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Inconceivable by Ben Elton - Book Review


Ben Elton
Black Swan

Fiction-Net Rating 4 Star Rated Book

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Cover Story

Lucy desperately wants a baby. Sam is determined to write a hit movie. The problem is that both their efforts seem to be unfruitful and given that the average IVF cycle has about a one in five chance of going into full production, Lucy's chances of getting what she wants are considerably better than Sam's.

What Sam and Lucy are about to go through is absolutely inconceivable. The question is, can their love survive? Inconceivable confirms Ben Elton as one of Britain's most significant, entertaining and provocative writers.

We Say

When I began reading this book, I feared that I would find the structure of it quite irritating. It's set up so that both characters, husband and wife, are keeping a diary to express their thoughts and anxieties in order to relax them and aid the conception process. I thought it would become tedious after a while with the 'he said, she said' approach. However, it's actually very easy to read and once you get into the plot, it moves along quite smoothly.

The tone of Inconceivable is best described as bittersweet. The humour of Ben Elton is a strong presence and the jokes flow thick and fast. Even so, at times this is a deeply sad book about a love-filled marriage that is struggling against nature's design. The couple's inability to have a child and their different ways of responding to this threatens to pull them apart. The way in which the invasive procedures of IVF turn the process of conception into a biological mission is presented realistically. The quest for a child becomes a way of life, which eclipses everything else.

This isn't vintage Ben Elton by any means. It doesn't have the punch of Gridlock or the clever plot of Blast From The Past but it is still entertaining and intelligent. By the way, don't even try to guess the ending, just let it surprise you.

Review by: Rachel Taylor

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