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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Keep The Faith
Blind Faith is set in the future, sometime after a flood came and wiped out half of humanity. Since then civilisation has been rebuilt upon a landscape of religious insanity. The rules at some point have been rewritten so that England is now being run by a collection of lunatic preachers who believe that everything happens for a reason--GOD'S reason. And everybody else...
Published 15 months ago by George Kelly

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a dark, dark dystopian satire
Purely by chance, I read this novel shortly after completing The Book Of Dave by Will Self. Both novels use an imagined dystopian future England, decimated after severe flooding covers half the country, for a satire about the state of the nation today. As both novels appeared around the same time, this is clearly a coincidence; both Self and Elton aim at many of the same...
Published on 11 Aug. 2008 by Super Dale


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should appear on the secondary school syllabus, 2 Jun. 2012
This review is from: Blind Faith (Hardcover)
Every century should have its dystopian novel. The 21st century now has its. Addressing the very issues which are eroding the accomplishments of civilization, Elton's novel is a searing insight into the future of 'dumbed down' Britain. My only slight unease is the acceptance of the Global Warming faith. (No, I'm not a denier -climate change seems a strong possibility- but the science for global warming is beginning to resemble a religion in which doubters are pillioried rather than countered with fact.) If the book has a weakness then it lies in failing to note that faiths can arise over secular issues also.

Nonetheless, this is a book that should act as an antedote to the rising swarm of ignorance. Aside from that it's also a damn good read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Could do better..., 2 Dec. 2008
This review is from: Blind Faith (Paperback)
The world that this book occupies is such a stereotype that its hard not to find it ridiculous. I get the point he's making, that we're not so far from that reality, but the truth is we are a million miles from bishops wearing hotpants!

I felt it was a disappointing re-write of 1984.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, Thought-provoking, and Brave., 29 Dec. 2007
By 
Dave Thompson (Shoreham-by-Sea, England.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Blind Faith (Hardcover)
In his latest novel, Ben Elton sticks his neck out as fearlessly as if he was The Lernaean Hydra on the cusp of a beheading by Islamic extremists who have `blind faith'. Well, almost as fearlessly, because instead of attacking the bigotry of Islamic fundamentalism by name, Elton cleverly bundles all religious bigotry together into an intolerant, New Age Christianity in which Princess Diana rules heaven beside Jesus and the Virgin Mary. He doesn't mention that other God who's Great, compassionate, and merciful. This is very wise, as it increases Elton's chance of staying alive to write more novels.

`Blind Faith' uses Orwell's `Nineteen Eighty-Four' as a launch pad into a future in which people with aesthetic sensibilities have been replaced by fat uneducated Chavs with an overdeveloped sense of their right to consume. The Church has as much power in the water-logged Britain of the future, as radical Islam has in present-day Iran. The difference is that instead of being whipped for showing an ankle in public, women are expected to expose their bodies as an expression of their spirituality - and to show off their tattoos.

Elton takes current issues such as hypocrisy over paedophilia, obesity, and childhood inoculations, and imagines them taken to extremes. The result is a society in which all food contains sugar, and if you don't upload porn videos of yourself onto the net, you're depraved. The book is a hilarious satire in which the stupidity of denying education and rational argument is exposed, whilst elegantly mocking the superficial, fame-obsessed culture that results. As well as making us laugh, Elton scares us in two ways. Firstly by pointing further along the path we walk, and showing us the place we're going to. Secondly by reflecting us when we least expect it, so we can see how far we've already come. Just as I'm laughing at the way people I see as `them' are portrayed, I come across an equally poignant passage that describes my failings perfectly. I swallow my pride and admit "It's a fair cop, Ben. I'm a wanker too." `Blind Faith' presents us with a future that is worse than today. Ironically, it will be the future when Ben Elton is given the appreciation he deserves (but doesn't get) today. He's compassionate, he's merciful, and a he's great writer!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Conform or Perish, 1 Oct. 2012
By 
Mr. D. James "nonsuch" (london, uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Blind Faith (Paperback)
Ben Elton
Blind Faith

`The Lord made Heaven and Earth. The Lord made us. The Lord does this, the Lord wants that. We don't know how or why, we don't need to know, it just happens. There's never any explanation, it's all a miracle. Children are born, some die, it's God's will, we can't change it. Don't you think that, in a way, that's sort of ... sort of ...?' Thus Trafford, the hero of Elton's Blind Faith, puts the question to his wife Chantorria, a terrified conformist in the insane world of London several centuries after a global warming disaster has driven humanity back into an age of faith. Yes, this is a cautionary tale, a savage exposure of man's need to believe and conform.

