Chart Throb Epub Ò Hardcover

Chart Throb Ben Elton is about to put the “real” back into Reality TV in his biting satire of one of today’s most popular cultural phenomena — the TV talent show95000 hopefuls Three judges Just one winner And that’s Colin Simms the genius behind the show Colin always wins because Colin writes the rules But this year as he sits smugly in judgment on the mingers clingers and blingers whom he has pre selected in his carefully scripted “search” for a star he has no idea that the rules are changing The “real” is about to be put back into “reality” television and Colin and his fellow judges the nation’s favourite mum and the other bloke are about to become ex factors themselvesFrom the best selling author of The First Casualty Popcorn and Dead Famous comes Chart Throb One winner A whole bunch of losers From the Trade Paperback edition


10 thoughts on “Chart Throb

  1. Rob Rob says:

    Chart Throb a stand alone by Ben Elton published 2006This is Ben Elton at his best here At its heart this story is a hilarious finger pointing exposé of what is known as reality TV talent uests When Calvin Simms the brain behind and executive producer of the mega hit TV series ‘Chart Throbs’ wife of two weeks tells him that she is going to divorce him and take half of his considerable wealth Calvin just smiles and says “you think” “I’ll tell what I’ll do” he says “I’ll bet you that I can get anybody you nominate to win Chart Throb and if I lose you get everything and if you lose you get nothing” This was just too tempting an offer to turn down so she agrees to the bet and nominates HRH the Prince of Wales Prince Charles to be the next winner of Chart ThrobWhat follows is is a hilarious but often sadly pathetic look at how the shows producers manipulate not only the contestants but also the viewing public into getting exactly the outcome they are looking for On this occasion that outcome being that Prince Charles is this years winner of Chart ThrobBen Elton turns his considerable comedic talent to serve up a veritable tongue lashing to what is laughingly called reality TV A vastly entertaining fun read ‘and it’s a yes from me’ 4 stars


  2. Cass Cass says:

    After reading Chart Throb by Ben Elton I don't think I will ever be able to watch a reality tv series again I feel kind of dirty and want to cry It rings so true that it is almost upsettingThe story revolves around the producer of a hit reality television show similiar to Idol or X Factor The book focuses on the manipulation used to make the show such a success the scripting of events the frankensteining of interviews the general lack of conscience exhibited by the staff of the show as the exploit contestant after contestantThe manipulation of the characters was horrendous and yet I struggle to believe that it is really fiction I am kind of left with the feeling that that must be the way it is and that sickens meI am fast becoming a fan of Ben Elton his novels just seem to hang around in my mind for days and weeks He creates the most realistic visuals that I can't seem to forget and he seems to have such an understanding of the human pysche Ben Elton writes unforgettable books Funny dark and always deep


  3. Pvw Pvw says:

    In this parody of popular talent shows Ben Elton's writing has become way too formulaic Like most Elton novels this one starts with a dramatic flash forward in this case the tear on the cheek of one of the contestants in the final Then like in all other Elton novels we travel back in time and lots of characters are introduced Many of those are the contestants in the show and a lot of attention also goes to the jury all three of which are absolute assholes You can imagine all those people coming together at some moment thus creating a story That doesn't happen until the last chapter so saying that this book has a rather long build up is a major understatement The actual ending is the biggest most forced and terribly unlikely anticlimax that I have ever readWhat is lacking in this bok is the humour you usually expect from Elton Except for a few descriptions of some of the pathetic candidates the book is drowned in the way too serious tone with which Elton wants to kick everyone a conscienceFurther there is the totally unnecessary plot element of the Prince of Wales taking part in the singing contest As if he has been paid by Buckingham Palace Elton presents this old aristocrat as a good natured bloke with his heart in the right spot and as someone who can actually sing very well Can this be written by the same guy who collaborated on Blackadder?So let's not waste words this is an awful book that is way too preachy and that just follows the structure of every other Elton book while lacking the humour that makes it worth you while I can think of only one redeeming uality the machinations behind the screen of such a talent contest have been uite convincingly described and it is impossible to view such shows afterwards without seeing through all the make believe and the scenario that is created by the redactionistsBut apart from that Chart Throb can only be a huge disappointment for any Elton fan and a reason not to read anything else by him for all new readers


