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1. The Complete Fawlty Towers
2. Families and How to Survive Them
3. The Pythons: Autobiography
4. Life and How to Survive It
5. The Golden Skits of Wing-commander
6. A Fish Called Wanda: The Screenplay
7. Rabbit Ears Treasury of World
8. John Cleese
9. Happy Families (Mandarin humour)
12. Encyclopedia of British Humorists:
13. Monty Python's Tunisian Holiday:
14. The Making of the Prefident 1789:
15. The Human Face
16. The Mammoth Book of Awesome Comic
17. Strange Case of the End of Civilisation
18. Comment être un névrosé heureux
20. Caring for Children with Asthma

1. The Complete Fawlty Towers
by John Cleese, Connie Booth
Paperback: 352 Pages (2001-10)
list price: US$18.00 -- used & new: US$2.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0306810727
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Welcome to Fawlty Towers, the best loved bad hotel in the world, and to "the definitive volume of sit-com perfection. Required reading."- Punch.

What did Basil Fawlty fail to avoid mentioning? Why did Sybil keep snagging her cardies? Where was Polly on the night of the great wedding anniversary disaster? And what is the Spanish word for "donkey"?

The answer to all these questions can be found in this, the complete and unexpurgated scripts of Fawlty Towers-the most celebrated "Brit-com" of all time, and the show last fall voted the top UK television series ever by the British Film Institute. The snobbish, manic Basil...his over-coiffeured, domineering wife Sybil...the hopeless but ever-hopeful waiter Manuel...the calm and capable Polly...and of course the steady stream of abused guests-all live again in the pages of The Complete Fawlty Towers. Gahan Wilson in the New York Times has called John Cleese "arguably one of the funniest people now living." And as one British periodical (Literary Review) put it, the book is "superbly well written. If you're on a bus and can't see Basil Fawlty thrashing his car with a large branch, it is some compensation to read it happening." Or as one anonymous fan put it on-line: "Yes, it's all here, all the comedy, the frustration, the dead body, even the rat." ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Fawlty Towers! We need you now!
Fawlty Towers was a great television show and this book delves into the show to an extent that even a moderate fan of the program will walk away wondering why there isn't more inovative programming available. If you're a FT fan you need this book. Plus it's a pretty good source for any trivia types interested in FT.

5-0 out of 5 stars It's Like Reliving the Shows on Paper
If you love the show "Fawlty Towers," than this book is for you.This book contains the complete scripts to every single episode that was out.I was very surprised that such a thing even exstisted, and I was very happy to purchase it since I love the show so much.

This is a great read for many reasons.If you love the show, then you will love reading the scripts.It is very much like reliving the show.I still found myself laughing while reading, although it is funnier seen on screen, so I do not suggest that you get this over the shows.This is only for fans of the show who have seen all of the episodes.

Another reason why I liked this so much was because the shows were so chaotic and rapid, it was hard to catch every single word.Basil would mouth off to his wife in a very low and quiet tone, so it would be hard to get every single word.The accents also make it hard to understand what they're saying sometimes.

My favorite episodes, both in here and the shows themselves, are: "Gourmet Night," "The Hotel Inspectors," "The Germans," "Communication Problems," "Waldorf Salad," "The Builders," and "Basil the Rat."

All in all, a very funny companion to the show.I really enjoyed reading this, and I am sure that I will read it over and over again.Every page is filled with nothing but some of the funniest lines you will ever read on paper.Just imagine John Cleese verbally and phsyically abusing Manuel, and you've got yourself a great time!Filled with witty humor, razor sharp comeback, the most outrageous situations, and the most memorable characters, "The Complete Fawlty Towers" is a fine companion to the show and is a must-have for all fans.If you love the show, get this book.I don't think you will regret it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good, but GET THE VIDEOS INSTEAD
In some ways I prefer reading the scripts to Monty Python's Flying Circus over watching the original TV series (e.g., your imagination does not have the severe budget limits of the show). But reading the scripts to Fawlty Towers, while a fun experience in itself, is not as good as watching the show.The show did have as good of a set as it needed, and the script loses something without getting to see the wonderful physical comedy of the Basil Fawlty and Manuel characters.I don't honestly know if I would find the book as funny without picturing John Cleese's expressions from various episodes from memory.As a result, while I give the book 5 stars for its side-splitting humour, I would still recommend getting the videos instead.

5-0 out of 5 stars At long, long last!
I'm a relatively new fan of Fawlty Towers, and I think it's the funniest comedy ever written! This book (in a relatively small tome) encompasses the relatively short series's episodes in script form.

This also solves the problem of lines that we couldn't hear. Sometimes, when watching Fawlty Towers, one can't hear the actor say the line, or the laugh track drowns it out (or, very occasionally, Manuel says something weird). This book allows you to check out the lines.

In addition to that, it's almost as funny on paper as it is on the screen! All it's missing is some way of accurately describing John Cleese's physical humor!