The novel harks back to Orwell's 1984, but with a lighter touch and emphasis on religion rather than politics. In place of Big Brother and The Party we have The Temple, the authority that never fails, one that through the power of The Love controls cyberspace and individual thinking. Reason is subordinated to faith, science merely a manifestation of the Lord's power; democracy is the will of the people, but a people brainwashed, threatened and in terror of non-conformity. Huge wallscreens in every apartment and public space monitor behaviour, with leaders demanding displays of faith in The Love, in which personal revelations of one's indulgence in, say, feasting or oral sex, are mandatory. Pleasures must be shared, as must pain and grief caused by the perpetual child mortality rate - the water is polluted, London a reeking sewer, commuting replaced by Fizzy Coff - a physical appearance at the office, a necessarily rare occurrence in the overheated congested city.

Despite the parallels with Orwell - incipient paranoia when indulging in Own Life for example - Blind Faith's totalitarianism encourages, nay, demands, self exposure. There is no Puritanism here: nakedness and sexual activity at all times, especially in public, are de rigueur. In fact, abstinence or reticence in these matters suggests a dearth of respect for The Love and is a serious concern of the local Confessor or the apartment censor Barbieheart, `the principle eyes and ears of the building, an enormous, globular, housebound sentinel who, although too big to leave her apartment, occupied every room.' Like Winston Smith, Trafford falls secretly in love with a dissident, but ultimately with wider consequences when his viral email causes millions to receive their first Humanist mail shot.

Blind Faith is an exuberant and gripping novel that pillories evangelism and political correctness, delighting in exposing People Power and the cant and hypocrisy at the heart of belief. From obligatory local Hug-ins to massive pop-style congregations at the New Wembley Stadium, where The Love rules and you'd better not only believe it, but say it loud, shout it Big Time, and never betray a scruple of doubt. For heretics the torture chamber and the stake await! Books are out and wallscreens are in. Birthing videos must be posted, as must one's private sex life. After all, what's to be ashamed of? The Lord gave us genitals that we may celebrate Him, Big Time! Darwin is the Devil's agent and science is merely the Lord's way of reminding us of His power. Vaccination and those who support or practise it are defying the Lord's will and must be hunted out, tied to the stake and burned over a pile of seditious books, any that may yet be found floating in the upper stories of deserted houses.

Of course this is all over the top, but very funny and not so far-fetched that it doesn't chime with certain tendencies in our insidious world of what Elton calls `infotainment', where cheerful idiocy rules the airwaves and cyberspace, and privacy and modesty are heretical.
At the end of the book, when Trafford's daughter, Caitlin Happymeal, is the sole infant survivor in the latest smallpox epidemic (because of her covert vaccination) he is `ordered to stand on that stage at Wembley and credit divine intervention ... to give thanks to a stupid, vicious, capricious, illogical, immoral, maniacal deity who clearly exists only in the imaginations of idiots and bullies.' Will he conform or be a recusant and face the consequences? Elton's nail-biting plot has several more twists and turns before we know whether Trafford, like Orwell's Winston Smith, will become yet another victim of orthodoxy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars In the footsteps of a classic, 13 Sept. 2012
By 
Barry Lees (Greenock, Strathclyde Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Blind Faith (Paperback)
While taking nothing away from Ben Elton's ability or inventiveness, there are some obvious influences in this excellent novel whose main theme appears to be the modern worship of the cult of the celebrity. I hope that Ben would take it as a compliment when I say that the most obvious comparison is with George Orwell's "1984".

