16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Buy it. Please. The man deserves his royalties for this one.,
This review is from: High Society (Paperback)
Well, High Society is the fourth book by Elton that I've read and I'm not sure how but he's surpassed himself. I didn't think it was possible for anyone to write a book as well-observed entertaining and gripping as Dead Famous or Inconceivable but Ben Elton has done just that. High Society, a book that tackles a very very very important issue (the vast-ranging, ever raging drugs culture if you hadn't guessed/didn't already know), is hilarious, moving, clever, well-observed, completely absorbing and fascinating.
The humour is at times more subtle than what we normally expect from Elton, with less opportunity for the trademark one-liners but nonetheless they crop up, and as a result are relished all the more. The other humour, largely borne of character is delightful, but can be lost amongst too many other emotions, so be sure to keep yourself prepared for laughter.
The idea of taking many different people in different situations, some briefly touching, some wrapped up and entwined, some never linking at all but all around the issue of drugs is a marvellous idea indeed. His characters carry the many plots with such verve and distinctive style that they are never easily lost or buried by the reader, even if they fall silent for 60 or so pages.
I think the story that most impressed and involved me was that of Jessie - a girl that I instantly fell in love with through a cocktail of sympathy, admiration, adoration and hope. Hers is such a bleak story - one that I felt could never be properly resolved - is told by her with such intelligence, wit and never-ending hope that I felt desperately moved with her every word. Jessie may not do much to make us laugh, but we don't want her to. Ben Elton has finally shown conclusively that he has the power to move as much as he can amuse.
The disgusting writhing blemish that is Peter Paget was a brilliant and exhilarating read (the main focus of the book when all's said and done, I suppose) and his tale is one I relished greatly. I admired the man's views, but by the end it was very very hard indeed to admire the man. He received not an ounce of my sympathy (mainly used up by Jessie, I'm afraid).
Tommy Hanson - Delightful stuff. I can't say much more.
And we have all the minors: the Samanthas and Sonias and Francoises and Roberts and Cathy's and Leman's and such who must not be forgotten. Each of them was brilliantly characterised and brilliantly written to ease us along the plots.
The media were brilliantly scratched and bitten at by Elton at almost every step which was another marvellous feature of the book, as the papers were constantly dipping into the different stories.
In conclusion, I would ask you a favour. Could you possibly find it in your hearts to buy this book, whether my review has spurred you on or put you off? Even if you don't enjoy the read, you will be unable to deny its power, its relevance, its stylish delivery and its necessity to have been written. High Society is a book that should, and with any luck will remain one of the major books of 'Our Time' for it is about just that. I shall say no more, though I know what I have said is rather understating things.