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth its weight in pure gold!
This book is almost better than watching the series, as it contains all the scripts--word-for-word.Now you can catch all those witty phrases Basil mumbled to his wife which were lost to those of us without a clearear for British speech.Yes its all here, all the comedy, the frustration,the dead body, even the rat.If this goes out of print before you get one,you'll kick yourself for years. ... Read more

2. Families and How to Survive Them
by Robin Skynner, John Cleese
Paperback: 304 Pages (1984-11-29)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$24.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195204662
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Written in an unconventional dialogue form, this book explores the inner workings of the modern family, and the interactions between couples and their children. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

4-0 out of 5 stars Ignore the flaws and grab hold of the gems of insight in this one!
This isn't a stereotypical self-help type of book and that makes it THE book that could save your marriage and/or the way you relate to your children.
One warning - much of this book goes against the common wisdom of the day and the authors don't propose that parents mollycoddle their children. The focus is on teaching people to live in the real (NOT ideal) world and to learn to deal with it, to develop some backbone and realistic expectations.
In short, this is a book which will keep you from seeing yourself as a victim and teach you to accept the inevitable unfairness in life - and to help your children develop similar strengths.

5-0 out of 5 stars Laugh at yourself - then understand!
This book was recommended to us by a psychotherapist when we came to discuss family problems.It was a great help through the first few weeks of therapy - and progress followed rapidly. Psychoanalysis never had such a coherent explanation!And the voice of John Cleese makes a great delivery for the info.Bravo!

3-0 out of 5 stars Useful, but weirdly dated
This is a useful, humorous, non-pompous book for people seeking insight into the workings of (please note) Western, nuclear-style, fairly conventional families. Skynner is a genial, compassionate man who has obviously enjoyed his career in family therapy and doesn't have much of an ax to grind, while Cleese's wry interjections help give perspective. Particularly praiseworthy are vignettes from Skynner's practice in which heshows how a malfunctioning family system can be nudged toward better health by precipitating very small changes in behavioral styles, without excess angst or struggles with dragons. I also appreciate his focus, common also to Eric Berne and Michele Weiner-Davis (see their books), on finding and embracing what works rather than dwelling on what does not. For people trying to enjoy the best about their families and especially younger children, this book could solve a number of frustrating mysteries. Likewise, it's useful for grasping the ways that certain behaviors and types of people feel attractive and comfortable, and why some situations "push the buttons" of an individual or within a relationship.

I do have some caveats. While not Freudian in any strict sense, Skynner occasionally seems to share the reductionist attitudes of "the Master," leaving you with the feeling that every human interaction and achievement is no more than the search for fulfilment of a parlayed (and frustrated) infant or toddler. True as this can be in everyday situations, I feel that it is not the whole picture and should be balanced by writers examining the human urge to evolve to a more aware, creative and functional state. Thwarting of this urge seems to me a source of a significant number of human conflicts, in or out of the family context, not to be resolved solely through reflecting on one's (non)progress through various developmental stages. Maslow, James Hillman and Robert Anton Wilson come to mind.

Especially, my jaw drops when Skynner sets forth his views on the development of homosexuality. I can't remember the last time I heard any otherwise credible and humane writer ascribe homosexual orientation to problems in bonding or detaching with a parent of whichever gender. The more gay people I know, and the longer that gay people are free to live openly in various pockets of American society without fear of crippling social sanctions, the more apparent it seems to me that a few gay people within a straight majority are just part of nature's plan. Studies of animal behavior, brain structures and potential genetic links support this view. So I'm dead amazed to see Skynner, otherwise not terribly doctrinaire, still discussing homosexual orientation, certainly not with any kind of punitive moralizing, but as if it were a kind of arrested development that could/should be "treated" for maximum happiness.

But then, no book on human behavior is the perfect answer to all your dreams of insight. Nothing is drearier than the person who has read one book looking beneath the surface of human conflicts and believes he/she has found the guru with all the answers, so take this book for what it's worth--kind, commonsensical and applicable to many families you probably know--and don't stop investigating.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great, with one health warning
Very helpful book for understanding the mysteries of family dynamics, how they contribute to making you what you are, and how you are passing them on. Dialogue style is very different, (they recap at the end of every chapter), but this saves the text from become dry. Health warning?-beware using this book as fuel for blaming your parents/family for everything that's wrong with you! We all go through that stage, but the real value here is self-awareness that can be then be used to take control of your own life going forward.

5-0 out of 5 stars Why didn't anyone tell me about all that before?
This book is one of the rare "ha" books out there! No stupid little behavioral reciepes like "look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself how much yourself". Yet very clearly explainedobservations about how one grows up to fit in a family pattern and toreproduce it in adult life.

And John Cleese's humour makes it fun toread... Definitely a keeper for anyone not happy with their life andactively trying to change for the better... ... Read more

3. The Pythons: Autobiography
by The Pythons, Graham Chapman, Michael Palin, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Bob McCabe
Paperback: 368 Pages (2005-11-15)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$11.64
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0012BR8LA
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
ver thirty years ago a group of five Englishmen and one wayward American rewrote the rules of comedy. Monty Python's Flying Circus, an unheralded half-hour of sketches, hilarities, inanities, and animations first appeared on the BBC late one night in 1969. Its impact on the world has been felt ever since. The Pythons is the ultimate word on all things Python-esque. Thirty years of insight, hindsight, and bad sight-now told for the first time. It's full of stuff they're never remembered before alongside stories they'd forgotten to say, coupled with things they couldn't say then and even more things they can't pronounce now (with a healthy dollop of things they would never have said in the first place if any others had been in the room at the time). Here is a unique look at arguably the most important comic team of the modern age. In the style of The Beatles Anthology, it's lavishly illustrated with 1,000 photographs and illustrations, many seen here for the first time. Do you want Spam with that?Amazon.com Review
Python fans will need to clear a large space on their bookshelf or coffee table for The Pythons--a big, vital autobiography of the comedy troupe. This is an oral history by the six members (Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin) from birth to--in the case of Chapman--death. We get reminisces about childhood, university days, early successes, and rich details about the landmark Flying Circus TV series and subsequent films. The voices are fresh (with expectation of Michael Palin's insightful diary entries), not just complied from earlier publications. "Due to his insistence of being inconveniently dead," Chapham's voice is heard through his longtime partner David Sherlock, his brother and sister-in-law (and some archival materials). As a whole, the six impart a refreshing ability to deal honestly with the frustrations that arose over the years and it comes out in the text even when events are recalled differently. The book is not a light read (figuratively and literally), perhaps a smaller size would have been better for the amount of text; a cursory glance at the coffee table is tough. What does fill the book is an abundance of photos (over 1,000), most never published and many from the troupe's private collections. Along with concept sketches, Gilliam's drawings and doodles, and a few correspondences, this is a keepsake memento of the legendary group. --Doug Thomas ... Read more

Customer Reviews (28)

5-0 out of 5 stars Insert Laugh Here
The Pythons turn the mirror on themselves and try to explain where all of the brilliance came from.Not a book to read in the library!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply Awesome
This giant photo-riffic book is the Python equivalent of the now-standard Beatles Anthology. No fan of Cleese, Palin, Jones, Idle, Chapman and Gilliam should be without it.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Pythons
After purchasing the complete set of DVD's and laughing so hard I was sick, I just had to find out out they did it.This book answered my question.I enjoyed it, but it was a bit long and somewhat redundant.

5-0 out of 5 stars depressing
This is probably the most accurate history of the Monty Python television program and films.

It reveals the impressing background of the players and their problems in working together which resulted in their dispersing and ill will with each other.

4-0 out of 5 stars Intriguing but flawed like most oral histories-for the true fan
THE PYTHONS is a must for fans of the group but for the more casual reader it probably won't serve a purpose. It is an oral history of the group with contributions by the living members and statements culled from the late Graham Chapman's auto-biography. (A very funny book, but one that needs to be taken with a 16 ton grain of salt)If you are looking for specifics of how any of this marvelous group put together their sketches, look elsewhere; this is not a breakdown of how Monty Python's Flying Circus came to be, rather it is a bunch of reminiscences of early life, working together( and who worked with whom) and some still not quite healed wounds. Chapman comes off poorly, his drinking a constantly mentioned problem, Gilliam's story is so separate from the rest that he really doesn't seem to be a member of the group until The Holy Grail, although his animations were a key to the show's success, and Cleese is often seen here as standoffish, a bit out of the mix with the others. Memories often don't jibe for each member, an example being who chose "The Liberty March" as the theme, Palin lays claim to it as does Gilliam (with Idle agreeing with Gilliam.)But it is interesting to see how the group's personalities come forward as time goes on, and it does give some insight into the creative processes behind the scenes even though it does fall short of offering the aforementioned specifics. there are a number of great stories here and well worth the time (and strength!) to read this book. I did enjoy this slightly askew look at one of comedy's most influential and funniest groups ever; I just have difficulty recommending it to anyone but the converted. ... Read more

4. Life and How to Survive It
by A. C. Robin Skynner, John Cleese
Hardcover: 424 Pages (1995-01)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$5.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0393037428
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Drawing on their observations of life and research into families, business success, religion, psychiatry, and politics, the authors explore universal principles of healthy survival, including maintaining individuality, cooperating in joint endeavors, and adapting to change. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars fascinating book
Cleese and Skynner expand on their work in Families and How to Survive Themto cover healthy individualsand also to move from individuals and families to organizations, countries, and society as a whole.They present some sophisticated psychological constructs (I detected Melanie Klein and D.H. Winnicott) in a winning way that should be accessible to practically anyone.

They do this, as in Families, through a dialogue between Cleese and Skynner.This lets the reader understand the material as Cleese might, with plenty of clarification, examples, insights, and humor - much as their actual therapy must have gone.

I did have a few quibbles.The dialogue idea does get a little clunky at points. And the guru/devotee relationship between the two can get a bit embarrassing here and there.I also found the emphasis on organizations makes the book drift into management bestseller territory at times.It's also rather dated - the focus on the "Japanese miracle" particularly so.

Even so, the nuggets far outweigh any possible issues.As an example, their discussion of politics is really invaluable.They offer up ideas like conservativesidentifying with father figures and liberals with mother figures (or reacting against the opposite one).It really works!They also explain the behavior of political zealots - black and white view of the world, inflexibility, demonization of the opponent - through pyschological constructs like splitting and projection.

