OVERRIDE

The Scheme for Full Employment

A Novel

Magnus Mills

Picador

From Magnus Mills, the acknowledged master of the working-class dystopic parable—a genre he practically invented—a new work of comic genius

The whole idea is simple yet so perfect: men drive to and from strategically placed warehouses in Univans—identical and serviceable vehicles—transporting replacement parts for...Univans. Gloriously self-perpetuating, the Scheme was designed to give an honest day’s wage for an honest day’s labor. That it produces nothing does not obtain. Our hero in Magnus Mills’ mesmerizing new work is a five-year veteran of the Scheme: he knows the best routes, the easiest managers, the quickest ways in and out. Inevitably, trouble begins to brew. A woman arrives on the scene. Some workers develop delivery sidelines. And most disturbing of all, not all participants are in agreement. There are “Flat-Dayers,” who believe the Scheme’s eight-hour day is sacrosanct and inviolable, and there are “Swervers,” who fancy being let off a little early now and again. Disagreement turns to argument, argument to debate, debate to outright schism. Soon the Flat-Dayers and Swervers have pushed the Scheme to the very brink of disaster...and readers to the edge of their chairs in delight.

From Magnus Mills, the acknowledged master of the working-class dystopic parable—a genre he practically invented—a new work of comic genius

The whole idea is simple yet so perfect: men drive to and from strategically placed warehouses in Univans—identical and serviceable vehicles—transporting replacement parts for...Univans. Gloriously self-perpetuating, the Scheme was designed to give an honest day’s wage for an honest day’s labor. That it produces nothing does not obtain. Our hero in Magnus Mills’ mesmerizing new work is a five-year veteran of the Scheme: he knows the best routes, the easiest managers, the quickest ways in and out. Inevitably, trouble begins to brew. A woman arrives on the scene. Some workers develop delivery sidelines. And most disturbing of all, not all participants are in agreement. There are “Flat-Dayers,” who believe the Scheme’s eight-hour day is sacrosanct and inviolable, and there are “Swervers,” who fancy being let off a little early now and again. Disagreement turns to argument, argument to debate, debate to outright schism. Soon the Flat-Dayers and Swervers have pushed the Scheme to the very brink of disaster...and readers to the edge of their chairs in delight.

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1Len Walker saw the dangers long before the rest of us. I remember a conversation we had one morning as we stood on the loading bay at Blackwell depot, watching the UniVans roll in and out of the yard. It was a fine day, the first after a long damp spell, and several drivers were treating their vehicles to a trip through the automatic wash. At the same time goods were being cleared from the bay as quickly as they came in, with not an item of clutter in sight. It was a hive of activity, and I remarked that everything appeared to be running smooth as clockwork.‘Oh yes,’ said Len. ‘It
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Magnus Mills

  • Magnus Mills is the author of The Restraint of Beasts, All Quiet on the Orient Express, and Three to See the King. He lives in London.
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The Scheme for Full Employment

A Novel

Magnus Mills

  • e-Book

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

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