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Dave Purcell is ready to call it quits on his marriage and his restaurant, The Auk. His wife has left for a job at a "right leaning" Washington, D.C. think tank and the restaurant, like the ill-fated bird for which it was named, has never really taken off. Disheartened and desperate, Dave endeavors to consume the rare delights of his well-stocked wine cellar and larder before they are repossessed by the bank. All seems lost until Dave's neighbor, Alphonse Murphy, proposes a mad, yet ingenious scheme to save The Auk. Soon, the restaurant is crawling with well-heeled gastronomes, vain celebrities and bellicose politicos. However, Phonse Murphy has been up to some other tricks that have caught the attention of sinister forces, and because of Dave's involvement, it looks like the restaurant may well go the way of...the auk. A laugh-out-loud novel by one of Canada's most gifted young writers, Rare Birds is a rare literary debut.