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Yes Minister: Volume 1

4.47  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,895 Ratings  ·  53 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, 1 page
Published September 1st 2003 by BBC Books (first published 1981)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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George
Sep 22, 2012 George rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 13, 2014 Deepak rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 08, 2012 John Kirk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Rajan
Jan 20, 2016 Rajan is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor-satire
This is waht politicians do everywhere including India :

"It is the law of Inverse Relevance: the less you intend to do about something, the more you have to keep talking about it."
Dr.J.G.
Feb 05, 2016 Dr.J.G. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On one hand a political comparative novice with reasonably lofty ideals and some political necessities; on the other hand the master of art and craft of administration and his skills of rising and staying at the top - and being in charge which the political master would rather take over; and then the third, the rather nice and naive secretary who has to satisfy two masters just to keep his job and yet keep a semblance of self respect as well.

What a delight the series and what a consistent educa
...more
Nigel
Was inspired to take this from the bookshelf and read it after seeing the touring production at the theatre last month - great fun! While a little dated in places, everyone sending memos to each other, the humour and amusing anecdotes are as relevant today as they were then. I can remember as a lad sitting with my father watching this and not getting a fair chunk of it - reading this has definitely lead me to want to watch the series again - have to look on Apple TV. In the meantime if you want ...more
Pixie Dust
Mar 23, 2015 Pixie Dust rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 14, 2015 Virag Padalkar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Erkki
Aug 24, 2015 Erkki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys politics and political satire
Yes Minister was - and is - one of the best written set of political satire and/or comedy I have had the privilege to lay my eyes on, either in writing or the superb BBC series. I heartily recommend the book to anyone who's enjoyed the series.

The book is set sometime into the (then) future, as an academic/documentary writing of the late minister and subsequent prime minister James Hacker. It includes diary entries of Jim Hacker peppered with editorial comments of Lynn & Jay and interviews of
...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Jul 15, 2012 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it it was ok  ·  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
Parth
May 14, 2015 Parth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is one of the few books that are both funny as well as informative . It chronicles the journey of Hacker as Cabinet Minister and his trials with the bureaucracy , whether he success in controlling him or getting "house trained" is for the readers to find out . But one finds that Hacker's attempts at reforming the DAA are confounded by the dilatory and stalling tactics of Humphrey and Bernard ! So lay back and enjoy the utterly confusing tirade of the British Bureaucracy .
Kodali
Jan 15, 2012 Kodali rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Geoff Gander
Jul 25, 2015 Geoff Gander rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Yes Minister" is a masterful work of satire, which manages to touch upon a lot of fundamental truths about working in government, as well as how the civil service and politicians interact...and how things get done in spite of everything. Although many of the scenarios seem over-the-top, I can say that I have experienced a handful of situations that could have been taken from the pages of this book. Art *does* imitate life, in this case.

And even if you don't work in government, the dry humour an
...more
Andy Love
Feb 07, 2013 Andy Love rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: other-fiction
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
Tim
Aug 11, 2015 Tim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you decide to read this, do it in private.
There's nothing more irritating than seeing someone sniggering, chortling, laughing, and p*****g themselves when you don't know why and can't share.
And you will do all of this, well perhaps not the last !
Apoorva Mohan
Jul 27, 2015 Apoorva Mohan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I haven't watched the TV show. However based on my father's recommendation I read this book and I am not disappointed. the sarcastic comments are a hoot and a half. a great read. You can't help but crack up. The play with words, political innuendos, amazing language all make up this book.
Wilton314
Apr 03, 2013 Wilton314 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2003
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
Anil Nath
Mar 16, 2016 Anil Nath rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Extremely humorous

Great reading. Amazing insight into British bureaucracy and brilliant play on words. The tongue in cheek humour is quite good
Anuja
Jul 13, 2015 Anuja rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Humphrey. 'Nuff said.
I've never laughed harder. There are moments when I'm laughing so hard, I tear up. And then I can't read!
Omkar
Apr 30, 2015 Omkar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing.. Hilarious... Witty.. and all other superlatives you can think of... a must read definitely..!!!
Maurya
Oct 01, 2015 Maurya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Almost better than watching the TV series...lots of added perspective from the 'editors' of Hacker's diary. Quotable quotes abound as the civil servants try their best to confuse the minister...'He who wants to keep a secret must keep it a secret that he hath a secret to keep'. Indeed.
Daniel
Apr 21, 2014 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Unwordy
Apr 12, 2015 Unwordy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kuldne klassika.
Sean O'Reilly
Oct 21, 2012 Sean O'Reilly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcrossing
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
Liz.H
Jul 31, 2015 Liz.H rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ironic
Sambasivan
Jan 18, 2015 Sambasivan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Classic!!
Petra
Aug 02, 2015 Petra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not that good as the TV series, it lacks the humour, but still good to relive the series, when you don't have the DVDs :-)
Anirudh
Jul 07, 2015 Anirudh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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.
Pancitron
Dec 29, 2015 Pancitron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sice se jednalo o přepis seriálových epizod, ale i tak to bylo stejně geniální.
gopal612
Dec 24, 2013 gopal612 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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“Clarification is not to clarify things. It is to put one’s self in the clear (Sir Humphrey Appleby)” 8 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.” 3 likes
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