Dead famous

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Image of Dead Famous
Author: Ben Elton
Publisher: Black Swan (2002)
Binding: Paperback, 384 pages

This was an Isis Audio (Unabridged book) read by David Thorpe. I've not read (or listened to) any of Elton's Novels before & picked this one totally at random. I was initially rather disappointed by the concept, but soon grew to like the work itself. Thorpe is an excellent reader & his voices fitted perfectly. Be warned though, the language throughout is pretty foul.

What we have here is basically a Big Brother (the crappy reality TV show) concept called “House Arrest” all the usual BB features are there, the only two differences to the real programme are 1) someone gets Murdered & 2) this is actually good. The 10 main “house-mates” are pretty stereotypical of the kind of idiots you get in BB, but the way Elton writes them, they come over as good characters, with interesting backgrounds & despite my initial trepidation I really wanted to know what happened next. The structure jumped back & forth between the pre-murder House Arrest Show & the post-Murder investigation. Though I could have done with less use of words like “wicked”, “so cool” & “respect” (do people really talk like this?)

I enjoyed the mystery aspect & genuinely didn't guess who the murderer was right up to the final revelation. That said, I am unused to the mystery genre, maybe it would be more obvious to a veteran. You'd think that a book with a Murder in a self-contained house, watched live by millions, wouldn't have anywhere much else to go, but Elton keeps the tension high & the plot twists coming. I wasn't terribly convinced by the Inspectors final big rant, but that's a minor complaint. I've ordered “Blind Faith” on audio book already...