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3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  2,923 ratings  ·  124 reviews
Lucy desperately wants a baby. Sam is determined to write a hit movie. The problem is that both their efforts seem to be unfruitful. And given that the average IVF cycle has about a one in five chance of going into full production, Lucy's chances of getting what she wants are considerably better than Sam's.

What Sam and Lucy are about to go through is absolutely inconceivab
Paperback, 368 pages
Published October 10th 2000 by Corgi (first published 1999)
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Blurb From Goodreads

Lucy desperately wants a baby. Sam is determined to write a hit movie. The problem is that both their efforts seem to be unfruitful. And given that the average IVF cycle has about a one in five chance of going into full production, Lucy's chances of getting what she wants are considerably better than Sam's.

What Sam and Lucy are about to go through is absolutely inconceivable. The question is, can their love survive?

Inconcievable confirms Ben Elton a
Deborah Brannon
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Different Than The Average: Ben Elton, as many of us fans out there know, tends to write murder thrillers with that touch of comedy that everything he has ever done, and ever will do, has. This however does not follow his traditional murder mystery whodunnit. This book is even written in a totally different narration style. Generally he writes in the third person to explain the story throughout. Thi time there is NO third person involved. He writes in a style that many writers have tried and onl ...more
This is one of my favourite books and i have gone back to it time and again, because the characters, especially Sam are so endearing. This book is written in diary form from both Sam and Lucy and it gives their thoughts on the IVF they are going through.

Some parts are moving and I sympahised with their situation, especially when Lucy dreams of reading Beatrix Potter to her potential child,it struck a chord with me because I read those stories to my own children. But what I love about Ben Elton
Dhen Hawke
Lucy and Sam trying to get pregnant. I could relate to this (so I thought) thats why I picked the book. I never thought that such a sensitive issue could be tackled in a non-conventional way; hilarious BUT also heartbreaking at some point. I could relate to Lucy's frustration and desperation to get pregnant so I asked my husband to read it and let me know if Sam is a realistic character. My husband finished the book in 2 nights (hahah) and bounced back to me with loads of question relating to Lu ...more
Rachael Hewison
I felt somewhat nervous about this book. Elton has picked a sensitive subject to cover and having read one of his books before, I know that his style is to make fun of people and things so I wasn't sure how he could make this topic funny. All I can say is that Elton did a truly brilliant job.
Elton manages to weave a fantastic line between sad and funny moments. There are touching moments where you really feel how desperate Lucy and Sam are for a baby and just how hard and heart-breaking it is fo
Christine Blachford
Plot: Sam and Lucy are trying for a baby, and while she can’t think of anything but her desperate need to become a mother, Sam is busy ruining his career and starting a new one as a writer – writing about secrets Lucy would rather keep to herself.

Characters: Sam is really great, the kind of person I would like to talk to. Unfortunately, I don’t have fantastic amounts of sympathy for Lucy. She doesn’t seem to care much about Sam, with their childlessness engulfing their entire relationship. There
I registered a book at!

The book starts off quite slowly. I must admit I was almost half resigned to giving up with the plotline, with the two-dimensional lead female character and her husband. Sam is a happy go lucky guy, but at the end of the day he is "just a bloke," willing to accept and jump-to, his wife's every needs. Lucy wants a baby. So Sam does. Lucy wants to have sex at every opportunity. Sam does BUT then he realizes that pe
Auch dieses Hörbuch war aus der Bücherei - und nach den ersten Kapiteln war mir klar, dass ich auch einen DVD mit einem Film besitze, der scheinbar nach der Story gedreht wurde ("Maybe Baby" heisst der, glaube ich). Die Story - ein Tagebuch eines unfruchtbaren Paares, das abwechselnd aus Sicht der Frau und des Mannes erzählt wird, ist ganz nett, aber maximal für 2-3 Sterne gut. Allerdings ist das Hörbuch gelesen von Hella von Sinnen und Dirk Bach - und die machen das einfach super! Deshalb gibt ...more
Zum Inhalt: Sam und Lucy sind das typische britische Paar. Beide haben einen recht gut bezahlten Job, sie leben in einem hübschen Häuschen in London, haben Freunde und ein schönes Leben. Doch eins fehlt ihnen: ein Kind. Besonders Lucy ist fast schon besessen von dem Gedanken, endlich Mutter zu sein. Und so beginnt für sie ein Marathon, den viele Paare mit Kinderwunsch bestreiten müssen: unzählige medizinische Tests und Behandlungen, jede Menge "verrücktes" spirituelles Zeug, Ernährungstipps, usw ...more
This was my second attempt at reading this book. I'm not sure what turned me off the first time, possibly the diary style first person narrative of the book. Or maybe I just didn't fancy reading for a while. Anyway I'm glad I came back to it because it really is excellent and very moving, and there was one thing that I really liked about it and was pleasantly surprised by.

There was a happy ending! Well sort of. Like all Ben Elton books I've read the ending was tinged with sad ending, one of his
Almost a four star.

This was a quirky book - a story of a couple, Sam and Lucy, who are infertile. It managed to be funny in parts as well as the bittersweet tale you would expect. Lucy asks Sam to write a diary every night - to help them handle their fertility issues and the treatments they have to endure. The book is told as the series of diary entries from both of them.

