The Complete Ripping Yarns Hardcover – 31 May 1990
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Top customer reviews
Many people wonder at the purpose of such collections; I suppose this sort of thing is really intended for hardcore fans and aspiring comedy writers. That said, this book should by no means be regarded merely a source aid, or a token shelf-filler; many people may not have seen the television series, and the book makes for enjoyable reading in itself.
Each script is adequately illustrated with appropriate stills; the italicised action directions are witty and entertaining. You can also pick up on humorous details that may have flashed by on the screen; the full contents of school noticeboards, &c, are painstakingly transcribed wherever appropriate.
These tales make very pleasurable reading, but the collection loses a star for its somewhat limited appeal. Many, I imagine, would rather have the videos.
Obviously Palin impeccable delivery is missing but the scripts are strong enough to stand up on there own. `Across the Andes by Frog', `The Testing of Eric Olthwaite' and `Escape from Stalag Luft 112 B' being my own particular favourites from the fisrt series.
From the second series `Golden Gordon', `Roger of the Raj' and `Whinfrey's Last Case' are all perfect comedies without an inch of fat on them. `Golden Gordon' is the perfect story of the decline Barnsworth United from plucky Yorkshire Football cup winners to scrap yard. `Roger of the Raj' brings us the stiff upper lip battling with commerce and socialist at the far corners of the British Empire and `Whinfrey's Last Case' parodies the easy espionage of Hannay and his imitators.
The warmth Palin and Jones obviously felt for the source material of these affectionate parodies shines through and leaves the reader digging out an old copy of The 39 Steps to read afterwards.
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