If you had asked me if I wanted to read a book about the EU referendum, Brexit, British politicians, data hacking, Cambridge Analytica, Harvey Weinstein, the MeToo movement, feminism, gender politics, transphobia, Project Yewtree, internet trolls, social media echo chambers, racial inequality, marginalised social minorities… and Love Island, I’m pretty sure I would have said no.
Reading is a good time to get a break from politics, and there are so many big hitting subjects here, I couldn’t fathom how they could all be written so well within one standard length piece.
Enter Ben Elton.
Identity Crisis is unbelievably good satire on the recent British political landscape and the role that social media, (and its manipulation), plays in sparking social outrage. Ben’s trademark humour is littered throughout this murder mystery that ties all of these threads together. The body count stacks up pretty high but keeps you guessing to the end. There is a great scope of characters, some more thinly disguised than others, (I couldn’t suppress laughter at politicians Bunter Jolly and Plantagenet Greased-Hogg).
I regularly marvelled at how clever Ben is at weaving together all of the different elements in this book. It reminded me of Shakespeare’s famous line from As You Like It, ‘All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players;’ and how Ben has used this to great effect in his storytelling.