Hollow Kingdom (Paperback)
August 2019 Indie Next List
“We need more heroes like S.T. — a foul-mouthed, idealistic, moral crow with unquenchable courage — and his sidekick, a befuddled bloodhound. Kira Jane Buxton speaks crow, gull, dog, housecat, and owl with such fluency and poetry that I could not put this book down. Her vision of the zombie apocalypse is a strange and wonderful journey I want to take again and again. I really can’t think of another current novel that conveys such humor, joy, sorrow, and hope so beautifully. Thank you for restoring my faith that this world may live on.”
— Dena Kurt, River Lights Bookstore, Dubuque, IA
But when Big Jim's eyeball falls out of his head, S.T. starts to think something's not quite right. His 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 suddenly discovers that the neighbors are devouring one other. Local wildlife is abuzz with rumors of Seattle's dangerous new predators.
Humanity's extinction has seemingly arrived, and the only one determined to save it is a cowardly crow whose only knowledge of the world comes from TV.
About the Author
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, five Steller's jays, two dark-eyed juncos, two squirrels, 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-winningauthor of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
"I love this book so much! I wanted to set it on fire while hugging it. I wanted to hasten the apocalypse just to see how my own pets fare in a more humane world without humans. Kira Jane Buxton's voice is fresh, like a newly dug grave, but so joyful and honest you'll laugh out loud, and then check to make sure you haven't lost an eyeball. Hollow Kingdom is a wildly original debut and a paean to my favorite city."—Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author ofHotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
"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, authorof 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 concluded."—Laurie Frankel, author of This isHow It Always Is and member of the Seattle7 Writers
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."
"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 LoveWater 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
"Hollow Kingdom is a grown-up's Watership Down for our times -- or the end of them. Kira Jane Buxton has created a crow so full of personality you won't even miss the company of humans, who are devolving at hyper-speed rates into something sub-literate and grotesque. But Buxton shows there's humor in our plight and strength in tenderness, and she portrays the intelligence and astounding beauty of the natural world in a completely fresh way. This book is a triumphant feat of imagination, and it had me believing that the bonds we've formed with our pets might help them save us after all. I'll never look at a corvid the same way again."—Zoe Zolbrod, author ofThe Telling and Currency and former editor at The Rumpus
"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
"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
"Kira Jane Buxton's hilariously philosophical and formidable first novel tackles humankind's most existential questions . . . Buxton does a stellar job of anthropomorphizing the novel's animals and adding drama, suspense, tragedy and hope. It's amazing that such a bizarre and far-fetched story can connect so deeply with our reality and its discussions about social media, climate change, immigration and self-identity. It doesn't get any weirder, funnier or better than Hollow Kingdom."—BookPage (Starred Review)
"[Hollow Kingdom] has a lot to say about humanity and the impact we are having on the planet, but it also shows that there is hope. Experiencing the story from the perspective of the animals was a pretty cool experience."—BookRiot