The Illustrated Hen

Imagine a chicken so valuable that cheap men are willing to pay good money for it, and those who don’t like animals stroke its feathers as if they’re soft as cotton. Now pair this hen with a man, with frequent leaps back to his childhood, who considers the hen his greatest asset, the most valuable item he owns.

That’s Ray Burberry, or as he likes to introduce himself to strangers, Ray Comma Burberry. Yes, Comma is a full word instead of just a symbol. Readers are introduced to the off-kilter gentleman when he stops in a store and introduces himself in the to the proprietor. However, as the chapter ends, the story skitters to a flashback of Ray before he became such a cock of the walk and a man for whom he has great respect, Gus.

And so goes the novel. Even when the characters are unnamed, Ray Comma Burberry is at the center of each chapter. What begins as an odd affectation becomes an assertion of Burberry’s existence, especially as his backstory emerges.

Each chapter is a short story, self-contained but eventually coalescing into the larger narrative of a book. It’s by far one of the most interesting concept books on the market and guaranteed to interest adventurous readers.

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