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Identity Crisis

By: Ben Elton
Narrated by: Ben Elton
Length: 9 hrs and 58 mins
5 out of 5 stars (25 ratings)
Non-member price: $30.38
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Publisher's 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

Ben Elton at his best

This is a fantastically witty take on our current society. Elton as the narrator also adds to the enjoyment.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant, clever, laugh out loud funny

I loved every minute of listening to Ben Elton reading his own book, Identity Crisis. It’s extremely topical, whip smart and so funny I had to stop the reading sometimes just to laugh. It’s full of wonderful characters, all of whom Elton brings to life perfectly, both in his writing and his reading. The story is also a murder mystery, so it has plenty of dramatic tension - you won’t want to stop listening. But underneath all that it’s also full of heart and compassion, and is a very nuanced and intelligent exploration of ‘identity politics’. Bravo Mr Elton!

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Ben Elton Rocks

thoroughly enjoyed this true Ben Elton style, funny, scarily accurate and just a little bit not right! Loving your work Ben

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  • Simon
  • 04-04-2019

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!

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • BarefootRonin
  • 05-04-2019

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Cheri
  • 20-04-2019

Brilliantly observant insightful storytelling

I really liked how insightful and funny Ben Elton’s observations of society are.
I think this book is brilliant in audio ... had me laughing out loud on the drive to work and then silent as I recognised the significance of the pull of separation into the various identity camps ...
The story reminded me of Elton’s earlier work in its rhythm and pace social media and identity observations ...
Good, easy to engage with audiobook .. light listening that does have a point without bashing you over the head

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 19-04-2019

What mess we are in

A great book for the Brexit generation we are in an even bigger mess than I ever imagined

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  • #runningisawesome
  • 16-04-2019

Really interesting listen,

Really current and relevant, I enjoyed this book very much, it is a great social commentary. I have read anything by Ben Elton before but I will definitely be downloading more!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 16-04-2019

loved it

fantastic dig at all things pc. who would have thought Samuel peyps was such a naughty boy

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  • Gordgey
  • 15-04-2019

Clever, thought provoking and terrifying!

Ben Elton has done it again! A thought provoking book, that reflects the times we are living in, and weaves a tale that is not a million miles away from the reality we are in now, which makes it terrifying!

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  • Lee Taylor
  • 14-04-2019

Bloody brilliant

Funny, clever, mysterious and more funny.. loved it and worth another listen soon. Thanks Ben

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  • K. J. Noyes
  • 12-04-2019

Epitomises the genre of satire

So over-the-top but also scarily familiar. Genius.

I've seen a fair amount of Ben Elton's comedy, and read several of his novels. I thought I had a handle on his politics, but it's to his credit that he's managed to satirise our contemporary crazy world so it is not clear whether he is railing against the world-gone-mad political correctness, harking back to a simpler time, or embracing it.

This is razor-sharp, relevant and completely on point. From police officers who can't say the right thing when a victim (or is it survivor who died?) is murdered in a park to the hammy old 'lech' of an actor maneuvering to stay relevant (and solvent) as his one man show is vilified... it all hits the mark.

The wider world in which the microcosm is occurring is just as crazy - not only have we had the Brexit referendum, but now a similar vote is forthcoming to decide on Britain's future as the United Kingdom, or if it will break up. Both campaigns eagerly fall on every social media trend and news item, spinning it to their cause, to outrageous effect.

It's just so ridiculous - Remember Them: historical sexual assaults prosecuted. Trial by Twitter. Outrage. Offence. And gradually... a number of murders.

A mathematician spinning the numbers to influence public opinion, a world-weary police officer struggling to keep up with inclusivity as well as other small cogs in this magnified melting pot of rage look so like our own world that it's hard to believe this is simply fiction.

I listened to this as an audiobook read by the author, and laughed aloud more than once walking along. Ben Elton is a talented narrator (as well as author), bringing his characters to life with ease. It was not at all a trial to keep up with each story and voice. A perfect audio read, really.

There are a lot of points made here, amidst the mystery of murder (though I thought this plot had a pretty obvious solution, it was nicely built up), and they hit their targets. It's the sort of book you'd like everyone to read - we all contribute to the stirring of the pot, we all judge quickly and follow trends blindly.

I'm going to be pushing friends and family to try this. One of his strongest I would say.

With thanks to Nudge Books for providing a sample Audible copy.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-04-2019

hilarious but frighteningly real

Always a pleasure to read .Ben Elton but this time too near to the truth of what's happening around us HELP !!!!!!