I’d heard of Mills, simply because he won the Booker Prize for a novel I’ve never read and can’t remember the name of at the moment anyway. On seeing this, I thought I’d give it a try to see if his writing is actually any good.
I’d describe The Scheme For Full Employment as a bit of a curate’s egg.
Basically, the plot is about The Scheme, which everyone strives to get into because it guarantees a full eight-hours work and 40-hour week. It’s all about depots, distribution and driving vans around from one depot to another.
I can see that his style is quite deadpan and aims to get into the head of everyday man. It seems to me that this book is about the futility of life and how everyone just wants to get by and that there will always be someone who’s willing to upset the proverbial applecart to get ahead.
But ultimately, it’s pretty boring. You can guess the ‘gag’ behind The Scheme pretty early on and the ‘twist’ near the end isn’t really a twist, it’s the only possible outcome.
I’m sure people might say that the outcome isn’t as important as the how you get there, but the journey there isn’t particularly exciting either, in this case.
On the evidence of this, Mills should be sacked!