Townhouse Books

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Love and Other Near-Death Experiences: Mil Millington

Some of you may be familiar Mil Millington from his self-titled website or his first book, "Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About." Both are hilarious. This book has some truly funny moments, but also serious questions about the possibilty futility of free will. The narrator, Rob, escapes a tragic accident purely through his own fuckwittedness, as he would say, and is now unable to make any decision because the possible outcome could mean life or death. He spends an hour deciding between coffee or tea, as the extra caffeine in coffee could either make him more alert and thereby avoid an accident, or make him jumpy and cause an accident. As you can imagine, his fiancee, friends, and colleagues are soon sick of him.

Rob embarks on a strange quest, meets up with other people who have very nearly died in accidents that killed other people, and ends up wandering through the woods in Wales wearing only his underwear. The thing that really captured my interest was that each character presents a different POV of how fate, free will, God, and the universe interact in our daily lives.

While reading this book I often thought of our recent discussion of Corey Doctorow's novel. This book has some serious editorial errors that ought to have been corrected before ink hit paper. But I think Millington has something really interesting to say in this book, and the less-than-perfect prose didn't stop him from getting his point across.

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