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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 listeners say about Identity Crisis

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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.

4 people found this helpful

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Astonishingly fresh

I found this book to be remarkably contemporary in a way very few authors even attempt. Ben Elton navigates the convolutions of modern society quite adeptly.
The plot not only includes contemporary technology but actually leverages it! Crime fiction at large is appallingly guilty of avoiding modern technology which might otherwise be 'plot breakers' but this book not only embraces it but manages to make it key to the whole story in a way that feels authentic.
Ben Elton pulls off the balancing act of giving us an out-of-touch protagonist who is a bit confused and overwhelmed by the fast-paced societal changes but is nonetheless doing their best with honest good intentions so that we can have concepts explained to us directly in a way that doesn't feel condescending or overly contrived. Other colourful characters are represented just on the edge of too much so as to feel abrasive but the author doesn't ever tip into disrespectful or outright offensively ignorant representations.
I applaud Ben Elton for his sincerity, wit and insight into contemporary society and am flabbergasted that the twisting plot remained solid and intact the whole way through to a satisfying conclusion.
Truly a feat of literature.

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binged it

funny, smart, satirical and a treat that it was read by the author. so good

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Amazing, couldn’t put it down.

Great mix of a murder mystery, interconnecting stories and a commentary on my our modern world. I did fair that this would be an ‘old persons’ view of current tends, and just lots of taking the piss. It’s not that, it’s intelligent and well thought out. It would be a good re-listen too. Give it a go.

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Ben Elton does it again!!!

Another brilliantly written book by Ben. I loved hearing him read it, he reads it the way I imagine it when I read one of his books. Absolutely fantastic!

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Bang on

You know when you read Ben Elton it's going to be funny, crazy but most importantly thought- provoking. Loved this book. And great to hear it read by Ben Elton himself.

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Great listen

Great book Ben Elton in fine form!
Was great for evenings listening. Story moved along at a great pace.

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an absolute bloody pleasure x

loved this book. I struggle listening to fiction on audio as I can find it quite cringe worthy. Ben reads this in such an engaging way that this wasn't the case at all.

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Entertaining AND insightful

Ben Elton does great accents and acting, well worth having him read his own book.
Also a really interesting insight (albeit via consent) into both the current obsession with identity politics and how social media can be manipulated to manipulate us.
To top it all off, it’s just good entertainment.

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Meh

I enjoyed Ben Elton's previous work, however, this book is really just a middle-aged white guy complaining about society. It's not that great.

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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!

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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.

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  • Lyndsay Watterson
  • 19-09-2019

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.

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  • Graham French
  • 30-03-2021

Great fun!

A satirical depiction of British society in 2020. It is outlandish, a bit crazy but such good fun! The narration is excellent but you might want to reduce the speed a bit, Ben does speak a tad to fast for my liking.

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  • MR JOHN PHILIP CHANDLER
  • 16-02-2021

standard Elton

if you like his other books this follows a similar pattern.
sometimes it is a bit predictable but none the less I still enjoyed the book and is good to have it narrated by the author

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  • Anonymous User
  • 22-01-2021

gotta try it

Just awesome, funny and very well read, one of my favourites. Definitely worth a go.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 24-12-2020

Disappointing

Sorry to have to give this book 3 star’s l had been looking forward to Ben’s latest offering having enjoyed all his other books, possibly excluding Inconceivable. I found this one very repetitious with a very rushed and unconvincing ending.I won’t go into more detail as I don’t want to spoil it for other listeners ☹️

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  • David
  • 20-11-2020

Thrilling read

Don’t even share Ben’s politics but loved the book. Great page Turner! Think it’s safe to assume that Ben was not a fan of Brexit!

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  • scoothamilton
  • 27-09-2020

Great look into the condition of today's society

an amusing but still serious and responsible look at social media and personal identity. murder, mystery and political drama

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  • Catty C
  • 07-08-2020

on the nail. as always.

hilarious and deeply unsettling Elton captures the ghastly jingoism and corruption that is UK today.

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