Popcorn by Ben Elton


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 really love his honeybun?

Details Popcorn

Release DateMar 31st, 2020
PublisherBlack Swan
GenreFiction, Humor, Comedy, Contemporary

Reviews Popcorn

  • Kinga
    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 ...
  • Yasmin
    An absolutely fantastic read. This book is an amazing achievement. It has it all- it's funny, witty, thrilling and a brilliant page turner, while simultaneously honing in with laser precision upon the issue of whether watching violent films begets real life murder and violence.This solemn issue is right at the core of the narrative, and yet the book has a lightness of tone that keeps you turning the pages.It's an astounding work of satire- deserv...
  • Bettie
    Dear P has to read this for school - he has read the first chapter and is not impressed at all. It does seem a rather obscure choice. So I am reading it for him...On the morning after the night it happened, Bruce Delamitri was sitting in a police interview room.Characters:Bruce Delamitri - Hollywood golden boyFarrah Delamitri - spouse, model, rock singer and now corpse.Girl and boy Mall KillersErrol and Mr. Snuff - actor gangsters (again - think ...
  • Seth Austin
    Access: Gifted (Harry Harthog)Picked this one up and polished it off after a two-week reading hiatus due to a veritable clusterfuck of uni work. My brain is firing at best, a quarter neuron right now, so any attempt at sophisticated literary critique will be a meagre one. This one fires on damn near every cylinder for me. Heavy pop culture references, dark comedy overtones, social satire, erection cream - what else could a guy want? Ben Elton's t...
  • James
    Written around the time of Natural Born Killers and the rise of Quentin Tarantino, this is a blatant satire on the themes that NBK evoked at the time. Unfortunately, it hasn't aged well at all: I didn't laugh once and the bits that were clearly satire come off as lazy. This is not fair: I'm sure the book was fresh and a riot back in the late 90s. But now it feels like a slapdash effort, akin to Elton's Meltdown, based on the 2009 economic crisis....
  • Malcolm Cox
    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 co...
  • Jane
    Satire & suspense. Director Bruce Delamitri, whose movies make killing cool, thinks the night he wins the Best Director Oscar will be the best night of his life. Things quickly change when he & Brooke (the nude model/actress he picked up at the after party) are taken hostage in his home by Wayne & Scout, the Mall Murderers. Funny & enjoyable. (I found this author because he was included in a list of writers that Christopher Moore said had influen...
  • Rachel Marie
    This was a very enjoyable read. Overall quite entertaining, would recommend to those who enjoy thrillers/murder mysteries. Even if there is no mystery to who committed the murders. Also, I suspect the director of the Black Mirror episode "The National Anthem" read this book once upon a time...
  • Vania Llewell
    Clever but I felt the end was rushed and needed more of an epilogue to tie up the loose ends
  • Lachlan Smith
    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 ...
  • Simon Taylor
    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 societys 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...
  • Dannii2601
    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 derivativ...
  • Ana
    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 n...
  • Ken
    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. ...
  • Thomas Strömquist
    "Oscars night and the winning director of ulta-violent movies gets his home invaded by a couple of ultra-violent killers that he's more or less accused of creating (even by the killers themselves, at least since they think they can benefit from it). Echoes strongly of "Naturral Born Killers" and "Kalifornia" and the hostage situation of Elton's own "Blast from the Past". Smart, well written (as always) and very successful use of differing time li...
  • Caroline
    Brilliantly written as always. Un-put-downable. But I found the general cynicism, and my intense dislike of all the characters, just too much to stomach. I need a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.
  • Marjorie
    The whole backbone of the book is the discussion of whether violence in movies propogates violence in real life. In Popcorn [1996] Ben Elton tries to juxtapose an Oscar winning Director's violent movie with the actions of a modern day Bonnie and Clyde who are terrorising the country.The real problem I have with it are twofold:1. The two plot lines are all a bit Pulp Fiction [1992] meets Reservoir Dogs [1994], but just the violent bits; there's no...
  • Theresa
    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 st...
  • Arik Kershenbaum
    I'm not a great fan of Ben Elton's puerile style. Despite that, I was pleasantly surprised. This is a jarring and slightly disturbing novel. OK, Hollywood violence is a bit of a slow target - easy to poke fun at, and an easy victim of Elton's slapstick. But there's somewhat more to this book that just a Brit laughing at American absurdity. The story is of Bruce, an Oscar winning Hollywood director who makes gruesomely violent movies - which also ...
  • Jason Damman
    Ive read this book twice now and enjoyed it the second time around as much as the first. I love Eltons dark humour and enjoy all of his books. Violence, sex, Hollywood and the glitz and glamour of the oscars all intertwine with the question of does movie violence influence those to commit crimes of murder and violence in real life?This was the first Ben Elton book I ever read and will be going through my Ben Elton collection to read them all agai...
  • Baba
    Another innovative satire by Elton looking at modern culture, especially audio visuals and if / or how it impacts on the very people it demonises? Mass murderers confront an Oscar winning director who creates popular films about murdering sprees. What starts off as a cliche ridden story evolves into something far more. A very good read! Worthy 8 out of 12, just for the thought provoking issues it raises. Another innovative satire by Elton… lo...
  • Julie
    What a strange book! I picked it up at a book fair, curious to know what Ben Elton is like as an author.To be fair, there is wry humour to this tale, and it is a damning indictment of Hollywood and Americans in general.I finished it to see what happened so it kept my attention, but I am annoyed at myself for reading it.
  • Helen
    Surprised by the violence written about in this book but that wasnt the real intent or message of the author. Its not a bad read and it makes you question who really is at fault. Is it society? Individuals? Or media when it comes to violence on television. Surprised by the violence written about in this book but that wasn’t the real intent or message of the author. It’s not a bad read and it makes you question who really is at fault. Is it ...
  • Sam Malcolm
    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!
  • Jade Jones
    I liked the writing style more than the actual story, flew through this in one sitting due to its simplicity
  • Paula
    This was fun. Gripping and just the kind of book I needed to get out of my book slump. Interesting moral dilemma, too. Thanks to my English teacher who gave it to me.
  • Tara
    I know this book was pulp. I loved it anyway.