Tania's Reviews > Blast from the Past

Blast from the Past by Ben Elton
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Aug 17, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: fiction
Recommended for: Ben Elton fans who want to read all his work
Read in November, 2003

I wanted to love this book; I truly did. I fell in love with Elton's humor and political satire when I read Stark years ago. This book doesn't measure up. The pacing was great, and I confess there were times I had trouble putting the book down. I did find parts quite amusing, and, as a political junkie, I enjoyed the debate.

The problem I had was two-fold. First, I didn't think the story had enough depth. I found it frustrating that on one hand Elton seemed to be trying to tell a serious story about these two people who loved each other, but couldn't find a way to bridge the gap between their two vastly different worlds, and on the other hand, he was just doing a broad satire of left wing vs right wing politics, with a stereotypical stalker thrown in for good measure. He didn't give the characters enough depth to make me fully care about the love story, so why did he bother with all those flashbacks? Yet, in giving me the background, he seemed to almost want me to care about the characters - he just didn't give me enough to allow me to buy in. Also, I saw the ending coming a mile away. Elton is capable of better than that. In general, I don't think there was enough to the story to make a full length book - this would've worked alot better as a short story.

I know it sounds like I'm being harsh, and I probably am. I did enjoy the book, it just wasn't memorable, and it wasn't up to the standards I've come to have for a novelist the calibre of Ben Elton. Elton can do better, so I would not start with this book. My favorite Elton novels are Stark, and Chart Throb.
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