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Naught for your comfort.
on 27 April 2017
This may be one of Ben Elton's best novels to date. It is a rattling good story about one of the UK's most pressing social problems - drugs, and the war on them. There are many, of course, who wish not to see the problem, who turn their backs on it, or see it as an example of criminality that must have the full force of the law brought against it. There are others who see this war as already lost. Ben Elton's eighth novel presents an alternative perspective.
The writing is a persuasive argument for the decriminalising of drugs, with the invitation to consider all of the attendant questions that this would raise. Further, The writing takes full account of the role played by the print media, television, advertising and the attention given to celebrities in order to capture some of the hidden realities of contemporary British youth culture.
It is an intelligent account, laced with wit, humour and drama. It is a no-holds barred account of the drug-induced, sex-crazed and publicity-hungry nature of the contemporary generation. It is a courageous account that tackles a subject to which few are willing to commit their literary powers and moral reasoning. It is a society that Elton savagely and satirically comments on, sparing few and highlighting the role played by the laws that he seems to consider have been responsible for this ever-changing society but which offers little protection from its ravages.
Despite the darkness of the subject matter, however, this novel provides captivating reading with a constant momentum and sharp characterization. The book is a provocative and entertaining read, Ben Elton in top form and full flow.