In late 2007, as the world’s economy crumbles, the remarkably unremarkable Milton Ontario—not to be confused with Milton, Ontario—leaves his parent’s basement in Saskatchewan and sets forth to find fame, fortune, and love in the electric sexuality of Montreal, to bask in endless Millennial adolescence, to escape the infinite flatness of Saskatchewan, and to find his messiah: Leonard Cohen.
Hilariously ironic and irreverent, Dirty Birds is a quest novel for the twenty-first century—a coming-of-age, rom-com, crime-farce thriller—where a hero’s greatest foe is his own crippling mediocrity, and getting out of bed before noon.
Bespeak Audio Editions brings Canadian voices to the world with audiobook editions of some of the country’s greatest works of literature, performed by Canadian actors.
Morgan Murray was born and raised on a farm near the same west-central Alberta village as figure-skating legend Kurt Browning (Caroline). He now lives, works, plays, writes, and builds all sorts of crooked furniture in Cape Breton. In between, he has been a professional schemer, a farmer, a rancher, a roustabout, a secretary, a reporter, a designer, a Tweeter, and a student in St. John’s, Calgary, Prague, Montreal, Chicoutimi, and Paris. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Canadian Studies from the University of Calgary, a Certificate in Central and Eastern European Studies from the University of Economics, Prague, a Master of Philosophy in Humanities from Memorial University of Newfoundland, and a participation ribbon for beef-calf showmanship (incomplete) from the Little Britches 4-H Club.
Published: August 2021
“Billed as a quest novel for the 21st century, this coming-of-age rom-com is about finding purpose, art, money, crime … and sleeping in.” — The Globe and Mail’s Summer’s Hottest Reads
“One of the most fun and dynamic aspects of the book is Morgan’s facility with different dialogues. These include, but are not limited to, the matrix of the prairie junior hockey structure, the non-stop conversation of a Newfoundland taxi driver, academic papers, police files, and, most prominently, Milton’s poetry. These are often decoded and/or annotated in footnotes, a comedic amplification that’s an effective and refreshing device in this fiction. There’s work and care in the writing; the experiences, however foolish, feel earned. At the same time it’s kinetic: the words, like birds, take flight.” — Joan Sullivan, The Telegram
“Fortune or misfortune? Fate or coincidence? Genius or idiocy? Ah, the polarity that runs rampant throughout this highly entertaining and adventurous love story where passion keeps sprinting headlong into reality, learning nothing from the crashes. I love this amusing story, which reminds me a lot of the one time I met Leonard Cohen, whom I thought was very, very nice?” — Vish Khanna, Kreative Kontrol
“Canadians rejoice! Our Vonnegut has finally arrived! Morgan Murray’s debut is a great, brawling, sprawling, muscular glory of a story. Funny, dark, and wholly original.” — Will Ferguson, winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize
“This book would make a great Canadian film starring Michael Cera. Refreshingly backlit with the nostalgia of Obama era planet Earth, riffing on a myriad of contemporary themes including intergenerational tensions and anxieties, global economic frailty and the pursuit of young desire, Dirty Birds is the perfect misfit read for your next layaway, or when you’re down to your last shot of whisky. It provides days’ worth of warm, weird feelings.” — Nathaniel G. Moore, Atlantic Books Today