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3.53  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,359 Ratings  ·  142 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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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Deborah Brannon
Feb 27, 2008 Deborah Brannon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 16, 2012 Lainy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Time Taken To Read - 3 days

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
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
Nov 06, 2009 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 13, 2013 Dhen Hawke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 24, 2014 Rachael Hewison rated it it was amazing
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
Fuzzy Gerdes
Probably the most interesting thing about Inconceivable is the structure—it's presented as alternating diary entries from a couple who are experiencing fertility issues. And when the characters get off topic and go on comedic rants, it's reasonably funny. But the main storyline is overwrought, overcomplicated, and for a supposedly comedic novel, not very funny. So.
Jun 08, 2015 Carla rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour
I normally love Ben Elton's writing, but this, for me, was the worst of the bunch. The main characters were sooooo annoying, selfish, stupid, whiney, vapid, and self-involved, I had trouble reading it. The ending was quite sweet and there were definitely some funny bits, so I can't say it was all bad.
Apr 10, 2014 Zoe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 29, 2015 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first 75% of Ben Elton's Inconceivable is one of the three funniest books I have ever read. (The other two are Naked and The Urban Hermit: A Memoir) These three, or 2.75, books all made me laugh, not just out loud, but so hard that I woke my partner up several times trying not to laugh and thereby shaking the bed like mad.

Unfortunately, the ending of Elton's book is not only not funny, but actually annoying in several ways that I won't go into because, Spoilers.

Jun 29, 2015 Dorothy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book started well. I think most readers would recognise Lucy and Sam, either in themselves or in friends. Lucy is pathetically obsessed with having a baby, and Sam is just pathetic! The story strikes a nice balance between being funny about infertility without making fun of it.

Unfortunately by about halfway through, it's very obvious where the story is going. It's bleeding obvious that (view spoiler). The question of whether it will des
Mar 21, 2014 Domic rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jemimah Halbert
Apr 14, 2016 Jemimah Halbert rated it liked it
*This review contains spoilers!*

I have mixed feelings about this novel. To put it simply: the first half of it is pants-wettngly hilarious - who knew jokes about a person's junk could be so varied and funny without getting old. But about half way through something bad happens and the rest of the novel never recovers the lightness and humour of the first half.

The novel is written in alternating diary entries by the two halves of a married couple: Lucy and Sam. The diary-keeping is suggested by a
Sep 08, 2011 Kathy rated it liked it
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
Sep 05, 2012 James rated it it was amazing
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
May 29, 2014 Jan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 31, 2010 Nick rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
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
Dave Fellows
Jan 28, 2016 Dave Fellows rated it really liked it
4/5 stars. Laugh out loud hilarious in places, whilst in others it was quite emotionally raw. The balance was generally quite good, if veering a little on the desperate side for the female parts. (OK Lucy, we know you want a baby, you don't have to remind us every other page). As the ending unfurled it was making me a little sick, but it turned out just about alright. Couldn't say more without spoilers. Definitely worth reading.
Feb 17, 2010 Stacie rated it really liked it  ·  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
Megan English
Enjoyable as Ben Elton books always are, they are also always very current and because this is 15 years old now maybe that's why I didn't find I was really learning about a big issue while having a laugh like I have with many of his others.
Glynis O'halloran
Sep 21, 2015 Glynis O'halloran rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. It was written in an unusual form, being the journals kept by a couple trying to conceive a baby. It must have been written from experience as the knowledge of such procedures could only be known to those who have undergone it. An enjoyable book with an unusual ending.
Gaynor Torrance
Aug 30, 2014 Gaynor Torrance rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 09, 2015 Seraphiel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This one had me laughing from start to finish. A very entertaining and easy read - no reason for anyone not to pick up this one! The ending was a tad cliched though, but I guess I can live with that.
Mar 17, 2008 Tim rated it liked it  ·  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
Mar 08, 2013 Pvw rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour
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
Apr 06, 2014 Daniel Hulmes rated it really liked it
Shelves: comedy
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.
Aug 15, 2015 Laura marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at!
Jayne Charles
Jul 29, 2011 Jayne Charles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 24, 2014 Gary Soars rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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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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