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Fawlty Towers: Fully Booked Paperback – May 2003


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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Bay Books (CA) (May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579590799
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579590796
  • Product Dimensions: 24.6 x 19.2 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,640,509 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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TWENTY-FIVE years later, few writer/performers have come close to matching, let alone bettering, the brilliant scripts and acting played out in that notorious Torquay hotel. Read the first page
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mark One on 8 Oct. 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
THe book is not great but it is a good review of the tv series.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
A Lovely Tribute to an Outstanding Britcom Classic! 8 Jun. 2003
By Tiggah - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Intricately plotted and consummately acted with impeccable comic timing, Fawlty Towers reigns in many a mind as the ultimate situational comedy--the yardstick against which all other comedies are measured. An interesting (though perhaps not surprising) bit of trivia: It came out at the top of the 100 most important TV programmes of all time (according to a year 2000 poll by the British Film Institute). Certainly, it is one of the most enduring of all time.
The year 2000 marked the 25th anniversary of the first series of the show, and to celebrate, writers Morris Bright and Robert Ross, have penned a lovely 192-page tribute book loaded with colour photos (mostly stills from the show, but there are a few photos of the main stars at different stages in their careers). The book covers the history of the show, which I found to be quite interesting, not to mention entertaining. Did you know, for example, that the inspiration for the rude, abrasive Basil Fawlty came from a real-life hotelier that John Cleese (and his fellow Monty Python co-stars) had the misfortune to encounter? Indeed, co-writer John Cleese has contributed a wealth of anecdotes on his and his fellow co-writer (and wife at the time) Connie Booth's experiences in creating and writing the series. It will come as no surprise to fans to find that Cleese and Booth (who also played Polly, the maid) sometimes took as long as 2 1/2 weeks to draught a plot!
The book also includes an informative episode guide for each of the twelve episodes (which includes anecdotes and recollections by Cleese), a brief blurb on each guest star to have appeared on the show, and a two- to fourteen-page career bio of the "regulars" (ie. Basil, Sybil, Manuel, Polly, Terry (who died in 1997 of cancer at age 59), the Major, and the two old ladies).
As enjoyable as the book is, I must admit that I was surprised not to find more participation by the other actors--the main ones anyway. Though the career bios are informative and Cleese's many anecdotes extend to the characters and actors portraying them, various incidents, and so on, there are no recollections or remembrances from either Connie Booth (who incidentally, having married Cleese in 1968, was divorced from him in 1976--in between series one and two) or Prunella Scales (Sybil). Usually the writers (at the very least) participate tremendously when a tribute book is written, and I found myself wondering why Connie Booth didn't provide a few tales of her own, as it would have been lovely to have her perspective too. Nevertheless, this is a minor point only--the book is superb in every other respect.
I'll just mention a couple of interesting anecdotes, which happen to concern Andrew Sachs (Manuel), who incidentally hails from Germany and seriously questioned his ability to play a Spaniard--he needn't have worried! In the German episode, there is a fire drill during which Manuel catches fire; unfortunately, Sachs was accidentally burnt by the acid used to make his jacket smoke. In another episode, Fawlty whacks Manuel on the head with a frying pan; unfortunately (and inexpicably!), Cleese was using a real pan (not a rubber one) with the unintentional result that Sachs had a headache for about two days!
In short, this is a lovely, informative book and one which I (as an enormous fan of the show) highly recommend to fellow fans. I have the hardcover version, and it is a weighty 8 x 10 inches with thick, glossy pages. It's a lovely keepsake--one which I think any fan of this outstanding, all-time classic series would enjoy.
