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The Hell of It All

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  2,420 ratings  ·  117 reviews
'Mankind clearly peaked about 40 years ago. It's been downhill ever since. For all this talk of our dazzling modern age, the two biggest advances of the past decade are Wi-Fi and Nando's. That's the best we can do.'

In his latest laugh-out-loud collection of misanthropic scribblings, hideous Q-list celebrity failure Charlie Brooker tackles everything from the misery of nigh
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by Guardian Faber Publishing (first published October 1st 2008)
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4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,420 ratings  ·  117 reviews

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MJ Nicholls
Apr 16, 2011 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
Aug 30, 2012 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
Aug 06, 2015 rated it did not like 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”.
Jul 30, 2010 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
Helen Callaghan
Dec 08, 2009 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
Daniel Sevitt
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essays
I've thoroughly enjoyed all three volumes of Brooker's collected Grauniad columns. I'm sure this isn't the ideal medium, but I have found that in this format they read like molten lava that has cooled enough to harden, but would still melt your Crocs if you were to hike across it on your way to sacrifice a small child to the unforgiving gods of Snark Volcano. Also, he makes me laugh.
Paul Chafer
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Charlie Brooker is a literary genius, a first class wit, a sublime intelligence and so very, very smart. I have yet to find anything of his that I do not like or enjoy, from his writing, to his series of Black Mirror. Give me more Charlie Brooker and I will be a happy man.
Feb 09, 2013 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
Sep 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So the reason this took so long to read (and I was all too aware of the fact it was sat there in my currently reading box) was that it fell down the back of a cupboard and I only re-found it a few weeks ago.

Its great, a series of reprints (with the very occasional updated comment) of articles he wrote in the guardian. I like these books now and again as you can dip in and out of it. You are not following a narrative at all.

More than that it is very pithily and well written it is a book I often c
Sarah  Perry
Jun 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Feb 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humour, non-fiction
I think I just wet my pants. Too funny.
May 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Even a few years after the columns were written (08-09) this collection is still brilliant. Hilariously dry.

--The Hell of it All

Gaming Appendix
Oct 06, 2010 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.
May 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humour
This is the second Book by Charlie Brooker that I’ve read, the first being I Can Make You Hate, which I enjoyed enough to make me read another, a second, the review for which I’m writing now, at this very moment, my fingers pressing keys, keys that represent symbols, symbols that when strung together make words, and words that when arranged into a certain order express thoughts, on this occasion the thoughts that I have about this book, the book that I’ve just finished reading.

The Hell of it Al
Lewis Clark
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
My ex gave me this book 7 years ago as a present because she knew I liked reading Brooker's column on The Guardian's website. I've just finished it. Way to go, me. It's very good. I really like Brooker's writing style; full of sharp wit, bizarre similes and self deprecation. I much prefer the articles he writes on day-to-day life, personal experiences and current events. They're a lot easier to relate to and draw humour from. The issue I have with it is it occasionally drops back into Screen Bur ...more
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Because I'm a miserable old git (and probably a bit of a misanthrope at my darkest... like Charlton himself) I don't tend to laugh out loud when reading.
This will sound like a cliche but I picked up this book, started reading and really, honestly, truly, laughed out loud very quickly and then often.
I loved this book and will use some of Brooker's more cutting quotes in my own battle with humanity from now on.

Immediately on finishing this book I rushed out and bought "I can make you hate".

Stephanie :}
Jan 19, 2019 rated it liked it
A lot of the articles assembled in this book are rants about British reality shows from 10 years ago which I have never heard of nor have any interest in. That's not the author's fault, of course - I gather that's a large part of his particular career, and those articles are probably entertaining to the people who know what he's talking about. I will say that the other articles that aren't about dated pop culture are usually funny and often insightful.
Michael E.  Jr.
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Before he was known as the creator of the television program "Black Mirror," Charlie Brooker had a career as a newspaper columnist for the Guardian in Great Britain. I miss Brooker's writing on television to current events despite the fact that he has become an even bigger success. Thoughtful, cutting and hilarious.
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yeah. It was ok..

Funny in parts. Dragged out in others. I found myself dipping in and out, here and there. There's no denying Brooker is a gifted writer, but the content being from ten years back was a bit dull.
Dec 26, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Just a fucking shitpot of half baked essays by some sarky miserable middle class white bloke having a midlife crisis with an ego the size of the house.
Mar 05, 2014 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
Sam Quixote
Jul 31, 2011 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
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Mildly amusing.
James Perkins
Apr 13, 2013 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
Aug 31, 2013 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
Sep 21, 2011 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
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
Nov 26, 2011 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
Sally George
Sep 22, 2012 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
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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
“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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