Book Review- Dead Famous

Tuesday, 14 August 2012
Title: Dead Famous
Author: Ben Elton
Publication Date: 2001
Publisher: Black Swan
Pages: 382
Genre: Humour, Mystery, Contemporary

Rating: 3/5

One house, ten contestants, thirty cameras, and forty microphones. Everybody knows the rules—total strangers are forced to live together while the rest of the country watches them do it. However, on day 27, one of the housemates is killed on live TV. Who is the murderer? How did they manage to kill under the constant gaze of the television cameras? Why did they do it? And who will be next?- Goodreads

I wanted to read this novel because Ben Elton, co wrote Blackadder which is one of my favourite tv series ever so when I saw he had written a book, I thought I would give it a go. I don't read a lot of contemporary novels as I like to escape when I read, so reading about the *real world* isn't escaping, in my mind.
Like the summary of the book says, the plot is based around a reality tv programme, where ten contestants are constantly on camera, being watched by the public. This is very much like the tv series Big Brother, and in essence this book is taking a swing at reality tv shows like this one.
The plot was alright, the author kept the killer a secret until the very end of the novel, although I  had guessed who did it about two thirds of the way through. There are also enough background information about the different characters, so that anybody could have been the murderer, they all could have had motives to do it. Also Elton doesn't give away who was murdered until about half way through the novel, which was clever, but was a bit annoying as it felt like the novel was written in a secretive way, which took away from the story.
The 10 contestants in the house were all right as characters but I felt they were all a bit cliched and weren't really like people are in the real world. The police detective was a likeable character but his constant moaning about the people in the tv programme was a tad grating at times.
Overall this is an ok novel that I probably won't read again but if you like contemporary detective novls with a reality tv series, this one is for you.  


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