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Ben Elton's Identity Crisis

(134 Posts)
TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Mon 24-Jun-19 22:33:44

Has anyone else read this? Am reading it now - a satirical reflection on today's society with a particular focus on gender identity and social media.

I've just got to the bit where Mumsnet gets name-checked: after a trans woman is murdered, there's a thread on MN asking why this murder gets more attention than the murders of "ordinary women" and then an online campaign forces MN moderators to ban the phrase "ordinary women" as hate-speak.

I did pause to reflect on this passage, where the protagonist is thinking about the character who is very clearly based on Germaine Greer:

"Even five years earlier no one would have imagined that a whole generation of women with vaginas would unite in defence of women with penises to take down a woman with a vagina who had previously been a feminist icon."

Erythronium Mon 24-Jun-19 22:40:47

"Even five years ago" - too true. It's happened so very, very quickly.

Ben Elton a terf? It appears in the most unexpected places.

"Women with penises" is a good phrase. I'm thinking I like "women with testicles" too, as it sounds more unexpected.

AncientLights Mon 24-Jun-19 22:46:20

Have you a link, OP? I googled it and get some old pop song reference, but not quite as old as the S&G classic 'The only living boy in New York'.

newtlover Mon 24-Jun-19 22:46:24

when was this written?
it takes a while to write a novel I imagine

Destinysdaughter Mon 24-Jun-19 22:54:06

I bloody love Ben Elton! He's a really underrated contemporary novelist IMO and he's written many books which were really perceptive and on the money in nailing what's going on in the zeitgeist, issues about celebrity, privacy etc.

I've seen him interviewed about this current novel and have just got it on Audible, can't wait to actually listen to it, especially as he's narrating it himself. Apparently his wife told him not to go near the trans stuff, but he's not exactly someone who's scared of controversy in his career. Can't comment on it any more as not read it yet but hoping he won't let me down!

Destinysdaughter Mon 24-Jun-19 22:56:00

Here's a link to Amazon reviews

StealthPolarBear Mon 24-Jun-19 22:57:11

Not seen this but nive liked his other books, this should be good

KatvonHostileExtremist Mon 24-Jun-19 23:09:02

He writes Upstart Crow too, I often think that's gc. I do love him.
I've ordered the book

MenuPlant Mon 24-Jun-19 23:09:43

Wow interesting.
I might buy it thanks smile

AlwaysComingHome Mon 24-Jun-19 23:11:48

I don’t think this is out in paperback yet, is it?

I’m looking forward to reading it. He smuggled some GC into Upstart Crow so it doesn’t surprise me there’s some in Identity Crisis.

TheInebriati Mon 24-Jun-19 23:14:17

Its on Amazon on Kindle and 2nd hand paperback.

newtlover Mon 24-Jun-19 23:17:25

I love Upstart Crow
I wonder how many more episodes there can be?

EweSurname Mon 24-Jun-19 23:21:09

I remember reading "Chart Throb" where there was a transsexual judge who if I remember correctly, had transitioned for notoriety. It's been ages since I read it so I might be misremembering!

ZebrasAreBras Mon 24-Jun-19 23:28:59

I've read a good few Ben Elton novels, and I'm not remotely surprised he's gender critical - similar to glinner, I'd think. Capable of critical thought, and not giving a crap if they're not following the woke line. He's underrated because he's seen as a shouty, lefty comedian.

Stark and Gridlock will probably both happen in reality. Or maybe This Other Eden. I find his novels perceptive, funny and frightening.

terfsandwich Mon 24-Jun-19 23:33:30

There was a great novel about social media lynch mobs. An interesting dystopia that was prescient of black mirror.

terfsandwich Mon 24-Jun-19 23:33:59

Can't remember what it was called though.

ZebrasAreBras Mon 24-Jun-19 23:34:17

Meant to add, so yes, I'll add this to my reading list.

He also wrote Blind Faith which is far from his best - but strangely prescient.

TinselAngel Mon 24-Jun-19 23:37:56

Ben Elton is GC? Woohoo!!!

TinselAngel Mon 24-Jun-19 23:38:41

I love his books and his stand up

EweSurname Mon 24-Jun-19 23:39:18

Should have said, the transsexual judge was a judge of an x factor type show and not a court of law!

ErrolTheDragon Mon 24-Jun-19 23:41:51

* I've just got to the bit where Mumsnet gets name-checked: after a trans woman is murdered, there's a thread on MN asking why this murder gets more attention than the murders of "ordinary women" and then an online campaign forces MN moderators to ban the phrase "ordinary women" as hate-speak.*

Is he an MNer?

ZebrasAreBras Mon 24-Jun-19 23:44:14

His wife might be. wink Didn't they have IVF twins?

plattercake Mon 24-Jun-19 23:45:20

Ooh, must read this smile

I was only thinking of his novel Stark the other day and want to re-read it.

I also love Upstart Crow. And picked up GC moments too smile

I'd be really unhappy if he turned out to be an arse.

Jasging Mon 24-Jun-19 23:51:24

Glad he has a new book out and he is a great observationist. May be worth re-reading High Society with all the shenanigans in politics at the moment as well!

AlwaysComingHome Mon 24-Jun-19 23:56:59

Didn't they have IVF twins?

That’s conceivable.

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