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the Complete Review
the complete review - fiction


The Restraint of Beasts

Magnus Mills

[an overview of the reviews and critical reactions]

general information | review summaries | review and reception notes | links | about the author

To purchase The Restraint of Beasts

Title: The Restraint of Beasts
Author: Magnus Mills
Genre: Novel
Written: 1998
Length: 224 pages
Availability: The Restraint of Beasts - US
The Restraint of Beasts - UK
The Restraint of Beasts - Canada
Retenir les bêtes - France
Die Herren der Zäune - Deutschland

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Why we haven't reviewed it yet:

Read it when it came out -- before the complete review existed

Chances that we will review it:


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Review Summaries
Source Rating Date Reviewer
FAZ . 17/10/2000 Friedmar Apel
Neue Zürcher Zeitung . 20/3/2001 Udo Taubitz
The NY Times Book Rev. . 1/11/1998 Anthony Bourdain
San Francisco Chronicle . 25/10/1998 David Bowman
Time . 28/12/1998 Elizabeth Gleick
TLS . 9/10/1998 Will Silk

  Review Consensus:

  Generally very impressed

  From the Reviews:
  • "Fast unmerklich und ohne jeden Zeigefinger aber verwandelt sich die Geschichte zum Schluß in eine finstere Parabel. Erst dann erkennt man die Kunstfertigkeit des Autors." - Friedmar Apel, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

  • "(A) witty, intricate fable about a working-class hell constructed by its own inhabitants. Mills, himself a former fence builder and bus driver, writes merciless deadpan dialogue." - Anthony Bourdain, The New York Times Book Review

  • "As dull as this sounds, the pleasure achieved by Mills' text comes when a reader self-consciously realizes he's become riveted to a shaggy-dog story about fence-building and death, a story that will not make a lick of sense until the last sentence in the book." - David Bowman, San Francisco Chronicle

  • "(A) terrific debut. (...) Mills makes the life of the manual laborer deadly but never dull." - Elizabeth Gleick, Time

  • "Mills's tone is carefully deadpan; his simple, somewhat leaden, narrative style allows for a constant stream of small comic touches. (...) One feels he has one eye on the current political agenda." - Will Silk, 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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Notes about the Reviews
and the Book's Reception

       Lots of press for the bus-driving first-time author, especially when it was reported that he received an enormous advance. A Booker-shortlisting helped attract additional interest.

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The Restraint of Beasts: 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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