The Maintenance of Headway

Author(s): Magnus Mills


'It's a matter of procedure,' I explained. 'Strictly for the record. You don't get sacked from this job unless you did what Thompson did'. 'What did he do then'? 'We never mention it'. Enter the bizarre world of the bus driver, a strange but all too familiar universe in which 'the timetable' and 'the maintenance of headway' are sacred, but where the routes can change with the click of an inspector's fingers. This brilliant short novel is a gently absurd examination of the British bus system and its peculiarities, where the demands of the hapless passengers are virtually ignored and where it is fine to be a little bit late but utterly unforgivable to be a moment early.


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Magnus Mills gathered a passionate fan base following his debut novel, The Restraint of Beasts, which won the McKitterick Prize and was shortlisted for both the Booker and the Whitbread A bus driver by trade, Mills' novel taps into his intimate knowledge of the idiosyncrasies of bus travel - with hilarious results The Magnus Mills backlist has been given a charming and eccentric new branded look to appeal to a fresh generation of fans

'Once you've read this excellent, funny, intelligent book, it will make you look in a more kindly way on that harried driver as he zooms away into the night' Daily Telegraph 'It's finally happened: Britain's most famous bus-driving novelist has given us a novel about buses. All your questions will be answered: why do you wait for ages only for three to come at once? Who are those men who hang around bus stops muttering into handsets? And why do buses suddenly terminate halfway into your journey? But this is no mere gimmick from a mid-career writer run out of ideas. There is a perfect match between Mills's subject and his peculiar obssessions ... brilliant' Independent 'Uniquely delightful' Metro 'Mill's deadpan humour about the surreal workings of the transport authority has a distinct ring of truth. This novel should be required reading for those in charge of our chaotic public transport system' Daily Mail

Magnus Mills is the author of five novels and two collections of stories, including The Restraint of Beasts, which won the McKitterick Prize and was shortlisted for both the Booker Prize and the Whitbread (now the Costa) First Novel Award in 1999. His books have been translated into twenty languages. He lives in London.

General Fields

  • : 9781408800768
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : August 2010
  • : 198mm X 129mm X 10mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : October 2010
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Paperback
  • : 160
  • : Magnus Mills