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The Scheme for Full Employment Paperback – 15 Mar 2004

32 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; New Ed edition (15 Mar. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007151322
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007151325
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.8 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 925,078 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'A British writer to be treasured' Independent on Sunday

'Mills's odd but wonderful books combine the language of a children's story and the strange dry humour of Harold Pinter… This is a writer [whose] apparent simplicity sends your imagination flying in a way that is magical and unique.' Daily Express

'A unique talent… Mills's novels are among the best and most original in recent English fiction.' Literary Review

'Magnus Mills is a genius…an extraordinary individual with a completely unique view of the world, who makes sense of it in totally unexpected and inexplicable ways. It's rare that you finish a book feeling so richly satisfied.' Big Issue

Book Description

'A unique talent ... Mills's novels are among the best and most original in recent English fiction' Literary Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mozfish on 10 Oct. 2005
Format: Paperback
...parting with the pennies (or exercising your local library card) for this one.
It is an excellent examination of the human condition of never being satisfied with what you have and in trying to improve and abuse a rather idyllic situation, realising it can all come to an unforeseen end (or foreseen for the reader).
Having now read a few more of Mills' books, I seek comfort in identifying with his dry look at behaviour in society through his prose. His novels are written in the first person and the reader is never given the name or gender of the character whose point of view his novels are written from, which immediately transports you into that situation.
I definitely recommend this, and other novels by the same author, to those who enjoy people-watching and human idiosyncrasies.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Howard Swains on 3 Mar. 2003
Format: Hardcover
Readers happily familiar with Magnus Mills’ output to date will find The Scheme for Full Employment a joy for it’s more of the same – more sparse landscapes, more spare dialogue and more characters rounded only just enough to permit all manner of allegorical possibilities. Fans of Magnus Mills’ output, however, may be slightly disappointed for exactly the same reasons – it’s very similar to what we’ve grown to love, but we’re used to it now, can maybe even predict some of the twists, and may find that The Scheme for Full Employment doesn’t add anything particularly new.
The narrator—unnamed, as ever—is one cog in the machine that makes up the eponymous Scheme, driving a Univan from one depot to another delivering an unspecified product for an unspecified purpose and an unspecified wage. The scene is beautifully Mills-ian, unquestioning men at work in the company of other unquestioning men, never dwelling long enough with each other for characters to develop above a single identifiable trait; George delivers cakes as a sideline, Jonathan is in his first week, Arthur is the grumpy guardian of keys. The narrator—again typically—is also slightly marginalized: he feels uncomfortable in the communal canteen and in the early stages of the book is taken off of his regular run to make solitary timing journeys to Eden Lacey depot, prior to possible expansion of the scheme. Thus, when there is something of an uprising in his home depot (a clash of ethics between early swervers and flat-dayers) he misses it and, as ever, ‘plot’ is something that happens elsewhere.
This technique may be unique to Mills but its effects have been tried and tested in all his novels to date.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Norberto Amaral on 22 May 2004
Format: Paperback
Magnus Mills must surely be one of the finest contemporary British novelists. His style is without parallel - dead-pan, some people call it, anti-hero I call it, it doesn't matter: whichever way you try to label it, it doesn't fit into the tusual novel/fable models.
"The Scheme for Full Employment" is a grand program that, well, guarantees full employment. Eight hours' worth of work for eight hours' pay. Grand days await those who join the scheme, what with an easy job that pays extremely well and has lots of benefits and perks attached to it.
The Scheme relies on a network of depots/distribution centres, with all that goes with it: a mechanical, almost flawless organisation, workers for every kind of task (from key keepers to gate guards), and, obviously, van - pardon, UniVan - drivers wheeling some kind of materials to and fro, in an never ending merry-go-round of transportation.
As the book progresses we find out that nothing happens to the merchandise being carried... it simply gets carried around from depot to depot on and off UniVans. And, most strangely and comically, that the goods are, well, UniVan parts. Now how stranger can the book get?
I won't go into more detail about the plot, but I can't resists making a couple of remarks about the book and the style. Firslty, Mills uses many symbols but is sufficiently smart and unpretentious so he doesn't leave it up to the reader to find out what those symbols are; everything is cleverly explained leaving no room for doubt. Then, there are hardly any references to the outside world; whilst the reader knows for a fact that such people do exist, the fact is that the narrator only narrates about The Scheme.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Norberto Amaral on 23 July 2004
Format: Hardcover
Magnus Mills must surely be one of the finest contemporary British novelists. His style is without parallel - dead-pan, some people call it, anti-hero I call it, it doesn't matter: whichever way you try to label it, it doesn't fit into the tusual novel/fable models.
"The Scheme for Full Employment" is a grand program that, well, guarantees full employment. Eight hours' worth of work for eight hours' pay. Grand days await those who join the scheme, what with an easy job that pays extremely well and has lots of benefits and perks attached to it.
The Scheme relies on a network of depots/distribution centres, with all that goes with it: a mechanical, almost flawless organisation, workers for every kind of task (from key keepers to gate guards), and, obviously, van - pardon, UniVan - drivers wheeling some kind of materials to and fro, in an never ending merry-go-round of transportation.
As the book progresses we find out that nothing happens to the merchandise being carried... it simply gets carried around from depot to depot on and off UniVans. And, most strangely and comically, that the goods are, well, UniVan parts. Now how stranger can the book get?
I won't go into more detail about the plot, but I can't resists making a couple of remarks about the book and the style. Firslty, Mills uses many symbols but is sufficiently smart and unpretentious so he doesn't leave it up to the reader to find out what those symbols are; everything is cleverly explained leaving no room for doubt. Then, there are hardly any references to the outside world; whilst the reader knows for a fact that such people do exist, the fact is that the narrator only narrates about The Scheme.
Read more ›
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