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Number 10

3.3  ·  Rating Details ·  1,284 Ratings  ·  115 Reviews
“Townsend has a rare gift … wickedly funny.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“It’s not pretty, it’s not subtle, but it’s wickedly funny and skewers London’s prime-time players.”—Columbus Dispatch

Praise for Sue Townsend:

“It’s a good thing British subjects are no longer beheaded for treason, or Sue Townsend’s head would roll . . . outrageously cutting.”—Newsday

“[Townsend] is a n
Paperback, 282 pages
Published November 1st 2004 by Soho Press (first published 2002)
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Aug 19, 2007 Brownie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any avid reader
I love Sue Townsend's humorous accounts of the pimply Adrian Mole in her diary series and knew I wouldn't pass up the chance to read Number 10- a novel, when it came out. Being a big fan of the Brits capacity for dry wit and humour, I wasn't disappointed because this is Brit humour at one of its best.

Number 10 is a sort of satirical look at the politicians and thier relationship (or the lack of it) with the general public, sensationalized headlines, social neglect along with its stereotyped ima
Caela Harrison
May 21, 2008 Caela Harrison rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: recyclers and gerbil owners
Recommended to Caela by: Lowri
What a load of old toss.

Townsend upset me on page two, when she revealed her dire knowledge of a city she was setting part of a story in. I'm quite baffled as to why she bothered to write this book - I can't even be bothered writing a review, it was that awful.

I persevered for loyalty to my sister, who believes that Townsend is the best thing since Roger Hargreaves. I love my sister a lot, but she has bad bad judgement. (She fancies Jack in EastEnders, that should've given me a wee clue.)

Jul 27, 2015 Karschtl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: funny, bc, read-in-2004
This hilarously funny book gives an inside view into the mind of a British Prime Minister who dresses up like Marilyn Monroe and travels through Britain in an attempt to learn about the worries of 'his nation'.
It turns out that this Edward Clare is in fact utterly naive and also easily frightened to sort things out himself. It's always his companion Jack, kind of a bodyguard, who has to deal with any upcoming problems.
Finally Edward realizes that he may not be so suitable for the job he was elec
Feb 18, 2009 Fiona rated it really liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
An amusing tale of a new labour prime minister who goes undercover as a woman to get in touch with his people.
True to life and politically correct ;)
Deb Sharp
Jun 12, 2012 Deb Sharp rated it it was amazing
This has to be one of the best books I have read in ages, I laughed so much my sides hurt! OMG! I just read the other reviesw for this book and it seems not many liked it? I guess some people just do not hav a sense of humor!
Oct 13, 2010 Em rated it it was ok
Shelves: ebooks
not as good as other Townsend book I read (Adrian Mole). This started out interesting in the beginning, started to drag a bit in the middle, by the time I reached the end, I could hardly wait to put this down. This is supposed to be a satirical look at the British democracy of the nineties and early twentyfirst century. The main character, Edward Clair, the PM is supposed to be a parody of Tony Blair, with a wife and kids to match. Maybe British people will understand much of the subtle ( or so ...more
Apr 16, 2011 Helen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was sadly disappointed with this and didn't even finish it. Fortunately it was a freebie, a neighbour was moving and put a pile of books out for people to help themselves. :)

I loved the Adrian Mole series, or at least the earlier ones. I have to admit that I didn't read the later ones where Adrian has grown up. I also rather liked The Queen and I. But this novel didn't really seem to know what it was trying to say. Britain in 2003 wasn't such an awful place, not as far as I can remember, yet S
Derek Baldwin
Jul 28, 2011 Derek Baldwin rated it liked it
By the standards of the Adrian Mole books this is very disappointing. The idea that a UK Prime Minister would travel the country incognito, dressed as a woman furthermore, is beyond all plausibility. The characters are poorly realised, we are clearly supposed to recognise them as barely disguised real people (Gordon Brown, Peter Mandelson, etc) and fill in the shading ourselves. The set-pieces have their comic moments but picaresque this ain't. About the best character is Peter the budgie. Havin ...more
Feb 25, 2012 Ensiform rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Just as she did with royalty in The Queen and I (which I only vaguely remember), Townsend now turns her satiric pen to the Prime Minister. Edward Clare, obviously meant to represent Tony Blair, is a well-intentioned but ineffective PM, accused by his critics of having no particular politics and far removed from the average British citizen. So he goes on a week’s adventure: dressed in his wife’s clothes, accompanied by PC Jack Sprat, he goes on a road trip and is introduced to the joys of public ...more
Jul 19, 2015 David rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know what kind of sickness I have that drives me to finish books that I'm not enjoying when there are so many better things to read, but whatever it is made me slog on to the end of this.

I read a number of Townsend's "Adrian Mole" books decades ago and loved them, so when I saw this in a second hand shop, I snatched it up. Based on some of the other Goodreads reviews, it sounds like I'm not the only fan from the Adrian Mole years that was disappointed in this.

