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Popcorn by Ben Elton

Popcorn (original 1996; edition 1997)

by Ben Elton

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,1042014,174 (3.22)23
"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?"… (more)
Authors:Ben Elton
Info:Barcelona Emecé 1997
Collections:Your library

Work Information

Popcorn by Ben Elton (1996)


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» See also 23 mentions

English (18)  German (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (20)
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
I think that I purchased this book from a second hand store in either 2013 or 2014. I bought the book entirely on the strength of the author, Ben Elton, and his work on British TV shows such as Blackadder. I knew that he had written some books but I had no idea just how many he has written (15 according to Wikipedia) and prior to this I hadn't read any of them. The blurb on the back of the book is very vague so I didn't really have any idea what to expect.

I won't really go into the details of the story as I don't want to spoil the book for others who are yet to read it. I will say that it is a very funny book and I enjoyed it immensely. Initially I had some reservations as I struggled to grasp exactly what was going on, but very quickly things made sense and I really got into it. The humour throughout the book is dark, very dark in places, and the body count is fairly high. I wouldn't say that any of the deaths are particularly graphic, I've read worse in Scandinavian crime novels for example. About halfway through, I couldn't help but think of Pulp Fiction and by the end I think I would sum it up as a comedy combination of Pulp Fiction and Natural Born Killers. I would be very interested to see what Quentin Tarantino would make of it should he read it.

This book was very enjoyable and I actually laughed out loud a few times. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more of Elton's work next time I am in a book shop. ( )
  Brian. | Jul 25, 2021 |
I don't remember a lot about this one, beyond the fact that I definitely read it as a teenager.
( )
  Tara_Calaby | Jun 22, 2020 |
Bruce Delamitri makes films, films that are just as hated as they are loved for their unnecessary brutal violence. He is a hot topic among parents, especially parents of teens, who all seem to be demand less sex and gore in his films – or preferably, all copies of his movies to be burned, after which he promises to never make another one ever again. Bruce Delamitri, however, relishes in the success of his violent movies; in his opinion, his violent movies are just violent movies.

But the topic becomes hotter than ever when it seems like there's a murderous duo on the lose, their actions inspired by Bruce's movies. This only increases the amount of complaints that his films encourages violence, and that he with that manages to make violence and murder cool.

No matter the currently winning argument, the debate is soon to be settled once and for all as the murderous duo makes their way towards an unknowing Bruce in his home during a night that will change America forever.

This is definitely a black comedy; and a hilarious one at that. Just as hilarious as it is raw and tragic. It's not hard to draw parallels between the society in Popcorn and our own society. And it is a tricky subject, it truly is. The book starts a debate it never finishes on its own; it only leaves you with those big and tough questions that will keep you up at night. Who is truly at fault? Is anyone truly responsible of another person's actions?

But most of all, it's satire and I spend a lot of time chuckling for myself as I was reading through the book. It's so over the top most of the time, it feels like what a Tarantino film would feel like if it was more towards the comedy genre and, well, a book. The characters are shallow and unlikable yet they do feel quite real in strange ways.

To be quite honest, this book mostly made me all riled up about gun laws and such in the States. Pretty much all of the book's plot could have been avoided if a) they hadn't been in the US or b) the gun laws in the States weren't so absurd and shitty. ( )
  autisticluke | Nov 14, 2019 |
First of all, I'm wondering where this book has been for 3 years - I picked it up at our meetup at the BookFest, but it certainly didn't look like it had been lying around in Charlotte Square for that amount of time!

Secondly, I stole this review from an Amazon contributor, because it almost exactly mirrored my thoughts:

"This is one of the most balanced books I have ever read. Not only does Popcorn have a genuinely fixating plot with a brilliant storyline, it also has some fantastic humor with dry sarcasm in some places and blatant comedy in others. But the book's by far most impressive aspect is its social commentary. Elton casts an eye over the daytime chat show media and reproduces it in a totally believably, yet intrinsically funny, way.
Of course, however, the most important aspect is the aspect on the 'film violence' debate. Elton presents the views of Bruce Delamitri in such a way that even the most hardened antagonist of violent imagery would surely be drawn about to his views. The minds of two killers are concisely portrayed to the point that their plight, and solution to it, is completely reasonable. This book, then, is a true masterpiece of readability and debate."

I've read quite a few of Ben Elton's books now & have always been entertained by them. I suspect I have similar views to him, so therefore his social commentary sits well with me. The only time I've been less happy is when I've read one of his earlier works, sometime after reading his later stuff - he has become more accomplished at his art & therefore the earlier stuff (& I'm thinking about when I read Gridlock last year) just isn't so polished. He always seems to get his agenda across but at the same time writes a witty and entertaining story. Neat trick. ( )
1 vote Cassandra2020 | Jan 24, 2016 |
This is my 'fill in' book while I recover from a few bigger reads.
I have Doctor Sleep to read - the Stephen King follow in from the Shining. I'm not sure if I should re read The Shining first.
Anyway Ben Elton is always a good read although I find you can get too much of him.
Popcorn, so far, is a obtuse parody of the Hollywood ultra violent movies - the Tarantino-esque scenes remind me of many film that could be out in the genre. I'm only a 1/3 of the way through but so far it is proving to be a great distraction on my bus ride to work. ( )
  Ben_Harnwell | Apr 26, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
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On the morning after the night it happened, Bruce Delamitri was sitting in a police interview room.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"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?"

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Average: (3.22)
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