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Number Ten Unknown Binding – 31 Oct 2002


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Product details

  • Unknown Binding: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph Ltd; First edition edition (31 Oct. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 071814368X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718143688
  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 3.2 x 22.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,474,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in Leicester in 1946, Sue left school at 15 years of age. She married at 18, and by 23 was a single parent with three children. She worked in a variety of jobs including factory worker, shop assistant, and as a youth worker on adventure playgrounds. She wrote in secret for twenty years, eventually joining a writers' group at the Phoenix Theatre, Leicester in her thirties.

At the age of 35, she won the Thames Television Playwright Award for her first play, Womberang, and started her writing career. Other plays followed including The Great Celestial Cow (1984), Ten Tiny Fingers, Nine Tiny Toes (1990), and most recently You, me and Wii (2010), but she became most famous for her series of books about Adrian Mole, which she originally began writing in 1975.

The first of these, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 ¾ was published in 1982 and was followed by The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole (1984). These two books made her the best-selling novelist of the 1980s. They have been followed by several more in the same series including Adrian Mole: The Wilderness Years (1993); Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction (2004); and most recently Adrian Mole: The Prostrate Years (2009). The books have been adapted for radio, television and theatre; the first being broadcast on radio in 1982. Townsend also wrote the screenplays for television adaptations of the first and second books and Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years (published 1998, BBC television adaptation 2001).

Several of her books have been adapted for the stage, including The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 ¾: The Play (1985) and The Queen and I: a Play with Songs (1994), which was performed by the Out of Joint Touring Company at the Vaudeville Theatre and toured Australia. The latter is based on another of her books, in which the Royal Family become deposed and take up residence on a council estate in Leicester. Other books include Rebuilding Coventry (1988), Ghost Children (1997) and Queen Camilla (2006).

She was an honorary MA of Leicester University, and in 2008 she was made a Distinguished Honorary Fellow, the highest award the University can give. She was an Honorary Doctor of Letters at Loughborough University, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Her other awards include the James Joyce Award of the Literary and Historical Society of University College Dublin, and the Frink Award at the Women of the Year Awards. In 2009 she was given the Honorary Freedom of Leicester.

Her most recent novel, The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year, was published in 2012 by Michael Joseph and was a giant success, selling over half a million copies to date in the UK alone.


Product Description

Review

A wickedly entertaining and passionate swipe at New Labour (The Times)

There is a gem on nearly every page. Nothing escapes Townsend's withering pen. Satirical, witty, observant . . . a clever book (Observer)

Poignant, hilarious, heart-rending, devastating (New Statesman)

