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Customer Review

on 10 August 2002
If you want to laugh at a marketing culture gone mad then Ben Eltons 'This Other Eden' is the book for you. It is set on the eve of global meltdown. The rat race has begun. The world is governed by crude advertising and 'feel good' products such as spray-on condoms, inflatable breasts, virtual reality for the masses and free liposuction with the purchase of twenty donuts or more.
The story follows a group of unlikely heros on their quests to save the planet. A planet that is now frantically buying claustropheres (self-contained, self-supporting environments), for every back yard.
The narrator changes with the characters, beginning with Nathan, an anal, struggling, British scriptwriter. He has come to Los Angeles to pitch an advert for claustropheres to marketing genius, media baron and claustrosphere empire owner, Plastic Tolstoy. "At the age of twelve Plastic Tolstoy made his first million...He wrote to the manufacturers (of cereals), suggesting that they reverse the ratio and market boxes full of snap-together plastic toys with a free corn-flake hidden amongst them. Kids went crazy for it."
Plastic is the story's villain, his main adversary is Jurgen Thor, leader of Natura, a fundamentalist version of Greenpeace.
For the romantics Rosalie Connolly, an Irish Natura terrorist, and Max, a pretentious movie star, provide the love interest.
The frequency of the environmental disasters and the twists and turns along the way make this book hard to put down-how will it all end?
Ben Elton gained notoriety writing for Blackadder and The Young Ones. He always touches on issues that most other comedians shy away from. This book is no exception. As with his other novels he has managed to put forth his opinions in a highly enjoyable and light-hearted style. This book has great entertainment value. It can be easily read and provides plenty of laughs.
"Claustropheres: who are you to deny your kids a future?"
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4.2 out of 5 stars