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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable if not entirely memorable.
I actually retrieved this book from my bookshelf thinking that it was one of those many books I have purchased over the years but never had time to read. Rather ironically, considering the subject matter of the book, I now find myself commuting to work by train, and have time to catch up on my reading. It was not until about a dozen or so pages into it that I found myself...
Published on 25 May 2007 by Philip Vincent

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing.
I love Ben Eltons books. When shopping for holiday books i found it hard to decide between this one and 'This other eden'. I'm so glad i bought the latter! I went on holiday to find this avaliable on the campsite to borrow. It was ok, not the worst book i have ever read but i had such high expectations. Only the last few pages of the book reminded me of the Ben Elton i...
Published on 4 Sep 2004 by Mayumiwinn


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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book!, 28 Feb 2000
This review is from: Gridlock (Paperback)
Very,Very funny and at least as good as his stand up act.I really enjoyed it.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars JAMS BOND, 26 Dec 2006
By 
DAVID BRYSON (Glossop Derbyshire England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gridlock (Audio Cassette)
This novel is art imitating life to about the extent that a James Bond film does that. It's for Ben Elton's fans, of whom I happen to be one. It picks up the theme of degradation of our environment that he had attacked wholesale in his previous novel Stark, focuses this time on the specific threats from motor transport, and features once again heroic misfits battling with cartoon ogres and monsters in the shape of tycoons of the auto and oil industries. The style uses comic hyperbole in aid of a serious message, but not much of the book is actually about the ostensible theme, namely gridlock. Apart from the `off-planet introduction' there is nothing more about gridlock until right at the end. The rest is all about pollution from auto exhausts, and indeed if the ecologically-positive hydrogen engine in the story had actually gone into production its popularity, far from helping with traffic congestion and encouraging a switch to public transport, might have had exactly the opposite effect so far as I can see.

Ben Elton is nothing if not inventive, and some of the more ingenious contraptions we find here would have been worthy of Ian Fleming's Q. This is one of his earlier efforts, before he slowed down a little in later novels. He is still taking pops at every incidental target he can think of, still chasing every hare he starts, but never losing his main thread even when he is throwing out more ideas per square minute (as he used to do in his standup comedy routine) than practically any other novelist I can think of. There are various subsidiary themes and sub-plots, but of course this is a novel with a message if ever there was one, clever certainly but roughly as subtle as an Abrams tank in the way the message is put across. Insofar as the theme really is gridlock, Ben Elton used an analogy in one of his comedy acts that has stuck with me since I heard it. To try to cope with gridlock on the roads by building more and more roads, said he, is like solving the problem of an overflowing kitchen bin by buying a second bin. What does this `solution' leave us with? You got it in one - TWO overflowing kitchen bins. He must surely have been relieved, as we all were, when a pleasant young presenter of a TV programme dedicated to cars recently had a miraculous escape from a crash when testing some strange vehicle at something like 250 mph. The whole project involved design ingenuity, great expense and of course an enormous output of pollutant gases. If the fortunate young man had the opportunity in hospital to do some reading and to reflect on what possible purpose his deathmobile can conceivably have been intended for I hope some wellwisher brought him a copy of Gridlock.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars VERY FUNNY, SAD INDICTMENT OF OUR SELFISH SOCIETY, 15 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Gridlock (Kindle Edition)
SAD INDICTMENT OF OUR SELFISH SOCIETY - POIGNANT AND FUNNY (AND QUITE SHOCKING IN PARTS). THE HEROES' DISABILITES ARE TURNED INTO STRENGTHS BY THEIR OWN INGENUITY AND PASSION. BRILLIANT IN PARTS. LOVED THE CHARACTERS AND THE TOM SHARPESQUE COMEDY OF ERRORS.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing in the extreme, 24 Aug 2008
By 
J. Brand "jbrand" (Somewhere else) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gridlock (Paperback)
This is a book which shows its age as a product of the 80s. OK it would be foolish to expect anything more from Ben Elton but even way back when this first appeared it would have been a heavy handed unsubtle satire. Two decades on it's just a facile heavy handed unsubtle satire.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great Ben Elton, 2 Jan 2005
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This review is from: Gridlock (Paperback)
I have come to expect nothing less than great plots and spectular endings from Elton, and this book delivers nothing less. He describes the harsh realities of the world with such wit and although it's not the best of his books it's still well worth the read and his low point is 10 times the high point of other average writers.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sharper than being impaled by a bargepole-toting cyclist, 16 Aug 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Gridlock (Paperback)
A spastic who invents an engine that doesn't need petrol; a wheelchair-bound road-accident victim; a traffic warden intent on liberating the streets. Mix them up with oil barons, ghastly politicians and Ben Elton's stand-up rants and you have a book that is a serious indictment of the motor industry and traffic policy, as well as a comedy that will make you laugh so much you'll fall off your saddle. I have read this three or four times; as the physical effects of the humor fade, I am struck by the more poignant elements and the savagery of the political satire. Is this a roman-a-clef about the government of Mrs Thatch? Road-obsessed transport minister Digby Parkhurst looks like a searing portrait of Cecil Parkinson; the ferocious government press secretary Ingmar Bresslaw looks just like Thatch's press man Bernard Ingham -- and the female minister 'Corker' McCorquodale was Edwina Currie and Gillan Shepherd all rolled into one. Just as Gulliver's Travels mixed comedy with political satire on the corrupt Britain as seen by Swift, future historians of the Thatcher years need look no further than Ben Elton's Gridlock. Don't read this while driving - save it for the traffic jams.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book with balls., 12 Mar 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Gridlock (Paperback)
Finally I have found a book and an author who has the bottle to confront contentious issues such as transport and disability with humour. Elton unlike so many who have gone before him realises that you do not have to be disabled to consider happenings connected with disability amusing also he has the insight to understand that not all disabled people are the salt of the earth, they are people ( I would like to say out at this point that I am able bodied ). Ben Elton manages to tap into the syche of the right wing capitolists that he detests so much and show them for what they are. In short this book is funny, clever and gut wrenching. One critism, Ben, the descriptions of the cars and their history are pointless and long-winded. A fine read as long as your a socialist.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Ben Elton book by far, 26 Nov 2007
By 
S. Watterson (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gridlock (Paperback)
Having re-read Gridlock for the fifth time since buying the book when it first came out, I would recommend it to anyone new to Ben Elton. This book offers the originality that is sometimes lacking with his later books, but still tackles the subject of pollution and cars with lots of humour. This book has ensured I have read all of Ben's books. It's just a pity he set such a high standard!
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3 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tedious, Mannered and boring, 3 Dec 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Gridlock (Paperback)
I gave up on this half way through when he killed off the only interesting character. If I wanted some of Bens standup routines I would buy a video of him. This isn't a novel just a bunch of standup routines stuck in to 'characters' mouths.
The fact that I probably agree with much of what he is saying doesn't make this turgid stuff any more readable. Avoid.
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Gridlock
Gridlock by Ben Elton (Paperback - 2 Jan 2006)
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