  4. Rachel Rachel says:

    This book is essential reading for everyone in the world who has ever watched and enjoyed a reality television ‘talent’ showSeriously If you love them it will open your eyes to how foolish you have been in trusting them and if you are already a sceptic you will enjoy the fantastically witty way in which Elton rips into themChart Throb is name of the most popular reality TV talent contest on the air in the UK as our novel opens The mastermind behind it Calvin Simms is Simon Cowell but meaner manipulative and savvy He has a bit of a problem He has just gotten married to a southern belle who reveals she wants a divorce as soon as they return to his mansion from their honeymoon Of course being an expert gold digger she plans to take him for at least half his wealth and he is having none of it So he makes a desperate deal He will give her ALL of his money if he fails to manipulate the public into crowing a person of her choice as the Chart Throb winner in the upcoming series But if he can make the hapless person win she gets absolutely nothingDakota his money minded wife sees an opportunity and takes it choosing one of the most hated men in Britain as her ‘winner’ He just happens to be His Royal Highness the Prince of WalesAs you might expect this story is of this series of Chart Throb in which we see a master manipulator at work getting contestants and viewers alike to perform for him like puppets in order to save his fortune But it is much than thisElton weaves in a huge cast of characters populating the novel with an array of colourful contestants the “blingers clingers and mingers” but not necessarily singers including a desperate girl on the edge who “wants it so much” a loved up duo which happens to include a vocally talentless blind man an aging male stripper and a couple of teenaged bimbos one of whom suffers an eating disorderSome serious issues hide underneath the mockery including the exploitation of vulnerable people the risks of the pursuit of fame and how one should never trust the media for a fair representationAiding Simms in his judging of the talentless masses are a British rocker whose sex change has made him into Beryl Blenheim a Sharon Osbourne esue reality television star and ‘mother’ of the year to a pop star wannabe teenage daughter with a failing album and Rodney Root – a former music mogul who longs for publicity and fame while suffering from being the boring third judge Hosting is Keely a perky pretty shoulder for the failed contestants to cry on – a mish mash of Cat Deeley and Kate Thornton hosts of So You Think You Can Dance and X Factor respectivelyNow I do really like this book So much in fact that I got through the 464 pages within a day laughing out loud several timesAs someone who used to love these ‘talent’ contests and who recently by way of the latest series of X Factor in the UK has become very disillusioned with the idea I felt validated by this book It made so much sense was funny smart and bold Though out in 2006 this book covers so many issues that were raised in the just finished X Factor series such as vote rigging judges keeping in talentless unpopular contestants to keep in controversial and editing to make contestants seem better or worse to the audience Which is why everyone who loves X Factor should read this book as it points everything out but in a way that won’t make loyal fans rush to defend the showThe pacing is brilliant hooking the reader in with a glimpse of a character called Shaiana crying her eyes out on an episode of Chart Throb with Keely cajoling her into uttering those clichéd phrases “I want it so much It’s my dream” Then introducing us to Calvin and his plot line then to Beryl and her US fly on the wall TV show a la The Osbournes and to desperate Rodney Root trying to cling to fame Then we meet the crew behind the scenes researchers and assistants Emma Trent and Chelsea who go through the task of finding the ‘blingers’ ‘clingers’ and ‘mingers’ for the show Just as you think too much is going on it switches back to Calvin’s storyline or to HRH the Prince of Wales or to the research team Then some contestants get their stories introducedDespite sounding like all these characters and their threads are all over the place they do all come together It’s seamless at times and I often found that as I was starting to grow tired with one scene the next chapter would take me back to something interestingSome things did bother me though Firstly the name dropping of people such as Simon Cowell Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh – though necessary to show that the characters were not these people but parodies of them took me out of the story a bit at first I found myself wondering what happened to them to make these replacements bigger than them I mean it’s a little difficult to think of anyone being ‘Mr Nasty’ but Simon Cowell and he’s not exactly going to go away even if his TV shows lose in the ratings But that aside the parodies are so well done I can forgive Elton this little thingAlso as it was released in 2006 2 full years before ‘Saint’ Cheryl Cole became a judge on the X Factor I can forgive the lack of Cheryl Bashing I really would have loved to see him rip into her though as she is perfect for parodyingThe ending was so full of twists I was almost left confused Almost In the end it finishes both surprisingly and predictably if that is even possible It’s rather clever As was the characterisation of HRH The Prince of Wales Close enough to the real thing to be funny but different enough and flattering enough to prevent an angry Royal I bet even he laughed at himself if he ever read this bookOverall the comedy was perfect as you come to expect from such a celebrated comic as Ben Elton With Blackadder The Young Ones Maybe Baby and We Will Rock You to his name it is inevitable that he will create enough laughs He does get his point across thoughHe really gets it to hit home just how ridiculous reality television talent shows are So after reading this a book given to me as an unexpected Christmas gift and devoured within a day of me receiving it I will most definitely be giving ben Elton’s other novels a goEntertaining thought provoking and just so very very funny


