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 ®.
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.
Admittedly, this book might not be everyone's cup of tea. Hell, if the narrator hadn't been a crow I'd probably never have given it a second look (being a crazy bird lady as I am). S.T. (short for Shit Turd, named by Big Jim, his human) loves to swear, and then there are zombies. I know, I know...... it sounds absurd, doesn't it?
Here's a couple of excerpts from Ilana Masad's review from NPR books:
The novel is largely narrated by a domesticated crow named S.T. — short for something unprintable — who has spent his life with a beer-drinking, junk-food-eating, sports-loving, breast-obsessed man named Big Jim, who raised S.T. from a hatchling. A dopey, lazy dog named Dennis rounds out their little Seattle-based family. When Big Jim's eye unexpectedly falls out of his head, S.T. knows something is very wrong, but it takes him a good long while before he gives up on his beloved MoFo — S.T.'s term for humans, learned at Big Jim's bosom — and leaves home, accompanied by Dennis.
Ultimately, though, S.T.'s real challenge is learning that wild animals, like the murder of crows that roosts at the nearby university campus, are just as creative, resourceful, and lively as the humans he loves. His identity crisis — he so wishes to be human, but isn't and can't become one — is never quite resolved, but he learns, slowly, how to work with his own kind, how to live in this new version of the world.