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60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Splenic Genius - with a Purpose
If you know anything of Charlie Brooker, you'll be aware of his many, many angry but incredibly funny rants at targets on TV but also increasingly examples of dumbness in the non-TV (real) world. There are few writers and broadcasters who can produce such insane levels of bile and hatred so often in such a skilled and drop-dead funny way. This is probably why he's...
Published on 29 Jan 2010 by jcmacc

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for the faint hearted
Dificult to judge this book's effect on most readers.One has to be openminded about the language et cetera but I was laughing within seconds of starting to read,so to me that has to be a good thing.
Published 3 months ago by sheila wray


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60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Splenic Genius - with a Purpose, 29 Jan 2010
By 
jcmacc (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Hell of It All (Hardcover)
If you know anything of Charlie Brooker, you'll be aware of his many, many angry but incredibly funny rants at targets on TV but also increasingly examples of dumbness in the non-TV (real) world. There are few writers and broadcasters who can produce such insane levels of bile and hatred so often in such a skilled and drop-dead funny way. This is probably why he's co-written with the ultimate pitch-black dark comedy genius, Chris Morris.

What's less obvious to the casual reader or viewer is that Charlie Brooker writes with equal humour but infectious enthusiasm about the really good stuff on TV and elsewhere. Here's the end of a piece from "The Hell Of It All" on the BBC's "Life In Cold Blood":

"This is likely to be Attenborough's last major series: the final chapter in an extraordinary legacy. To change the way millions of people see the world is no mean feat, and he's done it with quiet assurance, humour and respect. TV can be many things. Nowt wrong with a bit of mindless entertainment now and then. But when someone with purpose seizes and commands it, it can also do this. Incredible."

That's why this collection of Brooker's writing works: light to go with the dark. The extreme bile directed against the latest twerp-fest of a Big Brother or Celebrity X Factor comes from a sense that TV can do so much better, it's not hatred for the sake of it, it's a hatred of lazy low standards when so much better is possible. This is hilarious savagery with a purpose.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Charlie Brooker Paradox Machine, 23 Mar 2010
This review is from: The Hell of It All (Hardcover)
This book is a genuine paradox engine: Charlie Brooker's wit is cynical, sardonic, misantropic and overridden by a hilarious obsession with all things scatalogical and excretory, yet - somehow - remains the most hilarious, refreshing and often uplifting thing about his writing. His books thus far, including this latest one 'The Hell of it All', are anthologies of his Guardian newspaper columns - both Screenburn and his independent subject pieces for the Guide and G2. Turning his eye and cutting wit to television, amongst all sorts of other random subjects, he subverts, reveals and criticises the media with a kind of reckless despair and wonderful surrealism.

For those of us constantly scoffing and sighing in the face of an increasingly deranged world, Brooker is the perfect antidote.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brutally funny, 17 Feb 2010
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This review is from: The Hell of It All (Hardcover)
Charlie Brooker is a modern-day hero - a curmudgeonly, cynical, misanthropic git who hates reality TV, psychics and the human race in general. He's also has an uncanny knack of mercilessly shredding modern-day culture whilst being hysterically funny at the same time.

My first experience with Charlie Brooker was through "Nathan Barley", co-written with Chris Morris, which so brilliantly skewered the trendy new-meedja Hoxton types around 2005. Now imagine "Nathan Barley" in print form but with added vitriol and you'll get some idea of what Brooker's writing style is like.

Short. Sharp. Brutally to the point.

Like "Dawn of the Dumb", "The Hell of it All" is a mixture of his "Screen Burn" columns and more generalised rants in the Guardian covering (roughly) 2007 to 2009. As usual, he mercilessly skewers celebrity 'culture', reality TV, TV 'psychics' and those who sail in them - even better, in the minds of most right-thinking people the his targets are thoroughly deserving of his opprobrium and vitriol, and Charlie won't let you forget it. I'm not a big telly watcher, so the finer points of some his "Screen Burn" articles are lost on me, but that doesn't stop them being hilariously funny - I'd defy anyone not to have had at least one dose of hysterical laughter by the middle of the first chapter. His reflections on life in general are not only hysterically funny but sadly very true as well.

