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60 of 65 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Portrait of the Critic as a Middle-Aged Man
This is a collection of articles Charlie Brooker wrote for the Guardian newspaper, including the last of his "Screen Burn" columns, and some scripts from his "10 O'Clock Show" and various "Wipe" shows from August 2009 to July 2012.

The first half of the book is unrelenting hilarity from one column to the next. He writes an imaginary show that would follow "Man...
Published on 29 Oct. 2012 by Sam Quixote

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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "The worst thing happened to you that could happen to any fighter. Ya got civilised."
A line from Rocky III: sage advice delivered from trainer to boxer. Brooker is a journalist, not a boxer; but I doubt the line spoken to him would be that different.

I'm a Brooker fan. I've read all of his books at some point, which has made me an easy person to buy for at Christmas. I thought it was a shame You Have Been Watching only ran for two series, and...
Published on 20 Nov. 2012 by Ryan Williams


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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "The worst thing happened to you that could happen to any fighter. Ya got civilised.", 20 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: I Can Make You Hate (Hardcover)
A line from Rocky III: sage advice delivered from trainer to boxer. Brooker is a journalist, not a boxer; but I doubt the line spoken to him would be that different.

I'm a Brooker fan. I've read all of his books at some point, which has made me an easy person to buy for at Christmas. I thought it was a shame You Have Been Watching only ran for two series, and I've always looked forward to his annual 'Wipe' programmes on the Beeb.

So it pains me a little to say that this book isn't up to scratch. It's slack and faded compared to what we've seen to date. Comparing this to Screen Burn, his first, wondrous collection of journalism, is like comparing a sparkler to semtex.

The book is held back by the fact that Brooker gave up the Screen Burn column halfway through the period covered: scripts from 10 O'Clock Live and the 'Wipe' programmes are duly pressed into service as filler. But mostly it's that Brooker seems more considered, even thoughtful this time around - not a good thing when you make your name as the creasingly funny scourge of trash TV. Being fair to the third-rate isn't entertaining.

When you see him giving a wistful thumbs-up to Spartacus: Blood and Sand, compare it with the merciless treatment he gave the show on You Have Been Watching, and you see the change that's come over both his viewpoint and its expression. (He gets the line of dialogue that he quotes from the show wrong as well.)

By the end, he's even giving a 'well, someone must like it' appreciation of Geordie Shore, complete with some wistful musing - for the kind of programme that in his earlier days would have had him reaching for a flamethrower and a refill to ensure the job's finished.

Some might lament his tirades against the Daily Mail - an admittedly deserving target - but that's to ignore the mileage he's gotten out of them already. (Remember Daily Mail Island?) You wish the old Brooker would be set loose on the likes of Peter Hitchens, bringing back a lump of bloodied flesh to toss at his readers' feet.

Perhaps all this was inevitable. Like Clive James before him - to whom Brooker has paid moving tribute - he had to quit before reaching the point of having to review his own programmes. If Brooker's talons are less sharp, his metaphors and flights of comic fancy less vivid, it's perhaps a sign his ever-expanding TV work is siphoning off the best of him. No bad thing.
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60 of 65 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Portrait of the Critic as a Middle-Aged Man, 29 Oct. 2012
By 
Sam Quixote - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: I Can Make You Hate (Hardcover)
This is a collection of articles Charlie Brooker wrote for the Guardian newspaper, including the last of his "Screen Burn" columns, and some scripts from his "10 O'Clock Show" and various "Wipe" shows from August 2009 to July 2012.

The first half of the book is unrelenting hilarity from one column to the next. He writes an imaginary show that would follow "Man Vs Food" called "Man Vs Poo"; he creates a new Scrabble game for young idiots called Scrabble Corrective where for every product or celebrity name they put down, they receive a punch in the chest; he describes a McMuffin as "a bit like sinking my teeth into a small, soft woodland creature... which thoroughly enjoyed being eaten and responded to each bite by gently urinating warm oil down my chin" (p.173); and so on. There are so many moments in the first half of the book I found myself laughing, they are too many to list.

But then halfway through the book, Brooker does something unexpected: he announces the end of "Screen Burn" and writes a mea culpa where he apologises for his nasty, biting tv columns over the years against such easy targets as reality show stars, and... more reality show stars. This wouldn't be so bad if he continued to be as funny as he was before but now he's chosen a different, less funny path.

