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What do people think of Ben Elton as an author?

(32 Posts)
AWholeLottaNosy Sat 03-Jan-15 21:41:31

I've just read his latest, 'Time and Time Again' and though it was excellent. I've actually read a lot of his books and have enjoyed them all. He always seems to have his finger on the pulse of the 'Zeitgeist', with topics such as. IVF, traffic, reality TV, the internet etc and often encapsulates things I've thought but articulates them very well. Ok he's no Dostoyevsky but I do think he's very underrated as a modern author.

Ok, that's my say, wondered what other people thought of his work...

badRoly Sat 03-Jan-15 21:44:00

Dh is a huge fan of Ben Elton from way back when he did his stand up, so we've had most of his books. I also very much enjoy his writing - he is very observant and like you say, seems to know what the current 'hot' topic is.

TipsyMcStaggers Sat 03-Jan-15 21:48:49

I read one ages ago, I think it was called Inconceivable. I really, really enjoyed it.

Blanketontheground Sat 03-Jan-15 21:50:48

I hated him early 30s. Love him now I'm the big 40.

acsec Sat 03-Jan-15 21:52:11

I've only read Chart Throb and hated it! However, he is a very nice man and let me go in front of him at the bar at the Burlesque!

esiotrot2015 Sat 03-Jan-15 21:52:29

I like him grin
Inconceivable got made into a movie with Jodie Richardson I think

AWholeLottaNosy Sat 03-Jan-15 21:52:50

Oh that's good! Really enjoyed his last one, about time travel! Don't usually enjoy books about that, but it was so intriguing, basically, if you could go back in time and change one thing in history, what would that be? Of course, the consequences are never what you would expect.. A real page turner and would make a great film!

ZombieApocalypse Sat 03-Jan-15 21:53:14

Hmm. I have read a couple of his books, but the latter ones were a bit too tub-thumping for my liking.

AWholeLottaNosy Sat 03-Jan-15 21:54:57

He's definitely someone on my fantasy dinner party list, I think he'd be so interesting to spend an evening with.

mrscumberbatch Sat 03-Jan-15 21:55:35

Some of them are ridiculous but te one about the government mandated face books was hilarious and very astute.

I am reminded of it often on social media and on here!

feelingunsupported Sat 03-Jan-15 21:57:42

I love him. The one about murders where someone gets hit on the head with phone books was fantastic!

MuttonCadet Sat 03-Jan-15 21:59:05

I love his writing, but hated his stand up.

herethereandeverywhere Sat 03-Jan-15 22:05:54

I find him very readable but I'm always left with the feeling that I could have written it myself, though Nick Hornby does that to me too [so perhaps it's just me!]

I loved his stand up more - that and Spitting Image shaped my formative years of political thinking!

Slothlorian Sat 03-Jan-15 22:07:12

Really funny and clever

AlmaMartyr Sat 03-Jan-15 22:09:29

I like him. The one about XFactor type shows was very funny and I suspect all too real.

Chewbecca Sat 03-Jan-15 22:12:18

Love his books, have read them all (I think), except this newest one.

I prefer him being witty, when makes me snort on the train, and 'current' to his more serious books (the WW1 one).

Chewbecca Sat 03-Jan-15 22:13:13

Have you read 'The second coming' by John Niven? Reminds me of BE in some ways.

SmatteringOfPatois Sat 03-Jan-15 22:15:37

Read Two Brothers, the man has talent

CocktailQueen Sat 03-Jan-15 22:20:56

I like him too! Loved gridlock, inconceivable and the one about reality tv shows, with the mingers, blingers and clingers... V close to the bone!

AWholeLottaNosy Sat 03-Jan-15 22:28:12

I have to admit I did love him in his shiny suit, 'Thatch' days, so was surprised that he turned out to be such a good and considered author, I don't hear Ben Elton's 'voice' when I read his novels as he was such a motor mouth in his youth.

KillmeNow Sat 03-Jan-15 22:33:04

I wasnt too fussed about his earlier books but once he started the popular culture themes I changed my mind. I loved Chart throb, Past mortem and Dead famous and whatever the name of the social media one was. I havent read the War based books yet though I have them on my ereader to get round to one day.

This new one looks to be an amalgam of themes so it has piqued my interest and Ive already down loaded it ready for when Ive finished my current book.

CoffeeBucks Sat 03-Jan-15 22:37:46

I have read quite a few of his books, & I do like them, my favourites are the very strong satire/pastiche ones (Chart Throb & Dead Famous.) also liked Past Mortem.

However I dislike his writing style sometimes. Difficult to describe exactly what I don't like but some of his turns of phrase irritate me. He also recycles descriptions quite frequently, I have noticed the same phrases in multiple novels.

I also really dislike the way he writes accents phonetically.

museumum Sat 03-Jan-15 22:40:57

I liked the big brother one. Like you say - very "zeitgeist". So much so though that tou probably couldn't read the big brother one now as it would be like a pastiche of a pastiche.

thingamajig Sat 03-Jan-15 22:42:08

I enjoy him, but also think his plots/topics are better than his prose.

ItsAllKickingOffPru Sat 03-Jan-15 22:53:16

He's a good sketch writer but it never translates well into a novel.

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