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Dead Famous Paperback – September 1, 2005
In the Barren Ground
Rookie cop Tana Larsson must track a killer—but can she survive the wild and frozen dark? Learn More
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But Elton's main reason to write the book is so he can wickedly skewer the kind of people who pursue fame on reality TV shows, as well as the adoring fans who lap up the idiocy as long as it's "good telly". I'd fault Elton for being so misanthropic if I didn't agree with him. The author's spokesman in the novel is the policeman heading the murder case, a traditional old fogey who complains constantly about having to watch the "House Arrest" tapes for clues. The policeman's unhipness is also a source of humor in the book, so it seems like Elton can also make fun of himself in the midst of his moral outrage. I especially enjoyed his mockery of the Minister of Culture, who appears on a TV program to emphasize how the government supports quality programs like "House Arrest", because we have to listen to young people and give them what they want, because they are our future. Elton's exciting murder mystery is a fancy wrapper around a bitter piece of candy.Read more ›
Added to this, however, is a satirization of the ubiquitous generational division (young, beautiful contestants, each wanting their 15 miutes of fame; young, hip police officers who have watched the show and believe they know the suspects from what they've seen on T.V., and a curmudgeonly older lead investigator who is out of touch with pop culture) as well as a biting social commentary on reality television in general. On the premise of the program, Elton writes, "Marvelous! ... An opportunity to spend an entire evening watching someone you don't know being asked to leave a house you've never been to by a group of people you've never even met and of whom you'll never hear of again. It's hard to imagine a more riveting scenario." On the people who are in the show and who produce the show, Elton writes, "It's Stockholm Syndrome, you know ...When captives fall in love with their tormentors ... and begin to rely on them, to trust them.Read more ›
The inmates are repulsive in every way. Only the physically repulsive anarchist Woggle is a likeable character although he also has his dark side. Best of all is the portrayal of the cynicism of reality TV. The ending was a touch predictable but no less entertaining and clever for that. A great read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great satire about reality tv and a good mystery to boot!Published 29 days ago by Kathleen Gallegos
As a Big Brother (US) fan, I found this extremely entertaining & well-written. Some of the British accents & slang was a bit rough, but I know I'll never look at BB the same. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Shelley H
You can see by reading this, that Elton used some of the jokes (and possibly the inspector) from Thin Blue Line. It's a really fun read, even if you aren't into reality television. Read morePublished 15 months ago by space marines codex
Definitely relevant to a particular time in TV content evolution, but still quite entertaining. Good storyline but perhaps a little to neat.Published 17 months ago by JS
A good who-done-it and with some humor but not so outrages as some of Ben Elton's other novels.Published 21 months ago by hashingisgreat
I thought the whole book was totally ridiculous until 3/4 through then it got a bit interesting but predictable
towards the end
I would certainly recommend this and all Ben Elton books. They are all so easy to read and a great laugh.
Do yourself a favour and buy it.