It wouldn't have bothered me so much except Brooker seems to show disdain for his past as if writing funny columns about crap tv was such a terrible thing. Not many people can write a memorable and consistently entertaining column that was "Screen Burn" - more than a few can write commentary on how rubbish Daily Mail Online is. I get it, Rupert Murdoch is a creep. But what about some esoteric reality show where the idiotic contestants say and do dumb things? I'm being serious. "Screen Burn" and Charlie Brooker were brilliant, no one writes the kind of ferocious tv reviews he wrote, but open up a news site today and you'll see any number of glum columnists gamely chucking their keyboards against the bugbear of the day. He's gone from unique to another face in the crowd.

As if to end the book on a profound note about the kind of columns he used to produce, he writes about "Geordie Shore" and "Made in Chelsea" musing that they showcase obnoxious idiots because without an agreed upon group of hate figures, we'd all kill each other. I don't agree - I think those shows exist because they're meant to be made fun of. Like Charlie Brooker used to. Brilliantly. Hilariously. Used to. Somewhere along the line he began taking what he did far too seriously and decided that writing about the Daily Mail and the government made what he did - an opinion column! - more acceptable. But they're just another group of hate figures to write about. Except writing about them isn't funny.

Despite this newfound sense of political destiny, Brooker is always worth reading for his imagination and insight, and for fans of "Screen Burn", the book is worth picking up for the first half alone. "I Can Make You Hate" is funny for the first part and thoughtful for the second, but rarely unreadable, even if Brooker has joined the Righteously Indignant Grown-Up Club.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't read on public transport, 21 May 2013
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It's embarrassing when you burst out laughing and people do tend to stare.

I found this book very, very funny.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious and bitingly funny, 22 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: I Can Make You Hate (Kindle Edition)
Absolutely loved this book. I haven't previously read any columns written by Charlie Brooker, but have watched him on TV and love his superbly eloquent and savagely grumpy views on society. With an increasingly banal and obsequious media, this book is a delightfully scathing alternative.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious, 28 April 2013
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This review is from: I Can Make You Hate (Hardcover)
This is my first experience of Charlie Brooker, this is really funny, I feel like he wrote this for me!! Really cynical but truthfu and written in short digestable 'rants' that you can pick up and read in bursts then put down again. Really funny. Big fan now because of this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Miserable. Cynical. Funny., 1 April 2013
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Arynth (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: I Can Make You Hate (Hardcover)
Charlie Brooker fan? Great, go buy this book.

Not really familiar with Charlie Brooker? He's one of England's best writers of the last decade, exploring everything from gaming to politics with acerbic wit, a knowing self-loathing misery and a rich vocabulary. This is essentially a collection of his articles and short transcripts from his work from 2009 - 2012.

It serves as a marvellous retrospective. He dips into what was hot that week or month either on television or happening in the world. This is where the weakness lies and it's the biggest problem with any of Brooker's work. You get the impression sometimes that he's writing for the sake of a deadline, so some of the tracts feel like hastily-written odes to the mundane. "I've got a deadline coming... what shall I write about? Come on brain! Oh, that's it! Brains." 800 words later and he's set. I guess I'm trying to say that at times he's like a comedic Stephen King.

He writes, at the beginning, that it's best dipped into here or there. I read it from cover to cover - the edition I've read has 404 pages, which I'm half-sure is a geeky in-joke - in one go and found it enjoyable and compelling. Some of the articles are stronger than others and there are probably two or three you'll want to skip but this is very much worth a read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars C bomb, 19 Jun. 2013
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Do not read just before going to bed as it will either make you angry or giggle. Brilliant but, not suitable for your Nan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Meh., 26 Mar. 2014
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I am a Charlie Brooker fan but did not really enjoy this book. I found the ridiculous simile descriptions funny at first but a bit same-y and irritating after a while (e.g. "like a hammock made of gas" for something unsafe).
I didn't engage with the topics he was writing about and found myself skipping to the end. He is better off on telly in my opinion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charlie Brooker's Masterclass in Misanthropia, 2 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: I Can Make You Hate (Hardcover)
a collection of his Guardian articles and 10 O'Clock Show scripts (but Charlie is upfront about it) but they somehow become even funnier when stapled together into a book. I have been reading it on the Rudeness Express (08:06 from Bromley South to Elephant) and giggling away like a teenage boy reading his first copy of Viz. A must read for misery guts everywhere
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit meh, 6 Mar. 2014
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I normally love anything Charlie Brooker does but despite having enjoyed previous books of his, I found this one a bit hard work and a bit forced. It was OK, nothing more.
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I Can Make You Hate
I Can Make You Hate by Charlie Brooker
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