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Stark: Satirical Thriller Paperback – 2 Jan 2006


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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Black Swan; New Ed edition (2 Jan 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552773557
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552773553
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 208,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ben Elton is one of Britain's most provocative and entertaining writers. From celebrity to climate change, from the First World War to the end of the world, his books give his unique perspective on some of the most controversial topics of our time.

He has written twelve major bestsellers, including Stark, Popcorn, Inconceivable (filmed as Maybe Baby, which he also directed), Dead Famous, High Society (WH Smith People's Choice Award 2003) and The First Casualty.

He has also written some of television's most popular and incisive comedy, including The Young Ones, Blackadder and The Man From Auntie. His stage work includes three West End plays and the hit musicals The Beautiful Game and We Will Rock You.

He is married with three children.

Product Description

Book Description

Ben Elton's earth-shattering début novel.

From the Publisher

Ben Elton’s earth-shattering début novel.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 May 2000
Format: Paperback
I don't think I've ever read a novel that improved so much as I read. From a slow beginning focusing on the less-than-compelling character of CD (obviously Elton's alter ego), more and more wonderful characters were introduced and the plot became surpisingly involving, till I was sorry to see my train pull in because it meant I would have to close the book. Waits for the bus became unnoticeable because I was so absorbed in what would happen next. Towards the end I literally couldn't put it down. I truly didn't expect the Stark Conspiracy to take the turn it did and it frightened me reading about the ecological destruction that seems inevitable if the facts Elton cited are true. I find myself in the position of many of the characters, just feeling helpless and hoping that "they" will find a way to fix it. I knew Elton was funny from watching Young Ones and Blackadder but I didn't expect such strong sense of storytelling and a bleak outlook from him. He creates many fine characterizations; most memorable are the burnt out Vietnam vet Zimmerman, his hippie buddy Walter (you'll recognize shades of Neil from the Young Ones in this guy), the uber-sarcastic Mrs. Culboon, rich car-phone fanatic Aristos Tyron, the exceedingly evil Professor Durf, and especially Stark Conspirator Sly Moorcock, who becomes the novel's most tragic figure. "Stark" also has a couple of strong heroines in Rachel and Chrissie. Now if Elton had just done something about that CD...
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Samantha C. Whyte on 17 Mar 2001
Format: Audio Cassette
This book is possible the finest of Ben Elton's creations. The plot hangs around a corporate conspiracy known as 'Stark', the characters do not fulfil the the cliqued romantic ideals which is all to common in modern novels. Any reader can closely identify with the characters, and therefore can be embraced by the humour in it. It confirms the fact that recognition comedy, in which the reader can feel an empathy with the characters is the best kind of comedy. Everybody knows a 'C.D' or a 'Sly Moorcock', and it is good to have a bloody good laugh at their expense. The centre of the novel is ecological concern, it is written with a clear deveotion to the cause and despite the book principally being a comedy the passion and charm it is written with makes it an extremely moving book. The above factors are added to by virtue of Adrian Edmonsons exceptionally expressive voice brings the text to life. After listening to Stark, you will never be complacent about the environment again.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Paul Johnson on 15 Aug 2005
Format: Paperback
I've read a few of Eltons books now and consider this one probably the best. The plot is about a global conspiracy by the rich as they destroy the earth due to their un-enivronmentally friendly policies and a group of people who attempt to stop them.
It's fairly fast paced stuff and funny enough in places. All of the characters are fun, though several of them are heavy handed stereotypes though this is not really supposed to be a serious book so it fits nicely enough.
The only real weakness is Eltons determination to get his point over about how much damage is being done to the environment. He continually makes asides which whilst being interesting enough and I'm sure accurate and relevant, they somehow break the flow of the book and I think the point could have been made a lot more effectively.
Still a good book with some nice twists and turns.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By DAVID BRYSON TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 14 July 2005
Format: Paperback
Ben Elton is probably best known as scriptwriter for the Blackadder series, and that will give you a fair idea of both his talent and his way of thinking. To get the most out of Stark it probably helps to have followed the stand-up comic series he used to do on the BBC. That was brilliant and no two ways about it, provided you didn't find some of the topics embarrassing, which, in the absence of any maiden aunts, I didn't. No topic was off-limits. There was a great deal about certain parts of the body, but we were long used to that from Billy Connolly. Where Ben Elton went further was in dealing with political and racial, and particularly with environmental, issues. He used to deliver his monologues at machine-gun speed, and I was impressed not only by the sheer physical stamina he must have needed but also by what was either a phenomenal memory or a genius for on-the-spot improvisation, or maybe both. He went in for gag-lines in a way Billy Connolly doesn't, but one talent they have in common is for seeing the ridiculous side of quite ordinary things. There was always a general theme each time, environmental as often as not, but a few dozen incidental targets also used to get shot at along the way.
Read Stark with that in mind. I like the potshot he takes at champagne - the name trademarked so as to keep the price artificially high. However I remembered with pleasure the way we the public called the champagne producers' bluff at the millennium by boycotting the stuff so that we could find some high-quality surplus being sold off at bargain prices quite some time later. This thought brought me some comfort in reading Stark - perhaps we are not totally in the hands of the tycoons.
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