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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars comedy classic
This is one of the funniest books I've read for a long time. But at the same time it's also incredibly touching. I don't think I've read a novel before that can turn laughter into tears and then back so quickly into laughter, certainly not this frequently. You start of thinking what an irritating person the main character is - for example he seems to genuinely believe...
Published on 29 July 2003

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Judgement reserved
Ben Hatch's 2000 debut novel, The Lawnmower Celebrity, has the ring of autobiography. To be honest, I was initially attracted by the title and the clever photograph on the cover.

The narrator, Jay Golden, is an18-year-old adolescent, selfish and shallow, but with a grand ambition, to be a writer (his motivation may be wrong - to become a J. D. Salinger-like...
Published 16 months ago by Dr R


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars comedy classic, 29 July 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Lawnmower Celebrity (Paperback)
This is one of the funniest books I've read for a long time. But at the same time it's also incredibly touching. I don't think I've read a novel before that can turn laughter into tears and then back so quickly into laughter, certainly not this frequently. You start of thinking what an irritating person the main character is - for example he seems to genuinely believe robots should do all the work in this day and age, keeps getting sacked from jobs including one at a burger joint, and has a smart remark for every occasion - but by the end you're completely in sympathy with him, and also strangely with the father character. The book, absurd in many ways because of the extremes of behaviour (the main character is the worst 18 to 20 year-old you've ever met), is also totally believeable. The mark of good fiction, I think. In fact it's almost too believeable at times. You live it every page, the sad bits are almost too much. It's also a journey you don't realise until three quarters of the way through that you're even on. Growing up. Accepting you might not be what you always dreamed of - in this main character's case: a celebrity. This sounds glib and Big Brothery, but it has a context in the book because the main character's father has celebrity friends he seems to care more about than his own family. I've bought the author's second book, The international Gooseberry out of curiosity more than anything else because it's going to be very difficult to be this entertaining a second time around, I think. To sum it up it's a mixture of Adrian Mole, and (dare I say it) Catcher in the Rye. Lots of books are pitched here. I've read this grandiose blurb hundreds of times and always been let down. It doesn't say this on the Lawnmower Celebrity but in this case I think it's true. I definite hit from me.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly funny, 21 Feb 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Lawnmower Celebrity (Paperback)
What an incredibly funny book! What an incredibly fantastic read. What a great day I've had reading this. Life-affirming, superbly written, funny, wise and also moving at the same time. Catcher in the Rye? Within a hair's breadth. It's up there for the best portrayal of an 18-20-something I've ever read. Treat yourself to some great characters, brilliant one-liners, and several scenes that made me cry with laughter.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it, 7 Sep 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Lawnmower Celebrity (Paperback)
This book reminded why I loved The Catcher In The Rye so much. It's the funniest book I've read in years and also probably the saddest. I've read it twice and have told everyone I know to buy it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This book cost me my job., 9 Nov 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Lawnmower Celebrity (Paperback)
I'm not sure if I should thank Mr Hatch for writing The Lawnmower Celebrity. I've been working in a bottling factory for the last three months and was sacked this morning for "having a persistent bad attitude". I'd had two verbal warnings already about my slackness on the line and today after finishing the Lawnmower Celebrity I just thought sod it and let all the bottles go past me with a big smile on my face. Only time will tell if I have Mr Hatch to thank or not. Seriously if you're in low paid work, or if you've even been in low paid work then read this book. It might just change your life. If anyone at the plant is reading this - stick your job, and your poxy little bottles where the Sunny Delight don't shine. Not that I'm bitter of course.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very funny, 14 Sep 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Lawnmower Celebrity (Paperback)
