Hollow Kingdom

Hollow Kingdom

A Novel

Book - 2019
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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.
Publisher: New York : Grand Central Publishing, 2019
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781538745823
Branch Call Number: FIC BUXTON 2019
Characteristics: 308 pages ; 24 cm


From Library Staff

Finalist for 2020 Washington State Book Award for Fiction.

After his human succumbs to a plague-like disease S.T. a domesticated crow, leaves the safety of his home to find a cure.

From the critics

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Jan 27, 2021

One of my favorite books of the year. The story is clever and irreverent but also heartwarming and sweet at the same time. I’m looking forward to reading more from this author.

Jan 05, 2021

What a fun book! I heard this as an e-book. I loved the voice of the narrator. It was so quirky and interesting that I was willing to suspend belief in some things such as, "How can a crow read?" and "How long would pets survive trapped in a house without food and water?" and "How can trees and insects and animals understand each other?"
It was a great odyssey, buddy story and a sardonic commentary on our times with a wonderful surprise ending. Loved the messaging and the fantastical idea that nature can communicate to those who listen.

CRRL_MaryB Dec 03, 2020

The funny and touching tale of S.T., a crow raised by a human, and his adventures with his dopey bulldog pal Dennis after his person, Big Jim, succumbs to a virus that has transformed humanity into slobbering mutants.

zenjay Oct 26, 2020

Great premise but I found it was the same old joke repeated over and over and gave up after chapter 3. Unique take on a zombie apocalypse!

May 14, 2020

Told from the viewpoint of ST, a pet crow, who has to step up to save the day. Sad, funny and highly entertaining. When all the Mofo's lose their ability to function, the animals take over. Such a fantastic imagination. Great read!

JessicaGma Jan 30, 2020

This might be my favourite novel so far this year, with its dark humour and Cheetos. ST is an excellent crow that takes you through the apocalypse. Although bereft when his master Big Jim loses his eyeball, ST and Dennis, his trusty hound, go on an epic quest all over Seattle to find out what's going on with the humans, and then later, as things ratchet up, to save the day. It's different, a bit odd, but a funny and worthwhile read. It's the most entertaining book about the end of the world that you'll read.

Jan 27, 2020

Buxton has creatively defined a new genre: post-apocalyptic satire. The story is told through the eyes of the birds and animals left behind and is just a hoot!

Nov 13, 2019

If you've ever wondered what would happen to pets and zoo animals in a zombie apocalypse, this is the book for you. It features lots of Seattle-area landmarks and even some real animals from Woodland Park Zoo. It's apparently set in spring 2019 because the Alaskan Way Viaduct has been partially demolished. The characters first struck me as ridiculous but I grew to appreciate them.

Oct 28, 2019

Have you ever wondered what would happen to your house pets if there were an apocalypse? I certainly have, and I try not to dwell on it because the answer isn't pretty. "Hollow Kingdom" attempts to answer this question, and actually ends up on a mostly hopeful note. The protagonist is a smarter-than-average pet crow who will steal your heart (and Cheetos), who tries to save his human and ends up kind-of-sort-of saving the world too. The plot is a little goofy and requires quite a bit of suspension of disbelief, but the animals are well characterized (if Genghis Cat doesn't make you smile, you have a heart of stone) and you may actually find yourself laughing out loud at the end of the world. The story is set in Seattle, which adds a nice local touch for other Seattle readers.

Content Warning: more than one dog does die over the course of the story. They give their lives for a noble cause, but if pet-death is a no-go for your reading, you'll want to skip "Hollow Kingdom."

JCLAndrewP May 28, 2019

A sometimes funny, but dark look at life beyond humans. Buxton tells the story of humanity's fall from the point of view of a snarky, domesticated crow named, S.T. You'll laugh and cry as he struggles with the death of his favorite human, Big Jim. S.T. and his travel companion, a slobbery, lazy, and sometimes heroic dog named Dennis must learn the rules of the new world. All the while helping rescue all the domestic animals trapped when humans fought a losing war of evolution with nature. I truly enjoyed this book and Buxton describes nature is such vivid, and often humorous, terms.


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