Several sub plots add most of the humor. Sam has always wanted to be a writer, and works as a television executive. He is su
Witty. Yea, yea. Interesting comments about developments in society and science. To be expected. It is Ben Elton after all. What is astounding about this book is how much of a complete girl Ben can be. No I'm serious. Inconceivable is told through the diary entries of a couple who cannot conceive. While this produces moments of fun as you compare the different takes that the couple have on the same events, it is the distinct voices that comes across as the greatest achievement. I was totally sol ...more
Feb 17, 2010 Stacie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Stacie by: Mandy
Shelves: borrowed
While there were moments when the narrative dragged a bit for me, and I had a hard time liking Lucy (I am a girl and even I found her annoyingly dramatic and self-absorbed at times (yes, I know she was supposed to be), overall I really liked the story. And, even in his worst moments, Sam was fantastically funny and real.

I found the story humorous and sad all at the same time. I even think there is a line toward the end that notes how funny and sad the whole trying to and being unsuccessful at ha
Thomas Strömquist
"Even if the story wears kind of thin in the final third of the book it is hilariously funny (and that is quite an achievment given the serious theme I think) and has enough of "must know how it ends"-quality to recommend it. "
Gaynor Torrance
I absolutely loved this book. I laughed, cried, and read it in one sitting as I didn't want to put it down. Ben Elton's observations are spot on. Inconceivable is definitely in my top 10 favourite books of all time.
Mar 17, 2008 Tim rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: romcom fans
Recommended to Tim by: Jeffrey S.
By The Great Ben Elton. this was my first Elton book and it was an odd read. i'm not sure what i was expecting, and maybe Elton had been built up too much as a writer by my friends, but i was left a little let-down.

To start, it was written ten years ago and it feels it. the tone of the humor was dated, and the satire was referencing pop-culture phenomena that had gone stale a while back. towards the end i did get into the 1998 mindset, and that helped.

Overall, I liked the 'he said' 'she said' s
Starts out awful, with a plot that is only centered around the type of silly jokes that you expect from a medium quality sitcom. You know, with a character who claims one thing and then immediately proves himself wrong by acting exactly opposite? Someone saying: "What? Nervous? Me? Not at all!", then he or she leaps three feet in the air because of a phone ringing, and the studio audience thinks it's hilarious.

I had nearly discarded the book, when it suddenly got better around the half way point
Daniel Hulmes
Seven years. That's how long I have been meaning to get around to reading this, since I was lent it on holiday at the age of 17.

Now I've finally done it! Turns out it is pretty funny for the most part. I gave it 4 stars rather than 3 purely because of the novelty of the writing style which is presented as alternative diary entries of a married couple.
Jayne Charles
A bit more touchy-feely than his previous offerings, Ben Elton uses his own experience of both infertility treatment, and working in the media, to bring tremendous humour to both situations. The account of the character Sam transporting a sperm sample across town 'in a warm crevice' is surely a classic of all time. I was thinking, whilst reading this book, there were a limited number of possible scenarios with which to end the story. I would have felt a bit let down by a movie-style happy-ever-a ...more
Gary Soars
The subject matter will appeal to some more than others - a bit repetitive in the middle but a light, enjoyable read with a good ending.
2006 review: Well, I did actually start reading this a few years ago but I couldnt get into it, so it's been sitting around on my shelf since and I dont know if I'll ever get around to reading it. Ben Elton is a good popular fiction writer, but there are some of his books I like and some I dont. This seems to fall into the second catergory. One of my biggest issues is that he seems to go with the idea that as long as the word tampon appears a couple of times in the text and the main female chara ...more
Brad Sandler
Was laughing out loud while reading this book. Funny, real and touching.
Karen D.
This book was truly hilarious, if a little crass at times. But I loved the whole journal writing format. A true highlight for me was all the schemes that Sam and Lucy's Druid friend got them involved in. When Sam was writing his screenplay, and was told that he needed to give the woman character a truer voice, I started to wonder how Ben Elton managed to write Lucy so beautifully. I knew Ben Elton was connected with British Comedy and Rowan Atkinson, but had no idea he was an author. I'm looking ...more
Jonathan Paxton
So much comic potential in this scenario, instead it turns out to be a book about an author trying to sell a screen play. None of the humour I expected, instead I get a middle aged man coming to terms with his flagging career, his left wing idealism being binned and treating his emotionally vulnerable wife badly. The diary format works up to a point, except the criss crossing of viewpoint (one chapter from the wife, then one from the husband)misses out huge chunks from each point of view. I expe ...more
This story covers the sensitive topic of IVF but in such a way that you find yourself smiling at the funny one liners throughout. I found this book was as much about relationships as IVF- it demonstrated the way two individuals can perceive things in completely different ways and also how people can take each other for granted. Unfortunately the story was a little slow in the beginning and I felt that the character of Lucy could have been more developed. However, overall I did enjoy this book.
Very rarely do I ever laugh out loud when reading a book, but with Inconceivable I literally couldn't help it! I absolutely loved this book, potentially one of my favourite Ben Elton books! I am also quite surprised to admit, Maybe Baby (the Inconceivable film) did wonders at portraying a book for once.
not my favourite ben elton book, but it is full of his style and wit, so there is a lot to like about it. the copy i read was a library book and it was a bit water damaged for the first 100 pages or so, so this might have added to the fact it took me a long time to get into this. i liked the layout and writing style of the book being written from 2 separate perspectives through the use of the character's diaries. i just wasn't fully into this book until right near the end.
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Ben Elton was born on 3 May 1959, in Catford, South London. The youngest of four, he went to Godalming Grammar school, joined amateur dramatic societies and wrote his first play at 15. He wanted to be a stagehand at the local theatre, but instead did A-Level Theatre Studies and studied drama at Manchester University in 1977.

His career as both performer and writer encompasses some of the most memo
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