A delight. Genuinely funny . . . compassion shines through the unashamedly ironic social commentary (Guardian) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Sue Townsend became Britain's bestselling author of the 1980s with her books THE SECRET DIARY OF ADRIAN MOLE AGED 13 3/4 and THE GROWING PAINS OF ADRIAN MOLE. She is the author of seven other novels, including THE QUEEN AND I, and her collected journalism, THE PUBLIC CONFESSIONS OF A MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN (AGED 55 3/4), was published in 2001. She is well known as a playwright and lives in Leicester.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Russell Telfer on 12 Jan. 2004
Format: Paperback
I've just read Number 10 by Sue Townsend. It was brilliant.
The PM, Edward Clare (not much concealment here) has lost touch with the people. He decides to go walkabout, incognito, in Britain, with that famous cop-at-the-front-of-number-10, who's called Jack. It's set in 2002. You'd think Sue Townsend was a mind reader: the book is well up to date even two years later, except that she thought He wouldn't invade Iraq. (She misjudged him.)
Clare and PC Jack go around Britain queing for buses and taxis, getting ripped off, visiting care homes, sink housing estates, and meeting deranged people of all descriptions.
Meanwhile, at Downing Street, Mrs Clare, the cleverest woman in Europe, goes mad without her husband and suggests that warts and amputated body parts deserve christian burial.
Also at Downing Street, Alex McPherson, Press Officer, is running news management and damage limitation and monitoring the PM's every move. Oh, and the PM is dressed as a woman and at once stage lands the lead part in an anti-establishment satirical play about a PM who's lost all his principles. .
Also at Downing Street, the Chancellor is helping the PM's son with his homework project - about Socialism.
Mrs Townsend does not like what New Labour has become, and you would soon know it. But it's laugh aloud funny.
My favourite bit: the PM's sister runs Kennels, £100 per dog per night. Being shown around, the visitors get to the dogs' quarters: Jack "..was astonished to find cubicles, carpets and soft lighting. Each dog had an outside run and a colour television; a few of them were watching Crossroads."
If your taste is for a bleak look at what New Labour has done (or not done) for Britain, this is your tome.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By DelWij VINE VOICE on 18 Feb. 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Without giving away too much, I think that the idea of politicians developing more empathy with the people over whose lives they have power is am extremely important one. I'm not sure if Sue Townsend meant to make a statement about the detachment of politicians but irrespective of this the book is very enjoyable and pretty funny in parts too. Worth a read.
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77 of 87 people found the following review helpful By shansu69 on 1 Nov. 2002
Format: Unknown Binding
This the latest from the pen of Sue Townsend deals with the adventure that Jack Sprat the white sheep of a family of criminals who ends up guarding the door at 10 Downing Street.
When the PM is embarrassed at PMQ's he decides he needs to be seen as a man of the people and decides to take on a visit around the UK-the only problem is he decides to do it in drag so Edward Clare -the PM becomes Edwina St Clare actress and Jack is dragged along for the ride.The characters including an ambitious Chancellor of the Exchequer the all powerful media fixer and a Mandelsonesque 'best friend' are all drawn probably too near the knuckle for some but in this the fun is guessing who is being described,my favourite being the PM's wife the 'cleverest woman in the world'
The tour which takes in Edinburgh via Leeds to the Cotswolds and ends up at Jacks mothers house in Leicester which has been turned into a crack den is a another winner the characters including some that would be very easy to recognise for anyone with a smidge of political knowledge are written well and Townsends unique comic insight and a healthy dose of left wing politics makes the book another winner in my book,the inadequicies of modern Britain are dealt with in an intelligent way and there are some genuine funny moments along with a touch or two of pathos .
All in all another page turner that well deserves some of your time.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Charity O'Brien on 15 July 2003
Format: Unknown Binding
At times pointedly - and with artistic license always at least loosely - based on the real-life characters we have representing us in government today, this fantastic novel takes a look at some of the major issues facing Britain. Number Ten is an hilarious - the section about Saddam Hussein and Quality Street has had me giggling ever since - and palatable look at the role of prime minister and is well worth a look. I read the book in two sittings, so it is safe to say it's fairly light, but would recommend a look to anyone.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mr. S. Westron on 23 Jan. 2004
Format: Paperback
If, during the course of the last few years you've turned on the radio / tv - once - and caught a political headline, you'll be able to relate it to a, somewhat more highly amusing event or series of within this book. I loved it. I don't generally tend to read fiction which; again is why I loved this book - I just chuckled, sniggered and thought. The book is fantastic, if I tried to describe to story line I'm afraid I'd have to re-write the book without being vauge ; this is just non-stop, increadibly intelligent, well thought out work. Bravo Sue Townsend!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A quick easy read that is funny at times but too much emphasis on the ridiculous characters which I found rather stereo typed. She writes dialogue well but never lets the story really develop. I now know why I never read any Adrian Mole!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rosie on 16 Feb. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Another Sue Townsend triumph! I love this book as I do all her others. I have even introduced these books to my husband who does not read very many books and he can't put this book down, it's hilarious. I would recommend this book to all but in particular anyone who needs cheering up!
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By SilentSinger TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 14 Oct. 2008
Format: Paperback
The celebrated satirist Sue Townsend has created this analogy about an entirely fictitious Prime Minister, Edward Clare, who, to get nearer to his people, dresses as a woman and embarks upon a journey across the country to find the `real' electorate accompanied by his faithful companion, royal protection officer PC Jack Spratt. Set amongst a time of great change, the pair has a series of adventures whilst Jack's widowed mother Norma, unwittingly turns her Leicester home into a crack den. Full of biting humour, Townsend manages to poke affectionate fun of left wing politics and how the much lauded change of focus never really happened.
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