Stark – Book Review

Well hello there – so sorry if you stopped by yesterday and I wasn’t home – the day just got away from me. Here we are now at least… so please make yourself comfortable while I tell you about another book.

This week I will be telling you about an old favourite of mine

Stark by Ben Elton

Cover Blurb: Stark is a secret consortium with more money than God, and the social conscience of a dog on a croquet lawn. What’s more, it knows the Earth is dying.
starkDeep in Western Australia where the Aboriginals used to milk the trees, a planet-sized plot is taking shape. Some green freaks pick up the scent: a pommie poseur; a brain-fried Vietnam vet; Aboriginals who have lost their land…not much against a conspiracy that controls society. But EcoAction isn’t in society: it just lives in the same place, along with the cockroaches.
If you’re facing the richest and most disgusting scheme in history, you have to do more than stick up two fingers and say ‘peace’.

My thoughts:  I’ve always been a fan of Ben Elton – his sitcoms and standup were the cornerstone to my youth and when Stark, his first novel, was published I snapped it up with excitement. I couldn’t wait to discover this new branch of Elton’s repertoire.

I was not disappointed.

I think I can honestly that this is the only book that once getting to the end I immediately turned back to the front page and started all over again.

As described in the blurb the book centres around the theme that the earth is dying, poisoned by its human inhabitants, and, rather than try and save it those with power, or money, or both, have come up with the solution of packing up and leaving!  The population as a whole have no idea of the Stark Consortium’s plans and when a hapless band of misfits stumble upon the truth they are most unlikely group to take on the power that Stark wields, but that doesn’t stop them!

Elton’s style of writing in this book is reminiscent of Douglas Adams with the occasional little aside “mini story” entwined with the main tale.

The characters are a blend of hopeless, annoying or just plain crazy, some of them a mixture of all but once they come together they somehow help support each others weaknesses and feed off each others strengths.

But the big question is can this ragamuffin band take on Stark and win? Well you’ll have to read it to find out 🙂

On a slight aside I was thrilled when this book was turned into a mini-series for TV, with Ben Elton taking the lead role himself. Unfortunately they decided, for whatever reason, that the TV version would have a completely different ending to the book – why or why would they do that??

So the book – loved it … TV show not so much!


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