Identity Crisis by Ben Elton. (2019).
**4 out of 5 stars**
Why are we all so hostile and so quick to take offence? Truly we are living in the age of outrage. A series of apparently random murders draws old-school detective Mick into a world pig sex, politics, reality TV and a kaleidoscope of opposing identity groups. Lost in a blizzard of hashtags, his already complex investigation is further impeded by the fact that he simply doesn’t ‘get a single thing about anything any more. Meanwhile each day another public figure confesses to having ‘misspoken’ and begs for forgiveness on Twitter, assuring the public ‘That is not who I am’…
I’m going to say upfront that while I really enjoyed this book, I’m not sure the humour would be for everyone. Previous satire novels from this author are right up there in my top favourite books ever (Blind Faith and Chart Throb if you are looking for recommendations haha) and this new one has a similar feel to them. However, it is definitely controversial and no doubt would be offensive to some readers in relation to both its themes (identity, pronouns and online rage) as well as profanity (the ‘c word’ is used a few times, consider yourself warned). Again, like his previous satire novels, the storyline is both ridiculous and yet also scarily believable. The characters are not necessarily likeable, but are highly entertaining.
Overall: I really enjoyed it, but I think if you’ve never read Ben Elton you’d be better off reading one of his older satire novels to get a taste before trying this one.