There's a potentially good s
Sep 06, 2012 Saphirablue rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
T4bsF (Call me Flo)
Jan 05, 2016 T4bsF (Call me Flo) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour, favorites
Number 10: a novel
This book is so funny - obviously based on a Prime Minister from our very close past. He decided to go around to meet 'his people' incognito - in drag. Hilarious. Sue Townsend is an excellent story teller
Jane Hornsby
Dec 15, 2012 Jane Hornsby rated it it was amazing
I read this book quite a while ago but I found it very funny at the time and I found that she touched very close to describing certain politicians of the time. I could picture exactly who she was talking about and it was so true especially as she managed to rip off their characters and make them look so comical. Very well executed...
Feb 02, 2013 Inga rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dem fiktiven Premierminister Edward Clare wird vorgeworfen vom alltäglichen Leben der Briten keine Ahnung mehr zu haben. So verkleidet er sich (mit großer persönlicher Freude) als Edwina und macht sich mit dem Polizisten Jack Sprat auf eine Reise durch Armuts-, Drogen- und Rentnermilieu und entdeckt nebenbei seine eigenen familiären Wurzeln und sich selbst wieder. Neue Energie für den Job findet er allerdings nicht...
Man beobachtet die Briten mit Edwina eher mit den Augen des staunenden Kindes a
Mar 22, 2013 Dark-Draco rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour
I ended up being a bit disappointed with this - I missed the humour from 'The Queen and I' and found the charcters a bit too one-dimensional. I don't...more I ended up being a bit disappointed with this - I missed the humour from 'The Queen and I' and found the charcters a bit too one-dimensional. I don't really understand why Edward chooses the disguise he did and, conversely, why that didn't lead to a lot more humour. The blurb about the book states that the Prime Minister finds out about life ...more
Leonie Byrne
Jun 16, 2013 Leonie Byrne rated it liked it
Shelves: chic-lit
Not really sure what to make of this one, some aspects of it I certainly enjoyed where in others I felt let down. I felt not enough was said about what effect Edwards early life had on him yet felt the author had included it because it was supposed to be important but the why was never quite clear. Some of it was very funny and I enjoyed the sub stories of Norma's house guests and Adele's madness but something about this story just felt incomplete and some parts just plain ridiculous especially ...more
Oct 06, 2013 Cassandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Edward Clare ist der Premierminister von Großbritannien. Verheiratet mit der intelligentesten Frau des Landes und Vater von drei Kindern, macht er sich viele Gedanken über die politischen Zustände in Afrika. Leider hat er überhaupt keine Ahnung was seine Bürger bewegt oder wie sie leben, seine Ratgeber sind ja in einer ähnlich privilegierten Stellung wie er selber. Als Edward sich auf einer Pressekonferenz lächerlich macht, beschließt er eine Woche abzutauchen und durch England zu reisen. Er bed ...more
Nov 17, 2013 Cat. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, fiction, humor
I love Sue Townsend. Part of that is because I read the original Adrian Mole books when I was just old enough to understand the satire in them. Part of it is because she lives and writes about the city in which my sister's family lives. I recognize the scenery. I think she is underappreciated as a satirist, and a writer in general. I loved The Queen and I as well.

On top of that rave, the reader of this edition is Barbara Rosenblatt, whom I also love because she reads Elizabeth Peters' books so
Apr 22, 2014 Caitlin rated it liked it
With the recent passing of Sue Townsend, I thought it would be nice to pull this out of the long-term "to read" pile - as it's been years since I've read any of the Adrian Moles and other works of hers.

I liked parts of this book and read it fairly quickly - being outside the UK I could still follow along the satire and recognise some of the characters that were a little too familiar to real UK public figures - however for this reason the book did feel a little bit dated. (Although it was nice to
May 08, 2014 Trelawn rated it really liked it
An easy, funny read. The usual Sue Townsend blend of genius and madness. The Prime Minister needs a break, he's feeling stressed and out of touch with his people. So with his copper, Jack Sprat, in toe the PM decides to find out what the people really think by touring Britain .... in drag. Some very funny episodes ensue and there are lots of incredible characters like Ali the cabbie and Jack's mum Norma. The parodies of politicans like Tony Blair and John Prescott are brilliant but the book work ...more
May 17, 2014 Ewa rated it liked it
Po raz kolejny muszę chwilę pomarudzić nad tym, że nie ma tu możliwości zaznaczania tylko części gwiazdek, tak, aby ocena wynosiła dwa i pół albo dwa i trzy czwarte. Rozpiętość między „była w porządku” a „podobała mi się”, w momencie, kiedy jedno oznacza dwa na pięć, a drugie trzy na pięć, w przypadku książek jest ogromna.

Nie wspominając już o problemie z wystawianiem oceny czemukolwiek, wynikającym z mojej natury.
Koniec z marudzeniem, przejdźmy do rzeczy. Sue Townsend jest znana przede wszystki
May 17, 2014 Jamie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Number Ten Sue Townsend

2 stars

I was a little disappointed in this. I'd never heard of it until the author's recent death and it being mentioned in various obituaries.

