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The Scheme for Full Employment: reissued [Kindle Edition]

Magnus Mills
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: £4.80 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

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 sidelines, the workforce is divided into two camps: Flat-Dayers and Early Swervers.


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

Daily Express

'Mills's odd but wonderful books combine the language of a children's story and the strange dry humour of Harold Pinter….'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 693 KB
  • Print Length: 226 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing; 1 edition (16 May 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0054NPMA6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #99,990 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If dry cynicism is your bag then I'd recommend... 10 Oct. 2005
By Mozfish
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
3.0 out of 5 stars Magnus Mills by numbers 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Another example of Mills' grandeur 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Another example of Mills' grandeur 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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Another quirky one from Mr Mills
If you know the slow but compulsive narrative of his books, you'll enjoy this one, although not as much as the Restraint of Beasts. Read more
Published 11 months ago by A Mum on the Run
2.0 out of 5 stars A day in the life of a white van man...
I bought this book to read on holiday after reading 'A Cruel Bird Came to the Nest and Looked In' which I found a quirky light read, however, I found this book quite dull and... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Agghhh
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant read
I found this book funny, sarcastic and with a rapidly moving story which was full of human characteristics. Read more
Published 18 months ago by jackie hamilton
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, brilliant, inventive, imaginative writing
Already read a couple of books by Magnus Mills and love his slightly different take on the situation, his wonderful use of language and the slightly abstract scenarios he conjures... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Mr. K. Dowding
1.0 out of 5 stars Not recommended
I found this book boring, despressive, no escapism at all and unusually for me I haven't finished reading it nor will I.
Published on 18 Jun. 2012 by West Coast
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favourite Book
I worked as a postman many years ago and this book reminds me of those days even if it's about widget distribution (which, funnily enough, is how I earn a living now). Read more
Published on 23 Oct. 2011 by Aged 59
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly slight
A gossamer treat. Every word lovingly chosen, not a syllable wasted. It's a prose poem, rather than a short story. Read more
Published on 15 July 2011 by tiredoldtimer
5.0 out of 5 stars Ouch! Barely hidden truths within these wonderful words.
This is my first exposure to a Magnus Mills book and I devoured it in 3 short, glorious readings. As I write this review, besides me is today's copy of the Western Morning News... Read more
Published on 13 Oct. 2010 by Paul Handover
4.0 out of 5 stars Ever so slightly odd
An odd story, in which nothing seems to happen, but with an air of menace and absurdity and a nice line in deadpan humour.
Published on 26 Aug. 2010 by Tom White
4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Curious parable about the "British Disease" - postmen take...
That Mills was a bus driver informs the reader of the possibly autobiographical nature of this book. Read more
Published on 8 Nov. 2009 by M. J. Jacobs
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