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All Quiet On The Orient Express
All Quiet On The Orient Express
Author: Mills
From the author of The Restraint of Beasts -- hailed by Thomas Pynchon as a "comic wonder" and shortlisted for the prestigious Booker and Whitbread Prizes -- comes a novel that proves Magnus Mills to be the master of pitch-black humor. Told with insidiously beguiling, deadpan charm, All Quiet on the Orient Express gives us the sto...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780002259064
ISBN-10: 0002259060
Pages: 224
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Publisher: Arcade Publishing
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover
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Just as in his first novel, "The Restraint of Beasts," Magnus Mills creates an unnamed, stoic protagonist of little words. I enjoyed this book very much. The main character's hapless adventures and unlikely falling into a series of jobs and bosses and debts and such, all in a vacation spot in which he was camping, seemed almost normal.

What a strange little town this was, with debts and tabs being accrued and never paid (until the end), a man wearing a crown, a multitude of green paint, and a milkman who meets with an awful fate (but at least escapes driving the ice cream truck to make milk deliveries). Who knew such a town had so much work to do and so little women?

One of my favorite parts was the main character's "social punishment" for not showing up for a darts game, for which he was banished to drink at the pub across the street for two weeks until tempers had cooled.

The ending, as the one in Mills' first novel, left a lot to be resolved, but he seemed to care about the ending as much as his character cared about his life's direction; however, the symbolic ending fit perfectly with the theme of the novel.
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