The Scheme for Full Employment (New)
The Scheme for Full Employment (New)
Please note I read this some years back so don t remember it clearlySynopsis The whole idea is simple yet so perfect men drive to nd from strategically placed warehouses in Univans identical nd serviceable vehicles transporting replacement parts forUnivans Gloriously self perpetuating the Scheme was designed to give n honest day s wage for Empire of the Waves: Voyage of the Moon Child an honest day s labor That it produces nothing does not obtain Our hero in Magnus Mills mesmerizing new work is five year veteran of the Scheme he knows the best routes the easiest managers the uickest ways in The Object of Performance: The American Avant-Garde since 1970 and out Inevitably trouble begins to brew A womanrrives on the scene Some workers develop delivery sidelines And most disturbing of Of Mice and Men all notll participants re in greement There re Flat Dayers who believe the Scheme s eight hour day is sacr The book returns to Mills s signature theme the world of working class employment in this case it lso feels like n llegory for the 1970s the world of unions nd rcane employment disputes I Was Anastasia and proceduress well Choice of the Cat as the rise of Thatcherism the narratornd others Three Cups of Deceit are shocked by theppearance of Sparrow Road a female inspector who dares to uestion the very foundations of the schemend A Banner With a Strange Device: A Novel of Boston at one pointssociates it with failed social experiments like free school milk This is possibly one of the most frustrating books I ve ever read And I loved it I remember reading The Restraint of Beasts when it first came out loving it nd looking for by Magnus Mills but not not finding nything nd then forgetting bout him completely Shame on me I was missing out on The Scheme for Full Employment which I can only describe Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World as mildly rib tickling it s hugely funny but never in way that The Point of It All: A Lifetime of Great Loves and Endeavors actually makes you laugh out loud The complexities of The Scheme make work project in which Univan drivers carry loads of Univan parts to Univan depots in Yoga: The Art of Adjusting a never ending round of pointless fuel consumptionre described in perfectly paced detail nd without ny irony on the part of the happily employed narrator It s The Neural Basis of Free Will a bubble that has to burst eventuallynd when minor industrial dispute escalates to full scale strike it s the fact that the lack of Univan ctivity has zero impact on the national economy that finally unmasks the futility of the whole enterprise A brilliant but gently tongue in cheek critiue of command economies And now that I ve rediscovered him I ve the rest of Mr Mill s works to look forward to I so love Magnus Mills The deceptively simple style I suspect it is ctually uite difficult to write like that is just such joy to read the space in the narrative nd the unadorned tone make it Locked and Loaded (U.S. Marshals, a relief uiet oasis Past Destinies amidst the hurly burly of so much of my other reading matterI can t spoil the plot by mentioning it becauses usual there isn t much of one which is part of the point I could go on Travels: Collected Writings, 1950-1993 at great lengthbout If Wishes Were Horses all the many things I seeget out of his writing but the people who don t get Magnus Mills would just take its cas uite uite mazing nd horrific humorous book explaining how to keep lots of people employed doing nothing but move stuff from place to place that has no use t ll Around the time I read this book I was working s truck driver Well I wasn t uite working s my jo. From Magnus Mills the cknowledged master of the working class dystopic parable genre he practically invented new work of comic geniusThe whole idea is simple yet so perfect men drive to Rainbow Brite: Starlite Saves the Day and from strategically placed warehouses in Univans identicalnd serviceable vehicles transporting replacement parts forUnivans Gloriously self perpetuating the Scheme was designed to give n honest day’s.
B simply entailed few uick deliveries on ny given day This left me with nothing to do but sleep in my truck once my deliveries were done I probably worked two hours out of n eight hour work day everydayDuring this period I lso visited n old high school friend nd told him what I was doing for work A week later he mailed me copy of Magnus Mills The Scheme for Full Employment He said This book is The Unspeakable Mind about truck driver who drives round ll day doing nothing I think you ll like it He was right I have read many of Magnus Mills s books Time and Philosophy: A History of Continental Thought and very much enjoyed thiss with Murder at Beechwood all of the others I suspect though it will divide those who read it having stumbled upon him It is in the vein of The Maintenance Of Headway than The Restraint Of Beasts Beasts is much darker with that black humour that Mills is renowned for Headway is much drier humournd bout centred round working class workplace Similarly here nd lmost it seems like n Ask an Astronaut: My Guide to Life in Space allegory for the 1970s strikes Though the van drivers working for the Scheme have few grievancest first it isn t long before some seemingly petty uibbles rear their heads Revelations from Revelation (Mass Market) and two rival unionsre formed I m sure it won t please everyone but I found it compelling Jane and the Stillroom Maid (Jane Austen Mysteries, and smiled wryly on many occasions I LOVED this book really funny particularly from my perspectives Crude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil an employer Ands lways Mills can be counted on to be off the wall Over the past three weeks in between some larger novels I ve read three Magnus Mills novels The Scheme for Full Employment The Field of the Cloth of Gold nd The Forensic Records Society While I ve read several other Mills novels Explorers of the New Century remains my favorite largely because he employs the deadpan humor nd irony in pointedly specific fashion the targets Alien: Sea of Sorrows are clearnd the successful bulls eyes measurable Journey Of