Magnus Mills: The Scheme for Full Employment



Over the past three weeks in between some larger novels I ve read three Magnus Mills novels The Scheme for Full Employment The Field of the Cloth of Gold and The Forensic Records Society While I ve read several other Mills novels Explorers of the New Century remains my favorite largely because he employs the deadpan humor and irony in a pointedly specific fashion the targets are clear and the successful bulls eyes measurable and it becomes a first rate satire about English zeal hypocrisy racism guilt and the petty competitionsirritations that undermine groups The Scheme for Full Employment presents an alternate reality very like our own where we slowly come to understand what sc I LOVED this book really funny par. The Scheme was designed to provide an honest wage for an honest day's labour Men driving identical rust resistant Univans deliver Univan parts to strategically spaced warehouses Simple self perpetuating and efficient it seems destined to last forever But when some drivers begin leaving early and developing delivery sid.

Ticularly from my perspective as an employer And as always Mills can be counted on to be off the wall I have read many of Magnus Mills s books and very much enjoyed this as with all of the others I suspect though it will divide those who read it having stumbled upon him It is in the vein of The Maintenance Of Headway than The Restraint Of Beasts Beasts is much darker with that black humour that Mills is renowned for Headway is much drier humour and about centred around a working class workplace Similarly here and almost it seems like an allegory for the 1970s strikes Though the van drivers working for the Scheme have few grievances at first it isn t long before some seemingly petty uibbles rear their heads and two. Elines the workforce is divided into two camps Flat Dayers and Early Swervers'An enjoyable novel by a truly original writer' Sunday Times'A British writer to be treasured' Independent'Mills' odd but wonderful books combine the language of a children's story and the strange dry humour of Harold Pinter' Daily ExpressMagn.

Rival unions are formed I m sure it won t please everyone but I found it compelling and smiled wryly on many occasions Around the time I read this book I was working as a truck driver Well I wasn t uite working as my job simply entailed a few uick deliveries on any given day This left me with nothing to do but sleep in my truck once my deliveries were done I probably worked two hours out of an eight hour work day everydayDuring this period I also visited an old high school friend and told him what I was doing for work A week later he mailed me a copy of Magnus Mills The Scheme for Full Employment He said This book is about a truck driver who drives around all day doing nothing I think you ll like it He was right. Us Mills is the author of the story collection Screwtop Thompson and six novels including The Restraint of Beasts which won the McKitterick Prize and was shortlisted for both the Booker Prize and the Whitbread now the Costa First Novel Award in 1999 His books have been translated into twenty languages He lives in Londo.

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