RARA-AVIS: God is a Shovel

Tom Olson (guiness@wizard.com)
Mon, 29 Mar 1999 00:11:36 -0700 On the subject of language, I'm wondering if anyone has read "The Restraint
of Beasts" by Magnus Mills. I read an interview with him somewhere where he
said he despises adjectives. His prose is indeed spare, and Pynchon's blurb
declaring it "dead-pan" is quite accurate.

It's one of the funniest books I've read in a long time, though the
characters are killers. The humor lies in the fact that the killings are
accidental, and the killers are more concerned about the distance to the
nearest pub than they are about the fact that they are killing folks. They
manage to put a number of their clients under the ground, and being
fence-builders, they drop most of them into post-holes. On the first
occasion they decide "it was best to leave his hat on."

It was short listed for the Booker prize. Has anyone read it?


>Maybe the novel as MTV clip at best. I don't know how much mileage this
>cat's got left in him. This is an excusably poor first novel from a guy who
>clearly hasn't learned his trade yet. His use of language is beneath
>contempt "He andironed (?) out of the desert." Nothing like stopping yr
>readers until they figure out . . . oh! yeh! Someone pushing himself up

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