  5. Emma Emma says:

    This started off uite promising but got so bogged down in so many different stories and so much detail Some of it I just skipped over because it was so boring despite the fact that the subject matter interested me I would've enjoyed this about 5 years ago I thinkI did give this 2 stars but then I remembered about the Prince of Wales subplot and OH GOD that was just so bad so I'm knocking a star off Utterly unnecessary and the whole thing was so hard to believe


  6. Dora Maw Dora Maw says:

    Ever seen American Idol? Well this book surely gives you an inside on how reality tv works Very educational making you wonder why you waste all that time ringing to vote for your favourite


  7. Monique Monique says:

    Well what can I say? I'm in two minds about this book I love Ben Elton and his books are usually uick fun reads The ones I've read at list This one is a uick read too and at times it's uite fun but somehow it lacks the sparkle of say Past Mortem or Dead Famous and the likeable characters and tragicomedy of The First Casualty and Inconceivable I like the way Elton gives an inside view into editing and television making but he had already done so before in 'Dead Famous' so it's a bit repetitive Same goes for the over the top characters; they were funny first time round but this time I found it all a bit too much Still it's not all bad It is Ben Elton after all so the writing is good The pacing of the book is okay too and some scenes are uite funny It's certainly an easy read it's just a shame that it lacks real sparkle and nice characters A nice enough book but for those wanting to sample Elton's work I'd sooner recommend Past Mortem The First Casualty or Dead Famous


  8. Isabel (kittiwake) Isabel (kittiwake) says:

    I would recommend this book to any reality television fans whose illusions won't be shattered by the amount of behind the scenes manipulation in this X Factor satire If you really believe that the X Factor is a talent contest which the best singer will win you may like to skip this book especially if you see Sharon Osbourne as a lovely motherly person who hates to send any of the contestants home Although Ben Elton has made the female judge on the Chart Throb panel a transsexual ex rock star with a drug addled wife and twin step daughters who like to annoy her by calling her Dad instead of Mum Beryl's mannerisms and comments to the contestants are totally Sharon OsbourneI wouldn’t say that this is one of Ben Elton's best books as it was repetitive and the story dragged at times but I found it very funny and didn’t spot the final twist coming at all


  9. Baba Baba says:

    Another biting satire slash dark comedy looking at the world of faux reality celebs and pop talent TV shows very believable and biting Ben tears apart the reality TV competition process for all to see but inadvertently the story just looks like a personal attack on the UK TV show X Factor and The Osbournes As ever Elton's one dimensional characterisations pump up the satirecomedy but overall reduce the book to a stand up telling a load of sketches Still gives a lot of insight into reality TV if you want it? A strong 6 out of 12


  10. Madeleine Wills Madeleine Wills says:

    I read this book at recommendation from my Dad and was surprised to find myself really enjoying it I loved the idea of finding out what supposedly goes on behind the scenes of talent shows and the characters were really developed and interesting I particularly enjoyed that there wasn’t a particular hero to the story and it explored each characters faults and good ualities However I found the ending very unsatisfactory as I felt it was a frustrating way to tie up the book and it left me a bit cold


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