Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Dead Famous - Ben Elton

Title: Dead Famous
Author: Ben Elton

This book is based on House Arrest, a fictional Big Brother-type reality television programme, where ten people are forced to live together, with the prospect of the last person to survive the evictions winning half a million dollars. The need to survive becomes a lot more real when one of the contestants is brutally murdered. To be honest, I was a little worried that I wouldn't like this book just because I have never enjoyed or been interested in reality television shows like this, but I found that this book highlighted all of the problems that I have with this genre of entertainment so I actually ended up enjoying it quite a lot, and it has actually got me out of my reading slump!

The plot on the whole was very intriguing because it was a very mysterious 'whodunnit' that was only obvious right at the end, so the suspense was built up throughout the whole book. Even when it came to who actually got murdered, this was revealed quite far into the book. This gave the reader time to connect with some of the characters and almost establish their favourite contestant before killing one of them off. Also, the order of the chapters that are specific days in the house, are jumbled, meaning that the police in the story sometimes know less than you know as a reader. This almost makes the reader feel as though they are investigating the murder too.

I really liked some of the characters in this book but I also disliked some of them too. I think that this is mostly because of the way that the contestants are manipulated by Peeping Tom, the television company, and the influence that this has on the reader.

The writing style was very simple yet witty and easily drew me in. I managed to finish this book in one sitting because of the way it was laid out and the length of the chapters. 

Overall I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars as it was really well-written and I liked the plot, but there was something missing for me the whole way through; maybe it was because I didn't like some of the characters, but there was always a very uneasy feeling throughout this novel.

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