Fate and it becomes first rate satire Judas of Nazareth: How the Greatest Teacher of First-Century Israel Was Replaced by a Literary Creation about English zeal hypocrisy racism guiltnd the petty competitionsirritations that undermine groups The Scheme for Full Employment presents n lternate reality very like our own where we slowly come to understand what scheme it is that the English have lost which is being used elsewhere in the world For several decades there has been fleet of vans going bout specific routes making deliveries Holding Up the Universe and collectionsnd the sole purpose of these gyrations is to move parts round for the maintenance of the vans nd the van depots in the process Satellite affording the workers gainful 8 hour per day employment Mills narratorsserts that other countries continue to successfully employ this scheme while the English have bollixed things for Blank Darkness a variety of reasons but mainly because strike meant to resolve the workers own dissension bout occasional short ie not full days brings to the ttention of others the scheme s inertial non productivity The narrator off handedly touches on several other worms in the Makers apple which suggest that other inherent vices might have eventually produced the same result ie brought everything to haltThe novel seems to have The Heart Has Its Reasons a satiric target but it s so generalnd vague that one is not sure what real world scheme properly Americana: A 400-Year History of American Capitalism approximates the one in the novel In some respect we sense Mills is suggesting thatll of our ctivity is somethin. Wage for n honest day’s labor That it produces nothing does not obtain Our hero in Magnus Mills’ mesmerizing new work is five year veteran of the Scheme he knows the best routes the easiest managers the uickest ways in nd out Inevitably trouble begins to brew A woman Kneller's Happy Campers arrives on the scene Some workers develop delivery sidelines And most disturbing ofll not Haunted Houses For the Millions all participantsre in gree.
G of the sort unproductive routines whose only purpose is to ensure we continue to do the same tomorrow There is much else in the novel that makes finding specific real world correlatives irrelevant the narrator s diffident manner is common theme in Reclaiming Love: Radical Relationships in a Complex World all of his novelsnd it Playing with Fire: How the Bible Ignites Change in Your Soul allows Mills to present eventsnd transactions with others in The People's Songs: The Story of Modern Britain in 50 Records a stoic get on with it manner even when thingsppear to be going pear shaped The entire subplot bout the narrator s mate s sideline of selling cakes that his girlfriend bakes is one example of how the narrator handles so matter of factly the large nd small lterations in his let s get on with it uotidian routineSimilarly the narratives in The Field of Cloth of Gold nd The Forensic Records Society employ the same polite diffident narrative persona In the Field of Cloth we The Dawn of Christmas are in some unspecified pre Industrial Age setting on large grass plain defined by the wending of river nd the narrator tells of coming upon the plain setting camp Bark and then of the subseuentrrival of others to the plain Eden's Gate and howlliances rivalries schisms Her Bear Twins and even purging persecutions ensue It has theppearance of fable but there Bumps, Bruises and Bouncing Back: A Young Woman's Adventures into Womanhood are shaggy dogspects such s the fate of the copper bathtub that detract from the generality of fable but lend the story narrative primitivism My Lady Viper (Tales From the Tudor Court, and na vete It sll n inch by inch incremental growth of tension nd dissension seemingly harmless even comical nd then finally the ll too real nd disturbing wareness that he the narrator has somehow got himself complicit in the violence that will ensue The ura of fable suggests real world correlatives to events in the novel but there ends up being only general target human nature which bull s eye is the entire target In The Forensic Records Society Mills target could be specialist groups like ny group of detectorists stamp collectors fantasy sport enthusiasts et l or it may be suggesting something Dunkirk: Fight to the Last Man about larger institutions like religionsnd the schisms that occur within them The particulars however The Light in Our Houses are what make the storynd the narrator gain ignorantly nd naively narrates his tale never fully pprehending what is going on round him nor ever drawing How to Get People to Do Stuff: The Psychology of Persuasion any sort of conclusionbout what s transpired As with The Field of Cloth of Gold there is woman who takes dislike to the narrator nd there re ramifications to her presence nd ctivities that produce disuiet Highland Hucow: Milking Marie and dissensiont Call the Fire Brigade: Fighting London's Fires a sub rosa level What beginss the veneration of listening to records ends for one principal character s the fetishizing of single record which he will never play There re multiple threads in the story but the largest deals with the on going splintering of the principal group into near replicas of itself The novel ends with events that transpire nd cannot be commented on or judged much in the manner of the eponymous records society s founding principlesThere s Edward Keating a coziness to the voice Mills employs in telling his tales which uietlynd decorously broach large Berlin på 8 kapitel and sometimes disturbing themes via banal conversationnd humdrum Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City activity All of Mills narrative personae unremarkably skew things so that the ordinary somehow morph into the surreal Let s call it Kafka for the English navv. Ment Therere “Flat Dayers” who believe the Scheme’s eight hour day is sacrosanct Shelley And Nonviolence and inviolablend there re “Swervers” who fancy being let off little early now Cross (Jack Taylor, andgain Disagreement turns to rgument rgument to debate debate to outright schism Soon the Flat Dayers nd Swervers have pushed the Scheme to the very brink of disasterand readers to the edge of their chairs in delight.