I've come to love Magnus Mills' novels more with each book, and by this one I was reading each sentence with delight. His humour is so quiet, and yet deadly. The books are a paean to British boringness and puzzlement, to the deep desire for a cushy life at work (and he does the workplace better than anyone) that is continually being threatened by the ogres of effiency. Here Britain, or Greater Fallowfields, is shrunk to a dream Greenwich, and the ineffectual political class is the subject of often painful satire and many shaggy-dog jokes. Pointlessness is Mills' forte. If the first half is almost Lewis Carroll in its blissful incoherence, the second half subtly introduces the shadow of war, the threat of dictatorship, the possibility of the destruction of a peaceful, tolerant way of life, where nothing matters very much, and nothing ever gets completed. So ultimately a serious book, but a very funny and lovable one. Also, I should add, very poetic.