Pages from the Pizza Crows is as abstract and weird as it is wonderful. Fiction’s synopsis suggests any reader is in for a bizarre read as each tale told is determined by the pizza type and toppings fed to the crow who visits the narrator each night.
Fiction’s premise is excellent and immersive. From the very beginning you buy into the belief this short story collection was furnished by a crow with a taste for pizza. As the narrator experiments with crusts, toppings and pizza joints, the stories fluctuate between narrative voice and style, theme and how abstract they are. The eclectism of this collection is to be applauded and admired. Fiction showcases an excellent talent for storytelling and harnesses multiple genres in the process. Some stories are bizarre, others are hilarious and many are sinister and reflective of the human condition.
Due to the narrator’s pizza experimentation, the stories also improve as the collection progresses, as the narrator learns the crow’s mechanics and tastes. The way Fiction frames their own progression as a writer is clever. It also meant the pace at which I devoured (pardon the pun) this book increased as the storytelling was elevated in fluidity and style. The last few, “Lethe”, “The Bright Idea Room” and “Satan’s Spies” were particular favourites of mine. Earlier stories showcased how narration is refined and re-defined, such as “Bedfellows” versus “Belligamy” and “The Red Constellation”; the latter two offering a sinister exploration of society, its dangers and human nature’s response.
Fiction’s approach is fascinating and unique but undoubtedly the collection may be for an acquired taste; abstract stories are not for everyone but I promise most in the collection are visceral and thought-provoking tales.
Pages from the Pizza Crows is certainly worth a read – I encourage you to take the plunge into the weird and the wonderful.