Pigeon by Daniel Zadow is a unique, post-modern trip through the mind of a reclusive man as he uncovers suppressed truths about his history. The book follows Simon, a man who lives alone except for his dog and the specters that visit him late at night, on his quest to uncover the meaning behind these visits. This is a huge undertaking, and one that reveals hidden truths that Simon has gone out of his way to keep buried.
Pigeon is an ambitious project. Zadow attempts to write a post-modernist tale about a man on a journey of self-discovery, but the book ultimately leaves the reader wondering what actually has been discovered. The language and narrative structure of Pigeon is necessarily overwhelming. The creative choices Zadow makes help to put the reader firmly in Simon’s skewed perspective. This does make the events of the book difficult to follow. Pigeon could benefit from a little more explanation of the plot aspects of the story including the Intractable Energy Agency and the Many Worlds Portal. Clearing up these plot ambiguities would assist the reader in focusing their attention on the existential crisis unfolding before them.
This book is a one-of-kind story that demands to be read multiple times. The plot is thoroughly unique and engrossing. There are multiple layers of meaning to what Simon is going through, the reader is bound to miss some of the story the first time through. Zadow is incredibly ambitious with his free use of language and syntax, he really gets the reader into Simon’s head. This choice does make it difficult to keep up with the story, but the effort is worth it in the end. Readers who enjoy post-modern storytelling, science fiction, and emotional catharsis will find something to like in this novel.
Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.