Stark by Ben Elton

Stark by Ben Elton.

Nearly 30 years since publication this still has a lot of very current themes running through it. I hope Elton’s finale is very different to the one humanity will see. Stark is all about waste, pollution, chemical waste and generally how humans are ruining this beautiful planet we live on. How we all blame the manufacturers of the waste we throw away yet never really stop to thin that we have the power to stop them making these pollutants just by not buying them or the products they make!

Firstly, the Eco Warriors. They are what most of us would have expected to see in the late 80’s, hippy types who simply by their lack of purchasing power are complaining about all the waste and pollution. I know that view has changed over the years but 30 years ago we all held different views on what we thought Eco Warriors were. Not one of them is particularly likeable but I did find Zimmerman the best of them. An Ex Vietnam soldier that served with the mainly forgotten Australian forces that were alongside the US Army. He is certainly deranged but in a friendly sort of way and always puts others in the group before himself whereas the other members seem quite selfish at times.

Stark are the moneyed elite of the world. The 0.1% that own 99% of everything on the planet. Egotistical, greedy, self serving and generally obnoxious. I’m not sure that in reality these people are like this but for the purposes of the book it is a pretty good stereotype. They have discovered that the planet is dying, rapidly, and have a way of escaping but because of their self serving greed, they don’t want anyone else to know so they design a plan to build their escape in the Australian Outback.

From here we have this adventurous and at times riotous journey through to the completion of the Stark Project and the end of the world.

As always, I enjoyed Elton’s style with his meandering slightly off topic in the same way that the hippies wonder off topic in their discussions. There is more than enough humour mixed in with the real mess we are making of the planet, even a couple of proper laugh out loud moments!

Great read and I highly recommend it.

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