Buy Used
£2.72
FREE Delivery on orders over £10.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This book is eligible for free delivery anywhere in the UK. Your order will be picked, packed and dispatched by Amazon. Buy with confidence!
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Three to See the King Paperback – 4 Jun 2001


See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
£6.75 £0.01


Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Flamingo (4 Jun. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007110464
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007110469
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 13.4 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 647,800 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Novella-like in form, Magnus Mills' Three to See the King is an uneasy read that transports the reader to a unique fictional setting where the familiar is strangely unfamiliar. Known for his Kafka-esque nightmares, Mills tells the abstract fable of an unnamed man, living in isolation in a tin house, who must choose between a solitary existence and joining the mass exodus of his neighbours. Through simple, deadpan prose, a keen eye for human nature and abrasive wit, Mills not only captures the dull emptiness of the unimagined life but comments allegorically on solitude and society, religion and civilisation, labour and capital. Mills, whose other books include Booker-shortlisted The Restraint of Beasts and All Quiet on the Orient Express, is an absorbing, disturbing writer who is refining his observations with each new book. --Nicola Perry

Review

"Always funny in a dry, leg-pulling way, it conceals its highbrow underpinnings with great charm" Sunday Times

"Compelling…Magnus Mills has created a spare but absorbing tale in which he handles weighty issues of charismatic leadership, blind faith, and the interdependence of human beings with a light, dexterous touch" Daily Mail


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Jun. 2001
Format: Paperback
'Three To See The King' is the third novel by Magnus Mills, and confirms his status as one of the most original voices writing prose in Britain today. His previous novels, 'The Restraint of Beasts' and 'All Quiet On The Orient Express' hinted at the direction that his future work would take, and it is pleasing to see that direction now followed so confidently and magnificently. 'Three To See The King' is a pure allegory for the way we function as individuals in societies. Mills builds a world free from references to the everyday world, references that always seemed unnecessary in 'All Quiet On The Orient Express', and instead shows us a distorted microcosm of our world. His narrator, lives on a plain in a house made of tin, he lives alone, his neighbours, all of them beyond the horizon, also live alone. All this changes however when Mary Petrie moves into his house and when his neighbours start to move away, drawn by the mysterious and enigmatic Michael Hawkins. The strange fable that ensues examines what happens to the free will of the individual when confronted with a totalitarian society, and what happens to such a regime when doctrine stirs dissent. It draws on many biblical references, but the main references seem to be to the parable of the man who builds his house on sand. In this parable the man is shown to be foolish in his actions for not building firmer foundations. Mills's treatment of this is complex. Was the man such a fool after all? His style in writing seems unique in Britain today, but it compares favourably to the allegorical style of Russian and former soviet writers such as Victor Pelevin. The use of fable and allegory to obliquely examine society's ills is highly reminiscent of Pelevin's short story collection 'The Blue Lantern'. A voice alone in British fiction, Magnus Mills is a novelist to be celebrated.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 July 2001
Format: Paperback
I won't bury my head in the crevice of literary hyperbole that could make stories of Rosie and Jim seem like a metaphor, but ...
What a great read! I don't think i've ever read a book that had the effect on me that this did. It encapsulated Envy for me, imagined and real. The workings of the protagonists mind, and his thought processes seemed so similar to those that i have experienced, that i couldn't help but relate to the character and story.
The framework is brilliant, fantastic. I had a permenant smile on as i read this, and certain plot twists left me astounded both in simplicity and duplicity. If you were to ask me this book would come highly recommended, but i would suggest you have an afternoon free to read, because you won't want to put it down.
This is the first Magnus Mills book i have read, so i look forward to catching up with some of his previous work. Only six more sins to cover, Magnus ...
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback
This book was an obvious allegory, yet I found that I was nowhere near interested enough to try and work out what the allegory might be. Religion, maybe? The hive mind of society? The prevailing importance of adhering to social hegemonic values? Who knows? Everything in it is clearly carefully designed to be a symbol for something else, or a metonym, but I just wasn't invested enough in the story to be bothered to decode them.

This is a short book. Some thinly crafted characters do some random things for no real reason. There is a vague sense of events moving from A to B to C to some half-hearted resolution, somehow both anti-climactic and entirely unexpected; the entire latter half of the book seemed to be leading up to a more interesting climax, only to falter and fall flat in the very last sentence. It somehow manages to be a book that is neither plot-heavy nor a character study. The protagonist remains unnamed throughout, which is a device that can work if they are fleshed out in other means, such as having an actual personality. Other characters are always referred to by their full names, first and last, which again is an interesting technique that would have worked if they had ever been more than their names. Instead, they were just cardboard cut-outs, archetypes that moved across the plains of the book (literally, I am not just being poetic here) with no real motivation or characterisation.

For all intents and purposes, this book was marketed as a philosophical comedy, but there was precious little philosophy in it, and even less comedy. The author seems to think that punctuating every tenth sentence or so with an exclamation mark turns it into a punchline, without appearing to realise that a punchline usually follows a comedic remark of sorts.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback
What can you say about Magnus Mills?? Well, I know the word "unique" is banded around fairly liberally these days but there is no-one like him. He's managed to take a story that, as suggested by a previous reviewer has all the markings of a children's book, and evoke a beguiling allegory that manages to ponder on some of life's larger questions.

For those of you that might have thought that he could only do stories of working-men-going-about-their-business, Three to See the King shows that he can weave his deadpan magic on a more adventurous canvas. That said, it's hard to work out how he does it: the prose is flat and monotone, his characters are pretty much cut-outs and have no discerning traits, and not a lot happens. Still, he manages to do more than your average Booker nominee does in a lifetime of writing.

When's your next book Magnus... it's been too long!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Look for similar items by category


Feedback