Review: The Bird Room by Chris Killen

Review: The Bird Room by Chris Killen

I wasn’t sure whether to review The Bird Room or not, because it’s an… Interesting story. My copy is in pretty bad condition so I was only reading it before donating it to a charity shop, which means I’m not too disappointed that I didn’t enjoy it, but it’s also been playing heavily on my mind for the past couple of days because I have literally no idea what it meant.

William is dating Alice. When William introduces Alice to his artist friend Will, he’s certain that they’re going to end up sleeping together. Alice references the fact that she made porn with one of her ex-boyfriends. William decides to find it.

Interspersed throughout, a girl called Helen (who used to be called Clair) shares her experiences as a sex worker. Helen doesn’t have sex for money, but she does just about everything else. When William contacts her, their worlds collide… But instead of clearing everything up, the combination of the two characters makes everything feel far more convoluted.

I read through some of the other reviews on Goodreads just to see if there was some ~deeper meaning~ that I was missing (literary fiction and a sludgy, book slumping brain are not a great combo) but alas, that didn’t clear anything up, either. It seems as though it’s supposed to be some kind of social commentary on loneliness, but I’ve never felt less connected (or interested) in a set of characters in my life.

Why would you give such an emotionally unappealing book two stars, Alyce? Well, that’s because the writing style flows beautifully, incorporating short, sharp, snappy sentences in an effective manner that gives this book the pace of a thriller… Even if the events included are completely uninteresting. I read this story with my boyfriend, and it lends itself to being read aloud, even if some of the scenes are a little cringe-inducing.

It looks like it took Chris Killen six years to release his second novel, but I’m not sure whether I’m going to give In Real Life a try. He’s certainly got an interesting style, but I’m still not completely sure whether I actually enjoyed it, so I think I’m going to give all of his future novels a skip.


If you’re interested in learning more about The Bird Room, check it out on Goodreads. If you decide to buy a copy, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link: I’ll earn a few pennies from your purchase. Thank you!