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Identity Crisis

By: Ben Elton
Narrated by: Ben Elton
Length: 9 hrs and 58 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (24 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of Identity Crisis, written and read by Ben Elton.

Why are we all so hostile? So quick to take offence? Truly we are living in the age of outrage. 

A series of apparently random murders draws amiable old-school Detective Mick Matlock into a world of sex, politics, reality TV and a bewildering kaleidoscope of opposing identity groups. Lost in a blizzard of hashtags, his already complex investigation is further impeded by the fact that he simply doesn’t ‘get’ a single thing about anything anymore.

Meanwhile, each day another public figure confesses to having ‘misspoken’ and prostrates themselves before the judgment of Twitter. Begging for forgiveness, assuring the public 'that is not who I am'.

But if nobody is who they are anymore - then who the f**k are we?

Ben Elton returns with a blistering satire of the world as it fractures around us. Get ready for a roller-coaster thriller, where nothing - and no one - is off-limits.

©2019 Ben Elton (P)2019 Random House Audiobooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

LOL funny!

I haven't laughed out loud listening to an audio book in a very long time. And then I discovered this book (my first by Mr Elton, I'm embarrassed to admit). Fantastic! I think I might be a fan for life!
Brilliant characters, funny dialogue (enhanced by Elton's interpretation), and lots and lots of food for thought.

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Elton is a comic genius

Brilliant. Elton has that rare comic gift of making you laugh and think at the same timeq

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  • Robert
  • Geln Iris, VIC, Australia
  • 05-07-19

initially difficult but well worth the effort

felt strained at the start . ended up really enjoying it. not quite the resolution I was expecting

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  • Simon
  • 04-04-19

Elton's Rifle!

I've always liked Ben Elton without ever being his biggest fan but in this book, he genuinely spoke to me. This is relentlessly bubbly, irreverent (of course) and often very funny. No target is safe in this very-near-future world of Elton's and he fires shots seemingly indiscriminately. While most politicians have made up names it's obvious who is being sent up, for example, Bunter Jollye and Plantagenet Greased-Hogg - can't imagine who they are modelled on . . .

Elton's story which is very well read by himself follows these politicians, various activists, the production team of Love Island and a number of people who find themselves caught up in the social media trends of the day. It cleverly jumps on very current issues; social media, fake news and the sheer fickleness of modern society. It explores and magnifies every facet of political correctness twisting it into unrelenting satire. Running through it all though is the outrage so often generated on social media, the impact it can have on people and very on trend how public opinion is manipulated insidiously for all manner of reasons.

At the centre of all this, is Detective Mick Matlock, a genuinely well-intentioned old-school policeman who is simply baffled by the ways and speed that the world is changing around him. He struggles to navigate his way through the booby-trapped jungle of modern language. The world has changed around him and he simply hasn't kept up with it which plunges him like a tragic hero from one awkward situation to another.

This is, of course, treacherous ground that Elton is treading but I think he strikes just the right notes and the book genuinely asks some fairly sobering questions about the direction our online, social media-driven society is taking. It may upset some, I'd be surprised if it didn't, but I'm more than happy to say I very much enjoyed it from start to finish!

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • BarefootRonin
  • 04-05-19

Fun, Cynical and Inciteful... Typical Ben Elton

I've haven't read/listened to one of Ben's books for some time but decided to give this a go as I work on the web and in social media despite my 'dad-man' status, so the subject struck home. I enjoyed the story and progressed through the book while working. As a result, I'm going to give it another go based on how much I enjoyed it but also for those small sections where my working mind wandered.

The book is certainly up-to-date and despite some slightly dodgy accents Ben's performance was good and made me want to keep going. The funny part is that I'm not sure whether he was highlighting the issues and problems with today's 'social media' world or bolstering (some of) the ideas presented. There is plenty of well-thought view and perspectives from the side of those considered snowflakes as well as the dinosaurs (like me apparently) that think there is a massive movement toward being over sensitive because nobody ever died of being offended. I'd love to sit and chat with him about it to try and find out where he, Ben, himself falls on opinions offered because the story is woven so well I can't tell... Which I assume has been done on purpose but also adds to the entertainment.

Obviously I'm not going to give away the plot even though it's predictable in places, and I won't get bogged down in discussing specific characters for fear of ruining it. Simply, I enjoyed the reading and it's a well thought out book. the story structure is typically Ben Elton and the cynical(?) and o#well observed story is clearly based on the state of our modern fast moving world...