I almost wet myself reading this book - it is SO funny. All the characters are excellent from the pompous father obsessed with celebrities down to the main character Jay's, best friend who is so bored with his life he wants the Gulf Crisis to escalate into a Pan Arab Holy War. The story is about a lost 18-year-old and it reminded me completely of what I was like at that age. He has an ambition to write a great novel so he can disappear into obsucity and become a hermit like JD Salinger except he has only written two pages. He gets jobs in places like McDonald's as a lobby assistant because he feels he has to suffer like Tolstoy but then gets fired because in the end he just can't stand scraping gehrkins off the floor with his fingernail and rushing towards puddles of milksshake like they are radio active waste. His father is a bigwig in the BBC and Jay wants to make him proud except he doesn't know this so he rebels and rings up all his dad's friends who are celebrities and abuses them all, including Paul Daniels (V.V funny) and Richard Whiteley. I won't say how it ends or another major theme running through it that is as moving as the rest is funny because it might put some people off who like to read Catherine Cookson.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A refreshing and entertaining debut novel, 8 Aug 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Lawnmower Celebrity (Paperback)
Jay Golden wants to be a groundbreaking novelist.
But as a 19-year-old school-leaver with only his dreams and three dog-eared pages of an unpromising first book to his name, he is beginning to fear that his career may be over before it has even begun.
As the pages of his diary reveal, Jay battles with his workaholic father, a succession of dead-end jobs, a self-destructive joy of pranks and his own sense of helplessness as he struggles to come to terms with the tragic death of his mother.
But out of the chaos comes a new direction in life, a chance to grow up - and perhaps even some of the inspiration he is yearning for . . .
In this assured and perceptive debut novel Ben Hatch introduces a group of memorable and well-rounded characters, weaving a tale that veers between hilarious one-liners and moments of poignant tragedy.
Jay is an entertaining and engaging narrator, and this compelling novel makes his creator Ben Hatch a name to watch out for in the future. - THE MIRROR
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comic and moving, a great read., 5 Sep 2000
By 
This review is from: The Lawnmower Celebrity (Paperback)
I laughed at, and wanted to cry with, Jay Golden. He ia a child entering the adult world with some resistance. I recommend this book to anyone who remembers being a teenager. I felt genuinely moved after reading this novel. I wouldn't want to change anything about this novel however, I would like Ben Hatch's next novel to remain comic throughout. It's not everyday that I feel like living through the death of a loved one, and after reading The Lawnmower Celebrity that is how I felt.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, 29 Sep 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Lawnmower Celebrity (Paperback)
Someone recommended this to me, but I was slightly put off by the title and picture of a lawnmower on the cover. But it's the best book I've read this year, actually for several years. I read it in a single day. Some of the scenes of pettiness in the workplace made my stomach hurt from laughing. And at the end I balled my eyes out. Magnificent.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 26 Mar 2003
This review is from: The Lawnmower Celebrity (Paperback)
I picked this book because it kept cropping up in the Listmania lists at the side of the screen every time I looked up an author I enjoyed. I wasn't let down by Mr Hatch. The book is written in diary form but there is a diary within a diary too that lends it more weight. The glib main character is funny throughout and reminded me in tone, and in the fresh way of looking at the word, of JD Salinger's Catcher in the Rye hero, Holden Caulfield. But along with all the horrors of starting work for the first time, relationships tussles all amusingly dealt with, at the heart of the book is the grief of the main character at the death of his mother. This was so sad in places at times and I hate to admit this it had me close to tears. I put the book down and read it through again straightaway and have ordered The International Gooseberry, his follow-up. I think that says it all. It's got a lot to live up to. I recommend it to anybody who is fan of Salinger, Eggers, and early Kingsley Amis and Waterhouse.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unusually splended, 9 Oct 2003
By 
This review is from: The Lawnmower Celebrity (Paperback)
Loved this one. A magnificently drawn vain, shallow teenager and a superbly patient father character, which reminded me of my own dad putting up with me growing up through my own dismissals and general fannying around. As for the stuff about the mother...wow. Oh and it's very very funny too. Hats off to the author for steering clear of sentimentality.
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The Lawnmower Celebrity
The Lawnmower Celebrity by Ben Hatch (Paperback - 10 Aug 2000)
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