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3.48  ·  Rating details ·  5,159 Ratings  ·  191 Reviews
Bruce shoots movies. Wayne and Scout shoot to kill. In a single night they find out the hard way what's real and what's not, who's the hero and who's the villain. The USA watches slack-jawed as Bruce and Wayne together resolve some serious questions. Does Bruce use erection cream? Does art imitate life or does life simply imitate bad art? And most of all, does sugar-pie re ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published 2003 by Black Swan (first published January 1st 1996)
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Dec 30, 2010 rated it liked it
This is your textbook example of a 3 star book. Right between all the good and all the bad books. The story was gripping, the moral dilemmas were interesting, the build-up was well carried out. It worked as a satire on media, violence disguised as art and entertainment and basically our society that doesn't want to take responsibility for anything. There is a whole industry dedicated to finding the culprit for just about anything that goes wrong in your life, and check this - it's never you!

So a
Nov 01, 2009 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 10, 2011 added it
A clever comment on society, but too violent for my taste. I kept waiting to laugh out loud but the violence overshadowed the humour again and again.
Alexandra Pedro
Algo confuso de início mas estou feliz por não ter desistido porque foi melhorando sempre.

Não confiei o suficiente no autor porque não entendo como ele adquiriu os conhecimentos necessários para as suas opiniões tão fortes... Foi por isso que a minha experiência de leitura não foi tão boa como poderia ter sido. Mas vou relê-lo no futuro para tentar retirar o máximo dele, porque acredito que haja muito para retirar.


[EN] Quite confusing at the beginning but I'm glad I didn't gave up bec
Oct 09, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a satirical story that looks at how people are able to shirk all responsibility for their actions by placing the blame on someone or something else. In this case how violence in movies is often blamed for the actions of violent people who watch them. It also deals with how the news channels cover acts of violence and how they pump it into our homes. This is a particularly poignant and reinforcing message about the way that the news has covered the current atrocity of the Las Vagas killin ...more
Denise Lancaster
Apr 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Y... qué se yo. La verdad que no me gustó mucho.
El libro no es malo, pero simplemente no me pareció un gran libro.
El año pasado leí High Society, también de éste autor, y realmente me gustó mucho.
Pero éste libro simplemente no es my cup of tea.
Están buenos los temas que plantea pero tampoco me pareció demasiado original. Ningún personaje me pareció precisamente memorable o agradable. Y odié el final. Qué sé yo. Los finales feos no son lo mío. That's just me.
Lachlan Smith
May 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
This novel, by comedian Ben Elton, was very thought provoking. It looked thoroughly into the topic of violent films, and whether or not they influence violence in the real world. I myself do not think that violence in films is responsible for real violence - I've seen plenty of violence on the TV, and I am not likely to go and start killing people in real life. Elton evidently has the same views, as he portrays his protagonist, a director by the name Bruce Delamitri, as the victims of media and ...more
Simon Taylor
May 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Ben Elton turns the sharp end of his pen towards slasher movies in Popcorn. This darkly comic tale sees the convergence of celebrated movie director Bruce Delamitri and murdering psychopaths Wayne and Scout.

Very much the theme of this novel is society’s aversion to responsibility. Bruce is facing accusations that his violent films breed violent acts, a la Sandy Hook and Batman Begins, which he refutes. Essentially, is TV a reflection or influence on society?

It’s a complex issue and Elton explor
Jan 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
Thought provoking and gripping enough to keep me turning pages, yet not a favourite. I think I enjoyed this book more for the conversation that it will inspire than for enjoyment in the act of reading it - the characters were fairly two-dimensional (apart from Scout, who was quite endearing for a psychopathic killer).

I understand that it's a satire of and a look at the movie industry, but at times the dialogue and scenes were almost TOO derivative. For example, I read everything Wayne Hudson sai
Aug 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
I think I'm actually in some sort of shock at how awesome this book was! I mean sure, the back resume was great, a bunch of killers, a famous Hollywood director about to receive an Oscar and a series of murders inspired it seems from his movies. Sounds great right? Well, it gets even better once you get into the story.

