Number Ten Paperback – 11 Sep 2003
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A wickedly entertaining and passionate swipe at New Labour (The Times)
There is a gem on nearly every page. Nothing escapes Townsend's withering pen. Satirical, witty, observant . . . a clever book (Observer)
Poignant, hilarious, heart-rending, devastating (New Statesman)
A delight. Genuinely funny . . . compassion shines through the unashamedly ironic social commentary (Guardian) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
Sue Townsend became Britain's bestselling author of the 1980s with her books THE SECRET DIARY OF ADRIAN MOLE AGED 13 3/4 and THE GROWING PAINS OF ADRIAN MOLE. She is the author of seven other novels, including THE QUEEN AND I, and her collected journalism, THE PUBLIC CONFESSIONS OF A MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN (AGED 55 3/4), was published in 2001. She is well known as a playwright and lives in Leicester.
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Top Customer Reviews
When the PM is embarrassed at PMQ's he decides he needs to be seen as a man of the people and decides to take on a visit around the UK-the only problem is he decides to do it in drag so Edward Clare -the PM becomes Edwina St Clare actress and Jack is dragged along for the ride.The characters including an ambitious Chancellor of the Exchequer the all powerful media fixer and a Mandelsonesque 'best friend' are all drawn probably too near the knuckle for some but in this the fun is guessing who is being described,my favourite being the PM's wife the 'cleverest woman in the world'
The tour which takes in Edinburgh via Leeds to the Cotswolds and ends up at Jacks mothers house in Leicester which has been turned into a crack den is a another winner the characters including some that would be very easy to recognise for anyone with a smidge of political knowledge are written well and Townsends unique comic insight and a healthy dose of left wing politics makes the book another winner in my book,the inadequicies of modern Britain are dealt with in an intelligent way and there are some genuine funny moments along with a touch or two of pathos .
All in all another page turner that well deserves some of your time.
The PM, Edward Clare (not much concealment here) has lost touch with the people. He decides to go walkabout, incognito, in Britain, with that famous cop-at-the-front-of-number-10, who's called Jack. It's set in 2002. You'd think Sue Townsend was a mind reader: the book is well up to date even two years later, except that she thought He wouldn't invade Iraq. (She misjudged him.)
Clare and PC Jack go around Britain queing for buses and taxis, getting ripped off, visiting care homes, sink housing estates, and meeting deranged people of all descriptions.
Meanwhile, at Downing Street, Mrs Clare, the cleverest woman in Europe, goes mad without her husband and suggests that warts and amputated body parts deserve christian burial.
Also at Downing Street, Alex McPherson, Press Officer, is running news management and damage limitation and monitoring the PM's every move. Oh, and the PM is dressed as a woman and at once stage lands the lead part in an anti-establishment satirical play about a PM who's lost all his principles. .
Also at Downing Street, the Chancellor is helping the PM's son with his homework project - about Socialism.
Mrs Townsend does not like what New Labour has become, and you would soon know it. But it's laugh aloud funny.
My favourite bit: the PM's sister runs Kennels, £100 per dog per night. Being shown around, the visitors get to the dogs' quarters: Jack "..was astonished to find cubicles, carpets and soft lighting. Each dog had an outside run and a colour television; a few of them were watching Crossroads."
If your taste is for a bleak look at what New Labour has done (or not done) for Britain, this is your tome.
An interesting book to see how some people still percieve England's problems but essentially trite and very very dated.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very entertaining read, laugh out loud moments. Satirical view of the upper/middle/lower classes.Published 7 months ago by M Young
Just finished reading Number Ten it is brilliantly funny, I would put it up there along with Queen Camilla as Sue Townsend's two best books. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Fiona