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Summary

The ultimate pop quest. Ninety-five thousand hopefuls. Three judges. Just one winner. And that’s Calvin Simms, the genius behind the show.

Calvin always wins, because Calvin writes the rules. But this year, as he sits smugly in judgement upon the mingers, clingers, and blingers whom he has pre-selected in his carefully scripted ‘search’ for a star, he has no idea that the rules are changing. The ‘real’ is about to be put back into ‘reality’ television, and Calvin and his fellow judges (the nation’s favourite mum and the other bloke) are about to become ex-factors themselves.

Ben Elton, author of Popcorn and Dead Famous returns to blistering comic satire with a savagely hilarious deconstruction of the world of modern television talent shows. Chart Throb. One winner. A whole bunch of losers.

©2006 Ben Elton (P)2009 Random House Audio

What listeners say about Chart Throb

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Really well done

Though I agree that the first 20 minutes of this is not his best work, as the reading continues, he really gets good, he has a brilliant array of voices for the major and supporting characters (in particular Beryl the transvestite super-judge and HRH The Prince of Wales) and I really found myself enjoying and being drawn into this story.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Just what you think it will be

Would you try another book written by Ben Elton or narrated by Glen McCready?

I love Ben Elton and have read all his books. This is the first I have listened to, I think maybe it is better to read his work.

What will your next listen be?

Something that doesn't try to be funny

Which character – as performed by Glen McCready – was your favourite?

The wannabe contestants

Did Chart Throb inspire you to do anything?

don't be silly, what an odd question!

Any additional comments?

When listening there is too much repetition, which would work being read, but not so much heard. Yes judges on these shows do say "you owned that", and it is as puerile here as it is on those shows, None of the characters are likeable, though some depth is given to some of them. I think comedy needs to be read not listened to, I love Ben Elton but I did not think much of Chart Throb. Too easy to mock

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

I will never know if this is a good book

I have listened to all of Ben Elton's books and have really enjoyed most of them. Unfortunately I will never know if this is a good book or not, I found the narrators slow overly dramatic voice too much to even consider putting up with him for 15 long hours. I even tried listening at double speed on my ipod and that was just as bad. The speed and pauses were less of a problem but still present even at double speed but the dramatic poetry reading style just doesn't convey the story. What a shame, I was looking forward to this one as Ben Elton can be very insiteful with his social observations used for a basis of his novels.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fits My Own Narrative of Reality Shows Perfectly

I absolutely loved this book. It fit my own narrative about reality talent shows perfectly. Cynical, scathing, outrageous, funny, Ben Elton is a masterful writer. If someone had to write down what was in my head about this TV format...well, Ben Elton has already done it

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Fabulous but flawed

Great story and performance BUT several jarring production errors that should have been noticed. Especially the ‘end of CD 10’ at the end of a chapter.

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Hilarious

This is hilarious. Ben Elton is a generous and this is superbly read by Glen McCready

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    5 out of 5 stars

Sarcastic, cutting, and funny

Would you listen to Chart Throb again? Why?

I have listened to this story multiple times, with various time inbetween each listen. It takes the Pop Star format and 'exposes' it as the manipulated and manufactured commercial invention that it is, but in a way that makes you crack up with laughter at every twist and turn.

What other book might you compare Chart Throb to, and why?

Any of Ben Elton's books compare to this book. It has that sarcastic and brilliant commentary that makes his books stand out and keep you interested.

What does Glen McCready bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Glen brings the characters to life, and injects that extra level of drama and sarcasm that only an experienced narrator can bring, without getting in the way of the story.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

There are laughs and shocks around every corner of this story, right up to the final scene. You will find yourself thinking 'Of course, that is so spot on' when hearing the insights and 'behind the curtain' scenes that unpick the format of the 'find a popstar' genre.

Any additional comments?

This is not for everyone, i.e. if you are easily offended or a die-hard fan of pop-star tv shows, or are not a particular fan of bad language. However, a highly recommended listen for anyone else, it will put a smile on your dial.

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oh my god

do not read this if u have a chest infection. puked twife. utterly utterly hillarious

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top ten Ben again

loved it. Great fantasy story about real life TV as we know it everyone can relate to it. Excellent voices and reading too. Thoroughly recommended.

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😊👍

Another good book from Ben Elton, and very well read by Glen McCready. Great characters, great characterisation.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Hugh
  • 20-07-10

Ok, but bit a bit repetitive.

I like most of Ben Elton's work, and this one is pleasant enough. However, I think it's a bit on the long side and lacking a bit of subtlety, with several similar bits in the middle. Perhaps this was the "cunning plan" to make it feel like we watching a reality TV show?
The narrator was very good.
I'm looking forwards to more unabridged Ben Elton audiobooks.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Laura
  • 17-02-15

As boring as the real show!

May have to return this. Am gritting my teeth to get through the last 2 hours. It's taking about as much determination as it does to get through a single episode of American Idol.

I normally love Ben Elton books, I have never found one I disliked. He is normally SOOO funny, topical and sarcastic.

With this book through, it is just repetitive. I got the point in the first hour. The show is a fake, reality TV is staged and all the celebs are self-serving egotists. OK, now repeat the above for next 11 hours, dissect every shot, every staged reaction, every scripted sound-bite and that is the book.

In addition - there are no redeemable characters. Even the female lead is weak.

Don't waste a credit.

1 person found this helpful

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  • gb
  • 08-07-15

Not his best work

I have read this book before but this time i found it tedious and hard to kisten to attentuvely