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Yes Minister: Volume 1
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Yes Minister: Volume 1

4.46 of 5 stars 4.46  ·  rating details  ·  1,534 ratings  ·  37 reviews
The sustained dry wit of the dialogue and the wonderful interplay between the three main characters; Jim Hacker, Sir Humphrey, and Bernard Wooley; made Jonathan Lynn's and Antony Jay's satirical BBC comedy compulsive viewing. The strength of the writing makes these audios a joy to listen to. The program includes four previously unreleased episodes of machinations and manip ...more
Audio CD, 2 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by BBC Physical Audio (first published January 1st 1981)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,500)
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George
This book is obviously for die-hard fans of the show, and I know no bigger fan than myself. Each character's facial expressions and the way in which they delivered their lines are thoroughly etched into my memories. I suspect that I wouldn't have found this book as witty and funny as I did if that wasn't the case and I had never seen the show.

For the most part the book follows the script of the show with added commentary and personal thoughts from the protagonists and editors. These additions wo
...more
Deepak
This is one of the most witty and humorous books I have read. The characterizations are vivid and funny, the plot-lines ingenious. I could not have imagined that it was possible to find such humor in political dealings. The language is razor-sharp. In fact, the authors generated humor from verbosity. Where one may have skimmed through certain parts in other books, here one simply goes over such parts again and again to enjoy the humor more.

The best part is the consistency in quality. At no point
...more
John Kirk
This isn't simply a transcript or a novelisation: it's quite a creative approach, by showing a mixture of diaries, memos, etc. Mind you, I think that would make it difficult to read as an ebook, since you'd lose the handwriting and letterhead.

I particularly like the footnotes which give historical precedents for the topics raised in the story, i.e. they show that real-life politicians have done the same thing.

The main thing I disliked about this book is that the issues all seem trivial: they mos
...more
Giant Bolster
I seem to be going down nostalgia lane, rereading a number of books that I enjoyed years ago and seeing if they withstand the test of time. I first read Yes, Minister 13 years ago and still find it uproariously funny. The puns are deliciously appropriate, the satirical tone entirely apt and hilarious. I find it hard to believe the TV series came first, not the book, for the concept is wonderfully suited to the written form. Told in the form of diary entries, newspaper cuttings, interview excerpt ...more
Virag Padalkar
A superbly written series of stories. Apart from the cut-and-thrust banter that the inimitable Sir Humphrey and Woolley get up to with Hacker; what is even more apparent from this imbroglio of the British "functional anarchy" is that we (as Indians) have taken from the Brits what we should have left well alone and left alone what we should have learnt from them and incorporated into our own system.

What is heartening though, is that even Thatcher provided inputs to the writers about Whitehall an
...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Jul 15, 2012 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Political Junkies of an Anglophile Tilt
This has been collecting dust on my bookshelves for years. It's based upon a popular BBC comedy series in the 1980s about a cabinet minister all too ably er... managed by the bureaucrats who purportedly serve under him. I think my problem with this book is I know both too much and too little. On the "too little" side, I've never seen the program. I get the feeling there are all these subtle jokes and ironies whizzing by above my head. I'm also not British and have spent only a few weeks in Engla ...more
Kodali
Happy to start new year with this wonderful book. I was astonished that a book written in 1980's could still mesmerize the readers still today. Read the book especially for it's memorable quotes

"If people don't know what you're doing, they don't know what you're doing wrong."

"'The matter is under consideration' means we have lost the file. 'The matter is under active consideration' means we are trying to find the file."

"If Civil Servants did not fight for the budgets of their departments they co
...more
Andy Love
This is a tie-in book for the British series of the same name, but it's very funny (I read this the first time in the 1990s before I saw the series), criticizing both the politician lead (a member of Parliament newly appointed as a Minister (equivalent in American terms to a Congressman being appointed as a Cabinet Secretary, except in Britain, he remains a member of Parliament while serving as Minister)), and his opponents in the Civil Service. Jim Hacker, the Minister, is vain, indecisive, and ...more
Wilton314
Brilliant. Witty. So true. Having worked in the government sector I have seen many of the situations portrayed here in real life. This and anything Dilbert by Scott Adams should be mandatory reading as 'How Not To' guides. I watched a lot of the shows with my Dad when they were shown on the ABC years and years ago. Reading this book, and its sequel The Complete Yes Prime Minister, brought back so many good memories. You can just hear the idealist Minister Jim Hacker (the 'narrator') and the care ...more
Omkar
Amazing.. Hilarious... Witty.. and all other superlatives you can think of... a must read definitely..!!!
Daniel
I forget the name of the band but there's this song entitled "I Slept with Someone in Fall Out Boy and All I Got Was This Stupid Song Written About Me" that I really quite enjoy.


