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Charlie Brooker is a well known TV personality and critic, best known for his Screen/Games/Newswipe franchise and more recently ranting on 10 o'clock Live on Channel 4. Before he burst onto our screens, ranting about the problems of modern life, he was writing about them for his Screenburn column in the Guardian paper. This book is a collection of his articles regarding the week's TV schedule (dated from about 2000-2004).
Although the content and television programmes may seem dated now, Brooker's articles are still hilariously funny and dare I say true. If you murmur with disdain at reality TV and how it has corrupted the TV listings, then Brooker is your man. Be prepared for lots of colourful toilet humour, the odd swear word or two mixed in with some very clever similies and metaphors, and you get a wonderful writer who says it like it is.
I find Charlie is one of the few people who manage to clearly articulate what many of think, but find hard to put across. I definitely empathise with a lot of his comments in here about TV, but it's not all doom and gloom. He has articles dedicated to his love of 24, The Wire and The Sopranos. It's also quite nice to read about them in hindsight to see how television has evolved over the last few years (whether it's improved or not is certainly debatable).
This is the first compilation of Brooker's articles (the others being Dumb of the Dead and The Hell of It All), you can get this for about 4/5 pounds on Amazon and sometimes even cheaper in some HMV stores.
A great read and if you feel like ranting against the world, then this book will prove you are not alone.
A vastly entertaining book of reviews from a vastly glum man.
This collection is brilliant at marking Charlie Brooker's assent into the world of reviewing. From the original columns where he was a little restrained, playing the lowkey card. Then you progress through the book to the later dated columns and his anger develops, until he becomes a raging hell-pot of despair and annoyance. His lyrical rhythm in his writing style is Dickensian in itself. Rhythmically his words carry great weight where nothing seems convoluted; it's almost as if each word has been chosen for its cosmic balance in the sentence's structure, when you know deep down he's kicked them out between bouts of Xbox and watching the 30th run of Touch The Truck.
Which brings me on to the greatest thing about these collections. It's its nostalgic value. Obviously most weren't writing down these strange bits of television programs and media advertising; most have been squashed to deepest darkest corners of our brain, hoping one day we'll bang our head on a low ceiling and suddenly the memory of the young girl in the advert glugging the 5 litres of cooking oil for some BHF scare-ism resurfaces. His columns remind you of those programs you wish you'd never watched, or have forgotten about watching.
He is amusing, highly entertaining, and thank God we don't have his job of constantly sat at a computer, typing tedious reviews for a group of misanthropes on the internet believing other people's opinions matter in anyway...wait?
Screen Burn: A look through Charlie Brooker's eyes at modern society through a compilation of his columns for the Guardian.
Charlie Brooker is known for his views on TV, not withstanding the uselessness of Emmerdale, or the stupidity of housemates in Big Brother. Brooker is also known for his TV series and for the short series Dead Set. Brooker looks at modern life and its affect on people, not only himself stagnating watching TV, but at other aspects that hit home in the modern work of celebrity and reality TV.
Brooker looks at, in various places, wannabe celebrities, the first Big Brother and the start of the phenomenon, Popstars: The Rivals, Pop Idol and any number of different things including various names for the Popstars band (Hear'Say, for those of us who remember) and haikus concerning different TV programmes and their contents.
Brooker's wide ranging view looks at not only the darker side of TV, but also at the quasi-porn of Babestation and Channel 5 after a certain time of night, and how some of us cannot stop watching things we shouldn't be (usually semi-doccumentaries on penis enlargements or on porn stars) Brooker's view is hilarious and stunningly accurate.