Ben Elton returns with his first novel in five years, although to be fair he has in the intervening period scripted several series of the excellent TV comedy Upstart Crow.
This novel takes a jaundiced and satirical look at today’s society, and particularly the pervasive influence of social media. Ostensibly it’s a murder mystery, where an old school police officer attempts to investigate a series of killings to find that he simply doesn’t ‘get’ the modern world anymore. One suspects this may well be based on the author’s own views (Elton is 60 now), and at times the novel does read like a list of things he doesn’t like about today’s society thinly disguised as a story. Targets for his ire include Facebook and Twitter, politicians, referendums, trial by social media, historic sex crimes, politically correct language and a kaleidoscope of different identity groups. Elton is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, but this is a decent and entertaining read, maybe not his very best but still well worth a look, and it does make some contentious, albeit tongue in cheek, points about the society we live in today, which the reader may or may not agree with of course..
Length of Read:Medium
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
Elton’s previous novels, TV series or even seeing him live (he returns to stand up later this year after a break of many years), or just satirical novels in general.
One thing you’ve learned
I have to confess my ignorance of terms like zie and zir, terf, cif and incel. In fact, until I researched them I assumed they had been created for this book. Still, live and learn eh!