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Forever Rumpole: The Best of the Rumpole Stories Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Length: 520 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Review

"Delightful . . . [Rumpole's] distinctive voice - crusty, orotund, pointed - is key to what makes these tales such a pleasure to read. . . . This excellent sampling will encourage most readers to go on and read more of the many still available."--The Washington Times

About the Author

John Mortimer was a barrister, playwright and novelist. His trilogy about the rise of an ambitious Tory MP, Leslie Titmuss - Paradise Postponed, Titmuss Regained and The Sound of Trumpets - has recently been reissued in Penguin Classics and his play A Voyage Round My Father was recently successfully revived at the Donmar Theatre with Sir Derek Jacobi in the leading role. He published four Rumpole novels and twelve books of short stories, from which this selection has been made. Sir John died in January 2009. Ann Mallalieu has practised at the Criminal Bar since 1970, and worked frequently with John Mortimer. After becoming a Labour Life Peer, she was voted Peer of the Year by parliamentarians in 2004.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1647 KB
  • Print Length: 520 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0143122142
  • Publisher: Penguin (3 Nov. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005JZ9OXU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #143,083 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Sir John Mortimer was a playwright, novelist and former practising barrister. During the war he worked with the Crown Film Unit and published a number of novels, before turning to theatre. He wrote many film scripts, and plays both for radio and television, including A Voyage Round My Father, the Rumpole plays, which won him the British Academy Writer of the Year Award, and the adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited.

Mortimer wrote four volumes of autobiography, including Clinging to the Wreckage and Where There's a Will (2003). His novels include the Leslie Titmuss trilogy, about the rise of an ambitious Tory MP: Paradise Postponed, Titmuss Regained and The Sound of Trumpets, and the acclaimed comic novel, Quite Honestly (2005). He also published numerous books featuring his best-loved creation Horace Rumpole, including Rumpole and the Primrose Path (2002) and Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders (2004). All these books are available in Penguin.

Sir John Mortimer received a knighthood for his services to the arts. His authorized biography, A Voyage Around John Mortimer, written by Valerie Grove, is also published by Penguin (2007).

Sir John Mortimer passed away on January 16, 2009.


Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This 2011 anthology is the second to be published since the author's death. Unlike 2009's "Rumpole at Christmas", however, nearly all of this material has been published in book form before. In fact this book is really just an expanded version of the 1993 anthology "The Best of Rumpole" and includes the same introduction that Mortimer wrote for that volume. So what does this new book have to offer?

1. There is a nice introduction by Ann Mallalieu reminiscing about about her long friendship with the author and their time together at the Bar.

2. Seven stories have been added drawn from the various Rumpole books published after 1993.

3. ABOVE ALL, There is a six-page fragment at the end that was to be the start of a Rumpole story which Mortimer was forced to abandon when he became terminally ill. This really is the book's main selling point, and it is actually a well-polished piece with some funny bits that are vintage Rumpole.

Veteran Rumpole readers, though, will already be familliar with 95% of this book's contents and probably consider the price much too steep, which it is. Many, therefore, may prefer to order this book in electronic format or simply wait for the paperback edition. To be brutally honest, however, if you are only interested in the new bits, you can just pop into your local bookstore and easily read the last few pages under the guise of browsing.
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Format: Hardcover
Taking this book at face value and assuming that you have not read any of the Rumpole stories, this is a very good compilation of this canon of work by John Mortimer. I am not au fait with the television Rumpole (Leo McKern) but, I am familiar with the Radio 4 Rumpole of the husband and wife team of Timothy West and Prunella Scales, so have heard the audio version of the majority of these stories. That did not detract however, from my enjoyment of this compilation. Mortimer's Rumpole is an anachronism in the modern day world of 'the bar'. Moreover, he is an irrasicible and sarcastic 'old darling', fond of small cigars and cheap claret (Chataeu Thames Embankment) mainly imbibed in Pommeroy's wine bar. He is indebted to the Timpson family - a band of minor, incompetent south London criminals, for keeping him in the aforementioned cigars and claret and Hilda in cleaning materials! Although he loves his wife Hilda (She Who Must Be Obeyed), he is equally in love with his work as a defending junior counsel. There are some classic, almost Wodehouseian lines from Mortimer, such as, "When I got home and unlocked the front door, I was greeted with the familiar cry of 'Is that you Rumpole?' 'No, I shouted back, 'it's not me. I'll be along later.' There are many more little gems from the pen of Mortimer. Oh, and of course, in this compilation Rumpole always wins his cases defending his clients, with the assistance of the lugubrious Fig Newton and his instructing solicitor, Bonny Bernard.

Should you ever get the opportunity to listen to Radio 4 Extra's 'Rumpole - with West & Scales, I can assure you that you'll be in a for a 45 minute treat per episode.

That notwithstanding, this is a good compilation of Rumpole stories - you could also title it, 'the best of Rumpole'. It is.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Mortimer has always had the uncanny knack of fusing a wonderful use of the English language with quiet and, at times, sardonic humour. He draws on a broad personal experience of things legal and expertly blends all this into a delightful image of just the kind of advocate I would welcome at my elbow, if ever I were in such need. One suspects - indeed hopes - that what is written is no more or less than a reflection of Mortimer himself. Not a bedtime read if you are in company - unless you want an impatient elbow in the ribs to subdue quiet seismic rumbles of humour!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A perfect collection of Rumpoles! Especially as they are John Mortimer's favourites too. You also realise how perfect the casting and script writing was in the TV series. I bought through betterworldbooks who give fast service (despite the predicted lengthy delivery dates, my books have never taken that long!) and accurate discriptions, as well as giving some proceeds to charity.
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Format: Hardcover
I discovered Horace Rumpole right about the time of John Mortimer's death three years ago. I began reading the stories in a rather hit-or-miss fashion, so I was pleased to find one book with 15 or so previously published stories. Unlike some other reviewers, all the stories were new to me, so I was quite satisfied with the book.

Curiously, the very first book of Mortimer/Rumpole I read was "Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders", which he wrote many years after beginning the Rumpole series. That "case", of course, was the case that made Horace Rumpole's reputation and was often referred to but never explained til that book.

Mortimer was a very clever writer. This group of stories - not quite "short stories", but maybe "novellas" - which I think were printed in the order they were originally written, bring the same on-going characters, Rumpole, "She Who Must be Obeyed", Guthrie Featherstone, Claude Erskine-Brown and his lovely wife, and many others, along in each story as a sort of sense of "continuity". The cases themselves may change, and the minor characters are different in each novella, but the main group of characters remain the same. It's wonderful for a reader to discover "old friends" in new settings.

The only warning I would give about this new book, "Forever Rumpole", is that old fans of the series should check carefully the table of contents to see if they've read the stories. I think some readers might be disappointed to find no new stories - other than the fragment of "Rumpole and the Brave New World", which he was working on at his death in 2009.
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