If you like Ben's books I'm sure you'll love it.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • zoe collins
  • 10-18-19

Funny and pertinent

Listened to this on a long journey with my 14 year old son. Kept having to pause it to discuss varying opinions on certain aspects. He, of course, being far more switched on to societal bias than me. It was funny and insightful and gave us lots to talk about. Thanks

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  • Clare Harris
  • 10-11-19

A book everyone should read!

Loved how funny and thought provoking this book was. Really put the reality we live in into perspective! Would definitely recommend!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mrs
  • 10-10-19

Its a good Ben Elton Book. But missing something

This was a very good book, but I was disappointed with it in the end. It was missing something.

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  • Julie
  • 09-30-19

A fable for our times

I hadn't heard anything by Ben Elton before but I definitely will be purchasing more of his books as audio versions. He reads his own material well and makes pertinent observations with humour in a story that's part detective thriller part social observation.

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  • MikeyC
  • 09-20-19

A Very Funny take on our PC World

Ben Elton never disappoints. He takes a sideways look at our world of hashtags and political correctness.
Brilliantly inventive. The fact Ben Elton was the narrator threw me at first as he didn't seem right. However, I was soon into the story and soon forgot he was the narrator.
A laugh out loud every two minutes. Thoroughly recommended.

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  • Black Friday
  • 09-20-19

Brilliant

Absolutely spot on look at today’s culture of outrage, plus a well written, great story.

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  • Andy
  • 09-20-19

Just what I needed

Off to see Ben tomorrow night. This book has reminded me how clever and sharp he is. Just the antidote for the current climate.

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  • Lyndsay Watterson
  • 09-19-19

Laughed out loud 🤣

I love all Ben Elton books but when he reads them they’re extra special. Funny, ironic, sharp and current. Just brilliant.

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  • Bridget Devlin
  • 04-13-19

Ben Elton at his best

This is a fantastically witty take on our current society. Elton as the narrator also adds to the enjoyment.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-16-19

Satire, only just though!

So typically Ben Elton and a wonderful satirical and only slightly exaggerated look at what society could be if the PC brigade take over.

I often listen to audio books when out walking. This book had moments where I spontaneously burst out laughing, must have looked like a crazy person!

Highly recommended.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-17-19

Brilliant!

great social comment and a fantastic plot line with a cool twist. classic Ben Elton

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  • Louise
  • 09-16-19

A fascinating mix of mystery and comedy

Some of the observations of modern life were hysterical, albeit alarming in their accuracy. I loved reading about the challenges of a middle aged man coming to terms with appropriate pronouns. Lots of very thinly veiled references to modern characters and events made this a very relevant read! I felt like the book lost its way a bit and the conclusion to the mystery component was a bit rushed. There is something to be said for authors as narrators - Ben Elton reads it as he must have intended it to be heard.

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  • Tara
  • 09-11-19

Loved it!

Thoroughly enjoyed this one. Great story and Ben Elton’s narration brings it all to life. His sarcasm and cheekiness is fantastic and is even funnier when read aloud by him! I’ve read two others of his and find his cynicism and humour to blend perfectly.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-24-19

Highly recommended

Amazing book - probably his best. Accurately sorts and describes today’s world for us of the pre-technological era. Told with the usual mix of irreverent humour and intelligence. Allows us to think for ourselves, with no judgement delivered on topics that we all judge, every day. So ‘now’; so very brilliant. A book that will be studied in the future by people looking to examine the plight of another ‘crossover’ generation. World has changed and the old world gone forever. Language and technique comparable to Thomas Hardy’s portrayal of a ‘new world’ peppered with a (pre-industrial revolution) dying breed of old-fashioned ‘good folk’.

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  • hazzer
  • 08-14-19

an Auld acquaintance

well BenElton at a more digestible and easier to accept pace. I felt the pain of our intrepid inspector all the way

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  • Jamie
  • 07-10-19

So funny

If you like Ben Elton then you'll love this one. Up there with High Society but maybe not quite as clever. As usual up to the minute satire on identity politics, Brexit, Cambridge Analytica, Russian interference, post truth twitter feeds and gender dysmorphia. All read excellently by Ben Elton himself.

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  • Philip Manning
  • 07-05-19

Brilliant

Clever and very dry this story is just good fun to follow.
Some satirical books sort of dry up once their initial points are made and clever lines expended but the delicious ironies continue here right until the end.

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  • Daniel Stranger
  • 06-21-19

Witty, dynamic, startlingly relevant.

Ben Elton (both writer and narrator) delivers impeccably on this excellent piece of modern prose. A brilliantly satirical work. 5 angry tweets out of 5.