Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Hell of it All by Charlie Brooker

The Hell of it All (edition 2008)

by Charlie Brooker

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
268642,397 (3.93)6
Title:The Hell of it All
Authors:Charlie Brooker
Info:Faber & Faber (2008), Hardcover, 416 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Hell of It All by Charlie Brooker



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 6 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
More of the same from Charlie Brooker - columns from 2007-2009. Quite enjoyed reading it a few years later and being reminded of the news both serious and trivial at the time in his inimitable style. ( )
  AlisonSakai | Aug 4, 2013 |
Merry Christmas to me! I'm celebrating mine by being laid off from work, waxing too footsore to get any walking in, and indulging in seasonally-affected melancholia with only a hamster and a teapot for company. In short, I'm in the best possible psychological place to appreciate The Hell Of It All by Charlie Brooker, which I should have reviewed on Friday but didn't because I chose to sit around in my dressing gown and snarl bitterly at the computer instead.*

I would have snarled bitterly at the TV, but happily, since I watch Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe on YouTube, I don't have to. He demonstrates convincingly that it's every bit as shit as you suspected, so you can move on with your life. He's been performing this service since the late nineties. His website TV Go Home was a wonderfully surreal mock-up of the Radio Times, featuring shows such as Grief Digestion Theatre (where actors are told that a close relative has died suddenly 18 seconds before they're due on stage), hallucinogenic synopses of Neighbours where "Toadfish rows a boat made of Disprin across a sea of piss", and ultimately, and most memorably, Cunt, where Nathan Barley, worthless twenty something trustafarian media wannabee, is described in terms of such toe-curling contempt and spleen it can induce spontaneous eye-bleeding ("Nathan Barley visits an overpriced Soho shitstack to waste £350 on a selection of ironic Christmas gifts...and a Japanese digital camera that prints photographs on marzipan-scented recycled fucking toilet paper").

And Cunt is where we get off, because the rage engine that powered such eviscerating loathing for the smug meedja luvvie is the same one powering his column. Media itself is not so much reviewed as the series of lazy assumptions behind it (Heat magazine is described as the "tittering idiot's lunchbreak reading of choice" while it invites readers to make fun of Jordan's disabled son, the convenient appearance of sob story backgrounds from unlikeable Apprentice candidates is critiqued, the double barrelled titillation/empowerment nonsense of shows like "Credit Crunch Monty" where ordinary members of the public are stripped and reduced to tears to give them "confidence" is heaped with scorn).

Underneath it all though, there is a sense of unpleasant realisation. Someone, somewhere, is making this stuff and putting it out, and thinks that this is interesting to you. That they're taking you in. That they know who you are, that they've got your number. And the reflections are all distorted and insulting, a kind of Hall of Mirrors of calumny. This is the thing that you suspect makes Charlie Brooker angry, and before very long, you're pretty fucking angry yourself.

The book itself is a compilation of Brooker's column in the Guardian, so obviously it has no particular ongoing theme other than the fact that everything in the universe is rubbish, but especially the media, politicians, relationships, and himself. Oh, and spiders. Or so he'd have you believe, except that every so often he will write lyrically about the legacy of Oliver Postgate (voicer and co-creator of Bagpuss and The Clangers), or on the TV dissection of elephants, or Heston Blumenthal's Feast, and you realise that things aren't hated on principle, just when they're shit. Which is, unfortunately, fairly often.

But the best thing about it is the relentlessly sharp and vicious word portraits drawn in a single sentence: Alan Sugar "used to look like a water buffalo straining to shit into a lake", Richard Dawkins is "god-hating Professor Yaffle impersonator", William Hague a "cheery dot-eyed cueball". Every article is a delight, containing some new phrase or surreal idea - something to love even while it spears the thing it describes in a display of audacious cruelty.

And the index is a thing of beauty. Be sure to look up the phrase "might as well..." in it.

It may be Hell. But it is also passionate and enormous fun.
( )
2 vote Helen.Callaghan | Apr 2, 2013 |
A collection of previously-emitted writings, almost all of them rather funny. ( )
  gbsallery | Jun 10, 2012 |
It seems things have only got worse since I decided that just about anything was a better use of time than watching tv and gave it up. This collection of columns from the Guardian pokes the disgusting mess with a verbal stick in a way I find highly entertaining in the sort of small doses a newspaper column delivers. Four rather than five stars as occasionally Brooker can be as unsavoury as the medium he's having such fun skewering. ( )
  awssu | Nov 13, 2010 |
Mildly amusing. ( )
  sloopjonb | Jul 23, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Hello, reader, and welcome to another collection of scrawled gibberish, scraped from the pages of the Guardian and fashioned into the unassuming paper brick you currently hold in your hands.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0571229573, Hardcover)

'Mankind clearly peaked about 40 years ago. It's been downhill ever since. For all this talk of our dazzling modern age, the two biggest advances of the past decade are Wi-Fi and Nando's. That's the best we can do'. In his latest laugh-out-loud collection of misanthropic scribblings, hideous Q-list celebrity failure Charlie Brooker tackles everything from the misery of nightclubs to the death of Michael Jackson, making room for Sir Alan Sugar, potato crisps, global financial meltdown, conspiracy theories and Hole in the Wall along the way. The collapse of civilisation has never felt this funny (unless you're a sociopath, in which case it's been an uninterrupted laugh riot since the days of the Somme). This book is guaranteed to brighten your life, put a spring in your step, and lie to you on its back cover.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:39 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

No longer confining his attentions to the media, here one of Britain's most hilarious and vitriolic satirists, Charlie Brooker, takes us on an outrageous journey through all the many reasons he thinks contemporary life sucks. No target is too precious, nothing is sacred and no joke is off limits. Originally published: 2009.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
6 avail.
43 wanted

Popular covers


Average: (3.93)
2 2
2.5 1
3 13
3.5 4
4 27
4.5 6
5 13

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 115,156,671 books! | Top bar: Always visible