. Rogers said to look for the helpers, who knew that might mean a salty-mouthed crow and a faithful bloodhound?"-- Jennie Shortridge, bestselling author of Love Water Memory and member of the Seattle7 Writers
"If you've ever thought that humans were the ones in charge, Kira Jane Buxton's groundbreaking novel will have you thinking otherwise. Full of unforgettable humor, insight and beauty, HOLLOW KINGDOM enriches our human experience by inhabiting the minds (and bellies!) of our non-human animal companions and reminding us that we're not alone here on this earth."-- Ruth Ozeki, nationally bestselling author of A Tale for the Time Being
"Wow. Hilarious or horrifying? Sassy or wise? Hollow Kingdom is a surprise and a marvel: a razor sharp and satisfying warning about the coming apocalypse, told by one of the most engaging narrators I have met in a long time. Good fiction makes you think. It turns you upside down and makes you realize that you recognize the world from that vantage point. Hollow Kingdom is that good fiction, and so much more."
-- Rahna Reiko Rizzuto, author of Shadow Child
"Pick up this delightfully weird book for a change from the usual--we promise it's like nothing you've read before."-- Good Housekeeping
"Buxton's quirky ideas and compelling nonhuman characters will satisfy literary fiction and zombie genre enthusiasts alike who are looking for something beguilingly different."-- Booklist
" Hollow Kingdom combines dark subject matter with an oddball sense of humor in what proves to be a winning formula . . . a surprising, funny, genre-bending novel, an environmentalist parable crossed with an epic adventure story, difficult to describe and even more difficult to put down."--Shelf Awareness
"Surprisingly tender, laugh-out-loud funny, and deliciously strange . . . a joy to read."-- BuzzFeed