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Ben Elton is very hit and miss isn't he?

(12 Posts)
MaMight Tue 27-Oct-09 09:53:40

I remember loving Popcorn and Stark and Gridlock and This Other Eden way back when. They're probably a bit dated now, but they were good then. Then he fell off my radar for a while.

Then over the past few years he's written some reasonable holiday reads (High Society, Past Mortem, Inconceivable).

Then I read The First Casualty and it was bloody brilliant! Loved it, and despite the doubt in their eyes when I pressed it on family and friends, they loved it too. A great book.

Just finished Blind Faith... what a let down. Has anyone else read it? What exactly was his point? Was it an environmental crusade? A religion rant? What was with all the flesh? So disappointed.

MyCatsAScarierBastardThanYours Tue 27-Oct-09 11:39:18

And here I am as promised...

I really liked his earlyier stuff, found it pretty funny and clever (and not ranty like he was in his act), but as I read some of the later things - High Society et al, found him a bit too up himself so haven't read anything later (will give First Casualty a go though).

scaryteacher Tue 27-Oct-09 11:47:04

I loved Blind Faith and winced as I read it because some of the 'big brother' elements are already creeping into our society. He had off pat the cult of 'emoting' and there were digs at the cult of celebrity that some sections of society have embraced. He also points up the PCness of our society. You have to go along with the prevailing orthodoxy whatever that may be, otherwise you are excluded and reviled. Common sense has no place. As for the flesh....it's beginning to be there - thongs, low rise trousers, high cut tops.

He also hearkens back to the past; hunting the vaccinators is a bit like the witch hunters of old, and the burning at the end, well, we used to do that to heretics (and what is the main character if not that); and we still use the terminology today - a 'flaming' on AIBU for example.

MyCatsAScarierBastardThanYours Tue 27-Oct-09 11:48:30

earlyier?? earlier obviously (illiterate numpty!)

BreakfastAtGhoulies Tue 27-Oct-09 18:59:32

I am not sure if I have rights to post here owing to the fact that I have never read any Ben Elton books other than Blind Faith.

I must say, I really loved it and saw it as a glimpse into a future that could happen if things go a certian way and we continue jto embrace Big Brother technology and social networking.

It is true that we (generally) already upload so much of our lives to sites like youtube, facebook, myspace etc.

As I say though, I can only make the comments that that book in particular made me laugh, horrified me, and made me take a second look at the world we live in and where we may end up in the future.

It also made me want to read more Ben Elton grin

fluffles Tue 27-Oct-09 19:03:13

i quite liked it actually hmm

ronshar Tue 27-Oct-09 20:27:27

I have read alot of his earlier books but not The first casualty or Blind faith.

I think he writes really well and seems to get underneath real issues. Big Brother etc.
I really enjoyed Grid lock.

braveandcrazy Tue 27-Oct-09 21:07:30

Blind faith is so bloody depressing I thought BE was supposed to be funny. I will go back and read first casulty on your recommendation though.

MaMight Wed 28-Oct-09 10:19:48

I forgot, Chart Throb was really good too. Very funny and very cleverly done.

Those of you who liked Blind Faith, have you read Dead Famous? I thought that he nailed the vacuous nature of popular culture really brilliantly in that book. It was lampooned with cleverness and subtlety. In Blind Faith he seems to approach a very similar topic with a sledgehammer (ha ha - so if lampooning lower end entertainment and culture is good, lampooning it to death with a shrieking sledgehammer must be even better - an aside for those of you who have read BF wink).

MaMight Wed 28-Oct-09 10:24:23

Brave&Crazy - 1st Casualty not particularly funny. Wry, but not funny. Chart Throb VERY funny.

BreakfastAtGhoulies Wed 28-Oct-09 10:52:24

Thanks MaMight - I will check out your recommendations. Blind Faith is the only BE I have read and have been looking for another one of his to get my teeth into.

hocuspontas Wed 28-Oct-09 11:15:18

Chart Throb is excellent. You will never watch X-factor in the same way again. grin

Dead Famous is good in the same way as it lampoons Big Brother.

The other one that was good is all about Friends Reunited but I can't remember the title.

Have read them all except The First Casuality and my favourites are Stark and Chart Throb.

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