In particular, I liked a diagram they came up with where one dimension was conservative/liberal and the other was healthy/unhealthy. Instead of just scattered data points, though, they saw particular political stands arranging themselves on an oval. The idea was that particularly healthy politic views tend toward the middle, less healthy ones toward more partisan territory, andthe least healthy ones congregate together once again - but this time at the back of the oval, sharing the same paranoia, authoritarianism, and inflexibility, if very different ideologies.

3-0 out of 5 stars Love Cleese, good effort, style needs work
I enjoy this book, and go back to it sometimes for enjoyment, but it is not too deep, and very conscious and a bit slow in explaining its concepts.There's some insight, but I would recommend this mostly for fans of John Cleese who are also interested in the subject of the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Good
A well developed treatise on living life honestly and to your fullest potential. All aspects of your relationship to self and others (individuals and community) are covered.

A sincere effort at bringing about authenticity to the world. Get beyond cover up work and get to being who you are, accepting that or changing it to be who you would like to be in this world.

A good team to write together, they present this material with humor and insight. No better way to learn than with a smile on your face.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the new Bible.
This book begins with the question 'what makes a person sane?' and expands on it to create one of the greatest books of all time. Each chapter (with a variably related afterthought) comments on a different level of society, from individuals, to businesses and similar organizations, to nations and societies, to religion, and finally to the coda 'All change please'. The third chapter contains an excellent comparison between the Americans and the Japanese which I recommend to any American to see the sillier parts of their culture.

2-0 out of 5 stars speculative silliness
'Robin' retains the role of therapist in this discussion with his former patient 'John', who, though witty and charming is a little too uncritical for my taste. Even if one is willing to accept a psychoanalytic account of personality development and family dynamics, and I am, the latter part of the book's speculations regarding management, politics, religion, and the like, are without foundation. I found it particulary annoying how they make the Japanese (not to mention Americans) sound like another species entirely.

I found this a very disappointing sequel to 'Families and How to Survive Them'. ... Read more

5. The Golden Skits of Wing-commander Muriel Volestrangler, F.R.H.S. and Bar
by John Cleese
Paperback: 128 Pages (1986-06-12)
-- used & new: US$59.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0413415600
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6. A Fish Called Wanda: The Screenplay (Applause Screenplay Series)
by John Cleese
Paperback: 112 Pages (2000-02-01)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$6.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1557830339
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Complete screenplay from this outrageous comedy written by John Cleese who also starred in it alongside Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline, and Michael Palin. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Screenplay made me laugh
Fish Called Wanda is a brillant script with some very funny moments in it. While reading it I couldn't hold my laughter when I still knew what was about to happen. It's one of those scripts that gets you're attention right away.

5-0 out of 5 stars The funniest crime caper ever !
This is the way that real comedies should be written, acted, and directed. Who knew that this farce came from the founding fathers of Monty Phython. A true comic smash filled with breakthorugh performances especially from the talented Kevin Kline who won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor! You should see it! ... Read more

7. Rabbit Ears Treasury of World Tales: Volume Five: Pinocchio, Tom Thumb
by Rabbit Ears
Audio CD: Pages (2007-08-14)
list price: US$11.95 -- used & new: US$6.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0739356038
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Rabbit Ears Treasury of World Tales: Volume 5 enlightens and entertains with these classic stories read by your favorite stars and featuring original music by some of today’s greatest artists.

Read by Danny Aiello
Original Music by Les Misérables Brass Band

Gepetto, a lonely toy maker, crafts a wooden puppet who magically comes to life. Pinocchio then experiences, through lies and tricks, a series of mischievous adventures. But his nose grows every time he tells a lie. Pinocchio ultimately learns the value of truth in this Italian children’s classic.

Tom Thumb
Read by John Cleese
Original Music by Elvis Costello

No larger than his father’s thumb, Tiny Tom embarks on a series of fantastical adventures. After saving King Arthur from the clutches of an evil sorcerer he becomes a member of the Knights of the Round Table, and the darling of Queen Guinivere. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Rabbit Ears CD's keep children quiet
This went to our great granchildren.They listen to them when they go to bed at night.Keeps them quiet so they can listen to the story - but it should not take the place of parents reading to your children.They love the stories. ... Read more

8. John Cleese
by Robert Gore Langton
Hardcover: 127 Pages (1999-10-04)
list price: US$31.00 -- used & new: US$51.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0233994939
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9. Happy Families (Mandarin humour)
Paperback: 160 Pages (1993-10-11)

Isbn: 0749315067
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Published in aid of two children's charities, the Russell Project and the Monroe Foundation, this book contains the pictures of 20 modern families, each with an accompanying text by a different writer. Some of the best-known modern comic artists have created a completely new pack of cards for happy families, including the Reverend Seemly, the vicar, and family, by Posy Simmonds; Mr Fax, the account executive, and family, by Matt; and Mr Cod, the comedian, and family, by William Rushton. Other artists include Nicholas Garland, Barry Fantini, Trog, Martin Honeysett, Quentin Blake, Sue Macartney-Snape, Thelwell, and Fluck and Law. ... Read more

 Paperback: Pages (1993)

Asin: B000OR97GM
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 Unknown Binding: Pages (1967)

Asin: B0041DLK7Y
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12. Encyclopedia of British Humorists: Geoffrey Chaucer to John Cleese (Garland Reference Library of the Humanities)
 Hardcover: 1368 Pages (1996-03-01)
list price: US$385.00 -- used & new: US$35.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0824059905
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Editorial Review

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In The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis's title character observes that Jokes and Flippancy are valued so highly by the English, "who take their 'sense of humour' so seriously that a deficiency in this sense is almost the only deficiency at which they feel shame."J.B. Priestly, too, in a related observation comments:"It is curious that so few foreigners have noticed that we English are a humorous race....In no other country will you hear so much talk about a sense of humour."

