The Complete YES MINISTER and The Complete YES PRIME
MINISTER both became huge best-sellers perhaps because people
realized that they were not simply printed versions of the celebrated
television series: since they ridicule not only the British Government
but also political memoirs, they are major works of political satire
in their own right. Indeed, Brian Walden in The Standard described
The Complete YES MINISTER as ..."the greatest political
textbook in the English language".
That book spent 106 weeks in the Sunday Times top-ten fiction
list, has been translated into numerous foreign languages and was
described by the New York Times Book Review as "...the
funniest, wittiest and truest piece of political satire to be published
on either side of the Atlantic in the post-Evelyn Waugh period".
Not to be out-done, The Washington Post described the book
as "...a priceless comic treasure" and the authors as
"...a madcap combination of Jonathan Swift, George Bernard
Shaw and the George Orwell of Politics And The English Language."
The Complete YES PRIME MINISTER continued this amazing success:
never out of the top-ten for it's first six months and the number
one bestseller for twelve weeks. Uniquely, at Christmas 1986 they
were at numbers one and two respectively. In the Sunday Times
Bestsellers of the Decade, 1980-89, the two volumes were eventually
listed as number two and number three.
The TV series. which have been showered with awards, were required
viewing among top politicians and civil servants, and were seen
in over fifty countries around the world. The books have become
part of the English cultural tradition, just as Sir Humphrey and
Jim Hacker have become part of the English language. Many literary
classics become television and film classics. YES MINISTER
and YES PRIME MINISTER have the rare distinction of becoming
classics of English comic literature.