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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars how it would be
This is a fantastic DVD . Magnificently acted ( A fitting tribute to Ray McAnally ) As someone who was involved in the political scene of that time I found the characters frighteningly real. A great political thriller and superb read. The political analysis is spot on. Would give it six stars if I could
Published on 14 Dec. 2010 by the drumer

versus
48 of 55 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Be Warned
This is not a follow up to Chris Mullin's book 'A Very British Coup' - this IS Chris Mullin's book 'A Very British Coup' under a new title because of a TV tie-in. A new version of the TV series is being shown under a new title and so the book is retitled too. Amazon do not make this clear (I wonder if they even realise it) but if, like me, you have the original DO NOT...
Published on 6 Nov. 2012 by Paulinderwick


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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars red harry, 28 Dec. 2003
This is an accurate adaptation of Chris Mullins book. However the end is very different. I wont tell you how as it wouild spoil it.It is hard to believe that we could believe we could have a Labour govt. which was truly socialist unlike now when we have New labour which tries to be Tory and succeeds. It shows how a socialist govt. would have to overcome every obstacle from the faceless true rulers of Britain.Ray McNally puts in a brilliant display as Perkins and it was rightly recently shown again on UK Drama. Anybody with an interest in politics should get this. It will help you remember what socialism is. But dont tell Tony!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A FRIGHTENING SCENARIO, 15 July 2013
This review is from: A Very British Coup (Paperback)
This was a real good read, and I am always keen when an insider writes a novel about what he knows best. I found the novel really enjoyable, but does raise the question who rules the United Kingdom, politicians or big business, the media, and the wealthy. It also begs the question can any government try and implement extreme views, which could be protection, but it depends who those extreme views affect. Chris Mullin writes with knowledge and experience, and has produced a readable and enjoyable book, which can be read quickly, and it turn can be thought-provoking..Agood summer read
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very British Thriller, 3 April 2013
By 
T. T. Rogers - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Very British Coup (Paperback)
Among politics junkies nowadays, Chris Mullin is best remembered for his laudable campaigns against miscarriages of justice. That's when he is remembered at all, for he was an obscure politician. What many don't know is that he also once wrote a rather good novel. 'A Very British Coup' is one of the most fun thrillers you will ever read, though it does help if you have a general interest in politics. Not real politics, but the type of counterfeit that requires you to vote tribally and thoughtlessly, placing an 'X' in a box once every few years.

In truth, politics is quite a dry business. In a way, Mullin succeeds here because he portrays the political game in a way that we would like to believe it is but which, deep down, we know it isn't. Here there are 'goodies' and 'baddies' of the type that resemble the cynical cut-outs portrayed in the popular media and from the demagogic margins. Real politics isn't like that, but the fantasy world depicted by the media eschews reality for false dichotomies, moral outrage, construed conflict and manufactured confrontation. The central character in 'A Very British Coup', and the hero, is 'Harry Perkins', a populist left-wing politician who somehow becomes Prime Minister. Perkins has campaigned in poetry and plans to govern in overt, hard-left prose. Railed against him are the shadowy forces of the Establishment: in the main, certain rogue figures in the intelligence community who do not want to see Britain transformed into what, presumably, Perkins would consider a 'fair' society. The plot charts the machinations of Perkins' enemies and the hero's fight against them. The plans to thwart Perkins get nastier as the story progresses.

The naiveté and political illiteracy of the premise doesn't matter. Mullin is working 'in-house' here, writing an Establishment novel for an audience that is, variously, priggish and credulous. It's not great literature, either stylistically or in its insight, but it's clever. There are those who think the Establishment is conspired against the Left. Then there are those who think Labour is part of the Left, but only with a Perkins knight-like figure who will assail instituted injustice and leaven, imperceptibly, the mores of socialites and 'elitists' alike towards ever-more egalitarian ends and objects. And there are some who even delude themselves that they are part of one of these conspiracies. These are people who are all on the same side, whether they realise it or acknowledge it, and whether or not they like it. They are all, also, wrong. 'A Very British Coup' is a novel about those people and their wrongness. It's a very British thriller in that it is largely clueless in its subject-matter, and knows it, but manages to be entertaining anyway, and reserves right for the end a brief flash of insight and reflection. Perkins - and therefore, by extension, the author - is asking us: 'Does the staged version of politics that we see each day played-out in the media actually do anything for us? Is it real?' What was lucky for me is that I read the book before I saw the TV adaptation, and so I managed to recognise that poignant side of it. The televised version is excellent, I might add, but the book has a much superior ending. Mullin, a politician formed in the satire boom and writing this during a period of increasing Realpolitik and cynicism, wraps up the answer in Perkins' fate.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing 80s political thriller, 1 Oct. 2013
By 
David Herdson (Wakefield, Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Very British Coup (Paperback)
Chris Mullin wrote A Very British Coup back in 1982, setting it seven years into an imagined, bleak, future: the crises and riots that scarred early '80s Britain get worse, manufacturing all but ends, the inner cities become lawless hellholes. Against that backdrop, first Labour elects left-winger Harry Perkins to lead it, then, almost by default against the government's failings, he wins the general election and becomes prime minister. The reaction of The Establishment to this turn of events is a mixture of horror and scheming calculation and the stage is set for a clash of wills, power and political skill.

