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The Hell of It All

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,880 Ratings  ·  101 Reviews
A collection of misanthropic scribblings that tackles the issues ranging from the misery of nightclubs to the death of Michael Jackson, making room for Sir Alan Sugar, potato crisps, global financial meltdown, conspiracy theories and Hole in the Wall along the way.
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by Faber & Faber
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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MJ Nicholls
Apr 16, 2011 MJ Nicholls rated it it was amazing
I don’t own a TV, and consequently have become that smug gloater at parties who stands there pooh-poohing all forms of boxed entertainment in favour of books. The Wire, you say? Oh, very impressive I’m sure, but have you read Sorrentino’s Aberration of Starlight? Big Brother is the bane of civilisation, you say? Well, you’ve only got yourself to blame, sitting there in your pants at 3AM watching Joncey tongue a carrot. Have you read any Gert Jonke? Don’t: he’s soo tiresome.

As TV critic for The G
Anthony Ryan
Nov 15, 2014 Anthony Ryan rated it really liked it
A collection of Charlie Brooker's Guardian columns from 2007 when his misanthropic rage was at peak boil. Brooker turns his splenetic eye on seemingly every aspect of modern culture, from the soul-sapping inanity of reality television to the empty platitudes of the media-trained political class. Brooker's abrasive critique is often hilarious and also enlightening as to the varied inspirations behind his wonderfully nightmarish TV series Black Mirror. Recommended for anyone who ever threw somethi ...more
Sep 07, 2015 Negin rated it liked it
Shelves: humour
I love Charlie Brooker. This book wasn’t as relevant and funny as his others. I couldn’t fully relate to much of the pop culture in the U.K, since I no longer live there, never mind the fact that the book was slightly dated. It was enjoyable, but not as good as his other book, “I Can Make You Hate”.
Aug 11, 2010 Godzilla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charlie brooker's books can be a difficult read, as it a relentless stream of invective and brutal summarising of how crap the world we live in is.

However the writing is superb and his dark humour has some genuine laugh out loud moments.

It's one of those books that will infuriate anyone else in the room with you whilst you read it. I found myself making involuntary remarks, sniggers and guffaws. This is irritating for anyone around you, and you certainly can't explain to your kids why you're lau
Mar 07, 2013 Tonielle rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned
This book is tricky. It probably deserves at least a 3 star, but despite the hilarious truths and times I laughed so hard I cried, I still couldn't finish it. If I owned a copy I would have finished it and while I love the hundreds of pages of pure sarcasm, I found that it could only be read in small increments and I was infinitely scanning over paragraphs about 'I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!', 'Big Brother' and 'X-Factor'. If you are into reality/trash TV and fake celebrity culture then t ...more
Helen Callaghan
Dec 22, 2009 Helen Callaghan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humour
Merry Christmas to me! I'm celebrating mine by being laid off from work, waxing too footsore to get any walking in, and indulging in seasonally-affected melancholia with only a hamster and a teapot for company. In short, I'm in the best possible psychological place to appreciate The Hell Of It All by Charlie Brooker, which I should have reviewed on Friday but didn't because I chose to sit around in my dressing gown and snarl bitterly at the computer instead.*

I would have snarled bitterly at the
Sarah  Perry
Jun 21, 2011 Sarah Perry rated it really liked it
I laughed loudly, in public. People nearby must have thought I was a bit demented. But Brooker's a funny bastard.
I'd like to insert a coin into him for a personalized misanthropic rant every time I get crankyhearted. Topics I would request: cancer, landlords, pet people, coffee sippers, men getting waxed, buskers, Australia... I enjoyed the part about nightclubs, spiders, The Apprentice, relationship failures.. I don't care about his video game preferences and skipped through some of those parts
Jun 07, 2014 Oscar rated it it was amazing
Even a few years after the columns were written (08-09) this collection is still brilliant. Hilariously dry.
Nov 06, 2014 Brittany rated it really liked it
I have always enjoyed Charlie Brooker on television, especially "You Have Been Watching", and his yearly wipes are basically my only window to what is going on in the Western World.
This book is a collection of his newspaper columns up until 2009- so reading it now feels funnily nostalgic as you look back on what bastards people were, what was airing, what was huge at the time that is only a blip now.
Brooker has a gift for words that makes you wish you could turn your negativity into something
Oct 08, 2010 Sarbjit rated it really liked it
Charlie Brooker truly has acerbic eyes, two to of them, that make him write funny and acerbic things that are as funny as they are acerbic. Yay.
Jan 04, 2015 Edward rated it liked it

--The Hell of it All

Gaming Appendix
Feb 28, 2010 Jo rated it really liked it
Shelves: humour, non-fiction
I think I just wet my pants. Too funny.
May 26, 2014 Graceann rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: UK Trend Watchers
Shelves: essays, humor
Charlie Brooker is not only one of my favorite columnists/humorists/satirists; he's one of my favorite people. He is merciless and sometimes mean, but he uses his meanness to point out the ugly behavior in others. When he sees and finds kindness, he returns it in equal measure - it's just that he doesn't see it that often.

