Stark: Satirical Thriller Paperback – 2 Jan 2006
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Ben Elton's earth-shattering début novel.
From the Publisher
Ben Eltons earth-shattering début novel.See all Product description
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top customer reviews
Read Stark with that in mind. I like the potshot he takes at champagne - the name trademarked so as to keep the price artificially high. However I remembered with pleasure the way we the public called the champagne producers' bluff at the millennium by boycotting the stuff so that we could find some high-quality surplus being sold off at bargain prices quite some time later. This thought brought me some comfort in reading Stark - perhaps we are not totally in the hands of the tycoons. Other details were entirely incidental and unrelated to the general message of the book, but he is the first person I have ever known to call attention to a strange deaths-head kind of face that has long repelled me in some famous American women anxious to preserve their looks beyond a certain age.
The thread of the book is serious in more senses than one. It is about the threat to the environment, and just exactly how bad that is I don't think anyone is quite sure. Ben Elton goes completely over the top, and that was smart. I don't suppose that even he takes at face value his scenario of the asset-stripper co-opted into the exclusive club of monstrous tycoons - a tobacco-baron, an arms exporter, a fast-food king foisting his stringburgers and gristlefurters on a complaisant public and other usual suspects - whose purpose is literally to bring about environmental disaster in the full knowledge of what they are doing. By caricaturing the suspects in this way he avoids being overtly political, and by going to extremes in his disaster-scenario he keeps the story vivid and involving, but just a story (I hope) all the same. For good measure he throws in a couple of unrelated nuclear catastrophes and the wreck of a maritime cargo of toxic waste. Such is the power of the money involved that people manage to stay unaware of what is going on (governments hardly get a mention), and the only resistance comes from a picaresque assortment of well-meaning liberals, hippies, dropouts and aborigines. One of these is a devotee of Judge Dread comics, and I wonder whether Ben got some of his ideas from such sources himself.
The story moves fast and the characters are interesting, although the book would hardly challenge Evelyn Waugh or Julian Barnes for Fine Writing. I found it helped to keep in mind my image of Ben Elton on stage, and I could hear his voice quite clearly - he writes much of it the way he talks. I find it hard to blame the politicians or even the tycoons in real life beyond a certain extent. If we are being suckered that is mainly our own fault, it seems to me, and we are, it seems to me, and it is, it seems to me. The planet's resources are not a bottomless pit, it will not take more than a certain amount of abuse just as our own bodies will not, we have not yet seen certain disasters as they could be (e.g. a nuclear meltdown, of which Chernobyl was a mere mooncast shadow), and of course mother nature herself could take a hand with, say, meteor-strikes, earthquakes, super-volcanoes etc. Probably nobody quite knows the extent of the chances we're taking, but it seems to me that we need to wake up and to grow up in the way we're behaving. We were given our brains to use, and we should remember the parable of the talents.
It's fairly fast paced stuff and funny enough in places. All of the characters are fun, though several of them are heavy handed stereotypes though this is not really supposed to be a serious book so it fits nicely enough.
The only real weakness is Eltons determination to get his point over about how much damage is being done to the environment. He continually makes asides which whilst being interesting enough and I'm sure accurate and relevant, they somehow break the flow of the book and I think the point could have been made a lot more effectively.
Still a good book with some nice twists and turns.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews
What would we do if this became reality? 👪
Look for similar items by category