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Screen Burn [Paperback]

Charlie Brooker
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
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Book Description

2 Dec 2004

'These days, watching television is like sitting in the back of Travis Bickle's taxicab, staring through the window at a world of relentless, churning shod . . .'

Cruel, acerbic, impassioned, gleeful, frequently outrageous and always hilarious, Charlie Brooker's Screen Burn collects the best of the much-loved Guardian Guide columns into one easy-to-read-on-the-toilet package.

Sit back and roar as Brooker rips mercilessly into Simon Cowell, 'Big Brother', Trinny and Susannah, 'Casualty', Davina McCall, Michael Parkinson . . . and almost everything elso on television.

This book will make practically anyone laugh out loud.

At the turn of the millennium, Charlie Brooker created the notorious website TV Go Home. More recently, he co-wrote Channel Four's Nathan Barley with Chris Morris.

Prior to become the Guardian Guide's TV critic, Brooker worked as a cartoonist, a journalist, and a TV and radio presenter.

'Charlie Brooker doesn't so much go for the jugular as decapitate his targets altogether.' Jim Shelley, Daily Mirror

'He watches these things so we don't have to. Bless him for that.' Graham 'Father Ted' Linehan

'This belongs on everyone's bookshelf. With a big spotlight pointing at it.' Julie Burchill

'The funniest newspaper columnist in the world.' Racing Post

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Screen Burn + The Hell of it All + Dawn of the Dumb
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber (2 Dec 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571227554
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571227556
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 261,434 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Charlie Brooker has worked as a writer, journalist, cartoonist and television and radio presenter.

Recent television credits include: You Have Been Watching, Screenwipe, which won a Royal Television Society award, and Newswipe. Charlie also wrote and produced Dead Set, a BAFTA-nominated satirical horror drama for Channel 4. Other TV writing credits include the 11 O'Clock Show and the Brass Eye Paedophilia Special.

Charlie is well-known for his weekly columns in The Guardian and recently won The Press Awards' columnist of the year.

Product Description

Book Description

'Anger drives Charlie Brooker - and makes him very, very funny.' The Observer --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Charlie Brooker has worked as a writer, journalist, cartoonist and broadcaster. His TV writing credits include Nathan Barley, BAFTA-nominated satirical horror Dead Set and the Rose D'or-winning sci-fi festival-of-cheeriness Black Mirror. He also writes and presents the RTS-winning 'Wipe' series of BBC shows, Channel 4'sTen O'Clock Live,and Radio 4's So Wrong It's Right. He is also well known for his weekly columns in the Guardian newspaper. But so what? One day, he will die.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
81 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anger is an energy 29 Dec 2004
Charlie Brooker is the man behind the infamous TVGoHome site, where he invented television programmes such as Get Hen!, where contestants had to get a hen, and Daily Mail Island, where single mothers, asylum seekers and other targets of tabloid ire were torn to pieces by rabid Middle Englanders. Proving that life often imitates art - or at least, arse - even more bizarre programmes were actually broadcast, and in his new role as TV critic for the Guardian Guide, Brooker had to review such pinnacles of popular entertainment as Big Brother, I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, and the truly bizarre Touch The Truck. Screen Burn is a collection of these reviews, spanning the last three years.
Whether you'll enjoy Screen Burn depends on your attitude to life. If you're the sort of person who has a sunny outlook, believes that people are fundamentally decent and greets the dawn of a new day with a big smile, Screen Burn will make you weep hot, salty tears. If on the other hand you're a twisted misanthrope with an abiding hatred of pretty much the entire human race, the book will make you laugh until your eyes bleed. Brooker doesn't pull his punches: while other critics might suggest that a programme is below par, Brooker demands that the presenters be locked in a barbed wire cage with angry hyenas and rolled down a mountain. If - as John Lydon once sang - anger is an energy, then Charlie Brooker could power the national grid.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Take a bow, Charlie Brooker 13 April 2005
By grrrr.
You may not think reading several years' collected columns one after another could sustain itself for the entirety of this book, but somehow it manages to work. To buy it isn't just to read some extremely sharp and extremely amusing observations about television (I was in stitches at one description of Jim Davidson), but to be forced to take a step back and look at society, feeling Brooker's pain as he attempts to hold on to his sanity and intelligence in an insane world of bleating, porcelain drones. It's got to the stage where the piss-take show concepts he dreams up are actually SHOWN on television, and as a result no-one is safe from his venom if he thinks they deserve it, regardless of class, age, pastimes, nationality, wealth, fame, looks or intelligence. Jim Davidson, Simon Cowell, football fans, the Daily Mail, neo-conservatives and Middle England get a particular pasting. This isn't to say that Brooker's without a sense of fairness; perhaps unexpectedly, he sticks up for a few people commonly pilloried by both the media and the public, including John Leslie, Sharon Osbourne and Jamie Oliver, and even some marginalised groups like drug addicts and asylum seekers.
Profane, angry, venomous, heartfelt, intelligent - but above all, EXTREMELY funny. Especially considering the bargain cover price, this is a must buy.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funniest book I have read for a while 7 Mar 2008
I am always a little suspicious when a book tells me I will "laugh out loud" because often as not I find myself reading it stone faced waiting for nuggets of wit that never seem to come.

