"Pierson delivers a cutting sendup of a traditional portal fantasy."
"Twice as trippy and equally as much fun as his first (The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep and Never Had To, 2010, for adults), Pierson's sophomore effort is a post-Potter, self-aware, ironic, sarcastic fantasy."
“A hilarious and surreally honest book. Crap Kingdom is anything but the first half of its title.”
“Pierson’s funny, giddy anti-epic is the summer blockbuster your burnout friend never got around to writing.”
—Patton Oswalt, comedian
“It’s not just an incredible fantasy book. It’s also so evocative of high school angst and joy. It really makes me wish I were a fifteen year old boy again.
”—Megan Amram, staff writer, “Parks & Recreation”
“Like the hero of a fantasy novel, DC Pierson was merely an insanely gifted comic like everyone else, until he wakened to his secret destiny: to write brilliant and hilarious novels (oh, and also to lead the were-centaurs in final battle against the Ageless Narwhaldactyl, but you read about that in the news).”
—John Hodgman, “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” correspondent and author of That Is All
“DC Pierson’s fantastic, fantastical, and most of all funny Crap Kingdom fits perfectly between Douglas Adams and the Harry Potter novels. And not just because of the alphabet.”
—Matt Fraction, writer, Marvel’s The Mighty Thor and Invincible Iron Man comics
“To balance a world as fantastical as that of Crap Kingdom with profoundly relatable moments of pure honesty is no easy task, and DC Pierson has made it appear effortless.”
—Chris Gethard, author, A Bad Idea I’m About To Do
Adult author Pierson (The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep and Never Had To) delivers a cutting sendup of a traditional portal fantasy in this story of a Chosen One who fails to live up to his legend. Tenth-grader Tom Parking’s life is perfectly average and acceptable until he’s taken away to a mystical kingdom where he’s destined to do great things. But the kingdom, which doesn’t even have a name, stinks, in Tom’s opinion. It’s boring, dirty, and filled with trash, and its inhabitants are jerks (worse still, the prophecy about Tom is written in Times New Roman, and not even centered properly). Disappointed, Tom turns his back on the whole thing, but he’s flabbergasted when his best friend Kyle is picked as the new Chosen One—and turns out to be a much better choice. There’s a subtly cynical, almost mean-spirited feel to the humor, as though Pierson is not-so-affectionately mocking the source material even as he mines it for inspiration. Luckily, some narrative twists and surprises redeem the story, shedding light on a bigger picture. Ages 12–up. Agent: Daniel Greenberg, Levine Greenberg Literary Agency. (Mar.)
Gr 7–10—Tom Parking figured his life was too normal for him ever to be whisked off to an alternate world like a character in a book or movie, much as that would please him. Then his estranged father shows up in the guise of Gark and takes him, via the used-clothes donation box, to an unnamed kingdom of salvaged junk to be their Chosen One. When the teen's reception by the king is less than enthusiastic and he winds up being assigned to the Royal Rat-Snottery to prove his worth, Tom decides to return home to consider his options. He focuses on trying to win the attention of beautiful Lindsy Kopec instead of trying to be the salvation of a "crap kingdom." But when his friend Kyle takes his place as the Chosen One, wins over the king, and acquires magical powers, Tom can't help but be jealous. To add insult to injury, the soul that inhabits Tom's body whenever he visits Kyle is the brave and confident type of guy he always wished he could be. Everything comes to a head when Tom is captured by an enemy king and forced into the army that is bent on destroying the unnamed kingdom. When his friend's life is in jeopardy, Tom discovers that there is much more to him than he has ever given himself credit for. Put this one on your list of good reads for guys.—Cary Frostick, Mary Riley Styles Public Library, Falls Church, VA
Tom Parking dreamed of being whisked away to a fantasy realm, but his real life just wasn't crappy enough. Tenth-grader Tom's mom is a great mom. His dad's absent but not a monster. Tom has a few friends, and he loves drama club. There's even the possibility of a girlfriend….It's not a stellar life, but he's no abused orphan living under the staircase; no other realm would name him Chosen One. Until one does. Just Tom's luck: It's a ragged, rubbishy, nameless kingdom (they won't commit to a name and "mumble unintelligibly" when they talk of their land) that's accessed through a charity bin in a Kmart parking lot. Nggghthththhh's king loathes Tom and sends him to work in the Rat-Snottery (don't ask). Just after Tom tells the Nggghthththhhians no thanks for the Chosen One gig, his best friend Kyle starts acting weird. Suddenly, there's a new prophecy: Kyle's the Chosen One! The king loves him, and Kyle can do magic! Then Tom finds out his body wasn't idle while he was in Nggghthththhh, and he has trouble in two worlds. Twice as trippy and equally as much fun as his first (The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep and Never Had to, 2010, for adults), Pierson's sophomore effort is a post-Potter, self-aware, ironic, sarcastic fantasy. Some action scenes get boggy with exuberant descriptions, but the abundant laughs make up for it. Adults might wonder what Pierson's smoking; teens will just enjoy the ride. (Fantasy. 12 & up)