Meltdown by Ben Elton

Meltdown by Ben EltonBen Elton is one of my favorite writers. Meltdown (2009) is the seventh or eight book I’ve read by this author. They are always satirical and hitting the right nerve! Ouch!

Meltdown: what it’s about

We meet Jimmy Corby and his family in dire straights: Jimmy was a London city trader until recently and earned amazing amounts of money. Because of that, he has a 7-million pound house in Notting Hill (and a corresponding mortgage). Not only that, he also “owns” a street with derelict houses which he has started to refurbish (most of this belongs to the bank too, and Jimmy pays a hefty mortgage).

Now that he’s out of a job, his remaining money doesn’t go far: he cannot keep up the mortgages, the nanny has to go. Monica, his stay at home wife, never realised how much work children really are! As a result, neither gets much sleep.

Jimmy has a circle of friends that he knows from back when they were at university. Some of them are doing better than he is, and some are worse off. So, when help is offered to overcome his mortgage problems, he is grateful. But things don’t go as planned.

Meltdown: what I thought

I enjoyed this book, as I usually do with Elton’s books, but this is not his best one. It dragged a little in the middle, and I thought there were too many irrelevant political (and other) issues that I felt the author wanted to add to the story because of his own interest.

The story jumped back and forth between the good times and the current times and also flash-backed to the past, when the friends were just starting their careers. I very much enjoyed the current time, in which Jimmy and Monica cope with their lack of funds, and the comparison with their more affluent times. However, the history of the friendship didn’t interest me all that much. It was relevant to the rest of the story to some degree, maybe, but I could have done without it.

The writing style was very fluent. I liked how the author managed to find a solution to all the seemingly insurmountable problems that Jimmy was facing. When I thought Jimmy and Monica had no chance to move forward from their situation, Elton found clever solutions to handle their hardship.

Rating: 4.5/5

I got this book: I bought it from Waterstone’s (the book shop) last time I was in England

I read this in: the original language, English.

About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

9 Responses to Meltdown by Ben Elton

  1. Tes says:

    This sounds like an interesting stories. I love Ben Elton, too… but haven’t read this book yet. I think it’s time I should get this book!

  2. I have never read thsi author – must be good if you have read so many books by him 🙂

  3. Pingback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? « Leeswammes' Blog

  4. Hello Judith,

    Am happy to discover your blog. I wrote about Meltdown too, on I liked the reminder that financial success can be as fleeting as anything else in life. We spend too much time and energy envying the rich. Also liked your review of Tiger Mom, which I have been meaning to read for a long time.

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Pingback: Book review: Time and Time Again by Ben Elton | Leeswammes' Blog

I love comments! Let me know what you think.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: