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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.
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on 30 September 2014
not as good as his Elton's best comedy ( 'Stark', 'Popcorn', 'Inconceivable' or the like ), nor yet as good as the best of his serious work ( 'First Casualty', 'Two Brothers' ) this is still a really well written, often funny, thought-provoking book with some far from black-and-white characters. i wasn't entirely satisfied with the ending, but life is like that and books would be dull if what you thought or wanted to happen always did. a definite read if you are a Ben Elton fan and worth it if you have never read any of his books before ( although another book might be a bettr introduction to his work )
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on 21 March 2014
Nice read Ben, of course the entire trust of this work is built on common sense and logical application. Long away will be the day, if ever, when M&B or John Player take from gangsters and terrorists the responsibility for the distribution of drugs. But of course until that becomes a reality Ben has to end his book as he did. Not a great ending but sadly the only one on offer in this twisted double standard world we inhabit.
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on 6 October 2013
I haven't read any of Ben's books for decades. On finishing this one my first thought was 'Yep: another brilliant one'. Such masterful social observation and story-telling.

Gripping and thought provoking, a must read.

Now..... What else has Ben written in the last 20 years? Can't wait!
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on 8 August 2017
Another poignant , thought provoking book , cleverly raising the issue of legalization of drugs using vivid character vignettes. Loved it!
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on 26 June 2014
What a story the way the writer conveyed it the characters amazing . At one point in the book I gasped out loud ...this is the second Ben elton Book I have read in fairness never having read any apart from Two Brothers which was such a great read /story I thought i would try another
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on 1 December 2016
Might be true to life but what a depressing read.
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on 23 January 2016
Great read for 2 reasons. Firstly, it is very funny. Secondly, it is a fantastic satire on the war on drugs. Every politician should read it.
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on 10 May 2015
I am so glad to have discovered Ben Elton as a novelist. I have enjoyed every book he has written. My favourite so far Two Brothers.
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on 12 December 2013
Although this novel managed to capture my attention, it was the more sordid side of the novel which I found almost unbelievable. Do people in our society really live like this? I hope not!
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