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the Complete Review
the complete review - fiction


The Maintenance of Headway

Magnus Mills

[an overview of the reviews and critical reactions]

general information | review summaries | links | about the author

To purchase The Maintenance of Headway

Title: The Maintenance of Headway
Author: Magnus Mills
Genre: Novel
Written: 2009
Length: 160 pages
Availability: The Maintenance of Headway - UK
The Maintenance of Headway - Canada

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Why we haven't reviewed it yet:

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Review Summaries
Source Rating Date Reviewer
The Guardian . 22/8/2009 Scarlett Thomas
The Independent . 7/8/2009 Jonathan Beckman
New Statesman . 13/8/2009 Ed Henry
Scotland on Sunday . 26/7/2009 Marc Lambert
TLS . 14/8/2009 Michael Caines

  From the Reviews:
  • "Thus begins a subtle meditation on what it means to try to impose order in a fundamentally chaotic world. (...) At times this short novel may seem in danger of evoking a philosophical journey you'd take on a Hoppa rather than the legendary Routemaster, and I suspect Mills has much more to say about power, officialdom and even buses than he has done here. However, his reticence has always given readers space to think, and his deadpan celebration of chaos is even heart-warming." - Scarlett Thomas, The Guardian

  • "There is a perfect match between Mills's subject and his peculiar obsessions: the monomaniacal elucidation of the inner workings of systems, and a tenderness towards very British institutions. (...) In a number of senses, this is too knowing and lacks the creepiness and intimations of apocalypse that haunt his previous work. But Mills's whimsy is always engaging, there are some brilliant jokes, and it is just the right length for a traffic-afflicted bus journey." - Jonathan Beckman, The Independent

  • "Although the dialogue, which is littered with moments of sublimely deadpan humour, is the most impressive thing about the book, the plot is perfectly serviceable and engaging." - Ed Henry, New Statesman

  • "Magnus Mills' version of English whimsy is so determinedly whimsical and plotless that each of the ten chapters reads like an exercise in saying exactly the same thing in slightly different ways. It could almost be a book of reiterative short stories. None of which ought to be taken as a criticism on behalf of the writing, I hasten to add." - Marc Lambert, Scotland on Sunday

  • "The Maintenance of Headway invites allegorical code-breaking. Happily, it does not depend on that to supply a certain quantity of harmless pleasure." - Michael Caines, Times Literary Supplement

Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review's biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers. Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole. We acknowledge (and remind and warn you) that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure.

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The Maintenance of Headway: Reviews: Magnus Mills: Other books by Magnus Mills under review: Other books of interest under review:
  • See Index of contemporary British fiction under review

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About the Author:

       British author Magnus Mills was born in 1954. He has written several novels.

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© 2009-2012 the complete review

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