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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly wondrous!
Everything I expected and more! Perfect for a die hard Python fan. If I feel the need to quote or correct someone on a quote I can easily do that now! Not only that, it makes for a wonderful read. Just as funny to read as to watch. The pictures and annotations are entertaining and informative, I just cant fault it! 97 out of 5! :)
Published 17 months ago by Evie Clare Tansley

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I wish to register a complaint!
Sorry, I couldn't resist that title. I was anticipating tearing into this book so much, really immensely looking forward to it, but when it arrived the problem became apparent. I shall now explain it in a rather roundabout way. Luke Dempsey wants to annotate the already published scripts of the Flying Circus television series, and so realises his annotations can fall into...
Published 22 months ago by Mark Turgid


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I wish to register a complaint!, 25 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Monty Python's Flying Circus: Complete and Annotated - All the Bits (Hardcover)
Sorry, I couldn't resist that title. I was anticipating tearing into this book so much, really immensely looking forward to it, but when it arrived the problem became apparent. I shall now explain it in a rather roundabout way. Luke Dempsey wants to annotate the already published scripts of the Flying Circus television series, and so realises his annotations can fall into the following categories -

1. Information that was left out of the original published script book (descriptions of It's Man sequences, animations, etc.)
2. Ways in which the recorded programme differed from the original and published script (cuts, fluffs, additions)
3. References encyclopaedia
4. Production trivia (anecdotes, sketches that were removed)

And also plop in bits of criticism when he feels necessary. That's fine. So... why all the blank spaces in the margin? There are loads of sketches which go uncommented on, and this is exacerbated by a lot of the comments taking up so much space being very poorly written. Many opportunities for fascinating and important pieces of information to be included are denied in favour of repeating certain entries (Reginald Maudling and Eton are described unnecessarily alongside every mention) and overblowing the hilarity of supposed bloopers (did Chapman really bump into a teenage boy during the Olympic Hide and Seek Finals sketch? Nope) Saying that Palin has to wait for laughter to die down before saying his next line in Interesting People is entirely needless. Some entries are also just plain inaccurate. Dempsey that the word 'mentch' as used in Biggles Dictates A Letter is an abbreviation of mention, when it's plain to anyone watching that he Chapman is saying 'mensch' in the Jewish sense, i.e. somebody who borrows from those around them. The line 'hate to be a mensch, but can I borrow that lawn-mower' (only slightly paraphrased, as the book is out of reach) should have made this clear.

To give an example of something that was left out, I have always been intrigued by a caption saying "Sandy Wilson's version of 'The Devils'" during the silly song at the end of the Language Laboratory sketch (Proust episode). This wasn't explained. Looking it up, I find out this brief joke relies on knowledge of both the sombre films of Ken Russell and the camp musicals of Sandy Wilson. Apparently Russell directed a version of Wilson's musical The Boyfriend much to Wilson's umbrage, making it rather grittier than it was intended to be. And so the gag implies that was as ridiculous as getting Wilson to direct a version of one of Russell's films. I find this fascinating and believe it was the sort of information that should have been included! Rather than espousing on almond cakes and saying a certain beard is funny, although both activities are of course fine in moderation. There is also an incident in which David Frost's telephone number was flashed up as a prank then later edited out, which could well have been included and there would have been much rejoicing. (For more information on how the shows were put together, search 'SOTCAA Python edits' with Google)

The final point to make is that Dempsey's writing style in the other sections feels very rushed. And why would somebody who has bought an in-depth analysis of Python need a quick-fix bio of each of the members anyway? I also feel there's far too much bashing of the British. Mr Dempsey, now living in Australia, begins the book by apologising for being British which is surely bizarre and unnecessary. His other comments on Britain read like something from the type of 1950's schoolbook that Palin and Jones would go on to mock. We could also do without Dempsey's prissy apologies for more daring material. 'The sight of the critic strangling his wife seems, to modern audiences, rather crass' Really? Wow. I'm sure it was at the time. He also quotes from Wikipedia an awful lot. Also, at second glance, many of the stills from the episodes are very blurry and could have been improved by waiting a few seconds before selecting the image.

