'He has no literary precedent, and he also appears to have no imitators. He mines a seam that no one else touches on, every sentence in every book having a Magnus Mills ring to it that no other writer could produce Independent In 'Hark the Herald, a guest stays at an eerie guesthouse over Christmas without encountering any other residents, despite constant reassurance from the landlord that he would see them if only he arrived for breakfast slightly earlier; in 'Only When the Sun Shines Brightly Aesops fable about a competition between the Sun and the Wind to get a man to take his coat off, gets a new look involving a railway arch, a builder and a piece of plastic sheeting; in 'Once in a Blue Moon a man arrives home to find the family house under siege, with his mother armed, dangerous and firing at the police with a shotgun, and attempts to appease her with an invitation to seasonal hospitality; and in the title story, rivalry between three cousins over a faulty toy gets out of hand as the cousins unwittingly imitate the toy theyre fighting over.Magnus Mills has published two collections of stories - Only When the Sun Shines Brightly and Once in a Blue Moon - which are collected here for the first time, along with three new stories.

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