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Customer Review

on 22 January 2013
This was recommended by a friend whose views and values I respect. At no point did I wish I wasn't reading it but very rarely was I delighted by the words on the page, which is what I suppose I look for in reading. It did remind me of Gulliver's Travels, Kafka and Chesterton's The Man who was Thursday, which is not to say it is derivative but merely that everything other than outright lunacy belongs to some kind of tradition. But I would not rate it as highly as at least the first two of those: Kafka and Swift show genius in characterizing those who have lost character whereas Mills merely shows us characters without personality, which is low on reader stimulus for me. I thought the best chapter was the most Kafkaesque one - the seeking for employment in CoS towards the end.

I also felt the material was rather stretched to make a novel. It would have been good for a 30 minute TV sketch, perhaps even a bumper Christmas edition at 40 mins but by the end I felt I had been given a huge menu with not a lot on each plate.

However, this is merely to record my personal response and I have to admit I do not yet understand the book - for example the title - and it may be that it will haunt me and grow in power as it does so: this happens with a certain kind of book where various pieces of jigsaw fall into place after the reading.

Good enough to make me give Mr Mills another go next year but not good enough for me to join his many intelligent fans.
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