Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
A wonderful book
on 4 July 2016
I have got to hand it to Graham McCann, this man is clearly passionately in love with classic British comedy, and his outstanding publications on a wealth of them are a testament to this. If you buy one of his books, then you just know that you're going to get something good, and his 2011 chronicle on the nations favourite sitcom, 'Only Fools and Horses', is no exception.
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. I have a lot of time for Graham McCann, and only wish that there were more quality biographers like him around. If you love 'Only Fools and Horses', then this is about as good a companion as we're likely to get, it's affectionate, very quick to praise, yet never afraid to be critical (which is often is, but never overly, or unjustly), and a book that you need in you're life.
There are two inserts of photographs inside, which consist of publicity shots, stills of the actors in their other notable roles, and the folk who worked behind the cameras. At the end of the book, you will find a comprehensive episode guide, with all the important information of such.