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The Complete Yes Prime Minister: The Diaries of the Right Hon.James Hacker Paperback – 1 Jun 1989

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The Complete Yes Prime Minister: The Diaries of the Right Hon.James Hacker + The Complete Yes Minister + The Yes Minister Miscellany
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Product details

  • Paperback: 488 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books; Reprint edition (1 Jun. 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0563207736
  • ISBN-13: 978-0563207733
  • Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 4.1 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 87,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"

Scalpel-sharp in observation, deceptively simple

in construction... at its frequent best

Yes Prime Minister exhibits the classical perfection of a

Mozart sonata

" (Richard Last The Times)

"

Its closely observed portrayal of what goes on in the

corridors of power has given me hours of pure joy

" (Rt Hon. Margaret Thatcher MP)

"Yes Prime Minister is a comedy in a class of its own" (Celia Brayfield The Times)

"

Yes Prime Minister... is not only a continuing marvel ofediting by Jonathan Lynn and Antony Jay but also a

collector's must

" (John Coldstream Daily Telegraph)

From the Back Cover

'Scalpel-sharp in observation, deceptively simple

in construction... at its frequent best

Yes Prime Minister exhibits the classical perfection of a

Mozart sonata' - Richard Last in The Times

'Its closely observed portrayal of what goes on in the

corridors of power has given me hours of pure joy'

- Rt Hon. Margaret Thatcher MP

'Yes Prime Minister... is not only a continuing marvel of

editing by Jonathan Lynn and Antony Jay but also a

collector's must' - John Coldstream in the Daily Telegraph

'Yes Prime Minister is a comedy in a class of its own'

- Celia Brayfield in The Times


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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By "christophergb" on 17 Feb. 2004
Format: Paperback
The relationship between Jim Hacker, Sir Humphrey and Bernard Wooley are brilliantly detailed in this collection of the episodes. Instead of the normal transcribe of scripts that one expects in humour series books, the episodes are carefully presented in diary form. We learn all the information through a variety of diaries, official documents and letters from different sources. The clever humour of the television series is not lost in the translation and in fact possibly increases. It is possible that the book form is even better than the television series (excepting the brilliant acting).
This is clever humour that does not dumb down for anyone and gives a corrageously accurate depiction of the British civil service.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 Jan. 2000
Format: Paperback
All three of these books (The Complete Yes, Minister, The Complete Yes, Prime Minister, Vols.1,2) are much more than just transcripts of the TV show. Filled with as much humor and keen political insight as the series upon which they are based, they are wonderful creations in their own rights.
Although they retell the same stories as were shown on tv, they have been adapted very nicely to the written word. Although some of the material doesn't translate as well, other parts of the stories benefit from being presented in writing.
This book does for government bureaucracy (or bureaucracy of any kind) what Catch-22 did for the military, only better. Perhaps the greatest testament to the authors' skill is the fact that they are able to make scathing political commentary without being reduced to hopeless cynicism nor petty meanness. The characters, even while manipulating the system to their own ends and scheming against each other, preserve a certain innocence. Even the bumbling Hacker and Sir Humphrey (a cross between Machiavelli and Uncle Screwtape) come to be regarded with fondness and are missed when the last page has been turned.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. James on 5 April 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the definitive text book on how British politics works.
It is essential reading for students of politics to save wasting time on all those theoretical constitutional tomes, and for anyone who ever comes into contact with government - it will reassure you that your experiences are not unique but are part of an overall pattern of creative inertia. Sir Humphrey should be the role model for all civil servants who want to get on in their careers and want to prevent their political masters getting on in theirs. There is no evidence that Sir Humphrey is a reincarnation of Machiavelli but it is highly likely. How did earlier generations cope without this masterpiece?
Can never be read too often.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By huwginge@talk21.com on 12 Jun. 2000
Format: Paperback
A brilliant read, superbly crafted, the diary entries of James Harker, Humphrey and Bernard. The book goes through each Yes PM episode in am way of diary entries, as expected the PM's entries makes himself look clever, Humphrey's makes his irrational ideas look normal and Bernard fight with his conscience. More books like these should be available. In a word................Superb
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 6 Oct. 2003
Format: Paperback
At last television series scripts that aren't.
I am ususally disappointed when I am given 'scripts' to various sitcoms, as they are dry and boring to read, but with Yes Prome Minister, not so! Lynn and Jay have expertly transferred the screenplay into continous prose, with excellent returns. Super just to 'dip into', the light-hearted antics of Whitehall and No. 10 will amuse almost anyone! A real pleasure to read - again and again!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 26 Nov. 1998
Format: Paperback
There must be something remarkable about this book sine I've raed it at least a dozen times. Seeing those superb characters - Sir Humphrey. Sir Frank etc. in TV was not enough - the book adds a lot to the pleasure
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. V. Clarke VINE VOICE on 26 May 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a marvellously funny book, well worth reading. Unlike most collections of scripts from TV comedies, this has been carefully and skilfully edited to make it into a highly plausible diary.
We learn of Jim Hacker's rise to the office of Prime Minister and observe his relationships with leading Civil Service figures, such as Sir Humphrey Appleby and Bernard Woolley. The tension between party politics and goverment and the scheming of the civil service officials is brilliantly worked out throughout the diary. Wry comments on British political, religious and military history subtly abound.
A highly entertaining book that presents a tongue-in-cheek view of the goings on at No 10, it's easy to get really involved with the story. The portrayal of various characters is superb, the odious and somewhat ineffectual PM Jim Hacker, the highly intelligent, scheming Sir Humphrey and the pragmatic and pedantic Bernard Woolley shine through.
Great fun - read it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Clare on 17 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love the radio/TV programmes and have the complete set of DVDs and from using the 'Look Inside' feature for the book I expected to enjoy this. The authors have done a clever job of translating the material into a collection of diary entries, memoranda, memoirs extracts, etc.
However, I was left admiring the ingenuity rather than enjoying the result. And there's an awful of of 'I said ... He said... then I said...'. Enjoyable enough to dip into but not something I'm likely to re-visit once read, unlike the broadcasts.
Also, as other readers have mentioned, the print is very small (and reproductions of memos etc quite faint) so it's not a very relaxing read from that aspect.
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