This book genuinely does what it says on the cover. Due mostly to a hugely funny use of over the top metaphor and comparatives.

Similar to Clarkson but funnier and ruder. Buy it, you won't regret it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The funniest book I have ever read 26 Nov 2007
By Lovborg
This man's grasp of language, his misanthropy and his FURY make him the funniest non-fiction writer there is. "Screen Burn" is an absolute masterpiece of bile, wit and (in fact) refusal to burp along with the "It's just a bit of fun, innit?" mentality that poisons so much modern TV.
His reviews also prove just what an assured judge of quality he is, as he comes out in favour of programmes which have since been hailed as classics.
He is compulsively readable and magnificently, blisteringly funny.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reprinted Screen Burn 8 Oct 2012
By Heds
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Wish I had realised this was just a reprint of the 2004 Screen Burn book rather than the latest installments of the Screen Burn columns (which I assumed it was when it popped up for pre-order).

It is a funny book originally, but now comes with a more grown up cover featuring Brooker with an expensive haircut.

I guess with winter drawing in I can chuck my spare copy on the fire to keep me warmer for a few more minutes...
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charlie Brooker is angry. Very angry. 1 Mar 2005
Charlie Brooker loves television.
He just hates the way it is now.
This book is a passionate, scathing, vicious and occasionally scabrous attack on the dumbing-down of television over the last five years or so; the rise of interminable reality programmes, lowest-common-denominator "talent" shows, and incessant downmarket soaps and violent dramas.
Put that bluntly, it could be seen as a depressing book. However, Brooker is the man who gave us TV Go Home and Unnovations, and is the creator of the odious Nathan Barley, so there's a savage, excoriating wit there - this is appallingly funny, and full of well-directed ire.
As television fragments into thousands of channels targeting ordure at the masses, Brooker's book is a powerful scream calling for sanity and some artistic integrity. It's also filthy and hilarious.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny or what? 29 Mar 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Every bit as entertaining as the later, 'The Hell of it All' and 'Dawn of the Dumb'. Fascinating to look back through Brooker's sarcastic comedy eyes to TV shows from early in the 'noughties'. There is a belly laugh on almost every page and one is constantly left wondering how an Earth he managed to come up with a particular metaphor or ludicrous exaggeration. You'll find yourself actively searching for opportunities to describe someone as looking like 'a dish cloth hanging off a door knob' and many, many other classics. There are other reviews which interest because they were the very first show of a series which subsequently became part of the cultural landscape, such as the first Big Brother. Most of the time his criticisms hit the nail bang on the head. If you have a sense of humour and enjoy comedy writing you'll love this as much as the other collections of Charlie Brooker TV reviews.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Danger ! May damage your health
Charlie Brooker has a lot to answer for, I laughed my spleen out.

Don't read this book if you think your mum's advice "it's nice to be nice" was a sound... Read more
Published 7 months ago by andyhb
5.0 out of 5 stars Charlie Brooker rules
I love Charlie Brooker's rants, and although his books could never be as good as his screen presence, his view on life is always perspicacious and hilarious
Published 8 months ago by bridget
1.0 out of 5 stars The first book I ever disliked before I even started it
As poor as my eyesight is I haven't had to buy large print books to date but for this title that may have been the thing to do. Read more
Published 11 months ago by GorDoink
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book
If you like Charlie Brooker books then this is another one for you. If you like TV and shouting out and the stupidity of stupid shows or contestants then this is for you. Read more
Published 12 months ago by RetroAEROSMITH
4.0 out of 5 stars Spade
Dig the overall vibe, man. Dig the images too - you do them or yer people do them? Screen burn, indeed. Good stuff. Stay alive for a bit. Hathaway, T.
Published 16 months ago by Tom Hathaway
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book
I had already read this book and decided that my nephew would enjoy it as much as I did, he did. Charlie Brooker is an insightful writer with a vicious sense of humour.
Published 16 months ago by daisysparkle2
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh Charlie!
What are you like?! Another fantastic book full of quotes and put downs I will be using in future conversations. So funny I nearly laughed my pine cone out!
Published 18 months ago by bitsygrim
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable read
Acerbic, well observed and highly amusing. Laugh out loud funny, a great book and definitely recommended if you enjoy Brooker's work.
Published 18 months ago by Mark S Morris
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and (surprisingly) prescient
SCREEN BURN is the first collection of Charlie Brooker's Screen Wipe columns for The Guardian and covers the period from April 2000 to September 2004. Read more
Published 18 months ago by I Read, Therefore I Blog
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, arrived extremely quickly
Excellent book, Charlie Brooker is an extremely funny author, the book arrived extremely quickly, good value, well packaged and arrived quickly. I'm very happy with this purchase.
Published 18 months ago by BrianM
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