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From the Journals of Bent Magnus by Milledge / Garduño

These are the journal entries of world traveler Bent Magnus. 

A full understanding of Bent Magnus begins with his mind. Imagine if you poured the intellectual horsepower of Einstein, Edison, and Ben Franklin all into one man. Now imagine that the man wasn’t a total pansy, like those other guys, and you have Bent Magnus.

Beginning with his birth at the “Fight of the Century” in 1910, Bent Magnus was destined for an extraordinary life. He spent his early childhood running through the halls of Magnus Towers, which served as the family home and power center for scientific research and eccentric social gatherings. Rare was the day when Bent didn’t interact with the elite of mankind, whether it was breakfast with a famed entomologist or afternoon playtime with an alcoholic poet. Bent’s passion for life arose from this cultured environment.

But by the tender age of 10, Bent was ready for more. And after a short stint at Columbia University, Bent traveled the globe for the next 30 years. With gravity-like force, he attracted adventure and intrigue to himself while crossing paths with world leaders, literary giants, business moguls, and general scum of the earth.

Soon after WWII, Bent witnessed a tragedy that would shape him for years to come. Shrouded in mystery, this tragedy gave him a new mission in life: to cure. Bent returned to Magnus Towers and rechristened it Magnus General, devoting himself to creating the most advanced hospital in the world.

Over the next decades, while headquartered at the hospital, he continued to be a major power player in the arts and sciences. Those who’ve cited him as inspiration range from the Beatles to NASA to MIT to Peter Weller.

Then in late May 1980, for reasons unknown, Bent abruptly left the hospital and disappeared. The details of his life over the next few years are scant at best, consisting of hearsay and innuendo. It wasn’t until he was discovered living under the Statue of Liberty during its renovation in 1985 that he returned to the public eye, thirty pounds lighter and, curiously, four inches taller.

On July 4, 2010, Bent Magnus will turn 100.

This is the story of his life thus far, told in his words, as events unfold.

Note: From the Journals of Bent Magnus is unfinished, and will likely remain so.  It contains some harsh language.

An abandoned series

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Listed: Sep 14, 2009


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Bent Magnus in One Word: Eccentric

By capriox, member

Nov 16, 2009: Bent Magnus is an intellectual, eccentric, wealthy world-traveler modeled on a caricature of an early 1900’s scientist. He’s supposed to be American, but he seems almost British to me; I think because of the eccentricity, air of superiority, class-ism, and general Western-white-man-ism that underlies most of his outlook. The Journals are out-of-order diary entries he makes about his adventures, pet peeves, and pet theories.

There isn’t much of a plot beyond "an intellectual’s intellectual behaves eccentrically, has eccentric thoughts, and goes on eccentric adventures." Actually, this might be another reason that the character comes across as inadvertently British to me: this narration reminds of the type of storytelling found in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, only with much less overarching plot. Without that larger narrative framework, the absurdism in the Journals of Bent Magnus lean towards falling into nonsense.

I found the individual entries interesting to varying degrees, and the overall nuts-and-bolts writing skills were very good. If you enjoy absurdist British storytelling like the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (or that TV show Red Dwarf), this story might be a good fit. For those who prefer a more straightforward narrative or a tale that is driven by character development instead of adventure-of-the-week, you will probably quickly drift away from Bent Magnus.

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