Also, it has some really high-tension moments where I was literally holding my breath and speed reading to see what would happen next and how they would get out of all those trauma
Aug 30, 2009 rated it it was ok
Picked this up on holiday as I finished the book I took away with me. I had never read any Ben Elton and thought I would give him a try. I have mixed feeling and about this book. For the first time in my life I read a book from cover to cover in a week. I could not put it down and took it everywhere we went on holiday so I could sneak a page or tow at every opportunity. However the storyline was un pleasant and struck some kind of nerve with me. The book proclaims to be “laugh out loud funny” bu ...more
May 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
It is definitely one of the DIFFERENT book that I have read by far. Though the whole idea of wriitng this book like a script was apt and also suits the kind of story that revolves in the book but however the coercion of so many things makes it a little dull read.
Brilliant. Superbly entertaining in the same perverse dark humored way as the movies 'Fargo' and 'Pulp Fiction' are. Also chilling because what Elton zoomed his satiric lense on in 1996 is gripping our country in 2016.

The characters drawn are vivid, and while at first seem straight out of central casting, soon most start to surprise you. The amoral mass murders evince surprising intelligence, the pampered teenage daughter a surprising core of strength. Elton keeps the tension taut as the story
Sam Malcolm
Aug 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
It is a very good book which is also very funny. It has a lot of hidden underlying social issues that also makes it a sad book that shows our flawed society. I would definitely recommend reading this book!
Nov 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
An entertaining read. I can't decide whether the epilogue is funny or terrifying!
Jan 28, 2008 rated it liked it
Popcorn (1996) van Ben Elton (Thin Blue Line, Blackadder, The Young Ones, etc). De laaiend enthousiaste quotes in en over het boek hebben het over Popcorn als mengvorm van komedie, thriller en moreel debat, en dat is ook wat Elton beoogd had. Net als de meeste van z’n andere romans gaat het om een satire, en bij momenten tonen de dialogen (want veel verhaal is er eigenlijk niet) Elton op z’n best: absurd en scherp. Samengevat: filmregisseur Bruce Delamitri ontvangt een oscar voor z’n populaire g ...more
Jan 26, 2016 rated it liked it
My actual rating is 2.5 stars.

I’ve read a few of Ben Elton’s previous books (Dead Famous, Chart Throb, Inconceivable) and enjoyed them. I saw this one on sale at a used books shop so grabbed it for some light reading.
It was indeed light – but also very VERY dark; so dark that I found it really disturbing.

(Some spoilers ahead.)

It’s the story of a Hollywood movie director, Bruce, who makes movies about very graphic, very gratuitous violence – perhaps it’s based in part on Quentin Tarantino? – an
Jan 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Bruce Delamitri makes films, films that are just as hated as they are loved for their unnecessary brutal violence. He is a hot topic among parents, especially parents of teens, who all seem to be demand less sex and gore in his films – or preferably, all copies of his movies to be burned, after which he promises to never make another one ever again. Bruce Delamitri, however, relishes in the success of his violent movies; in his opinion, his violent movies are just violent movies.

But the topic b
Feb 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-reads
What do you get if you cross Pumpkin and Honeybunny from Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, Stone's Natural Born Killers, and a man with razor sharp wit with an ability to critically examine certain elements of modern society?

You get Ben Elton's Popcorn, that's what!

Elton has, through the use of masterfully applied satire, raised questions about censorship, violence, the media, and accountability and responsibility. He has shown that nothing is black and white in life and that almost any argument can sou
First of all, I'm wondering where this book has been for 3 years - I picked it up at our meetup at the BookFest, but it certainly didn't look like it had been lying around in Charlotte Square for that amount of time!

Secondly, I stole this review from an Amazon contributor, because it almost exactly mirrored my thoughts:

"This is one of the most balanced books I have ever read. Not only does Popcorn have a genuinely fixating plot with a brilliant storyline, it also has some fantastic humor with dr
Aug 05, 2010 rated it liked it
Bruce Delamitri is an Oliver Stone-esque movie director. His films are bloody, full of sexy murderers and rock soundtracks. As Bruce wins the Oscar for his latest, Ordinary Americans, a real mass-murdering couple, Wayne and Scout, are killing their way across the country. They're copying the murders from Bruce's films as Wayne is a big fan of Bruce's work. Such a fan that they continue their killing spree all the way to Hollywood,break into Bruce's house on Oscar night and wait for him to return ...more
Oct 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a biting satire of Hollywood, in particular, and society, in general. The novel is about this movie director who makes very violent films. Then, one couple decides to imitate in real life the killings portrayed in his movies. They go on a killing spree across California murdering mall-shoppers and convenience store-owners indiscriminately, violently, and pointlessly.

