- Hardcover: 128 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (4 Oct. 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1408806533
- ISBN-13: 978-1408806531
- Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 1.5 x 19.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 875,580 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Screwtop Thompson Hardcover – 4 Oct 2010
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`Magnus Mills unerringly sharp eye for human foibles combines with a dry deadpan wit to create comic genius' --The Independent
`just as queer and brilliant as we were hoping. Mills's fictional universe is entirely unlike anyone else's going' --Dazed & Confused
`the most famous former bus driver in publishing...these shrewd and funny tales are perfect reading for your commute.' --Stylist
`Mills' subtle and deadpan literary sensibility inhabits a quiet world all of its own.' --The List
'a collection of clever little subversions of the moral fable, and they'll stay with you longer than many books ten times the size' --Metro Life
Top Customer Reviews
These aren't so much short stories as micro stories, many of them only being a few (small) pages long. They all have the Mills hallmarks of a nameless narrator in fairly ordinary circumstances, such as hitchiking, visiting one's mother, and doing some work on a house. but there is always something uncomfortable, something left unsaid, lurking in the background and it is these things that make you think; What is it about the house that makes it so...creepy? Why is the mother shooting at the police? Where are the other guests in the eerie guesthouse? We are never really told, just as we aren't told things in any of his novels.
On the whole, I liked these stories. Some of them, however, seemed to me to be the start of longer pieces that Mr Mills had abandoned for some reason, and that he had adapted into these little gems. One or two of them were weaker than others, but as taste of what a Magnus Mills novel is like, this book is a nice morsal.
Just a word on the price. I would have been a bit miffed to pay the full £10 for this book as it takes no time to read. (it took me a little over two hours and that was with a half-time break!) Buy it off Amazon for less and it you might not feel so hard-done by when you finish it.
This book is like a small selection of rare chocolates, perfect for a quick story binge but not enough to fill. Definitely recommended.
It is all quite pleasant and some of the stories are intriguing but this collection was pretty pointless.
The value for money was severely lacking as it's extremely short, there aren't many words to the page and many of the stories have already been published.
In Mills' story collection Screwtop Thompson, ordinary things happen to ordinary people, but the effect is sinister and unsettling. His characters seem to live stilted emotional lives with a preference for home and the routines of a boring job. Humour is never far from the surface, but the reader laughs in an uneasy way, never quite short whether he is on safe territory or not. His characters love the everyday and the routines that support them, but they seem to be locked into situations that ultimately do them no good and from which they would best advised to get out of as quickly as they can.
Screwtop Thompson is a bit of a disappointment - because only three of the stories are new, the other eight having been published before But here and there we catch enough of Mills' sideways-on humour to keep us reading on - and waiting in hope for the next offering.
I will just take one story to try to capture a little of the flavour of this collection.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Mills has a deceptively simplistic narrative style which belies a very sophisticated humour. He is able to convey sinister undertones in the most seemingly innocent and mundane... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Martina
A slightly masochistic experience as usual but somehow heightened by the length of the stories. An unfulfilling read.Published on 23 Feb. 2015 by Coaster
Whether Magnus Mills will ever better his debut novel, The Restraint of Beasts, remains an open question, but I have enjoyed reading his later work, even if it never seems to quite... Read morePublished on 18 Mar. 2014 by Dr Do Little
I was disappointed with the book's content which is composed entirely of what appears to be false starts for stories Magnus Mills began to write and then decided not to... Read morePublished on 6 Feb. 2014 by Gavin Take
This reads like a selection of short rough sketches which the author has jotted down in his notebook for later development. Read morePublished on 20 Jun. 2013 by Paul Villa
Mills has a bit of a cheek presenting this wee collection as a published piece of work. The style is there and the irony but it doesn't detain us long enough. Read morePublished on 11 May 2012 by Gonetomorrow
Read a review for this book in a newspaper and thought it sounded really interesting. However, I am really disappointed. I either don't 'get' it or there's really nothing to 'get'. Read morePublished on 14 Jan. 2011 by Mrs A C
Most of these short stories have been published previously and im my view there is only one gem, namely "Once in a Blue Moon". Read morePublished on 21 Oct. 2010 by Neil Butter