Title: Number 10
Author: Sue Townsend
# Pages: 277 (2992)
Sue Townsend became famous writing the Adrian Mole diaries. She wrote several other good books though. This book was a nice birthday present from my little sister. Even though I do not have to suffer the cash flow problems from my student days, hardbacks are not very common on my shelves. Her latest book is, as the title gives a hint, about a prime-minister who seems to have lost touch with reality. To get away from the pressure he decides to tour the country for a week in disguise. What better disguise than in drag. So a few hours later he leaves Downing street, accompanied by the bobby that usually stands outside his door.
Unfortunately the front cover shows a photoshop picture of Blair in a dress. I don’t like the give away, I prefer suggestion. It is very obvious that the whole story is a blatant attack on New Labour. The term is even used a few times throughout the story, as in should we start ‘Old labour’? Yet I prefer the suggestion, the prime minister is called Edward Clare, should anyone want to read Tony Blair there, go ahead. Any similarity etc.
The story takes the prime minister to Scotland, by train, to several places in the north, where the reality seems strange for anyone who lives in a cocoon called London. It is entertaining to read his adventures. Every single problem in the UK today is confrontational again for the drag queen who suddenly sees what New Labour is really doing.
Somehow, I felt, near the end, that it is all very easily written. There is no element of surprise anywhere. Not as deep as “Ghost children”, not as entertaining as “The Queen and I”. Probably not as popular as “Adrian Mole” either. Yet fun to read.