The whole society goes up in protest and blames the director for triggering these murders through the violence in his film
Eve Kay
Jun 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was such pulp. I loved it and am left dumbfounded as I'm writing this that I haven't read any more Elton. Flabbergasted.
As a novel, Popcorn is a little bit confusing. It's like it's this popular culture's easily read quench for everyone's thirst for blood, gruesome murderers and hate. But somehow oddly it's like a deeper look into who we are as people, where our morals lie, what today's society does to us. Like, too deep for the average reader to appreciate.

The storyline is what I enjoyed t
Sep 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: school
Actual rating 2.5

Okay so... for my school's standards this was actually a good book meaning I found it entertaining to read and not like, you know torture. However, I do think that it is too violent. I can take violence and I knew this was gonna have some because of the cover and all but the ending was just too much and repulsed me.
I was going to give this book 3 stars but I had to lower the rating because of the ending.
There were things I enjoyed, though. I loved the Brooke Daniels character (
Mathilde Helsen
Popcorn is an amazing comedy/thriller. I already read it twice and it doesn't get boring, the second time I enjoyed it even more. It's a fast read that keeps you curious until the last sentence. Not only the story but also the way it is written makes the book this readable. The metaphor's and choice of words often made me laugh out loud, which is something that is very rare when I am reading a book. These metaphor's can be very recognizable and true sometimes, it is like the autor is writing dow ...more
Jan 29, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Mia by: Class Reading Assignment
There were a couple of memorable lines in here, but overall the book was difficult to finish. I had to read this for a pop culture class, and I was one of a handful of students who actually completed the assignment. The writing style is a little experimental (i.e. sections are formatted like a screenplay). This added an interesting element to the theme of the book.

Characters, however, were cardboard and simply not interesting. The story dragged and lacked substance for me. Also, it was pretty ob
Jan 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, humor, horror, 2011
I think the fact that in this modern era we're so intimately familiar with Hollywood From Afar that our knowledge becomes more of a distraction than what the story presents. Because the characters are so very close to real people, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out who the inspirations were; unfortunately, this did not seem to detract from the long-winded, repetitive nature of the story and I was able to tune back in when something happened in the scene (audiobook version).

The book didn
Christine Blachford
Feb 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
An extremely famous movie maker wins an Oscar, but his murder films create a pair of copycat killers, so that he gets the blame. The book tells the story of one night in the life of Bruce Delamitri, and whether he can survive his post-Oscar evening.

It’s impossible to like Bruce. He is pompous and full of himself, and a guy that is hard to muster sympathy for. Brooke, his lady-friend, is unnecessarily caught up in the events, and it’s her that I really felt for.

There’s something about Elton’s wri
John Bruni
Apr 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What happens when you take the rules of situation comedy and apply them to a story of ruthless thrill killers? POPCORN is the answer to that question. It is a wonderful piece of satire written about American cinema and media. It's so spot on that it's still accurate today, 20 years after it was published. All of the characters are thoroughly hateable. When the most likeable characters in the book are the people who have killed a lot of people because they could? That's pretty messed up. Everyone ...more
May 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bruce Delamitri, a Hollywood director, makes extremely violent movies but the critics are hell bent on blaming the recent spell of copycat murders on the industry. Bruce is having none of it, that is until he is visited, on the night of the Oscars, by the two Mall Murderers Wayne and Scout. They have a careless off-the-wall air to them and it is clear anyone could be in the firing line at any time – and they are. Ben Elton has a fantastic ability to get a moral argument across in his books – in ...more
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The Unlimited Options of Popcorn Packaging 1 1 Jul 27, 2017 12:41AM  
The movie that immediately popped into my head when I read this... 2 19 Jul 21, 2013 03:16PM  
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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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“Artists don't create society, they reflect it” 12 likes
“So far no one has claimed responsibility.” 2 likes
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