A good book. 7 Jun. 2010
By E. Borgman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Fawlty Towers is the funniest 12 episodes in television! This book is a good read. There is something like one hundred and fifty photographs in the book though some of those are straight from the videos, it appears. The information about the creation of the show is good and interesting, but I wanted to read more! The quotes throughout the book by John Cleese seem to be directly from his interviews from Fawlty Towers: The Complete Collection Remastered. This is the biggest flaw that I see with the book. It also gives mini-biographies of most of the performers who acted on the show. The show summaries are a bit unnecessary because I am assuming that everyone who purchases the book would have seen the shows, or at least, I hope so. I would have liked to have had more behind the scenes information and more interview material with members of the cast. Other than my nit-picks this is an excellent book which is easily readable and fun.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great Book for Fawlty Tower Geeks 15 Dec. 2009
By Tex Caledonia - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Everything you ever wanted to know about Fawlty Towers and then some!! Provides quite an insight into the production of what many consider to be the best television comedy produced to date. I enjoyed it tremendously and I hope you enjoy it too.
2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A Lovely Tribute to an Outstanding Britcom Classic! 31 May 2003
By Tiggah - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Intricately plotted and consummately acted with impeccable comic timing, Fawlty Towers reigns in many a mind as the ultimate situational comedy--the yardstick against which all other comedies are measured. An interesting (though perhaps not surprising) bit of trivia: It came out at the top of the 100 most important TV programmes of all time (according to a year 2000 poll by the British Film Institute). Certainly, it is one of the most enduring of all time.
The year 2000 marked the 25th anniversary of the first series of the show, and to celebrate, writers Morris Bright and Robert Ross have penned a lovely 192-page tribute book loaded with colour photos (mostly stills from the show, but there are a few photos of the main stars at different stages in their careers). The book covers the history of the show, which I found to be quite interesting, not to mention entertaining. Did you know, for example, that the inspiration for the rude, abrasive Basil Fawlty came from a real life hotelier that John Cleese (and his fellow Monty Python co-stars) had the misfortune to encounter? Indeed, co-writer John Cleese has contributed a wealth of anecdotes on his and his fellow co-writer (and wife at the time) Connie Booth's experiences in creating and writing the series. It will come as no surprise to fans to find that Cleese and Booth (who also played Polly, the maid) sometimes took as long as 2 1/2 weeks to draught a plot!
The book also includes an informative episode guide for each of the twelve episodes (which includes anecdotes and recollections by Cleese), a brief blurb on each guest star to have appeared on the show, and a two- to fourteen-page career bio of the "regulars" (ie. Basil, Sybil, Manuel, Polly, Terry (who died in 1997 of cancer at age 59), the Major, and the two old ladies).
As enjoyable as the book is, I must admit that I was surprised not to find more participation by the other actors--the main ones anyway. Though the career bios are informative and Cleese's many anecdotes extend to the characters and actors portraying them, various incidents, and so on, there are no recollections or remembrances from either Connie Booth (who incidentally, having married Cleese in 1968, was divorced from him in 1976--in between series one and two) or Prunella Scales (Sybil). Usually the writers (at the very least) participate tremendously when a tribute book is written, and I found myself wondering why Connie Booth didn't provide a few tales of her own, as it would have been lovely to have her perspective too. Nevertheless, this is a minor point only--the book is superb in every other respect.
I'll just mention a couple of interesting anecdotes, which happen to concern Andrew Sachs (Manuel), who incidentally hails from Germany and seriously questioned his ability to play a Spaniard--he needn't have worried! In the German episode, there is a fire drill during which Manuel catches fire; unfortunately, Sachs was accidentally burnt by the acid used to make his jacket smoke. In another episode, Fawlty whacks Manuel on the head with a frying pan; unfortunately (and inexpicably!), Cleese was using a real pan (not a rubber one) with the unintentional result that Sachs had a headache for about two days!
In short, this is a lovely, informative book and one which I (as an enormous fan of the show) highly recommend to fellow fans. I have the hardcover version, and it is a weighty 8 x 10 inches with thick, glossy pages. It's a lovely keepsake--one which I think any fan of this outstanding, all-time classic series would enjoy.
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