Now for the first time, acomprehensive and up-to-date reference work tackles the subject of humor as it has been expressed in British literature, from Beowulf to the present.The 206 signed original essays represent the work of 119 scholars from seven countries and diverse disciplines.Major literary figures such as Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, G.B. Shaw, and Noel Coward are included, as well as lesser known lights such as Francis Beaumont, Stella Gibbons, and George Du Maurier.Readers may be surprised to learn that other literary luminaries such as W.H. Auden, Winston Churchill, Samuel Johnson, and Edith Sitwell have also produced humorous writings.

The most important feature of the essays is their literary analysis, which provides an overview of the author's writings, as well as in-depth analyses of comic techniques in the subject's major works.A biography helps place the writer in historical context, providing such information as the place and date of birth, education, honors and achievements, marital status, and place and date of death. In addition to the signed essays, the Encyclopedia includes a preface, a chronological index, a list of pseudonyms, an introduction, a list of the contributors, and an index. ... Read more

13. Monty Python's Tunisian Holiday: My Life with Brian
by Kim Howard Johnson
Hardcover: 368 Pages (2008-10-28)
list price: US$25.95 -- used & new: US$5.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312533799
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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“One of the finest and most accurate records of the making of the film that I have ever read. I just wished I could remember what actually went on then.”
--Terry Jones

“If anyone can remember more about making the Life of Brian than me, it’s Kim ‘Howard’ Johnson. He came, he saw, he got into costume. While the rest of us were fighting to upstage each other, Howard had a notebook hidden in his toga.”
--Michael Palin

“Since I’ve forgotten everything, it will be great to read what was actually going on in Tunisia. Just as long as I’m the most quoted, the most vital to the shooting, and the most interesting. You don’t have to mention my stunning good looks if you don’t want to.”
--Terry Gilliam

“Of all the books that I am planning to read in my dotage, there is none I am more looking forward to than Monty Python’s Tunisian Holiday. . . . Not only does ‘Howard’ Johnson know more about Python than anyone outside of the IRS, he was in Tunisia for most of the filming of Life of Brian, and is the only person who captured every thoughtless remark, heated exchange, embarrassing detail, petty insult, and spiteful act of indifference.”
--John Cleese

“Kim ‘Howard’ Johnson was invented by Graham Chapman during an idle moment on the set of The Life of Brian. ‘Let’s invent a person,’ he said. ‘An American fan from the Midwest,’ chimed in Michael Palin, ‘who keeps a daily diary of Python filming. And then doesn’t publish it for years and years.’ How we laughed, and each day we’d make up stuff this ‘person’ would write about us.”
--Eric Idle

     In 1978, Kim “Howard” Johnson ran away to join the circus---Monty Python’s Flying Circus, that is. The Pythons converged on Tunisia to film their timeless classic, Life of Brian, and Howard found himself in the thick of it, doubling for nearly all the Pythons, playing more roles in the film than John Cleese, and managing to ruin only one shot. He became the unit journalist, substitute still photographer, Roman soldier, peasant, Biggus Dickus’s double, near-stalker, and, ultimately, friend and confidant of the comedy legends. He also kept a detailed journal of what he saw and heard, on set and off, throughout those six weeks.
     The result is a unique eyewitness account that reveals the Pythons at work and at play in a way that nothing else written about them could do. Now, for the first time ever, the inside story of the making of the film is revealed through the fly-on-the-castle-wall perspective. Even the most diehard fans will get a fresh take on the comedy greats through some never-before-revealed nuggets of Python brilliance: what John Cleese offered to exchange for suntan lotion; Terry Jones directing in drag; Michael Palin’s secret to playing revolutionaries and peasants; Graham Chapman gets naked; Terry Gilliam gets filthy; Eric Idle haggles; the secret of the Thespo-Squat; Mrs. Pilate; talk of George Harrison; the cake-flinging that jeopardized the production; badminton, impromptu cricket, and erotic frescoes; and the first-ever presentation of “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.”
     Here, uncensored, are the legendary Pythons in their prime. It was a period of comedy history that will never be duplicated, and Monty Python’s Tunisian Holiday captures the wit, the genius, and the sheer silliness of the six men that comprised Python.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Finally...Something Completely Different From Mr.Johnson!
I'll be the first to admit , when it comes to throwing stones at Kim Johnson , I'm the first one to put on my false beard! This comes not from jealousy , but from a sense of overkill. How many more books of the same redundant information can one man write to cash in on Monty Python? ( And it's even more irritating when I find things missing or incomplete in said books...he's NOT the messiah , he's just got a bigger toe in the door! ). That said. I REALLY did enjoy this book! Why? Because it's from a first person perspective! No cheats. This is from the heart , and memory , the dull bits , the nerdy bits , the thoughtful bits & the tourist bits!
( Okay and some naughty bits! ). The Pythons grant him interviews through out the filming of "Life Of Brian" , and Kim even finds himself as a film extra , assistant lighting guy , photographer , and oddjobs man.( This is also , probably , one of the only books to discuss George Harrison's time on set in Tunesia. ). It's a good read ,because Kim Johnson doesn't seem to be seeking anyone's approval or be catering to any sort of fan , he tells it the way it happened , good luck ,bad luck ,and the wierdness of being a tourist in a different land and a fanboy amongst his heroes. You really do feel the excitement he feels , and the "what a lucky guy I am" -ness of the whole adventure. Well done Mr.Johnson!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great View Into The Making Of "Brian"
Kim Howard Johnson took his written, audio recorded, and photographic diaries from the set of "Brian" and put it in the form of an interesting book. He was on the set for most of the shooting of "Monty Python's Life Of Brian", as well as sometimes in front of the camera as an "extra". He presents loads of behind the scenes photos and quotes by the six Pythons themselves throughout the fun, wet, hot, and sometimes dull days of filming. The Pythons also wrote forwards for this book in which they thank him for printing this since they are all too old to remember much of 1978. It's also a testament (no pun intended) to how sober, hard-working, and clear-thinking Graham Chapman was for this film. This is a must for die-hard Monty Python fans, as are all of Johnson's other Python books!

