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3.9 out of 5 stars
Popcorn
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on July 16, 2004
i read this book in a single night mostly because, as the novel explores people's attachment to entertainment, this books was WAY better than anything on TV!
a little violent at times, there are many plot twists which are funny and sometimes scarry in their accuracy of how the media is attracted to, and portray's violence, for the public.
the ending was a wee bit predictable but enjoyable all the same with a healthy mix of critical satire and humor.
definately worht catching!
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Elton comprehensively condemns the Tarantino phenomenon: it's not art, it's nasty and exploitative, pornographic and promotes violence. But he's not just too old these days to get it: he writes chapters perfectly ripping off the style. It could have merely been a thinly veiled essay (and is at times), but in satirising, Elton has written a very decent thriller - ironically at times by introducing the very archetypical characters he's condemning.
Add to this his usual sharp comic stand-up perspectives, and you've got a powerful read. It should date given its very specific pop-culture context, but it may even be good enough not to. This book is well put together, underpinned by a dry and incisive wit, has some very impressive satire, and makes some penetrating criticisms in an enormously enjoyable and compelling form.
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on December 18, 2002
This was a very violent very funny moving book. No point in breaking the book down piece by piece,but lets say fans of Pulp Fiction type movies will absolutely love this book. Ben Elton is a great writer. It seems his writing ridicules the exact world he makes a living from,which makes it even better.
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on July 22, 2002
I imagine Elton coming up with the idea for this book after an evening of "stimulating" dinner conversation with friends on the topic of ultraviolence in film. To be frank, while somewhat entertaining, I found the treatment of the subject matter pretty trite, predictable, and oriented on the sound bite. Really nothing that you haven't heard before if you're at all paying attention, so I wouldn't recommend reading it for its more philosophical aspects.
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on December 2, 2001
This book has no mercy.This book is the epitome of political uncorrectedness.I loved the ramblings of the most anti-heroic Oscar winner of fiction. He says in the face of outraged listeners what's wrong in the culture of complaint represented by the Politcally Correctedness fad. And it shows that THERE ARE some things we would really consider unacceptable. And that individual responsibility has its sense.He does so extracting black,irresistible laughs from its readers.
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on June 11, 2001
Ben Elton has written a witty and action packed novel in Popcorn i couldnt put it down its was the best book i had read for a long time. Thank you Mr. Ben Elton for making my life a bit less dull - Bill Davidson
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on April 4, 2001
A witty and satirical take on the corruption and duplicity of Hollywood movies. The depth of the characters is phenomenal, displaying true-to-life perspectives with remarkable precision. These perspectives include that of Bruce Delamitri, the Academy Award-winning director of 'Ordinary Americans,' a violent, disturbing movie that inspired controversy all over the country, and Wayne and Scout, the sadistic "Mall Murders"; trailer trash serial killers who murdered more than 200 people. The writing is clever and sharp and the ending will leave you breathless. Obvious nods to kitsch-obsessed movie directors will inspire chuckles and the thoughts of Bruce Delamitri at the Academy Awards will never make you look at the Oscars in the same way again. Overall, this is an excellent book that will keep you on the edge of your seat and will definitely excite and disturb.
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on April 4, 2001
A witty and satirical take on the corruption and duplicity of Hollywood movies. The depth of the characters is phenomenal, displaying true-to-life perspectives with remarkable precision. These perspectives include that of Bruce Delamitri, the Academy Award-winning director of 'Ordinary Americans,' a violent, disturbing movie that inspired controversy all over the country, and Wayne and Scout, the sadistic "Mall Murders"; trailer trash serial killers who murdered more than 200 people. The writing is clever and sharp and the ending will leave you breathless. Obvious nods to kitsch-obsessed movie directors will inspire chuckles and the thoughts of Bruce Delamitri at the Academy Awards will never make you look at the Oscars in the same way again. Overall, this is an excellent book that will keep you on the edge of your seat and will definitely excite and disturb.
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on February 7, 2001
This is certainly a "popcorn" book, i.e. a quick, easy read which instantly fades from memory. Elton is the English TV writer of such series as "Blackadder" and "The Young Ones" (both of which I quite like), but his stab at writing a "tongue-in-cheek thriller" doesn't really succeed, as either a satire, comedy, or thriller. The characters are total cardboard, but writers like Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiassan manage to make their cardboard characters much more engrossing somehow. The lead is an extremely heavy-handed attempt at lampooning Quentin Tarantino--who is really too easy a target for such purposes. There are some rather obvious home truths spoken along the way concerning violence and entertainment in America, but it's all so hamfisted, it's hard to care. The plot involves this rising star director and a killer couple (a la Natural Born Killers) who model themselves of his films. What wacky antics ensue when they show up at his house after he wins the Oscar!! Sigh... it's not as funny as it looks, nor does it do more than skim the surface of the issues, and oh yeah, Elton's grasp of American idioms is surprisingly weak.
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on September 14, 2000
I throughly enjoyed this book. It's a thrill ride from the beginning and doesn't stop until it's climatic, violent end. Violent is a key word here. I wasn't expecting so much guts and filth, but suprisingly most of it works and gets you to re-think issues of violence in America. This is the central point to the novel and for the most part it's presented in a clear and entertainging way, though I don't agree with all Ben Elton has to say. The idea that film or art causes violence is not a new idea and not much new is said about it here. What Elton has done is to present it in a way that is eaisly accesible (very movie-like), and most importantly, funny. The satire and out right humor are, for the most part, right on. Plenty of times I laughed from recognition of behavior or a joke. You can't help but get involved with these characters and their situations and that's what makes the politics shine. One more thing I must mention is the incredible dust jacket and book design. What a hoot! The only thing it is missing is a popcorn scent in the glue. It looks GREAT on the bookshelf!
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