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Explorers of the New Century (2005)

de Magnus Mills

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2631199,879 (3.81)16
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......… (mais)
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In which two expeditions attempt to find the remotest spot on earth in which to carry out a mysterious polar assignment. There are some parallels with the Scott-Amundsen Antarctic expeditions, but, although one of the expeditions is manned by a crew with British sounding names and the other with vaguely Scandinavian names, there are no other obvious parallels. As usual with Mills, the main point is more to describe the meaningless and vacuity of contemporary life; when the purpose of the expedition finally begins to be explicated, their purpose seems if anything all the more depressing. ( )
1 vote Big_Bang_Gorilla | Apr 19, 2011 |
A marvellous novel; just when you think you know where a book is going - wham, it throws you right off course and you have to replay the whole book and re-think assumptions. As usual Magnus Mills is very clever, writes fantastically and is very funny. Why has this man not won the Booker Prize? ( )
  CarolKub | Jun 21, 2010 |
You know it's hard to review a book without mentioning the plot? Where to summarise it either under sells it or ruins it compelety? Well this is one books that relies on not knowing much about it beforehand.. and here's my attempt
at a non spoiler review.

Riffing off the Scott and Amundson's antartic race, we get two groups racing for the "agreed furthest point". Tongue firmly set in cheek there is much Victorian stiff up lip, a strictly enforced class system and much cultural superiority. It's a short book, filled to the brim with deadpan humour, sparse prose, an economical setting and characters that sit on the right side of wonderful pastiche. If I have any criticism it's a bit short and the intentional sense of wrongness can be be just well a bit too odd. However is it high enough recommendation that I wanted to reread straight after I finished it?

So go and try but be wary of other reviews because to know to much would ruin it. ( )
1 vote clfisha | Apr 13, 2010 |
Very different from Mills' other books, this one doesn't feature a nameless narrator and seems to have a more conventional plot about the race between two teams of explorers to reach the furthest point. But all is not as it seems...

As I had certain expectations from Mills' writing, I found this rather hard-going, with the details of the explorers journeys not being of that much interest to me. But I'm glad I stuck with it as it turns out to be about something else entirely and in the end is not a boys own adventure story, but something rather more chlling. ( )
  sanddancer | Aug 16, 2009 |
I wrote this to Simon today: I have just finished reading Magnus Mills’ ‘Explorers of the New Century’ which is like someone’s fantasy on the Scott trek to the Antarctic. Well-written but the tension never really pays off and the punch line – well I saw it coming. And it definitely was not worth wating for. ( )
  Adrianburke1 | Jun 1, 2009 |
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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......

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