All Quiet on the Orient Express

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All Quiet on the Orient Express
First edition (UK)
Author Magnus Mills
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre tragi-comedy
Publisher Flamingo (UK)
Arcade (US)
Publication date
Media type Print & ebook
Pages 224
ISBN 0-00-225906-0

All Quiet on the Orient Express is the second novel by Booker shortlisted author Magnus Mills, published in 1999. As with his first novel it is a tragi-comedy with an unnamed narrator dealing with apparently simple but increasingly sinister situations.

Plot introduction[edit]

The narrator is spending a few weeks camping in the Lake District before setting out on a motorcycle trip to India. He agrees to help the campsite owner, Tom Parker by performing a simple chore, painting a gate but one thing inexorably leads to another and he finds himself drawn in to a succession of disparate tasks, each more complex and time-consuming and from which there appears to be no escape...


  • The Complete Review's assessment was "not entirely credible, but enjoyable and creepy", all reviews "enjoyed it, and some are very enthusiastic":[1]
    • Carey Harrison in the San Francisco Chronicle comments 'It's not out of idle amusement that the sweetly fiendish author has named his book All Quiet on the Orient Express This marriage of famous titles hides from view (yet points to) its dark, telling twin: Murder on the Western Front. Not since Kafka has an author lured his audience so innocently, so beguilingly, into hell.'[2]
    • Nanja Labi in Time writes 'In this creepy, deadpan novel by a nominee for Britain's Booker Prize, nothing much happens—except that one man slowly, painlessly, surrenders his life.'[3]
    • Brian Evenson compares it favourably with his first novel: 'The characters are similar, the style and tone are quite similar, and both make wry but dark commentary on the dilemma of working men. Yet one must acknowledge that the range of All Quiet on the Orient Express is larger; Mills develops the absurdity of this situation with more subtlety and precision.[4]

Publication history[edit]


Film adaptation[edit]

According to The New York Times the novel is being adapted into film by Idiotlamp Productions, directed by Jim Field Smith.[6][7]