This book contains a selection of columns he wrote for The Guardian, PC Zone and a few other publications between 2005 and 2009. He talks about everything from the Big Brother
Apr 25, 2014 Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The Hell of it All is a mildly edited collection of articles written by Charlie Brooker for the Guardian newspaper. Since it's just a continuation of his earlier collection Dawn of the Dumb I've decided to produce a mildly edited collection of articles of my own. By which I mean I'm just going to copy and paste my review of that other book and delete anything that doesn't apply.


When I left home to start University there were many things I missed. But the combined heartache of all these things
Steve Barfield
I would have given this a 3 1/2 as it's better than a 3 but not quite good enough to earn a 4...but 1/2 stars aren't allowed so I'm rounding down. This collection of Brooker's doom-ladened rants from his regular Guardian column are, for the most part, highly entertaining and humorous (sometimes laugh out loud humorous) but there are times when his writing swerves across the line from being satirical, ironic and sarcastic to the blatantly offensive for no point whatsoever (in fact, there was a wh ...more
Dec 26, 2011 Karen rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, non-fiction
OK, so you wake up one morning with the absolute stinkingest of stinking colds AND your period. What do you do? A) Get up, take two paracetamol and try to struggle through the rest of the day without killing your family? Or, B) Get up, get two paracetamol and an extra duvet, go back to bed and snuggle up with Charlie Brooker (well, his book, anyway) for the remainder of the weekend? Hmm, not exactly Sophie's Choice, is it?

He truly is the most perfect companion to feeling crap, and his latest is
James Perkins
Apr 13, 2013 James Perkins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first became familiar with Charlie Brooker when I accidentally stumbled upon online clips from his Screen Wipe programme, harshly criticizing today's television in an hilarious, acerbic manner. As I don't read The Guardian except on aeroplanes, I was not aware he had a regular column there as well; this book is a collection of his columns from 2007 to 2009. His humour is biting and outlandish, and hits the nail on the head nearly every time. He even makes a few self-deprecating comments, mostl ...more
Sam Quixote
Sep 20, 2011 Sam Quixote rated it it was amazing
"The Hell of It All" continues where "Dawn of the Dumb" left off, collecting Brooker's columns in the Guardian from Aug 07 to Aug 09. The chapters are divided between his Screen Burn columns where he talks about tv shows, and his G2 columns where he talks about other stuff. I love Brooker's work especially his writing but always forget his columns are up on the Guardian website each week so seeing a 388 page book appear is always a surprise and a pleasure as I know I've got 2 years of Brooker's ...more
Oct 04, 2012 Aoife rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't say much about this book except that it was very much what I expected. One half of it are his Guardian-columns in which he comments on everything: from politics to current events and his fear of spiders and they are hillarious (OK, a couple feel a bit forced/dull/make me wonder why on earth I should care about this topic but the majority had me grinning madly or even chocking with laughter). The other half are his screenburn columns and that's where non-UK-based readers might run into so ...more
Sally George
Feb 14, 2013 Sally George rated it did not like it
This was one of my father's books and as I quite like other Guardian columnists, I thought I might like this writer. Well, the bile, crudity and general sense of doom, wasn't for me but then it will suit those who rave about his books. I only got a quarter of the way through because I couldn't find a good or positive word about anyone or anything just slagging off celebrities and anything else on t.v. I gave up watching t.v. years ago, but Charlie Brooker is paid to watch it. There is lots of "t ...more
Kyle Reid
Admittedly, as a long term Charlie Brooker fan I had read pretty much all of this collection of his columns beforehand. However, Charlie's misanthropic ramblings are just as hilarious second time round.

The only problem with it is some of the more topical columns have not aged well. Whilst any of Brooker's barbs directed towards politicians or any public figure of genuine or relative importance are sharp as ever, the ritual slaggings of Big Brother and I'm a "Celebrity"... contestants lose their
Gerry Watt
Jul 17, 2014 Gerry Watt rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
Brooker, the self-proclaimed "professional underwhelmist", is funny and thought-provoking in small doses. However, reading a collection of columns in one go just buries you under a sea of cynicism. By halfway through you've realised that nothing is true and everything is shit.
Putting all this work together also gives away that he repeats his tricks of reducing arguments to absurdity or taking extreme silliness to sillier extremes way too often.

