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In a lush meadow, bounded by dense forest and a sparkling river, the flags of several tents flutter in the breeze, rich with the promise of halcyon days. Yet all is not as tranquil as it may seem: The balance of power wrought between the occupants of The Great Field, as it is properly known, is a delicate one, and relationships are stretched to breaking point when a new, large and disciplined group offers to share its surplus of milk pudding. Only the narrator acknowledges the gesture, but by forging links with the newcomers, he becomes a conduit for change, change that threatens The Great Field.
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- Joakim Hermansson
Mills brings it all together
What did you like most about The Field of the Cloth of Gold?
Mills tells tales of our times and of human behaviour with a dead pan humour and spot on observations. He contrasts the joy of life with the urge to order it like no other author.
Who was your favorite character and why?
All characters are integrated and one would not have a point without the others. That said, it is not the characters that really builds the novel but the interaction between them.
Have you listened to any of Gareth Armstrong’s other performances? How does this one compare?
I haven't listened to Gareth Armstrong before but he found a perfect tone for the text.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
It really was a one session book in the garden.
Any additional comments?
This novel sort of brings all other Mills books together.
2 people found this helpful
Tried this out on the basis of having heard that Magnus Mills is a bit of a rising star. He's described elsewhere in Audible's blurb as a 'master of the comic deadpan'.
The story reads like history tapped-out on an old portable by some pedantic suburbanite on a caravan holiday. A sort of potty, potted episode from ye olde Britain as dimly recalled from school days. Stylistically it goes for a stripped-down blandness and simplicity which reminds me of the sort of thing Tom Gauld originated in his graphic story telling. But whereas there the understatement charms with its innocence, here there's more of a smirk lurking somewhere in the background like we're clubby insiders to a jape.
The story proceeds in an orderly manner not drawing much attention to itself as it witters on amiably about a developing scenario; as in a table-top board game featuring a cast of pieces/characters pleasantly reminiscent of mis-remembered social types from the TV dramas of Little England. At a pivotal point of complexity it concludes rather than climaxes.
Frankly, this novel's got a mild-mannered appeal (like a cup of tea with a digestive or two) and a certain amount of stylistic originality but it left me feeling underwhelmed. It affects a cosy cool and I've no idea if that's typical of the author's books, but I think it may be a while before I try to suss-out his appeal to the fans.
1 person found this helpful