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Identity Crisis

By: Ben Elton
Narrated by: Ben Elton
Length: 9 hrs and 58 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (871 ratings)

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Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of Identity Crisis, written and read by Ben Elton.

Why are we all so hostile? So quick to take offence? Truly we are living in the age of outrage. 

A series of apparently random murders draws amiable old-school Detective Mick Matlock into a world of sex, politics, reality TV and a bewildering kaleidoscope of opposing identity groups. Lost in a blizzard of hashtags, his already complex investigation is further impeded by the fact that he simply doesn’t ‘get’ a single thing about anything anymore.

Meanwhile, each day another public figure confesses to having ‘misspoken’ and prostrates themselves before the judgment of Twitter. Begging for forgiveness, assuring the public 'that is not who I am'.

But if nobody is who they are anymore - then who the f**k are we?

Ben Elton returns with a blistering satire of the world as it fractures around us. Get ready for a roller-coaster thriller, where nothing - and no one - is off-limits.

©2019 Ben Elton (P)2019 Random House Audiobooks
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    5 out of 5 stars

Elton's Rifle!

I've always liked Ben Elton without ever being his biggest fan but in this book, he genuinely spoke to me. This is relentlessly bubbly, irreverent (of course) and often very funny. No target is safe in this very-near-future world of Elton's and he fires shots seemingly indiscriminately. While most politicians have made up names it's obvious who is being sent up, for example, Bunter Jollye and Plantagenet Greased-Hogg - can't imagine who they are modelled on . . .

Elton's story which is very well read by himself follows these politicians, various activists, the production team of Love Island and a number of people who find themselves caught up in the social media trends of the day. It cleverly jumps on very current issues; social media, fake news and the sheer fickleness of modern society. It explores and magnifies every facet of political correctness twisting it into unrelenting satire. Running through it all though is the outrage so often generated on social media, the impact it can have on people and very on trend how public opinion is manipulated insidiously for all manner of reasons.

At the centre of all this, is Detective Mick Matlock, a genuinely well-intentioned old-school policeman who is simply baffled by the ways and speed that the world is changing around him. He struggles to navigate his way through the booby-trapped jungle of modern language. The world has changed around him and he simply hasn't kept up with it which plunges him like a tragic hero from one awkward situation to another.

This is, of course, treacherous ground that Elton is treading but I think he strikes just the right notes and the book genuinely asks some fairly sobering questions about the direction our online, social media-driven society is taking. It may upset some, I'd be surprised if it didn't, but I'm more than happy to say I very much enjoyed it from start to finish!

18 people found this helpful

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Fun, Cynical and Inciteful... Typical Ben Elton

I've haven't read/listened to one of Ben's books for some time but decided to give this a go as I work on the web and in social media despite my 'dad-man' status, so the subject struck home. I enjoyed the story and progressed through the book while working. As a result, I'm going to give it another go based on how much I enjoyed it but also for those small sections where my working mind wandered.

The book is certainly up-to-date and despite some slightly dodgy accents Ben's performance was good and made me want to keep going. The funny part is that I'm not sure whether he was highlighting the issues and problems with today's 'social media' world or bolstering (some of) the ideas presented. There is plenty of well-thought view and perspectives from the side of those considered snowflakes as well as the dinosaurs (like me apparently) that think there is a massive movement toward being over sensitive because nobody ever died of being offended. I'd love to sit and chat with him about it to try and find out where he, Ben, himself falls on opinions offered because the story is woven so well I can't tell... Which I assume has been done on purpose but also adds to the entertainment.

Obviously I'm not going to give away the plot even though it's predictable in places, and I won't get bogged down in discussing specific characters for fear of ruining it. Simply, I enjoyed the reading and it's a well thought out book. the story structure is typically Ben Elton and the cynical(?) and o#well observed story is clearly based on the state of our modern fast moving world...

If you like Ben's books I'm sure you'll love it.

9 people found this helpful

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Laughed out loud 🤣

I love all Ben Elton books but when he reads them they’re extra special. Funny, ironic, sharp and current. Just brilliant.

1 person found this helpful

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Brilliant.

An amazing audiobook. Ben Elton reads it brilliantly. Great voices. The story is fantastic. He sheds light on the state of the world right now and I even feel like I learnt a few things.

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I tend to forget just how good Ben Elton is!

Another wonderfully well observed and amusing book from Ben Elton.
I really do need to go back now and check out the books of his I've missed.
Highly recommended!

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Absolutely phenomenal: this is a must read/listen

Ben Elton has done it again, he is an absolute master of this genre; somehow getting the perfect balance between clever wit and political/situational satire (or perhaps it doesn't really count as satire these days, it's all so familiar).

I have devoured this audio book in just 2 days. It was that good I'm now sad it's over, and I have to return to the real world. I now plan to blast through his older books, but am sad to see they aren't all available on Audible unabridged.

Elton's narration is also spot on, realistic and engaging but never dull.

Frankly I'm quite tempted to start listening to it from the start again already!

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Tiresome, slow and repetitive

This book is far too confusing for me. The truncation of stories was too fragmented for my taste. Whilst the performance was good, I gave up half way through. I constantly felt; “get on with it”! I didn’t really take to the subject matter either. I, also, found the constant reinforcing/explanation of the people irksome. The phrase “Barry, the legal/financial bloke” will, sadly, stay in my memory than this book will! To quote the book; #justoneofthosethings.

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You need to pay attention

Keeps you turning the pages while exploring complex ideas in an amusing, but thought-provoking way. What's not to like? Never read Ben Elton before, but will defo read more now.

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Insightful, well paced and clear story

Enjoyable story with interesting insights and theories on recent events. Challenging topics generally handled well. However, the resolution is abrupt and a little unsatisfying.

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Essential reading

Clever, engaging and absolutely spot on political satire and social commentary whilst at the same time a police whodunit and a comedy.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-01-20

A must-read on social media abuse

This book explores just about every imaginable aspect of social media abuse and discrimination of identity and it offers some food for thought on discrimination classes.

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  • Dragonfly
  • 30-11-19

The truth about power

Those who think that their democracy gives them any power over their government in 2019 should listen to this book. Ben Elton pokes fun at current British politics, but with a long sharp satirical stick, exposing the rotten underbelly. The book is probably only relevant for a the current political season, but is worth listening to this year.

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  • Gerhard van Huyssteen
  • 22-08-19

LOL funny!

I haven't laughed out loud listening to an audio book in a very long time. And then I discovered this book (my first by Mr Elton, I'm embarrassed to admit). Fantastic! I think I might be a fan for life!
Brilliant characters, funny dialogue (enhanced by Elton's interpretation), and lots and lots of food for thought.

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  • Simon
  • 19-08-19

Elton is a comic genius

Brilliant. Elton has that rare comic gift of making you laugh and think at the same timeq

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  • Robert
  • 07-05-19

initially difficult but well worth the effort

felt strained at the start . ended up really enjoying it. not quite the resolution I was expecting