I still like him, mind, and he's still funny. I'll
Dec 07, 2012 Chris rated it liked it
Found it at Bargain Books near Kings Cross for 2 and couldn't say "no"; basically a big collections of all his Guardian columns from mid-2007 to mid-2009. Very entertaining individually, but shouldn't be read in a single sitting - read a few, come back in a few hours, read a few more columns. All of which, I was to learn, are available online for free, at the Guardian website. Here's one of the better ones:

As the majority of these columns are reviews of t
Bob Fingerman
Jan 08, 2010 Bob Fingerman rated it it was amazing
Charlie Brooker is my hero. Or at least one of them. In addition to having written maybe the finest zombie movie (well, TV series) ever, Dead Set, as well as Nathan Barley, his collaboration with Chris Morris (another hero), and his scathingly, achingly entertaining series Screenwipe, his column for The Guardian is essential reading. This, the third collection of his columns, is fantastic. No one can coin a venomously witty phrase like Brooker. But underlying his misanthropy is palpable warmth a ...more
Apr 08, 2012 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charlie Brooker is a personal inspiration of mine, so I was bound to have some form of bias coming into this review. However, while this book (a compilation of his various ramblings and rantings published in the Guardian) is still brilliantly acerbic, frequently hilarious and deliciously dark and twisted, the columns and critiques here aren't always quite as good as his earlier work, as seen in Dawn of the Dumb or Screen Burn. That isn't to say that this isn't a good read (as you can tell by my ...more
Jul 25, 2014 Grace rated it liked it
I love Charlie Brooker. His writing hilarious and thought-provoking, but his books are in a difficult format. Pretty much all of the articles are about current events and lack context when put into a book and read years later. Also, not being in the UK when these stories came to public notice added to my confusion, but I'm not blaming Charlie for that.
Kai Schreiber
Mar 11, 2014 Kai Schreiber rated it liked it
A funny man, with all the right interests and sensibilities (or lack thereof, more like), but the constant noise and aggression don't always fully work. They're funny though, when they do, and I particularly liked witnessing Brooker become the man who made Black Mirror (there is several raw ideas for what later turned into episodes in these columns).
Sep 08, 2014 Lysergius rated it really liked it
Shelves: essays
A varied collection of pieces by TV critic Charlie Brooker covering a variety of topics. Contains some real gems. I found my self laughing aloud aat some of his turns of phrase. Great light relief but with some sombre moments.
Feb 09, 2011 Michael rated it really liked it
This is a collection of Brooker's columns (primarily his Guardian columns, from what I could tell). I first read Brooker on the Guardian website, and thought he was funny, so I tracked down a copy of this book after quite a bit of searching (it hasn't been published here in the U.S.).

Since it's a book of columns, it wasn't something I read straight through, instead reading a few here and there while I took breaks from other books. But Brooker is definitely an enjoyable writer. He's caustic to be
Jan 11, 2010 Roxanne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2010, five-stars
The book is made up of the recent articles from the Guardian which Brooker writes for. I luff Brooker, his style of comedy is just dry and sarcastic as hell and it really works. If you're a fan of Brooker or his tv shows screen wipe/news wipe/ any other wipe/ then get this book, it might be a bit repetive if you buy the guardian and have already read the articles, but apparently Brooker throws in some ones you haven't seen before, and puts the un censored versions in too. I don't know because i ...more
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Charlton "Charlie" Brooker is a British journalist, comic writer and broadcaster. His style of humour is savage and profane, with surreal elements and a consistent satirical pessimism.

He presents TV shows Screenwipe, Gameswipe and Newswipe, wrote a review column for The Guardian newspaper, and is one of four creative directors of comedy production company Zeppotron.

His five-part horror drama Dea
More about Charlie Brooker...

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“There's a characteristically brilliant Peanuts strip which opens with Linus sitting on the living-room floor, anxiously clutching his mouth. Lucy enters and asks what's wrong. "I'm aware of my tongue," he explains. "It's an awful feeling! Every now and then I become aware that I have a tongue inside my mouth, and then it starts to feel lumped up... I cant's help it... I can't put it out of my mind... I keep thinking about where my tongue would be if I weren't thinking about it, and then I can feel it sort of pressing against my teeth."

Loudly declaring this the dumbest thing she's ever heard, Lucy scowls away. But a few steps down the corridor, she stops dead in her tracks. She clutches her own mouth. Suddenly she's aware of her tongue too. She runs back and chases him round the room, shouting, "You blockhead!" with her gigantic booming gob.

Occasionally, late at night, while I'm trying to sleep and failing, I experience someting similar - except instead of being aware of my tongue, I'm aware of my entire body, the entire world, and the whole of reality itself. It's like waking from a dream, or a light going on, or a giant "YOU ARE HERE" sign appearing in the sky. The mere fact that I'm actually real and actually breathing suddenly hits me in the head with a thwack. It leaves me giddy. It causes a brief surge of clammy, bubbling anxiety, like the opening stages of a panic attack. The moment soon passes, but while it lasts it's strangely terrifying.”
“Actually, perhaps they're just trying to remind themselves where they are. After all, sitting there with Jeremy [Kyle] and his iridescent pupils glistening before them, confronted by a studio audience so ugly they'd make John Merrick spew down the inside of his face-bag, the poor sods could be forgiven for forgetting they were on national television and starting to believe they were somewhere in the bowels of hell instead.” 1 likes
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