5-0 out of 5 stars A must for Monty Python fans!!
Kim "Howard" Johnson was very lucky to experience what he did and we are lucky that he shares it with us. Johnson went from fan to friend and gives us intimate details behind the scenes during the filming Monty Python's Life of Brian. I recommend for anyone who is a Python fan or just liked Life of Brian.

4-0 out of 5 stars A must for "Life of Brian" Fans
Kim "Howard" Johnson has written much about the Pythons, but it has taken him 30 years to publish the journal that he kept while working as an extra during the filming of "Monty Python's Life of Brian".

This is a day-by-day account of his time on the set in Tunisia interviewing the Pythons and the supporting cast as well as reporting on the progress of the filming.

Johnson gives the rest of us the closest thing we will ever have to spending time in the company of the Pythons both at work and at play.Despite the African heat, the long, hard hours and the tedium that went with making the film, no true Python fan will read this book without envying Johnson his unique opportunity.

This is a great gift for yourself or anyone you know who is a Python fan. ... Read more

14. The Making of the Prefident 1789: The Unauthorized Campaign Biography
by Marvin Kitman
Paperback: 368 Pages (2000-10-30)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$3.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0802137350
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
George Washington was said to be "First in War, First in Peace." In The Making of the President 1789, humorist Marvin Kitman argues that our first president was also the first American leader to ride his personal foibles to political greatness. Kitman lampoons the modern "campaign insider" books, asking: "How is it possible that a man with no military experience becomes a general? He loses more battles than he wins and becomes a war hero? He has absolutely no political opinions in the most sophisticated intellectual period of our history? He has no ambitions, and he wins?" Through careful research, Kitman exposes Washington's weaknesses for social climbing and high-stakes whist and his relationships with the Founding Girlfriends. "Kitman is applying today's standards to history, and the result is by turns witty, funny, and hysterically silly." -- Christopher Lehmann-Haupt New York Times ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars All the Marble Gods in a row
It's been said that if you like sausage and respect the law you should never watch either being made.The same goes for history especially when it involves our Founding Fathers.

You remember them from school, don't you?Those titans that strode upon the earth and gave us Truth, Justice, and The American Way?Those demigods who forged the American Government for the good of one and all?

I suppose that it really shoudn't come as a great surprise that not only were their feet made of clay, but pretty much all of the rest of them was to.We won't go into the slave ownership, phoney land deals and other shenanigans that they were up too, that would take too long and would probably upset too many of my delicate Readers.No, we are here to focus on the most marble of the demigods, George Washington.

Until I read this book, I always had a discomfort nagging at the back of my mind as to how he got to be President in the first place.He wasn't a very brilliant politician, he bearly spoke in the House of Burgesses, but hedid know how to through a great party.

His major military accomplichment was starting the French and Indian War.During the Revolutionary War he only managed to win 2 of the major battles that he fought, one against drunken Hessians the other only because the French fleet showed up before the British and had a massive infusion of French troops.

As to his personal life, let's just say he could make Bill Clinton look like a monk.

Did I like the book?Most definitly.We all know that the Founding Fathers weren't marble gods and its refreshing to be reminded of this fact, especially around election time.Is all of the stuff about Washington true?Given the number of references and foot notes, probably as true as it can be given the whitewashing of Washigton that began with Martha burning incriminating letters practically from the second that he died.

Besides, as we all know, when legend and truth meet, print the legend.Or at the very least, print the juicy stuff.It reads better.

