Author Topic: Magnus Mills  (Read 2197 times)

Magnus Mills
« on: April 21, 2019, 07:57:56 PM »
This will sound weird to adults in here that normally read books for enjoyment, but this guy has been a revelation to me. In recent years I feel like my brain has been so addled by the internet that I struggled to get the same enjoyment I used to out of books. Couldn't concentrate on them, I'd be a few pages into a chapter and suddenly realise I'd been scanning the words, but not taking them in. Had to fight really hard to stop it from happening.

But then I was given The Forensic Records Society for Christmas and found it a breeze to read. So I've started from the beginning of his works. The Restraint of Beasts was even better and now I'm halfway through All Quiet on the Orient Express and really enjoying it. It's been so long since I just enjoyed reading fiction like this, and I can't explain what it is about his style that's captured me so much. It's a very strange choice of author to re-discover the joys of reading to, I know.

Any other fans?

Re: Magnus Mills
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2019, 11:39:46 PM »
Yes I can usually read them in one go, very rare for me these days, they sort of slip down.

Maybe what makes them so readable (apart from the dialogue-heavy prose) is that they are suggestive without having any obvious 'agenda'. Pretty much every character is a bloke (bar the odd glimpsed 'temptress') but you wouldn't say they were 'about' masculinity, ditto the class element (though I don't doubt someone has claimed All Quiet as a Marxist allegory). Even 'Pinteresque' sounds overwrought.


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Re: Magnus Mills
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2019, 10:08:59 AM »
Love them! I was introduced to them by my son Marc (Serge) who got me the first three or four;
my favourite is 'The Scheme For Full Employment' but having said that, I love ALL of them.

Re: Magnus Mills
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2019, 11:21:44 PM »
Something about ‘The Restraint of Beasts’ opened my mind up to other fiction with the same kind of deadpan, absurdist tone of comedy. I’d tried to read Flann O’Brien beforehand, but gave up quite quickly, but after reading ‘Restraint...’ it kind of fell into place.  Probably no coincidence that Mills has listed ‘The Third Policeman’ as one of his favourite books.

Being a bit scattergun in my reading habits, the only other Mills I’ve read is ‘The Forensic Records Society’ - not quite in the same league but still enjoyable.  The peculiar ending made me laugh.

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Re: Magnus Mills
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2019, 05:20:33 PM »
Mr McCrindle's fence has gone slack

Re: Magnus Mills
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2019, 06:17:05 PM »
Feel like everything I've ever read has multiple instances of being reprimanded for forgetting to do something. Not sure what makes that so funny to me, but it is.


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Re: Magnus Mills
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2019, 02:25:59 PM »
Tried 'Beasts' as a result of this thread. Loved it, spent whole of Saturday evening reading it, really miss the characters now.


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Re: Magnus Mills
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2019, 12:28:51 PM »
I've read a few of his but The Scheme for Full Employment is the one I remember most, nice example of first person narrative done in such a way that you work out what's really going about half way through, while the narrator still has no idea until the end (or near the end? It's been a few years.)

I remember reading a newspaper article/interview with Mills a few years ago about how he'd been a bus driver while trying to make it as a writer, then when The Restraint of Beasts was successful he thought that was it and he was made, but it wasn't that simple and he'd struggled financially and with maintaining career momentum afterwards and gone back to driving. Struck me as unusually honest in these self-aggrandising and fake-it-til-you-make-it times, to admit to something that makes you look a bit naïve and presumptuous like that. He comes across as being very much like his characters.   

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Re: Magnus Mills
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2019, 02:19:40 PM »
Thanks for starting this thread Thursday, due to it and Timebug's post below:

Love them! I was introduced to them by my son Marc (Serge) who got me the first three or four;
my favourite is 'The Scheme For Full Employment' but having said that, I love ALL of them.

I just read the above and enjoyed it, it's incredibly dry but it did make me laugh a good few times, plus it was a very easy read too.