Number Ten Paperback – 10 May 2012
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
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)
About the Author
Sue Townsend was born in Leicester in 1946. Despite not learning to read until the age of eight, leaving school at fifteen with no qualifications and having three children by the time she was in her mid-twenties, she always found time to read widely. She also wrote secretly for twenty years. After joining a writers' group at The Phoenix Theatre, Leicester, she won a Thames Television award for her first play, Womberang, and became a professional playwright and novelist. After the publication of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾, Sue continued to make the nation laugh and prick its conscience. She wrote seven further volumes of Adrian's diaries and five other popular novels - including The Queen and I, Number Ten and The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year - and numerous well received plays. Sue passed away in 2014 at the age of sixty-eight. She remains widely regarded as Britain's favourite comic writer.
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top customer reviews
Edward becomes Prime Minister while Jack Sprat becomes a constable who works at 10. Downing Street, guarding him.
Edward’s wife, Adele, is highly intelligent and easily recognizable by her extraordinarily large nose. Edward is captivated by Adele’s “magnificent” nose. Unfortunately, she hears voices, on which psychotropic drugs have no effect.
Jack’s father and step-father were criminal and his brother Stuart had died of drugs.
Edward, as P.M., lives an upper-class life, while Jack’s Mum lives in a mess and neglects the poor budgie, Pete. Jack engages a young man, James, to take care of his mother and clean the house.
Edward decides he needs a break and he and Jack go off together to “see Britain in a week”, travelling by public transport. Jack acts as Edward’s escort. Since Edward’s face is so recognizable, he dresses as a woman, borrowing his wife Adele’s clothes and her wig; he is now Edwina. Edward applies “Pan stik”, whatever that is, lipstick and eye make-up to his face, so even Adele would not have recognized him.
We shift between following Edward and Jack on their tour of Britain, and Jack’s Mum, Norma, and her home help, James. Norma and James are now smoking marijuana, and James is flipping out.
Jack was so bright and precocious that when he was a child Norma couldn’t understand a word of the conversation between him and his brainy friends. She sometimes wondered if Jack was “quite right in the head”.
The PM buys a Marilyn Monroe wig and becomes a dishy blonde, though his disguise is not as convincing when the bristles on his face begin to appear.
Meanwhile, at home Adele stops taking her medicine. A man called Barry’s leg is being amputated and she is preoccupied with seeing to it that it gets an appropriate funeral. She also believes that warts are “holy” and should be accorded the same respect.
On his trip the PM gets to talk with the common people and sees the deplorable state the nation is in. At one point Edward has cause to be admitted to the casualty department of a hospital suspected of having a heart attack (with alarming symptoms he often has). There he gets the chance to see how ordinary Brits having acute health crises are treated. They need a trolley for Edward but none of the staff can find one, but Jack dons a white coat and soon finds two.
During the trip Edward visits Edinburgh, where he lived as a child, visits his sister and makes new discoveries about himself and who his real father is. Things are happening at Ten Downing Street too.
At one point Edward and Jack visit Jack’s Mum, Norma, and James.
“James said, ‘Where were you educated?’
‘At Cambridge,’ said the Prime Minister, lowering his eyes modestly.
‘Well, it ain’t done you much good, has it?’ said James. ‘Look at the state you’re in. You ain’t a man, you ain’t a woman, you ain’t no class, what are you?
The Prime Minister adjusted his wig and ran a hand over his bristly chin.’”
Like Sue Townsend’s other works, this is a hilarious book, critically appraising the British and their country. I didn’t quite understand the point of the ending – perhaps it meant that freedom is dangerous.
An interesting book to see how some people still percieve England's problems but essentially trite and very very dated.
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.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews
Look for similar items by category