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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 (222 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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Ben Elton at his best

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

3 people found this helpful

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Brilliant observation of identity driven culture.

I have read many Ben Elton books over the years. This is the best so far! If you know little of British politics you will miss a few of the jokes (Plantagenet Greased-Hogg) but there is still plenty to recognise in this up-to-the-minute satirical exposè of modern identity politics, internet culture and the current obsession with self-defined "communities". That Ben managed to write this hilarious book without upsetting (to my knowledge) the LGBTQIAPK+ "community" is remarkable in itself. His observation of social media behaviour are spot-on and his speculations on the potential of the internet for social manipulation are, chillingly, not that far fetched.

Elton's narration is, unsurprisingly, a delight to listen to though I did have to slow him down just a fraction.

Laugh-out-loud funny social observation of our own culture - Ben Elton at his best.

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Satire, only just though!

So typically Ben Elton and a wonderful satirical and only slightly exaggerated look at what society could be if the PC brigade take over.

I often listen to audio books when out walking. This book had moments where I spontaneously burst out laughing, must have looked like a crazy person!

Highly recommended.

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Brilliant!

great social comment and a fantastic plot line with a cool twist. classic Ben Elton

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A fascinating mix of mystery and comedy

Some of the observations of modern life were hysterical, albeit alarming in their accuracy. I loved reading about the challenges of a middle aged man coming to terms with appropriate pronouns. Lots of very thinly veiled references to modern characters and events made this a very relevant read! I felt like the book lost its way a bit and the conclusion to the mystery component was a bit rushed. There is something to be said for authors as narrators - Ben Elton reads it as he must have intended it to be heard.

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Loved it!

Thoroughly enjoyed this one. Great story and Ben Elton’s narration brings it all to life. His sarcasm and cheekiness is fantastic and is even funnier when read aloud by him! I’ve read two others of his and find his cynicism and humour to blend perfectly.

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Highly recommended

Amazing book - probably his best. Accurately sorts and describes today’s world for us of the pre-technological era. Told with the usual mix of irreverent humour and intelligence. Allows us to think for ourselves, with no judgement delivered on topics that we all judge, every day. So ‘now’; so very brilliant. A book that will be studied in the future by people looking to examine the plight of another ‘crossover’ generation. World has changed and the old world gone forever. Language and technique comparable to Thomas Hardy’s portrayal of a ‘new world’ peppered with a (pre-industrial revolution) dying breed of old-fashioned ‘good folk’.

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an Auld acquaintance

well BenElton at a more digestible and easier to accept pace. I felt the pain of our intrepid inspector all the way

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So funny

If you like Ben Elton then you'll love this one. Up there with High Society but maybe not quite as clever. As usual up to the minute satire on identity politics, Brexit, Cambridge Analytica, Russian interference, post truth twitter feeds and gender dysmorphia. All read excellently by Ben Elton himself.

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Brilliant

Clever and very dry this story is just good fun to follow.
Some satirical books sort of dry up once their initial points are made and clever lines expended but the delicious ironies continue here right until the end.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-01-2020

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
  • 30-11-2019

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
  • 22-08-2019

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
  • 19-08-2019

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
  • 07-05-2019

initially difficult but well worth the effort

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

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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!

17 people found this 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.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Gary B.
  • 14-02-2020

Very Ben Elton

If you haven't read Ben Elton before then this is great;if like me you have, then this is more of the same. Clever and insightful at times but, in the end, I just didn't care.

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  • Todd Curtis
  • 12-02-2020

Simply brilliant

Love this. So relevant. Great story , gripping, funny but most of all it shines a light on the nonsense we all expose ourselves to on social media. Thanks Ben !

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  • N
  • 31-01-2020

Topical and wickedly funny.

Amusing, topical and a little frenetic, very enjoyable and worrying, enhanced by the authors unique style,

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  • james_upton473
  • 15-01-2020

Witty and brilliant!

Current Affairs, social media spying, a reality show and murder - what more could you pack into a book? Another great story from Ben Elton.

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  • Andy
  • 28-12-2019

A classic in the making

If you and/or your kids have ever wondered about the power of social media, the truth behind Cambridge Analytica and hoped somebody would take the piss out of love island - it’s here, all in one place.

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  • eoinandpaula
  • 16-12-2019

Excellent summary of life today

We saw Ben Elton live in Barnstaple recently and he rocked the house. Surprisingly, there was no mention of this book although he did discuss ‘identities’ for part of the time. This book has so many intertwined sub plots that it took me quite some time to listen to but time well spent. An excellent summary of life today.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-12-2019

enjoyable, disturbing read

Ben Elton is a genius.. Set in eerily similar version of UK facing referendums and dodgy social influencing where 'identities' are pitted against each other.. Kept me interested throughout.

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  • weez74
  • 09-12-2019

Silly and poorly performed

I gave up on this one after about an hour an a half. Partly because I just couldn't cope with the narration - it really showed how good the professional narrators are. I'm afraid this sounded rushed and as if he just needed together it over and done with. And the story was really frustrating. I have read and loved some of Ben Elton's books in the past, but he may as well have followed every sentence with 'it's political correctness gone mad!'. I felt it was over played and became really irritating. I'm really disappointed with this book.