The Avian Gospels

Earlier today I stumbled upon a book (or set of books) that, I have to say, intrigues me. I don't know if it's a style that I'm only now becoming aware of, but I rather enjoy this story-as-biblical-tale trend of writing. First with Philip Pullman's Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ, then with Adam Levin's The Instructions... there is something about re-incorporating the ideas of myth, sacrifice, and religion that I find fascinating.

Now, a little late on the band wagon, I realize, I've come across Adam Novy's two-book set, The Avian Gospels:
This debut has the potential to become a cult classic, if readers aren't distracted from the oddly compelling story by the unconventional structure. The beleaguered residents of an unnamed mythical city long at war with Hungary are enjoying a parade to mark the end of the "endless war." In the midst of the parade, refugee Zvominir's wife goes into labor, and then dies giving birth to their son in the abandoned storefront they call home. Seventeen years later, Zvominir and Morgan, his son, are "the Bird Man and Bird Boy"; they can control birds but are opposed in their outlooks and philosophies. But when the city suffers from a bird invasion so large that they block out the sun, the pair are commanded by their tyrannical ruler, Judge Charles Giggs, to clear the birds away, and soon the citizens (including the Judge's daughter, Katherine) and the birds are caught up in a conflict of ideals. Cleverly formatted in a Biblical style, this is a fascinating examination of what makes a martyr, a myth, or a legend. [Publisher's Weekly]
It was published last September, about the same time Levin's book was making a splash, so was most likely overlooked by all (me included) but the most keyed in. It's been compared to Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (naturally) and Stephen King's The Stand.

There's a fabulous review over at The Nervous Breakdown.

Purchase copies through the publisher: Short Flight / Long Drive Books - two book set: $20.95.

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