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Bennett jogs along the country bitumen an anxious man, his CRETE hat guarding against the magpie's deadly swoop. Who is he, where has Jasmine gone, why is he overwhelmed by sense of doom? Pat-pat, pat-pat, pat-pat...his dogged feet propel him inexorably into a comic nightmare.
"When I sit down at the desk I can feel my characters cringe," Nabokov once remarked. The characters in Magpie might well cringe as they are put through their hoops by two of Australia's leading writers in a novel that is part collaboration, part argument and always irreverent fun.