To the ends of the earth

17 09 2016

Explorers of the New Century by Magnus Mills

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It is the beginning of the century, and two teams of explorers are racing across a cold, windswept, deserted land to reach the furthest point from civilisation. It is, they find, ‘an awfully long way’. Johns and his men take the western route, along a rocky scree, gossiping, bickering and grumbling as they go. Meanwhile, Tostig’s men make their way along the dry riverbed in the east – they are fewer, with just five men and ten mules, and better organised than their rivals. But with Johns’ team keeping apace in the distance, the race is on to reach the Agreed Furthest Point …

As precise and strange as Mills’ other outstanding novels this novel is a really dark, funny and deeply disturbing read. The distinctively direct narrative works perfectly and builds towards a striking conclusion.

4.5 stars

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