- Hardcover: 344 pages
- Publisher: Canongate Books; Main edition (3 Nov. 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0857860542
- ISBN-13: 978-0857860545
- Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 3.6 x 23.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 437,661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Only Fools and Horses: The Story of Britain's Favourite Comedy Hardcover – 3 Nov 2011
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Praise for Graham McCann:
'What is not to love about this book? It is meticulous, exact, intelligent, affectionate and somehow inspirational. McCann, who has written on Cary Grant and Morecombe & Wise, has delivered his best one yet.
"McCann's impeccably detailed biography is both a celebration and a lament." (The Times on Morecambe and Wise)
"Never has the sheer awkwardness of the human condition been so comically or beautifully conveyed." (Daily Mail on Frankie Howerd)
"You will laugh, you will learn and you will undoubtedly, start speaking in a silly voice." (Word Magazine on Spike & Co)
"This book also makes one look anew at one's favourite scenes . . . McCann has some nice insights into the production techniques that made this the most frenetic farce to have appeared on television." (Telegraph on Fawlty Towers)
"This is a thoroughly-researched, breezily-written, affectionate and yet never dewy-eyed account of how a great TV series was put together. It stands as a worthy monument to its creator" (Daily Mail)
"McCann provides hundreds of interesting details . . . on how the show crept into the British consciousness and captured the British public's imagination with its characters and humour . . . The back stories of the actors and actresses are engrossing and how the theme music came about is a comic tale in itself" (Telegraph)
On the 30th anniversary of the show, Britain's favourite entertainment writer celebrates Britain's best-loved sitcom.See all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
The author provides his own opinion of the show throughout. This is fair enough, it's not a reverential history and it provides an insight into why some of the show's quality varied. If you are a die-hard fan of OFAH and think it never put a foot wrong then this book will not be an easy read. If you are more realistic and accept that like everything else it had high points and low points, then this is a fascinating work on how a TV sitcom is created and produced, nearly disappears and then becomes probably the most popular British sitcom ever.
According to some reviewers the book contains some factual errors. If that is the case, perhaps they should point some of them out so we could all be aware. I'm sure the author would be interested and if the errors are substantiated could then update his book. Either way, it's not something that will bother the general reader.
To mark the landmark comedy's thirtieth anniversary, and to pay tribute to the genius who invented it, the then recently deceased John Sullivan, McCann wrote this comprehensive history book, which is a page-turner from it's prologue.
McCann tells the complete, behind-the-scenes story, beginning with writer John Sullivan and Ray Butt's genius idea of a new British sitcom, at a time (the start of the 1980s), when the future of this traditional TV genre was looking very bleak. He writes about the early life of Sullivan in sufficient, but never overly wordy detail, as well as those three wonderful actors, David Jason, Nicholas Lyndhurst, and Lennard Pearce, whose careers had began to look rather uncertain before they landed the roles of Del Boy, Rodney, and Grandad.
I read this well researched book in just a few sittings, and truly lapped the 'Only Fools' story up from start to finish, finding all of the behind-the scenes information about how it all came together, and the reasons as to why certain changes had to be made as the show went on, absolutely fascinating. I learned a lot from it, and my respect for all the brilliant cast and crew only increased. There is no juicy, scandalous gossip to be found, this is a straight story, but told in an entertaining way, and a fitting tribute to John Sullivan, and his greatest, ground-breaking TV legacy.Read more ›
What made this book a three and not a four star read for me was the epilogue where the author bemoans the legacy of the show and manages to brand all comedy forum fans who discuss the various episodes and themes of the series as "the dourest of these obsessives" - hmm. He makes a fair enough point about how the continual showings on vintage channels such as Gold have ruined the immediacy and story arc of some of the series, but I guess that's how those channels make their money by selling advertising during the breaks? Yes, some people do study comedy, but surely making such people out to be rather pathetic he's somewhat alienating his future audience for all of the behind the scenes this author specialises in? I certainly won't be reading another if myself and other fans are held in such contempt?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Graham McCann has done a wonderful job of taking us behind the scenes to one of Britain's best sitcoms. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Matthew Hadley
Graham McCann's book is a brilliant read. It gives the full background story to the long-running and very popular tv comedy, and helpfully provides a guide to every episode. Read morePublished on 23 Mar. 2014 by Holmfirth
Lots of interesting insights into the life of the series, characters and actors. Too detailed in parts and somepolitical comment that was unnecessary, but enjoyable read.Published on 16 Jan. 2014 by Ian Mclaren
I settled down to read this book, a Christmas gift. First few pages were fine and then it turned into an obnoxious rant against one of the finest Prime Ministers that this country... Read morePublished on 27 Dec. 2013 by AJL
Being a keen follower of OFAH,and yes watching the jumbled episodes of Gold I found this book enjoyable. Read morePublished on 3 Sept. 2013 by BOOK ADDICT
Highly reommended by my son as I got it for one of his birthday presents.He really enjoyed it as he is a masive OFAH fan.Published on 19 Aug. 2013 by merlin