Tuesday, 12 April 2011

'Screwtop Thompson', Magnus Mills

Screwtop Thompson'Screwtop Thompson' Magnus Mills
The eleven stories in this collection are characterized by 'spare prose and meaning between the lines'. In the opening story, 'Only When the Sun Shines Brightly', a large piece of industrial wrapping gets caught on a viaduct and flaps like 'great wings being beaten'. The noise disturbs the story's narrator initially, but he seems to become fond of it after a time, noting 'we live in an untidy world'. After the wrapping is removed he misses it, noting, 'our street seemed very quiet indeed, and it took me a long time to get to sleep.' These quiet changes characterize Mills' stories.
The title story, 'Screwtop Thompson' is an entertaining, nostalgic story in which four boys; the narrator, his brother, Martin and Conker, are believably callous, and Mills delivers an entertaining punchline of an ending. My favourite story was 'Good Cop', a clever look at good cop/bad cop interrogation techniques at a police station.
Read reviews of 'Screwtop Thompson' here and here.
Read an interview with Mills here

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