I loved the Adrian Mole series and The Queen and I is very funny - I was expecting this to be in the same vein, which in some ways it is, but The Queen and I takes an impossible situation and makes it amusing - this is poking a little too much fun at things that some people are being ruined by.

This was written quite some time befo
May 27, 2014 Deborah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love this book. The bare premise - the prime minister disguised as a woman travelling the country incognito - is funny in itself, and although the things he learns along the way form a hard-hitting social commentary, there's humour along with the tragedy.

It combines the points she makes in her royal family books, with the betrayal of socialism by Blair as articulated by Adrian Mole. So in that sense what she's saying here isn't particularly new. But the Prime Minister is a hugely entertaining ch
Jul 03, 2014 Elaine rated it really liked it
In The Queen and I, author Sue Townsend brilliantly satirized the Royal Family. In NUMBER 10, it's the Prime Minister's turn. After Prime Minister Edward Clare gets caught lying to Parliament, thus showing how out of touch he is with the struggles of ordinary citizens, his advisors send him (incognito) off to tour the country. The public(and Adele, Edwards neurotic and bi polar wife) is informed that Mr. Clare is in an underground bunker and no one is allowed to contact him. Accompanying the PM ...more
Jun 28, 2014 Sarang rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The British Prime Minister has lost all touch with the problems of the common man and everyday life in the UK. He decides to go on a trip around the country with a Number 10 PC, Jack Sprat. To keep his identity a secret, Ed Clare dresses up as a woman (Edwina) and finds himself witness to the hardships of people in the simpler rungs of society.
This seemed like a story line of incredible promise, with many opportunities to deliver a hilarious account of how a politician warms up to his citizens'
Amanda Bolderston
Dec 09, 2014 Amanda Bolderston rated it liked it
I doubt Sue Townsend has written a book that isn't funny, but this one cuts a bit close to the bone. A scathing look at "New Labour" and Britain lurching from one crisis to the next at the turn of the century. The NHS, immigration, poverty and unemployment - no modern woe is left unexamined as Edward Clare, the Prime Minister, embarks on an incognito tour to meet his constituents. Very broad satire, sometimes she misses the mark, but worth a read if you are a fan of Adrian Mole and/or Leicester- ...more
Fryke Koegler
This is the second book I read by Sue Townsend, and I was not too enthusiastic about the first one (The Woman who Went to Bed for a Year), but I thought I would give her another chance, because I could have simply picked 'the bad one'.
And I think I have discovered what kind of a writer Townsend is. On the contrary to what the review quotes on the cover of her books imply, they are not "hilarious" nor "wickedly entertaining". However, they are fun reads and I think Townsend has a brilliant imagi
Henri Moreaux
A quirky and unusual novel about an unloved British Prime Minister who decides to dress in drag and tour the country to get an idea of the realities the common man faces.

It's a weird storyline full of weird characters, odd situations and strange sub plots but somehow it all works and is quite an interesting book (maybe because it is so weird), unfortunately the overall enjoyment is somewhat tarnished by the rather abrupt ending.
Apr 17, 2016 Karis rated it really liked it
I wish GR had half stars. I'd give this book 3 1/2. But let's tip it over to 4 for the purposes of review.
Ms Townsend's talent is writing in a super accessible and funny way. I imagine that is why she has gained such a huge audience with both young and old.
Beneath the books narrative and plot, the book ultimately explores ideas of class, politics and the legacy left by Thatcher. Pretty dry stuff? Not in the hands of Ms Townsend. Her characters are warm and relatable and with enough of a backstor
Deborah Pickstone
This was probably a bit more funny at the time it was written. Not enormously, though. A very slightly disguised (as in not at all unless you were asleep or in a coma at the time) portrait of Tony B. Liar's Premiership in Britain at the end of New Labour's first term. B. Liar is treated quite kindly, considering what actually happened in those years, as a neurotic, middle of the road politician with a toilet paper habit who discovers (horrors!) that he is out of touch with real life and fast los ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Missing page count - Number 10 2 15 Sep 02, 2012 10:47AM  
  • The Trolley
  • I'm Dreaming of a Black Christmas
  • How Will I Know?
  • Time of Hope (Strangers and Brothers, #1)
  • Foreign Bodies
  • The Death Pit
  • The Sweetest Thing
  • The Tent, the Bucket and Me
  • Men From The Boys (Harry Silver, #3)
  • Gin O'Clock
  • Don't You Know Who I Am?
  • Laughter on the Stairs
  • Two Pints
  • liegen lernen
  • Cycle of Violence
  • The Secret House of Death
  • Old Man and Mr. Smith: A Fable
  • Mr. Phillips
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Susan Lillian "Sue" Townsend is a British novelist, best known as the author of the Adrian Mole series of books. Her writing tends to combine comedy with social commentary, though she has written purely dramatic works as well. She suffered from diabetes for many years, as a
More about Sue Townsend...

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