Also, I wrote my very first Wal-Mart joke this morning:

As I completed my grocery shopping at Wal-Mart I wheeled the cart up toward the series of registers only to notice a sign above each register stating "Tattooed Patrons Only." I stopped the manager and asked him where the non-tattooed patrons checked out. He answered
...more
Sean O'Reilly
I used to watch Yes Minister back in the 80's and I think I might even have read this book when it was first published. Even so I was quite surprised at how familiar it was as I didn't think I remembered it all that well. If you know the programme then you will know what to expect. If not then I hope that, like me, you enjoy the cynically humorous take on Government. The story lines were never really topical so the book doesn't feel dated. I had many wry grins and even a chuckle out loud at a co ...more
Anirudh
Set in the backdrop of the Department of Administrative Affairs of the British government, it is a very amusing take on the relationship between the bureaucracy and the elected politicians of a government. It has also been adapted into a TV series by the same name. Feel that if one likes reading Wodehouse, then he will also certainly like reading this.
gopal612
1) The best book I have read so far. It is very funny.

2) If you want to read something funny, this is the book. Look no further.

3) I have read the book and watched the series too. If you don't have the time, you can watch the series. But you will not regret reading this book.
Ye
Another 500+ pages book! I love it but again, have to try not to be distracted by other (shorter) books before finishing this one.
KV Taylor
I confess that I like the show better, just because the delivery is so amazing. However, there are a lot of fun bits in the book that you don't get with the TV version so it's worth it if you're a fan. Hilarious in either format, though.
Masha
Dec 18, 2008 Masha is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
It's a book based off the british TV series (or maybe the series was based off the book, I am not entirely sure). It is an awesome political satire, sort of political science handbook.
Highlyeccentric
Nothing wrong with this book, but the basic premise bored me after about three months of tv-time. I might like the TV show better.
J.p. Fernandes
I love the show and the book provides great details that can't be incorporate into a T.V. episode. A great read if you've seen the series.
Ravindra Damle
Political humor at its best!!

I have read it many times and every time I have come across some subtle pun that I had missed earlier!!
Bob Walker
A fabulous read. Timeless humour that lends itself to repeated reading, I have read the book at least seven times and I still laugh.
GS Nathan
Absolutely hilarious and a classic! Still remember reading and chuckling away and marvelling at the genius of the writer!
Ice Bear
There is some comedy that only the UK seems to perform. Parody based on reality, better than reality TV anyday.
Tracy
...but proceed with caution. Too much, and you'll be sure you can accomplish nothing!
Jayendra
HILARIOUS & SATIRICAL EPISODES OF POLITICAL DILEMMAS-POLITICAL HUMOR AT ITS BEST
Qi
The best way to appreciate this book is to also watch the BBC production.
Steve Cartwright
Timeless, pithy, political, very British humour. Highly recommended.
Vangawk
Subtle british comedy at its best. Better than the TV Series....
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Yes Prime Minister ???? 9 27 Jul 30, 2013 04:04PM  
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The Complete Yes Prime Minister Yes Prime Minister: The Diaries of the Right Hon. James Hacker Yes, Prime Minister: The Diaries Of The Right Hon. James Hacker: Volume 1 Yes Prime Minister: The Diaries Of The Right Hon. James Hacker: Volume II Yes, Prime Minister, Volume 2

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“Clarification is not to clarify things. It is to put one’s self in the clear (Sir Humphrey Appleby)” 6 likes
“Paperwork is the religion of the Civil Service. I can just imagine Sir Humphrey Appleby on his deathbed, surround by wills and insurance claim forms, looking up and saying, 'I cannot go yet, God, I haven't done the paperwork.” 2 likes
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