However, I don't just mean that it's "1984 part 2"; it's possibly slightly less subtle, for one thing. There are diverse elements thrown into the mix and - as you'd expect from Ben's comedy background - these include the likes of the Monty Python films "Life of Brian" (an attack on an overbearing formal religion with its inclination to reject evolution theories) and "Meaning of Life" (remember the multiple babies demanded of followers of a certain religious sect?). Readers may also notice a tongue-in-cheek reference to Barack Obama's electioneering slogans. Other influences are Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451" and its theme of book-burning. "Blind Faith" is quite clearly set in a fairly current or near-futuristic era with its constant references to global warming and flooded land, especially in the Indian subcontinent (but that's alright, since the population are Muslims and, therefore, sub-human as implied by one of the characters). There isn't any attempt to hide his homage to "1984" and it's even name-checked in the narrative.

Like "1984", the State here is a combination of police and Church and all the more overbearing for that. Privacy is non-existent. In fact, anyone actively looking for privacy would be regarded by their peers as a bit of an oddball. There is little physical interaction; much social life is carried out on "virtual" chat rooms (even within the one block of flats) and these chat rooms are, of course, constantly "moderated" and the closest that most people in Ben's book come to real life is "reality" tv programmes.

All the same, like Winston Smith in "1984", someone feels that a conscientious stand has to be taken, and "Blind Faith" is the story of that stand.

Having read some of the negative reviews, it occurs to me that they come from frustrated writers who don't have as much talent in total as this man has in one finger. This is an excellent piece of writing. If you enjoyed any of the books or films I mentioned earlier, you'll like this. If you liked all of them, you won't want to put "Blind Faith" down.
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4.0 out of 5 stars 1984 + Jeremy Kyle = Blind Faith, 17 Dec. 2010
By 
This review is from: Blind Faith (Paperback)
Many science fiction fans will attest that the genre is the best for authors looking to investigate society's ills. Throughout the history of the genre authors have displaced their location so that they can openly attack what they think in wrong in their current world. Ben Elton does exactly this with `Blind Faith'; a book that is large part `1984', and small parts `Wall E' and `A Clockwork Orange'. We are talking a dystopian future where the sinister Temple control all of society and make them stick to a bizarre set of rules that are distortions of some of the worst elements of 21st Century Britain. The cult of celebrity and of the self has been blown up to huge proportions.

`Blind Faith' is a very unpleasant book to read, as the people of future Britain are so vain and ignorant that you soon hate them. Trafford is the hero and one of a few people who can see the flaws in the society. The story itself is far too close to `1984' to be considered original, but the world itself is pretty unique, painting a gross possible future for us all. Some would suggest that Elton is using the novel to push his liberal middle class agenda - books are good, TV bad. However, to suggest that working class means a lack of intelligence, penchant for mindless entertainment and false sympathy is an insult. Elton is attacking a portion of modern society that could be of any `class' (an outdated concept in its own right). Where I come from Working Class is in no way negative, but suggests hard work and a strong sense of family.

With such a harsh world `Blind Faith' is perhaps not an entertaining read, but an interesting one. There is too much emphasis on nudity et al, but it is in keeping with his dystopia. I for one applaud an author who would write such a vehement attack on anyone, be they right or wrong. At least he is saying something and posing a few questions.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not an Orwell imitation, 28 Nov. 2009
By 
This review is from: Blind Faith (Hardcover)
I'm not going to pretend I'm unaware of 80 other reviews of this novel. But they set me thinking about the book from other people's perspectives.
This is a rich canvas with lashings of paint: all the ingredients for a (global warming) post-acocalyptic view of a society the leaders of which have gone mad by means of religion. London is a lake. Most of the population is dead. This is a theocracy backed by a police state. But the core story is excellent with the devil in the detail: we are aware that many characters are disgusted by the close and claustrophobic presence of stinky, sweaty, stupid humanity. Sex is presented as a revolting animal display.
There is a strong nihilist streak in this book - but is it a pale imitation of George Orwell? Definitely not. Should writers be banned forever from certain critical themes? This is a distinctly different treatment of oppression with a different tone and here, an optimistic message.
Criticisms: there is no international dimension, and I suspect the geography is shaky. Yes, Hampstead would rise above the flood waters but I'm not sure about the other townships of London. But Ben Elton omits these details.