BUT! Here's the thing. I still love this book, in an odd way. It's great as a reference guide, the colourful images making 'which bit is from where' queries easily resolved and some snippets of information reaffirm why I admire Python so highly. Yes, some of the information is very interesting. The derivation of the Northern expression 'I'll go to the foot of my stairs' meaning 'I'm so excited I could wet myself' for one thing, and the reason a reference to lampshades doesn't get a laugh in the Mr Hilter skit made me cringe. Ultimately people who are less obsessive than myself will surely delight in the book as it stands. All the shows, y'know. It's great, it's bright, it's massive. It's just a shame it isn't as good as it so easily could have been.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A great opportunity missed, 28 Nov 2013
By 
Alasdair Swanson "arcoddath" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Monty Python's Flying Circus: Complete and Annotated - All the Bits (Hardcover)
Oh dear -- I love annotated books, I love Monty Python but this was a bit of a disappointment all round. First, and less important, the scripts themselves are printed in a way that makes them harder to read than they need to be. Secondly, and more to the point, the annotations are generally minor things, mostly intended for non-UK readers and generally facile. As a random instance, "Hire Purchase is equivalent to the layaway plan." Is it? I didn't know that but I do know what Hire Purchase is and a straight explanation might have been useful and informative. Much that is interesting is omitted including basic information like casting not in the scripts (who plays the jury in the multiple murder sketch?), location (where was the cycling tour,really?), music (we all know it's "The Liberty Bell" but that simple note's not in here, or if it is I've not found it) or filming notes. Many sketches are not notated at all and some notes are plain wrong (eg the explanation of why the pepperpots were so called).

Despite this,it's a nice book to have, does contain some useful and interesting information (possibly inadvertently) and is a satisfying thing to have about the house.

I wonder if we could persuade Andrew Pixley to have a go at a Python book?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly wondrous!, 14 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Monty Python's Flying Circus: Complete and Annotated - All the Bits (Hardcover)
Everything I expected and more! Perfect for a die hard Python fan. If I feel the need to quote or correct someone on a quote I can easily do that now! Not only that, it makes for a wonderful read. Just as funny to read as to watch. The pictures and annotations are entertaining and informative, I just cant fault it! 97 out of 5! :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 29 May 2013
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This review is from: Monty Python's Flying Circus: Complete and Annotated - All the Bits (Hardcover)
Completeley as advertised. I have no complaints whatsoever.
I you are interested in this subject, this is one for you.
Couldn't be more satisfied
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5.0 out of 5 stars Spot On, 19 April 2013
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This review is from: Monty Python's Flying Circus: Complete and Annotated - All the Bits (Hardcover)
Always loved Monty Python and so this is great for any fan. Looking forward to reading through it all. Great
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great addition to Python-worship!, 11 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Monty Python's Flying Circus: Complete and Annotated - All the Bits (Hardcover)
Brilliant addition to the long list of titles by and about the Pythons. Brings back lots of memories of the past TV watching and interesting to have annotations which are obviously aimed mostly at non-GB readers/viewers. Well written and well illustrated too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Really great, 12 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Monty Python's Flying Circus: Complete and Annotated - All the Bits (Hardcover)
Unbelievable, every single sketch in all detail. Really great
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Monty Python book ever..., 8 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Monty Python's Flying Circus: Complete and Annotated - All the Bits (Hardcover)
I believe this is the ultimate Monty Python book - around nine hundred pages of text, lavishly illustrated in full colour and containing every script and tons more stuff about the Pythons and the ground-breaking TV programme that turned British TV on its heaf in the 1960s. Black Dog have produced something extraordinary here - a magnificent tribute to the greatest comedy-sketch show that ever existed - there's so much material contained in this brilliant book that I can't help but make it my joint Nonfiction Book of the Month. A slice of TV heaven, a slice of cultural history the like of which has never been seen since - the inspiration for so many people, and so complete it's awesome. This review appears in the Christmas issue of Books Monthly [...]
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 19 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Monty Python's Flying Circus: Complete and Annotated - All the Bits (Hardcover)
My daughter in law loved it. She is a great fan.
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2 of 53 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Benny Hill was indeed considered funnier than Monty Python!, 11 Dec 2012
This review is from: Monty Python's Flying Circus: Complete and Annotated - All the Bits (Hardcover)
Why not get Hill DVD's instead of this or any other Python material. Bio The Benny Hill Story (by John Smith) showed this of Hill!
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