In Curt Finch’s debut novel, Magpie, young Ian Swansea first enters the employ of mercurial, accident-prone, award-winning journalist Arthur Magpie after saving the star reporter from a rampaging (and quite stoned) bull.
Soon Ian is “doing [Arthur’s] laundry, cleaning up his flat, feeding Gustave, balancing his books, pacifying his ex-wives, replenishing his liquor supply, traveling to ungodly destinations, stalling his publishers and feigning enthusiasm whenever he read aloud the poems of W.H. Auden” (“But then again, I was raised Catholic,” Ian muses, “and we do love to suffer”).
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