"1984" may have been a starting point, and if it had nothing new to say, perhaps this version might go in the fire. Yet Elton is writing about our present world, a world in which some of us suffered the handed-down miserable nastiness that at times has masqueraded as religion.
When I was young, this book would definitely have been banned in Ireland where I studied. Even now I doubt it will be available in Dublin bookshops. I don't expect it's a set text for GCSE English in several Middle East countries either - beyond the obvious reasons.
The best contribution this novel offers is in making the reader think, and in that respect, it's superb.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Cutting dystopian vision of future popular culture, 19 July 2008
This review is from: Blind Faith (Paperback)
Elton's 'Blind Faith' stands out from other dystopian satire for the strong social and cultural analysis that underpins this all-too-familiar future world. 1984 Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World, while of course brilliant and enduring, were about the totalitarian politics and technological suprematism of the time when they were written, and Elton has recognised that, 50+ years on, enough has changed in our society that our dystopias, our nightmares must be updated too. Structurally it's a re-write of Orwell's '1984', to be sure, but the interest in this book is not about such literary connections but rather what Elton is saying about today's society.

While his story-telling is pretty crude and unsubtle (characters are ciphers rather more than they are people), this does at least fit with what Elton is seeking to criticise about today's society. Current cultural trends of sex-obsession, ego-centric 'self-help' thinking, and fear of difference are mercilessly exaggerated for savagely comic effect. It all hangs together into an entertaining and thought-provoking story that's well-paced and fluently written. Ironically enough, compared to Orwell, it is Elton's cynicism about the lower classes that make 'Blind Faith' very contemporary - and also open scope for criticism about the author's own prejudices. How things have changed in both culture and politics over the last fifty years...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking, 2 April 2008
By 
Helenbookworm (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Blind Faith (Paperback)
Ben Elton is a writer who seems to swing from writing absolute rubbish Chart Throb) and some really well thought out stuff (First Casualty) and this is certainly one of his better efforts.
The post flood world that he has created for his hero Trafford to inhabit is both far fetched but yet unnervingly familiar. Privacy is illegal, everyone shares everything, people are constantly watched big brother style in their own homes and group hugs are compulsory. Reality is everything and fiction is banned as heretical. All these laws are made by a kind of post apocalyptic multi faith church who just wants to control the people. In this world children die in their thousand, half don't make it to the age of five.
Trafford feels alone in this world craving privacy and wishing his life wasn't constantly on show, then when is child Caitlin Happymeal is born he is approached by a vaccinator. Here his questioning of the world around him starts and an amazing chain of events is started.

The style of the writing is simple and quick to read and while it will never go down as a great piece of literature the book does get its message across and it is thought provoking. I would urge anyone to give it a go!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dystopian Perfection, 8 Mar. 2011
By 
L. S. Boag "Lee" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Blind Faith (Paperback)
Blind Faith is a rather harrowing story of a man lost in a world of pretence, ignorance and futile traditions trying to make sense of life in any way possible. Elton seems to have extracted many an aspect of our modern culture and society in the West and shown the possibility of further degregation of these through the aspects of fundamentalism and empty conformity.
The social norms and traditions in Elton's world are truly frustrating as the set our hero against contradiction after contradiction whilst he tries his best to make himself master of his own mind, a trait long forgotten in a society of blind faith.
The characters in the novel are unique in that they exist in a world so close to our own but operate in such a different, yet parallel manner. Blind Faith reflects a haunting perspective of the possibilities that could burden any culture through a series of actions seen occuring now. The inner monolgoues throughout give a great deal of depth and perspective which both compliment a theme of the book, secrecy, and add a little extra wham into Elton's people.
Not the most fast paced of book comparitively but considering there's a whole world to explore you'll be wishing for more pages.
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Blind Faith
Blind Faith by Ben Elton (Paperback - 16 May 2008)
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