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Blind Faith Paperback – 16 May 2008

3.6 out of 5 stars 139 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Black Swan; Reprint edition (16 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552773905
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552773904
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.8 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (139 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 152,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

A dark, savagely comic novel from the bestselling author of Chart Throb.

From the Inside Flap

Imagine a world where everyone knows everything about everybody. Where what a person ‘feels’ and ‘truly believes’ is protected under the law, while what is rational, even provable, is condemned as heresy. A world where to question ignorance and intolerance is to commit a Crime against Faith. Imagine it. Or just wait until After The Flood. On a hot Sagittarian morning in the year 56 ATF, Trafford Sewell struggles to work through the usual crowds of near-naked commuters. He is confronted by the intimidating figure of his Parish Confessor. Why has Trafford not been streaming his every moment of sexual intimacy on to the community website like everybody else? Does he think he's different or special in some way? Better than his fellow man and woman? Does he have something to hide? Ben Elton’s dark, savagely comic novel imagines a post-apocalyptic society where religious intolerance combines with a confessional sex -obsessed, egocentric culture to create a world where nakedness is modesty, ignorance is wisdom and privacy is a dangerous perversion. A chilling vision of what’s to come? Or something rather closer to what we call reality? --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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 targets, but while Self's satire is like the point of a dagger skilfully skewering his targets, Ben Elton prefers the repeated hammering over the head with a blunt instrument.

Not that there is anything wrong with this. Elton has addressed the vacuousness of modern life before, and he doesn't spare his anger here. Ben Elton, like Will Self, sets his aim squarely at religious dogmatism. He is clearly horrified by the rise in creationism in the USA, which is starting to make its presence felt in the UK, and takes this to its logical conclusion, where science and rationality are rejected in favour of the titular 'blind faith' and a 'me' culture.

The first thing you should know about this novel is that it isn't funny. At all. Anyone familiar with Ben Elton's work will know that he uses comic situations to address serious issues; there is precious little to laugh about in Blind Faith, just a growing horror as the fast-paced plot drags you in.

It is about 100 years in the future. After a flood, Britain has become a much smaller country. People not only live and work in extraordinary proximity to one another, but are ruled by a religious fanaticism where privacy is frowned upon and belief in evolution- in reason of any kind- is banned. Furthermore, every aspect of one's life is required to be posted online. But Trafford, our protagonist, has the makings of a dangerous subversive- he has a secret.
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Format: Hardcover
Many of the other reviewers have compared this book with Orwell's 1984 and without a doubt there are parallels. But what Elton also brings into play is an analysis of the current rise of religious fundamentalism and its rejection of science and logic. As well as being set in a post apocalypse police state this novel is also set in a world that has reverted to the dark ages where science is outlawed and faith is all that is to be believed.

A preview of a post global-warming world. The possible conclusion of today's FaceBook/You Tube and reality TV fixation. And a total denunciation of the mindlessness of reactionary religion. All in an easy to read and fast paced novel.
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Format: Paperback
When God gave out "subtlety" Ben was at the end of the queue. However, he didn't have to wait long at the "cynicism" line, and he uses both to maximum effect in "Blind Faith". Elton sets this book in the future so that he can take a swipe, or a sledgehammer, at the way our current society is going. He invents a world that takes Orwell's 1984, crosses it with Big Brother (TV version), Jerry Springer, the Evangelical Right, the X Factor, our fast food culture, the self-help industry....you name a small annoyance in our current shallow and vacuous Western World and Elton pours bile and scorn over the lot if it. And entertaining it is too, but it's a bit of a Curate's Egg. It's not difficult to believe that in the near future the Virgin Mary will be replaced by Lady Diana in the religious canon, nor that parents will name their kids something like Caitlain Happymeal, but the relentless succession of such constructs begins to irritate after a while. So does his portrayal of the rebellion against this society. Guess what? Intelligent people like real books, revere science above religion, hate mindless television and prefer solitary reflection to the crush of crowd.
If you're thinking of reading this, then you probably know what to expect from the author. Ben Elton, it seems to me, would like to write a modern day "Crime and Punishment" or "Brave New World" but just wouldn't be able to resist slipping in a few fart and knob gags. He also lays on his message with a trowel, and it's a trowel the size of a football pitch. If you can forgive him this, then you'll enjoy "Blind Faith".
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Format: Hardcover
A previous reviewer noted that this book was a mediocre rip off of 1984. I disagree. For me, 1984 doesn't read as a satire. This book does and Ben Elton is a master of satire.

I agree that it is a view of the future that is more relevant to the Facebook generation and just as 1984 rings (alarm) bells, so does it.

5 stars is a book that marks me for life. 4 is a though provoking and entertaining read. It's both.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was really looking forward to reading this book. However, I struggled to the half way point and gave up, refusing to waste any more of my time.

There is nothing at all subtle about Ben Elton's writing. Its like being beaten around the head with a large hammer, every line you read. It is inelegant and not nearly as clever as it thinks it is.

Very disappointing and went straight in to the charity bag.
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Format: Paperback
I thought in recent novels that Ben Elton has gone off the boil somewhat, so I was pleasantly surprised to find another biting satire on life and the universe.

Mind you getting through the jacket blurb as a bit like wading through porridge. "Ben Elton's dark, savagely comic novel imagines a post-apocalyptic society" and that's enough to put you off for starters. My initial thought was "oh no not another 1984 rip off."

Thankfully Elton stretched the bounds of 1984 with some delicious black humour and a wicked ending that brings no real surprises but certainly makes you think about inclusive and exclusive societies. Basically Elton's world occurs after the second great flood when the world (and in this case London) is celebrity and sexually obsessive - so much so that a decree goes out that everyone is famous. It is very much a 21st century view of the future.

The central character doesn't want to conform and sets out to find like minds - people who can think for themselves as opposed to the current Big Brother generation of vacuous me generation self obsessed youngsters.
We meet Cassius who is employed simply to keep up the government's targets for eliminating age discrimination Then Elton has the following to say about the internet "The internet was supposed to liberate knowledge, but in fact it buried it, first under a vast sewer of ignorance, laziness, bigotry, superstition and filth and then beneath the cloak of political surveillance."

In Elton's grave new world virtually everything that happens to a citizen is shared with everyone else through blogs, vids and other electronic means. Nothing is secret. But of course underneath it all lurks squalor and corruption. The thirst for knowledge backfires.
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