Book Reviews

High Society by Ben Elton

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List Price: £8.99

 

Paperback: 384 Pages.

Published: 01 July 2003 by Black Swan

Edition: New Ed

ISBN: 0552999954

EAN: 9780552999953

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The war on drugs has been lost but for want of the courage to face the fact that the whole world is rapidly becoming one vast criminal network. From pop stars and princes to crack whores and street kids. From the Groucho Club toilets to the poppy fields of Afghanistan, we are all partners in crime.

HIGH SOCIETY is a story or rather a collection of interconnected stories that takes the reader on a hilarious, heart breaking and terrifying journey through the kaleidoscope world that the law has created and from which the law offers no protection.

Reviews

2.0 Stars2.0 Stars  by Anne

Not sure what exactly the author was trying to say

This is a story about the damage inflicted by drugs and the criminal elements which control the market. It is told in a series of stories, interwoven with each other. Each strand has a different narrative voice - a drug-taking prostitute, an MP seeking to decriminalise drug-taking, a pop star hooked on drugs and behaving badly, etc. The story switches rapidly between the characters and links the stories together. The structure of the book is clever, each character has their own voice, but there is a lot of foul language which I did find over the top in places.

Other reviews of this book say that it is very funny. I didn't find it remotely amusing. Each character finds their life and those of their family totally destroyed by drugs and the drug culture. I thought that it was a book which showed clearly the destructive power of illegal drugs and held out little redemptive hope for any of its characters. Characters end up in prison, divorced, commiting suicide, raped and pimped out because of the drug culture. I actually found the book quite depressing.

I wasn't quite sure what the book was trying to say. One of the main characters is trying to decriminalise drugs but is defeated by his own weaknesses. I couldn't work out if Ben Elton thought that drugs should be decriminalised or not. I didn't think that the message of the book (apart from the fact that drugs are destructive) was clear.

This is not an edifying nor a particularly entertaining read. I didn't think that the author provided any answers to the problems he clearly outlines in the book. I have read other books by this author which I have enjoyed very much but I did not enjoy this one.

 
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