Buy Used
£7.84
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Ships from the USA. Please allow 2 to 3 weeks for delivery. Nice condition with minor indications of previous handling. Book selection as BIG as Texas.
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

The Scheme for Full Employment Hardcover – 1 Dec 2002

3.8 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover, 1 Dec 2002
£7.84
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Picador USA (Dec. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031242163X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312421632
  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 2.3 x 21.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,784,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'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 Express) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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.

See all Product Description

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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.
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
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.
Read more ›
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
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.
Read more ›
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
The Scheme For Full Employment is a beautifully put together little book and the usual sort of Mills fare - small pages, wide-set type and lots of dialogue so it won't take long to read. (Ace.) Normally - certainly with his last novel, Three to See the King - this speed is held in check somewhat by you stopping every few pages to think about the strange things that have just happened.

But in The Scheme for Full Employment, that doesn't happen. Despite its intentionally bewildering cast of dozens, it's all pretty simple, and one might even say one-dimensional. That one dimension is satire of work and labour - which anyone might point out that Mills has done before with more complexity in The Restraint of Beasts and All Quiet on the Orient Express.
While there are lots of nice touches - like the industry-specific slang ("early-swervers," "flat-dayers," "ten off the eight"), or the references to real labour disputes in Britain (beer and sandwiches are sent in to the delegates at one stage, the sole female character has a touch of the Thatchers to her) - the book is still really rather one-dimensional, with far fewer laughs than his other books (though the punchline at the end of chapter 6 is a corker), and precious little depth - unless he has shrouded it in in such a high distillation of simplicity that it simply passed me by.

The blurb goes thus: "The whole concept is so simple yet so perfect: men drive to and from strategically placed warehouses in Univans - identical and very serviceable vehicles - transporting replacement parts for ... Univans. Gloriously self-perpetuating, the Scheme for Full Employment is more than social engineering; it is the unified field theory of the modern working world.
Read more ›
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews



Feedback