4-0 out of 5 stars Some history, lots of nonsense.
If you can handle Marvin Kitman's repeated attempts to knock Washington off his pedestal you'll enjoy this book. I was one of those public grade school kids who labored under his stern contenance. He must have been god. Or at least god's right hand man.We outgrew this. We know he was just a man. A highly flawed man according to Kitman. Flawed, yes, but also good & lucky. George Washington was America first celebrity. We weren't going to be denied. He lost most of the battles but he did win the Revolutionary War. Actually the British tired of it and lost it. This ultimate politician was not political. In essence he was the only game in town. He had Morris & Hamilton as his spin-meisters, shady land deals & girlfriends (Beginning to sound familiar?). He looked like a hero, acted like a hero, mostly told the truth although he didn't talk much. He was very brave & loyal especially to the electoral college delegates.Kitman asserts that the U.S. Constitution was written especially with Washington in mind. That may be true. They both have survived, no thanks to Kitman ... Read more

15. The Human Face
by DK Publishing, John Cleese, Brian Bates
Hardcover: 240 Pages (2001-07-01)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$29.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0789478366
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The Human Face tells the fascinating story of our most familiar features. We embark on an intriguing and unique journey of self-discovery, exploring the evolutionary, social, and psychological aspects of the face.

Why do we have a face? There are six billion human faces and yet we instantly recognize faces that we know. The face is the key to identity, both for ourselves and others. How is it that this small part of us can be such an immediate and effective way to define who we are? Humans have only seven universally recognized facial expressions: anger, fear, happiness, sadness, disgust, surprise, and contempt, and yet it is estimated that we can make about 7,000 discreet expressions. How do we read expressions? And how can we hide our true feelings when they are written on our faces without our even knowing?

Is beauty really in the eye of the beholder? All over the world people seem to agree on which faces are beautiful. What is the relationship between facial beauty and sexual attractiveness? And is our concern with personal appearance just about looking good? Is vanity the result of a harmless need to fit in -- or are there other subconscious motives at work? Why are we so obsessed with the famous faces of actors and entertainers? Is it only a matter of media hype, or are there deeper reasons for our fascination?

The Human Face reveals that knowing how the face has developed, what it can do, and what it means, is a way of understanding who we are. Beautifully illustrated with striking photography, this book will give you a new insight into human nature and the naked truth behind your facial features. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars fascinating
great book, good read and some really good pictures. this is such a unique fun book to read i read it over and over again and love looking at all the cool and colorful pictures. this book tells all about the human face from the begining of time and where it originated up until what we are today. it covers many diffrent areas and topics relating to science, beauty, expressions etc... , it has everything you could think of! it covers everything you ever wanted to know about the face. i recomend this book to anyone whos interested in how humans interact with eachother and facial expressions and what we consider beauty and why, or even if you like science! buy this book today, it's worth it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome book!
This book actually surprised me in it's depth and content. It didn't appear to be very long even though it is rather tall. It covers the origin of the human face and goes on to explain why we are fascinated with the face as well as how faces are used in commercials and movies to promote ads, gain sympathy, or provoke anger. It is very scientific yet easy to understand. Quite humorous as well. Very beautiful photos. There is so much in the book I can't begin to list it all. I really learned a lot from this book and I have recommended it to many friends.
I highly recommend this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars From Someone Who Should Know
Wow...What an awesome book! As an orthodontist, I found it incredibly interesting. Needless to say, I would highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in the human facination with the face. Also, be sure to check out the video/DVD that was produced after the book. Great fun with John Cleese and Elizabeth Hurley, with additional material. Especially fascinating- the section on facial beauty with Dr. Stephen Marquardt.

5-0 out of 5 stars Face Fascination
This book tells the story of why we are drawn to faces thirty minutes after being born, when even then our eyes can barely focus. This inborn fascination with faces continues as we grow up and become fascinated with the face of the one we love.

Brian Bates brings his experience in psychology and biology to this beautifully bound collection. He has taught imagination techniques for actors, including face and mask work and has directed plays at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.

This book is a journey of self-discovery. It explores the social and psychological aspects of the face. It is sometimes said, you never forget a face, but can forget a name. That has often been true for me. Why is it that I can remember a face so well?

We all have seven universally recognized facial expression: anger, fear, happiness, sadness, disgust, surprise and contempt. But we can make up to 7,000 discrete expressions. This work explores beauty in the eye of the beholder versus a universal agreement on which faces are beautiful. The area of sexual attraction and the naked truth behind facial features is interesting for many reasons.

On a bright yellow page the index lists origins, identity, expressions, beauty, vanity and fame. The pages are visually stunning. With colored pages and black writing contrasting with white pages and pictures. The pictures of two individuals from birth to middle age showed how we change over time.

I was intrigued by the "Expressions" chapter. Lady Diana's Eyes told the tale of her life as she moved from innocence to unhappiness. Did you know that the natural smile and the "masking/fake smile" uses different muscles to produce a similar effect. I tried this and it is an interesting experiment. The natural smile seems to use more muscles and includes my eyes feeling more brightened. When I try to produce a fake smile, I feel my face is in fact not quite as alive.

Then, onto what really matters: Kissing. ;~} A few pages on that and suddenly you turn the page and start to yawn...literally. Just the picture of a yawn is contagious. Why? I yawn again and find it difficult to look at the picture and not keep yawning! After yawning three times, I turn the page!

