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Preview — The Restraint of Beasts by Magnus Mills
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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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.
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
– В настоящее время кабель пролегает под самой поверхностью земли. Он размещен там временно. Это довольно неудовлетворительно. Я хочу похоронить его глубже.
– Насколько глубже?
– Чтобы о нем можно было забыть.
– Вы же умеете хоронить, правда?
– Ну, наверно.
Если бы не долгострой, я бы еще лет сто не взяла эту книжку в руки. Собственно, я уже начинала ее читать, но бросила, подумав, что не хочу тратить время на историю каких-то строителей оград, которые (аннотация совершенно верна) лучше всех зн ...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.
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
I think my disappointment comes from the fact that I had imagined a nu ...more
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
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!
Mundane and outrageous incidents live side by side and are treated the same. There is some hilarious stuff, like when a woman informs the man she's just slept with that "she is not a fence post" and he is so unaware he has no idea what she's telling him.
I am not really sure what to make of this novel. It is absurdist, without doubt, and ...more
Oh, so much about fencing! I admit I skipped some of those details about fencing.. But I suspect they had important clues about what was goi ...more
There were scenes that had me laughing out loud:
- When the supervisor pulls in a ...more