It's a good read: the story rattles along at a decent pace and stays just the right side of plausibility to keep the reader engaged. It's not a particularly complex story - the book itself is only about 200 pages - but that's not a bad thing: novels can suffer from an excess of sub-plots and keeping it pared down works well.

Thirty years on, it's clearly a work of its time. Indeed, even then, it's questionable as to whether there was the cohesion or unity of purpose among the powers in the shadows that Mullin ascribes to them. Ironically, by the time the real 1989 came round, not only was the far left in retreat in Britain and across the world but Margaret Thatcher had also deeply undermined the previous elites too.

Not a classic then but still a good read and a story that's stood the test of time.

One final point: A Very British Coup has been re-released with a new title 'Secret State' (which frankly is far inferior to the original), to tie in with a second TV adaptation. Don't be misled - this is still the same book.
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39 of 47 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Misrepresented, 8 Nov. 2012
By 
Mr. Harry W. Wood "hwwood" (Forest Hill, London SE23) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Secret State (Kindle Edition)
So this book was published on 12 October 2012, yet has reviews here going back 20 months?

But as a previous reviewer said, this is NOT the book of the new Channel 4 series, which was written by Robert Jones and not Chris Mullin. This is the book of A Very British Coup, itself a great book and a memorable TV series in the 1980s. And Amazon have added to this confusion by taking their customer reviews for the old book and attributing them to the new.

A work that is 'inspired' by another does not turn into it. West Side Story is not Romeo and Juliet with music and My Fair Lady is not Pygmalion. A similar misreprentation occurred with Bouquet of Barbed Wire, where the 1969 book was republished with the cover of the 2010 adaptation, despite the substantial changes to the story.

To protect themselves, the publishers have stated the true position in small letters on the top of the cover. But it remains highly misleading and ought to be withdrawn and not published under this title.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First rate gripping political thriller, 25 Feb. 2002
By A Customer
I first watched this superb mini-series back in the early 90s and it rates as one of the best political thrillers every produced. The acting, writing and direction are incredible - the storyline gives one much food for though. For example, would the USA really organise a coup against a socialist left British Government?
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5.0 out of 5 stars The longevity of books, 21 Dec. 2012
This review is from: Secret State (Paperback)
As the sister of the author Chris Mullin, and an author myself, I am particularly interested in the life of this novel. When Chris wrote A Very British Coup the public perception of politicians and the press was very different to that of today. Rose Tremain commented that the life of a novel today is very much shorter than it used to be, however, A Very British Coup/Secret State bucks this trend. It has been television adapted more than once, and has clearly found a new audience - it's themes continue to resonate, perhaps more today than in the past. I am the author of Gene Genie, a novel with a similar slow burn and a subject matter that is a topical now as when it was first written (political sleaze, sperm donation and identity) first published in 2005 and now available on Kindle. Chris and I have similar writing styles, perhaps this too is genetic. The publishing Phoenix clearly rises, Secret State is a powerful novel and dark forces remain at work; it is a thoroughly good read.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cracking watch, 20 May 2010
By 
J. R. Masters (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Although made in 1988 this is still a gripping story.
Why can't we have this choice for a Prime Minister now or is there nobody of integrity and dedication to the wider community available any more.
Have we all really become too corrupt and self-centred to worry about the betterment of the country as a whole?
If you haven't seen it, get it and ask yourself; 'Would I vote for this chap if he were to stand now?'.
Get it, you won't be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb read, 23 Mar. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Secret State (Kindle Edition)
Full of twists and turns and very British - if one is also honest very much a true insight into British politics and they way things are. Well worth a read
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 26 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Secret State (Kindle Edition)
An exciting and compelling book. difficult to put down from the start! feels as relevant today as when first came out
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