The chapter on beauty includes many famous faces. Julia Roberts, Calista Flockhart, Sophia Loren...they can be found here smiling. This chapter also shows that people who are beautiful are not always happier than everyone else. There are some very revealing pictures of a woman, before and after plastic surgery!

Vanity is a revealing chapter with a beautiful painting of the Greek myth of Narcissus, where a young man was so enamored with his own face, he falls in love with his own reflection.

By the time you reach the last pages, you will know an incredible amount about the human face. A fashionable collection of human faces, to help you understand why we are sometimes so intrigued by the faces of the famous, or of those around us.

Guaranteed to bring a smile to your face!

~The Rebecca Review

4-0 out of 5 stars Look at faces in a new way
"The Human Face" is filled with full-size color photographs of faces from cultures around the world, of every age, of every emotion.Photos of faces illustrate chapters on Origins, Identity, Expressions, Beauty, Vanity, and Fame.This book stresses how important "faces" are to our lives -- the first thing a human infant responds to is a face.Findings in science and cultural studies are cited, still the book's language is easy-to-read and breezy.Fascinating.Wish the information was more in depth.Still worth it.You may not look at the people you know in the same way. ... Read more

16. The Mammoth Book of Awesome Comic Fantasy
by John Cleese, Connie Booth, Tom Holt, Garry Kilworth, Esther Friesner, Marilyn Todd, Mike Ashley
Paperback: 512 Pages (2001-06-09)
list price: US$11.95 -- used & new: US$10.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000HWYWZ0
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
With the hilarious "Happy Valley," a story originally written by John Cleese and Connie Booth for Monty Python's Flying Circus, this third volume in an extraordinarily popular Mammoth Book series gets off to a suitably silly start. It continues merrily apace with "Attack of the Charlie Chaplins" by Garry Kilworth, visits "The Strawhouse Pavilion" by Ron Goulart, and takes in "A Bad Day on Mount Olympus" with Marilyn Todd. Along the way it introduces Esther Eisner's "Gunsel and Gretel" and Cherith Baldry's "Broadway Barbarian" and renews acquaintance with F. Anstey's "Ferdie." It bemuses as well as amuses with "A Case of Four Fingers" concocted by John Grant, not to mention "The Absolute and Utter Impossibility of the Facts in the Case of the Vanishing of Henning Vok" from Jack Adrian. And before this wildly comic romp ends, it discovers "Math Takes a Holiday" (Paul Di Filippo) and "Mother Duck Strikes Again" (Craig Shaw Gardner). Fantasy finds broad definition in this wackily comic tour. While some of the stories approach the domain of science fiction, others are lodged in an everyday reality. None of them, though, fails to entertain. Together, the more than thirty selections -- thirteen of them brand-new and the balance of them often rare finds or forgotten gems -- provide a fresh sampling of comic genius in the sphere of fantasy fiction and a wide range of tales to suit every taste in humor. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Wonder? Breed? How Foul is your Seed??
What to expect from "The Mammoth Book of Awesome Comic Fantasy"--a mosaic of waggish rogues and wayward wizards, misinformed planet-skippers, and would-be assassins in the grain...and from the skies. I recommend reading the book starting with the hyperactive final tale, "You'll Never Walk Alone Again"; its frenetic rhythm demands your perception be sharply angled! "Put Down that Universe!" is the second-to-last tale and features characters equally extraordinary and intriguing. Other meritorious additions: "Dragonet", "Nothing in the Rules", "How Much Would You Pay?","Math Takes a Holiday", "Polly Put the Mockers On", and "The Absolute and Utter Impossibility of the Facts in the Case of the Vanishing of Henning Vok"...On the flip side, skip "Ferdie", "Milord Sir Smiht...", "Touched By a Salesman", "The Swords and the Stones", "Fair Weather Fiend" and "Mother Duck Strikes Again". TEDIOUS!! Overall, great book...

1-0 out of 5 stars One more in a series of ... books
What is with these British anthologizers? How perverse a talent it is to find short, comedic stories which are not funny. Sweet merciful heavens this guy found a John Cleese story that was tedious. Imagine how hard you must work to find a tedious John Cleese anything. At least in this volume you can tell that most of the authors were trying to be at least a little funny. ... Read more

17. Strange Case of the End of Civilisation as We Know it
by John Cleese, Jack Hobbs
 Paperback: 128 Pages (1977-09-29)

Isbn: 0352301090
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18. Comment être un névrosé heureux
by John Cleese, Robin Skynner
 Paperback: 534 Pages (2001-09-30)
-- used & new: US$39.74
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 2738110312
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by John and Robin Skynner. Cleese
Paperback: 316 Pages (1988)

Isbn: 3873872889
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20. Caring for Children with Asthma (What You Really Need to Know About...)
by Rob Buckman, John Cleese
Paperback: 80 Pages (1999-10-26)
-- used & new: US$3.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1840282533
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Product Description
Part of a series designed to demystify healthcare, this pocket-sized guide to asthma discusses how to care for children with the condition. Each section includes questions and answers. The main points are signposted by John Cleese. Videos are available to accompany the series. ... Read more

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