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26 November 1998
The Restraint of Beasts 
by Magnus Mills.
Flamingo, 215 pp., £9.99, September 1998, 0 00 225720 3
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... Brixton bus garage was besieged by reporters and photographers hoping to catch a glimpse of Magnus Mills, perhaps scribbling in the cab of his Routemaster, or discussing Joyce in rhyming slang. We have since been bombarded with features, interviews and increasingly laborious jokes, usually along the lines of Wendy Cope’s poem about men and buses ...

Early Swerves

Leo Benedictus: Magnus Mills

6 November 2003
The Scheme for Full Employment 
by Magnus Mills.
Flamingo, 255 pp., £10, March 2003, 0 00 715131 4
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... each day’s shortfall accrued in inky stalagmites around my desk. The Scheme for Full Employment, Magnus Mills’s strange dystopian parable of blue-collar bureaucracy in haulage depots, is more realistic than you might think. But then the book world’s most famous former bus-driver should know his way around a garage. The story is a simple ...

Whamming

Ian Sansom: A novel about work

2 December 2004
Some Great Thing 
by Colin McAdam.
Cape, 358 pp., £12.99, March 2004, 9780224064552
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... that the toad work had been well and truly forked off their lives. With the notable exceptions of Magnus Mills and James Kelman, most British writers don’t make a habit of writing about what’s at the centre of most people’s lives. And I don’t mean sex: that’s peripheral, like God. The last great English novel about work, about its ...

Paradise Syndrome

Sukhdev Sandhu: Hanif Kureishi

18 May 2000
Midnight All Day 
by Hanif Kureishi.
Faber, 224 pp., £9.99, November 1999, 0 571 19456 7
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... to head for drabber, greyer cities like Bradford, Leicester and Birmingham, whose foundries, steel mills and textile factories offered them ready, if menial employment and where rent and travelling expenses were low. Here in the back-to-back terraced houses in which they lodged, and which they later bought, they ground out the lifestyles that were to ...

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