Best of all, since the articles are, at most, a couple of pages long, it's a good book to dip in and out of at random, say whilst you're sitting on the loo. On the down-side, it's not really a book you can read in a public place unless, like Charlie, your heart is a "black, onyx cricket ball" because you'll spend a lot of time laughing.

His other books, "Screen Burn" and "Dawn of the Dumb" are also well worth checking out and make perfect bathroom reading material. And get "Nathan Barley" on DVD while you're at it.

Charlie Brooker, I salute you!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect on-the-bog reading matter, for the cynically minded., 4 Jun 2010
By 
Helen (Yorkshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Hell of It All (Hardcover)
A collection of Brooker's Guardian columns- acerbic, deadpan, observational, black humour, in neat bite sized (bog reading) chunks. It made me laugh a lot.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charlie Brooker fans will love this, 10 Mar 2010
By 
D. THURLEY (wet wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Hell of It All (Hardcover)
A collection of Charlie's Guardian Columns. If you like screenwipe, newswipe, gameswipe or any thing else Charlie has done then buy this. Most pages contain a laugh out loud moment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hell of it All, 1 Dec 2009
This review is from: The Hell of It All (Hardcover)
Great and classic from Brooker, delightful insight and cynical empathy.

Funny and great points of view.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dependable as ever, 28 Oct 2009
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This review is from: The Hell of It All (Hardcover)
Charlton Brooker remains one of the best social commentators in the country, mixing truth, humour and a nice line in ranting. If you know Charlie just from his various "Wipe" programmes or the slightly disappointing "You Have Been Watching", you're missing out. Guardian readers are treated to his biting wit in his regular column. This (fairly hefty) tome comprises a large selection of them, following the equally excellent "Screen Burn" and "Dawn of the Dumb".

This is perfect for dipping into, and the excellent "chapters" make you yearn for the talented Mr Brooker to turn his hand at a "proper" book. One slight negative against this is that the publishers (Faber and Faber) have elected to release this as a hardback with a RRP of 12.99. Admittedly, in the days of the net and Amazon, paying full retail price is not something many people do too often, but this a little jarring. Let's not forget that these are republished articles, and would be far more at home in a paberback format (like the previous volumes).

Anyway, cross out that Jeremy Clarkson book from your Christmas list and stick "The Hell of it All" on there instead. You know it makes sense.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for the faint hearted, 24 April 2014
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Dificult to judge this book's effect on most readers.One has to be openminded about the language et cetera but I was laughing within seconds of starting to read,so to me that has to be a good thing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Compilation book, 18 April 2014
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This review is from: The Hell of It All (Hardcover)
I have never read his newspaper articles before ( I have seen his TV shows) but I am enjoying this book to occasionally dip into.
It is similar to the Clarkson books but the articles in Brooker's book are more consistently funny.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sample only - Pensive moments mixed with some laugh out loud moments, 24 Sep 2011
I have only recently come to half-heartedly read Charlie Brooker's (2011) Guardian columns, which I find a mixed bag depending on the subject matter and the mood I'm in when they appear online. I quite like his skits on the 10 o'Clock Show - mainly because I like Jimmy Carr & Lauren Laverne, so I put up with Brooker and Mitchell. That said, the sample to this book, being made up as it is of 2007 Guardian columns and Newswipe/Screenwipe articles was so hilarious in places, I had to stop reading for a moment. Finding such laughter from a book is very rare for me and a credit to Brooker's writing style. The first article about nightclubs was so-so, but the subsequent articles about forgetting a PIN number, embarrassing teenage wrongdoers and spider season were top notch. Recommended.
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