Friday, August 11, 2006


A fall from grace.

Magnus Mills, The Scheme For Full Employment (Picador, 2002).

This is the story of The Fall. Once, there were good jobs for everyone who was in on the Scheme. Drivers, mechanics, assistants, supervisors; all get comfortable, safe jobs with regular hours and decent pay. Of course, it couldn't last. Some liked to get off early. Some fit in other work on the site. It sounds like a spoiler to say it can't last, but since Mills says as much in the novel's first few lines this hardly is giving anything away.

As a matter of style, Mills' most recent effort didn't break new ground. Perhaps it's interesting, though, that Mills' has gone from depicting a Kafkaesque distopia in his first novel to a workers' paradise -- albeit the fall thereof -- in his most recent.

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