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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent, clever humour.
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...
Published on 17 Feb. 2004 by christophergb

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's okay
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...
Published 19 months ago by Clare


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent, clever humour., 17 Feb. 2004
This review is from: The Complete Yes Prime Minister: The Diaries of the Right Hon.James Hacker (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
5.0 out of 5 stars More than just a show..., 23 Jan. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Complete Yes Prime Minister: The Diaries of the Right Hon.James Hacker (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
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Thing, 5 April 2003
By 
M. James "mariiago" (Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Complete Yes Prime Minister: The Diaries of the Right Hon.James Hacker (Paperback)
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
4.0 out of 5 stars A superb and insightful read- typical of Yes PM, 12 Jun. 2000
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This review is from: The Complete Yes Prime Minister: The Diaries of the Right Hon.James Hacker (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 6 Oct. 2003
This review is from: The Complete Yes Prime Minister: The Diaries of the Right Hon.James Hacker (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly hilarious but realistic, eye-opening, 26 Nov. 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Complete Yes Prime Minister: The Diaries of the Right Hon.James Hacker (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Perceptive and very funny, 26 May 2004
By 
M. V. Clarke (Durham, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Complete Yes Prime Minister: The Diaries of the Right Hon.James Hacker (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
3.0 out of 5 stars It's okay, 17 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: The Complete Yes Prime Minister: The Diaries of the Right Hon.James Hacker (Paperback)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars “Yes, Prime Minister” book-review, 17 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: The Complete Yes Prime Minister: The Diaries of the Right Hon.James Hacker (Paperback)
N.B. This review includes both “Yes, Minister” and “Yes, Prime Minister”.

As an avid fan of the “Yes, Minister” and “Yes, Prime Minister” TV series, I was somewhat hesitant when it came to reading these books. I thought it was not possible for the books be as entertaining, complex and well-paced as was the series. But now that I have read them, I must say that they really are quite excellent. (Probably because the writers of the TV series also wrote the books, so the spirit and tone of the original work has been beautifully preserved.)

My main concern before reading the books, was the fact that they were written from Minister Hacker’s point-of-view, but that turned out to be a very good choice, because he really is the one person who is as clueless as we readers are about the workings of the Civil Service – so who better to give voice to our confusion and questions. (And to be inside Sir Humphrey’s head the whole book, would have been, I think, quite scary.)

But to those who like the clever Civil Service men best, there are some treats as well. Sir Humphrey’s memos and minutes, “The Appleby papers”, are there to clarify his thinking and the things that went on behind the Minister’s back. And every once in a while, even Bernard comments on the past events. So, in a way, we get all the witty banter form the original series, and also some new insight into the characters’ minds.

And the books are not just the scripts of the episodes, though of course the main focus is to create the same situations as in the TV series. But it seems that the writers have had the chance to put in the books all the things that were cut from the series. So there are new jokes and further observations on issues there to amuse the readers.

So if you liked the TV series, or like clever satirical political parodies, or just want a beginner’s course in the machinations of the British government, do read these books! They are a lovely addition to the original series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good book but print is too small, 4 Nov. 2010
This review is from: The Complete Yes Prime Minister: The Diaries of the Right Hon.James Hacker (Paperback)
Not a comment on the content, but I had to return this paperback copy as print was too small - was originally published as a 2 volume hardback - personally I would attempt to buy the hardbacks second hand.
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