The Restraint of Beasts
This award-winning novel tells the captivating tale of three men: Tam and Richie, good Scots lads at heart who have turned loafing into an art form, and their ever exasperated English foreman. Carefully laid plans go haywire from the start, and as they cover their tracks the best they can, the hapless trio heads south from Scotland to do a job in England, where they find t...more
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This has nothing to do with this book but after watching Danish dramas on TV it is hard not to mentally read the author's first name as Mawnus. With such pronunciation all those lonely Gs must ...more
The opening sequence of The Restraint of Beasts plunges us into mundanity, governed by dialogue rather than description, and written in a terse, dry tone that onl ...more
Tam and Richie go South to England with their long suffering English foreman after their misadventures in Scotland. Their foreman has to 'sub' them when they run out of beer money or break tools, often out of his own money to keep them motivated. The three men live in a caravan, living o ...more
In all honesty, a remarkable read.
I think my disappointment comes from the fact that I had imagined a nu ...more
Everything builds very slowly, and I, being the fool that I am, stayed right in step, believing the author was moving down one path, when he was taking me elsewhere. By the time I realized what ...more
Not a lot really happens in terms of a story. There are no character introductions, the book launches straight into the present. And leaves you hanging at the end too. But it made me laugh out loud several times. It's black black humour, my sort of humour. I'd be keen to read more Magnus Mills!
I'm not really sure why I loved this book, but I did. The narration is deadpan, the settings are bleak, and the action is repetitive and insane. Yet it was hilarious and propulsive and engrossing. Reminded me of Raymond Carver and Lars Iyer and Wi ...more
Between 1979 and 1986 Mills built high-tensile fences for a living, an experience he drew upon for his first novel, The Restraint of Beasts. He had written a column for the London newspaper The Independent before becoming a novelist.
This book was short listed for the Booker ...more
Reluctant workers at the best of time, traveling south and staying in a mobile caravan is hardly thei ...more
It's about Scots day laborers and their travails. But what I first thought was going to be a fairly standard workman's humor type quickly transformed into this dark, dour, funny, THING. I cannot stress this enough: the humor is DARK, almost Kafka- ...more
Highly recommended for ...more
Previously assigned to build a fence for Mr. McCrindle, a local dairy farmer, Tam and Richie have done a predictably negligent job, and when the narrator joins them to complete the work, things begin to go hilariously, fatally wrong.
This book is not for everyone--many readers will be put off by the mundanity of the subject--erecting fences. But, it speaks to the writer's talent, that in spite of that inherent difficulty, he worked out a compelling, tension-filled story.
Another reason ...more