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Forever Rumpole: The Best of the Rumpole Stories [Paperback]

John Mortimer
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Nov 2012

Forever Rumpole - a hilarious new selection of the very best Rumpole stories by John Mortimer

Horace Rumpole lives alongside Mr Pickwick and Bertie Wooster as one of the immortal comic characters in English fiction. With his curmudgeonly wit, his literary allusions, his disdain for personal ambition and his lack of pomposity, he has, in the words of the Daily Telegraph, 'ascended to the pantheon of literary immortals'.

Forever Rumpole contains seven stories originally chosen by the author himself as his favourites, together with a further seven from the later period and the opening chapters of a Rumpole novel that Sir John was working on when he died in 2009. The book also includes a fascinating introduction by Ann Mallalieu, fellow lawyer and for many years Sir John's colleague in practice.

'Rumpole, like Jeeves and Sherlock Holmes, is immortal' P. D James, Mail on Sunday

'I thank heaven for small mercies. The first of these is Rumpole' Clive James, Observer

Sir John Mortimer was a barrister, playwright and novelist. His fictional trilogy about the inexorable rise of an ambitious Tory MP in the Thatcher years (Paradise Postponed, Titmuss Regained and The Sound of Trumpets) has recently been republished in Penguin Classics, together with Clinging to the Wreckage and his play A Voyage round My Father. His most famous creation was the barrister Horace Rumpole, who featured in four novels and around eighty short stories. His books in Penguin include: The Anti-social Behaviour of Horace Rumpole; The Collected Stories of Rumpole; The First Rumpole Omnibus; Rumpole and the Angel of Death; Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders; Rumpole and the Primrose Path; Rumpole and the Reign of Terror; Rumpole and the Younger Generation; Rumpole at Christmas; Rumpole Rests His Case; The Second Rumpole Omnibus; Forever Rumpole; In Other Words; Quite Honestly and Summer's Lease.


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Forever Rumpole: The Best of the Rumpole Stories + The Third Rumpole Omnibus + The Second Rumpole Omnibus: Rumpole for the Defence;Rumpole and the Golden Thread; Rumpole's Last Case: 2nd
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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Viking (1 Nov 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670919373
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670919376
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 298,864 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.


Product Description

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. He was knighted for his services to the arts in 1998. He died in January 2009.

Ann Mallalieu was the first female President of the Cambridge Union. She has practised at the Criminal Bar since 1970 and appeared frequently with John Mortimer. A Labour life peer, she was elected Peer of the Year by parliamentarians in 2004.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Caveat Emptor 4 Nov 2011
Format:Hardcover
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'Forever Rumpole' - or,' Rumpole At His Best !' 20 Dec 2011
By SMc
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 18 Feb 2014
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious 21 Oct 2013
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Witty, intelligent author 23 Sep 2013
By malchad
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very amusing and very clever plots with many twists and turns. All the characters are beautifully brought to life. Easy reading
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