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The Hell of It All

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  2,634 ratings  ·  129 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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Average rating 4.02  · 
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 ·  2,634 ratings  ·  129 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. ...more
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
Jul 23, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hilarious, in true Brooker form - and I probably would have found it more so had I known all the references, but I missed a lot of his pop-culture jokes. The passage of time, too, has this book showing its age, and it's outright uncomfortable knowing where he was then compared to where we are now. ...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
Jun 07, 2011 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
Feb 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, humour
I think I just wet my pants. Too funny.
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.
E. G.

--The Hell of it All

Gaming Appendix
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.
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
Aug 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Collection of pieces for The Guardian. Booker has a very distinctive voice, very entertaining in the right doses. So I read a couple of columns at a time. He spouts several movie/TV ideas, many more outlandish than what he later made in Black Mirror.

Columns are often dated (2007-2009), so who won Big Brother or The Apprentice then is now less interesting. I did get a couple of good recommendations for programs that are (partly) available on YouTube: Inside Nature's Giants (dissecting big animals
Adam Cook
Conflicted. Brooker is a comedic genius (actually, considering how good Black Mirror is, maybe it's better to call him a plain ol' Genius). Most of the book is funny. Some of it took my breath away, it was so funny. But the parts that didn't are the problem.

I'm not say that the jokes are hit and miss. I'm saying that they are hit and question mark. Being a collection of news stories from over ten years ago, it means that this book is very much of its time. Jokes about Big Brother contestants ar
James Taylor
May 30, 2021 rated it liked it
This book contains a collection of columns that Charlie Brooker had written for the Guardian between 2007 and 2009.

The majority is talking about TV shows, often reality TV like 'I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!', 'Big Brother' and 'X-Factor'. There’s the occasional piece on politics such as Boris Johnson running for London Mayor.

His writing style matches the dialogue from his TV shows, so if you have seen the likes of Screen Wipe/Yearly Wipe, then you will be familiar with his sarcastic style
Oct 31, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
A collection of Brooker's articles for The Guardian between 2007 and 2009. Some of the material is a little dated now, however I found the following takes interesting in October 2020:

• GW Bush - this president is allergic to facts!
• Norovirus sweeping the nation, wash your hands!
• LOL imagine if Boris was Mayor of London
• Trump is a bit rubbish on that US Apprentice
• Have you heard of this new music app Spotify?
• Review of a Spanish Flu drama-documentary... stay away from this show if you're pu
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".

Dawn Quixote
Jan 09, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"A genius of spleen" shouts the Independent on the front cover and indeed Brooker is. Unapologetically opinionated he doesn't care if you agree with him, or even want to read what he says, the mere writing of these columns appears cathartic (until the next Big Brother/Apprentice contestant makes him rage himself into a puddle of spit).
Reading this in 2021/2022 it actually made me nostalgic, Aww remember pre-Trump (who makes a blink-and-you'll-miss-it-cameo), before Brexit and when swine flu had
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. ...more
Becca Housden
Jun 27, 2020 rated it it was ok
I think a key problem for me reading this book was the fact that all the columns were over 10 years old, and I was too young at the time to have been aware of half of the tv shows, and some of the current events, he was talking about. As a result, I just couldn’t ‘get’ a lot of this book.
I also found the rage and dismay a little much - I do enjoy Charlie Brooker’s recent TV shows, but overall this book, apart from a few individual highlights, just didn’t interest me at all.
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.
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I wanted to rate it lower, because it's just a collection of pissing columns written for the guardian 9 or 10 years ago, but they're written by Charlie Brooker so they're still mostly hilarious (and usually bleak). I didn't know the word "bum" could be rendered so funny. ...more
Jul 21, 2020 rated it liked it
I love Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror series so thought I would enjoy this. Though I thought that it was funny in places, overall I found it difficult to read. It took me over 2 weeks to finish and I had to really work at it.
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.
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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

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Science fiction and fantasy are the go-to genres for writers—and readers!—who like to explore the wilder borderlands of contemporary fiction....
107 likes · 32 comments
“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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