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Rumpole on Trial [Paperback]

Sir John Mortimer
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

25 Nov 1993
As well as dealing with seven new cases, the unfortunate Rumpole is called before the disciplinary tribunal of the Bar Council. Will Hilda continue to stand by him? Will he dare to let Ballard defend him? And will Rumpole be allowed to live to fight another day?


Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (25 Nov 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014016958X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140169584
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 11.2 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 440,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightfully humorous Rupole at his best. 6 Jan 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
If you enjoy the judicial adventures of Rumpole, you will especially enjoy this set of cases. This time John Mortimer has given us a set of cases that subtly tickle our sense of humor. I've read some of the other Rumpole books, but this one had me chuckling through out the entire book. So, if you have enjoyed the television series, you will especially enjoy these cases. The case of Rumpole before the judiciary committee was presented on PBS. It is even better here in the written form.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gently funny 16 Jun 2008
By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
I can kind of see why these are being allowed to go out of print. They are a picture of a world long gone, law courts where anachronisms like Rumpole are still allowed to thrive and there are still the vestiges of the old fashioned thieves honour code. Having said that, it is a real shame because these are lovely, gently humorous stories with a subtle eye for social and political criticism that are in turn funny, poignant, wry and despite the bombast, oddly understated.

Rumpole is a hidden gem and should be revived immediately. For those uninitiated in the ways of Rumpole, he is a defence lawyer in the inns of courts and the books are a series of short stories, each one regarding a particular memoir of a case. These stories are also filled with wonderfully funny details about Rumpole's long suffering wife, known as She Who Must Be Obeyed and the various skirmishes he has with the other members of his team and various judges before whom he has to pit his wit.

In this collection he has a run in with a provincial theatre group, helps his boss become untangled from a compromising situation with a young socialist and fights the forces of those who wish him to retire gently into that goodnight.

Simple, funny and well worth a read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very pleased... 2 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
that I could even get hold of this, as it is seriously out of print. So glad I got it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rumpole's Role Reversal 8 Sep 2000
By George R Dekle - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In "Rumpole on Trial" Horace Rumpole experiences the legal system from a new perspective--that of a defendant. Accused of unethical conduct, he goes from attorney to client, and he faces the fight of his life to keep his license to practice law. But he doesn't fight. Can Miz Liz Probert save her uncooperative client?
There are three "Rumpole Omnibuses" (Or is it Omnibi?), each of which contains three previously published Rumpole books. But Mortimer wrote ten Rumpole books. This book, "Rumpole on Trial" is the one which was left out of the "Omnibuses." If you like Rumpole (and who wouldn't), don't overlook this little gem.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightfully humorous Rupole at his best. 6 Jan 1999
By James R. Nuttall - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If you enjoy the judicial adventures of Rumpole, you will especially enjoy this set of cases. This time John Mortimer has given us a set of cases that subtly tickle our sense of humor. I've read some of the other Rumpole books, but this one had me chuckling through out the entire book. So, if you have enjoyed the television series, you will especially enjoy these cases. The case of Rumpole before the judiciary committee was presented on PBS. It is even better here in the written form.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Continuing the entertainment 10 Sep 2003
By Beverley Strong - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book, written 14 years after Rumpole od the Bailey, is every bit as entertaining. We are reintroduced to the Timson family who retain Rumpole to represent them each time one of the family is charges with a criminal activity.Ineffectual Erskine-Brown, who finds criminal law "distasteful", is accused of sexual harassment by yhe office typist and finds it hard to convince the members of Chambers that it's all caused by his sheer stupidity(and this man is a QC!)We also meet again various judges with their foibles and failings. It's a good laugh and a perfect book to pick up for a quick read when we need a laughter boost.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent reading by Timothy West 7 Sep 2002
By F. Behrens - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
With the recent death of character actor Leo McKern, there will be a resurgence of interest in video editions of his wonderful "Rumpole of the Bailey" series so dear to the hearts of Mystery Theatre watchers on PBS. In fact, HBO is reissuing all of the tapes onto DVD format and they will be available starting in in the Fall of 2002. So it was with great pleasure that I saw listed in the Audio Partners catalogue of books on tape, "Rumpole on Trial" ((61267). The set holds 6 cassettes with a running time of 8 hours and 7 minutes.
The reader is British actor Timothy West, whose voice is the next best thing to the gravel-throated chortle of McKern. Here he reads seven complete Rumpole tales: "Rumpole and the Children of Evil," "...the Eternal Triangle," "...the Miscarriage of Justice," "...the Family Pride," "...the Soothsayer," "...the Reform of Joby Jonson," and (to break the pattern) "Rumpole on Trial." All of these have been televised and all of them are a good deal of fun.
John Mortimer's custom was to create around the case Rumpole is handling a framing plot that has thematic likenesses or is antithetical to the main plot. So, for instance, all the while Rumpole is worried about being disbarred, his draconian wife, Hilda ("She Who Must Be Obeyed" as he calls her) is plotting to have him made a judge.

The army of minor characters are a joy in themselves. The pompous Head of Chambers "Soapy" Sam Ballard, the unhappily married clerk Henry, the pro-labor and pro-women barrister Liz Probert, the opera-loving snake in the grass Claude Erskine-Brown, the foot-in-his-mouth Guthrie Featherstone, and above all the (in)Justices Olliphant and Graves who love the prosecution and cannot see any humor in Rumpole's reminding them a trial should be fair.

Timothy West does all the voices, of course, but does not try to emulate the women as other readers do on (say) the Jeeves tapes. That would have been an error, since the tales are always told first-person from Rumpole's point of view.
For the most part, I think I clocked in about one good laugh per minute while listening to these tapes on long car trips; and I can highly recommend this set.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 short, comedic, courtroom stories 11 Dec 2007
By Mark E. Baxter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This volume is a collection of 7 Rumpole short stories. Rumpole is a practicing lawyer in London created by ex-lawyer John Mortimer. This is a long-running series of books that are still being written. An excellent BBC series starring the late Leo McKern is also available.

Rumpole has become a classic character and Mortimer's books are compared favorably with Wodehouse and other such geniuses of light fiction.

This is the 9th book in chronological order, though Mortimer reintroduces the characters at the beginning of his stories so you can start anywhere. There are 3 omnibus editions which each contain 3 books of short stories. However, this book is not in the omnibus editions and must be purchased individually.

Rumpole stories are comedic accounts of Rumpole's cases (he only works for the defense) interspersed with the foibles of his fellow lawyers. The other characters in the books, from judges to petty criminals are wonderfully drawn.

I have re-read this book several times. The part that most appeals to me is how Rumpole functions in a world that seems almost insanely bent on any pursuit but justice. The stories often comment on modern malaise and various hot-button issues from immigration to assaults on civil liberties.

My favorite story in this collection is "Rumpole and the Children of the Devil", where a busybody social worker tries to take away a child who played dress-up with a mask and turned this into devil worship. Like most Rumpole stories, this story comments on current trends like government miscues regarding child welfare.

Highly recommended.
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