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- Publisher: Black Swan
- Format: Paperback | 384 pages
- Dimensions: 130mm x 193mm x 28mm | 68g
- Publication date: 1 September 2005
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0552999458
- ISBN 13: 9780552999458
- Edition statement: Revised ed.
- Sales rank: 69,173
One house. Ten contestants. Thirty cameras. Forty microphones. Yet again the public gorges its voyeuristic appetite as another group of unknown and unremarkable people submit themselves to the brutal exposure of the televised real-life soap opera, House Arrest. Everybody knows the rules: total strangers are forced to live together while the rest of the country watches them do it. Who will crack first? Who will have sex with whom? Who will the public love and who will they hate? All the usual questions. And then, suddenly, there are some new ones. Who is the murderer? How did he or she manage to kill under the constant gaze of the thirty television cameras? Why did they do it? And who will be next?
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Ben Elton is one of Britain's most provocative and entertaining writers. From celebrity to climate change, from the First World War to the end of the world, his books give his unique perspective on some of the most controversial topics of our time. He has written twelve major bestsellers, including Stark, Popcorn, Inconceivable (filmed as Maybe Baby, which he also directed), Dead Famous, High Society (WH Smith People's Choice Award 2003) and The First Casualty. He has also written some of television's most popular and incisive comedy, including The Young Ones, Blackadder and The Man From Auntie. His stage work includes three West End plays and the hit musicals The Beautiful Game and We Will Rock You. He is married with three children.
"Big up to Ben Elton and respect, big time. Top, top book" Mail on Sunday "Wry, fast and fiendishly clever" The Times "A book with pace and wit, real tension, a dark background theme and a big on-screen climax" Independent "The perfect modern-day whodunit. A cracking read full of hilarious insights into the Big Brother phenomenon" Mirror "One of the best whodunits I have ever read...a funny, gripping, hugely entertaining thriller, but also a persuasive, dyspeptic account of the way we live now, with our insane, inane cult of the celebrity" Sunday Telegraph
The British reality TV series House Arrest- "One house. Ten contestants. Thirty cameras. Forty microphones. One survivor"-goes its American counterpart Big Brother one better in its pandering to voyeurism. Powerhouse producer Geraldine Hennessy has cameras in the showers, mandates semi-clothed activities, and keeps the temperature in the house extra high, the better to stimulate nudity and sex. Enter crusty Inspector Coleridge, who's watching a tape from Day 29 of House Arrest, when one of the housemates was murdered by a blurry figure in a white sheet: an audacious crime completely captured on video. Alternating between Coleridge's investigation and accounts of House Arrest from Day 1 on, Elton (Inconceivable, 2000, etc.) offers three mysteries: the identities of the victim (which he withholds as long as possible), the killer, and the House Arrest winner. The contestant/suspects, who are entertaining enough to sustain a satirical novel sans murder, include Jazz, an aspiring black standup comedian; Sally, a humorless lesbian feminist; David, a handsome "serious" actor with a hidden porn past; Dervla, an Irish waif with soulful eyes; and Woggle, an anarchist who never bathes. Far from dampening audience interest or causing the show's cancellation, the murder turns up the heat and provides the stage for an old-fashioned melodramatic finale. Coleridge, who finds the mystery's solution in the pages of Macbeth and is inspired by a recent amateur theater audition, delivers a rousing, albeit shaggy, "the identity of the killer is" speech in order to ferret out same. A delicious high-tech twist on the traditional locked-room mystery, and a fast, funny read. (Kirkus Reviews)