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Rumpole at Christmas Paperback – 28 Oct 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (28 Oct. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141039779
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141039770
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.1 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 349,558 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

About the Author

Sir John Mortimer published his first collection of Rumpole stories in Penguin in 1978. By the time he died in January 2009, leaving behind 4000 words of a recently begun Rumpole novel, the character of Horace Rumpole had become his most famous fictional creation. These seven Rumpole Christmas stories were originally commissioned by a number of British and American magazines, and are here published in book form for the first time.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By William D. Freeman on 2 Oct. 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The late Sir John Mortimer left behind a number of Rumpole stories first published in magazines and newspapers and/or broadcast on radio which were not published in book form during his life. Several of these stories have been gathered here in what must be considered a must-read for all Rumpoleans.

Two notes of caution:
1) Despite what the dust-jacket says about absolutely none of these stories ever before appearing in book form, the lead story in this collection also appeared as the lead story in the 2001 collection Rumpole Rests His Case. Otherwise, these stories are indeed all "fresh" to book form.

2) As with other late-vintage Rumpole stories, many of the story-line details from the Rumpole of the television years have been ignored or forgotten. Readers who can look past these inconsistencies should enjoy these tales.

There remain as yet a handfull of Rumpole stories still not collected in any book. Perhaps the publisher can bring these together as one further last treat from the master.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Barbara M. Furguson on 5 Nov. 2009
Format: Hardcover
Do your bit if you must to keep these climate change and global warming miseries happy but never, but never, give up reading books. Rumpole is real, Rumpole equates with justice of which there is little about but above all Rumpole is fun. If there is one way to enjoy life it is this - read John Mortimer's accounts of Rumpole and it will inspire you to continue to hope in human nature. Life is the greatest gift we have and Rumpole enjoys it.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A. R. Gallagher on 28 Oct. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Of the many joys of the 'original' Rumpole stories - by which I mean the ones written from the seven televised series and two 'specials' - the numerous references to characters and events in previous stories gave the reader a feeling of continuity. The characters were fully formed and, in the readers' mind, really lived.

Unfortunately, this continuity was not kept up in later years in the single stories usually published in time for Christmas. And, as a devoted Rumpole fan, I noticed, and felt let down. This collection of short stories is full of such 'inconsistencies', as the reviewer Mr Freeman describes them.

For example: since the very beginning Rumpole's Chambers have resided at 1 Equity Court. In two of these stories, they seemed to have upped sticks and moved along to number 4. In "Rumpole and the Christmas Break", Hilda meets Mr Justice Graves for the first time, having apparently forgotten that she once spent a considerable amount of time with him on a cruise in "Rumpole at Sea". And indeed, Rumpole himself, who tells us that he knows Graves "...only as The Old Gravestone", has apparently forgotten what we, the readers, would never forget - that the man was always habitually referred to as "Mr Injustice Graves". In "Rumpole and the Millennium Bug" (1999) Henry is no longer the clerk; in "Rumpole and the Christmas Party" (2004) he has been reinstated to his position. In two consecutive stories Dodo Mackintosh lives first in Devon, then in Cornwall. Not impossible, I suppose, but without any supporting information, inconsistent.

Mortimer's unofficial biographer described his subject as lazy, and I regret to say that I agree with him.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 Dec. 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This little book is a collection of short stories which first appeared in various publications and all feature Rumpole dealing with the festive season with more or less success. The first story appeared in the book 'Rumpole Rests His Case' though all the rest, as the description says, have never appeared in book form. I think one of my favourites is the one set in a Health Farm to which Rumpole has been dragged by Hilda - who soon has no problem with eating at the local pub after someone is found dead in the sauna.

I loved it and it is a worthy addition to any collection of Rumpole books. If you haven't come across Rumpole before this book would be a good place to start. For a Rumpole fan this makes an indispensable Christmas present. Enjoy!
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Format: Paperback
Rumpole at Christmas = A Rumpole Christmas
This set of excellent Mortimer stories about Rumpole during the festive season is an entertaining read/listen. Unfortunately the paperback "Rumpole at Christmas" is identical to the paperback "A Rumpole Christmas" so there is little justification for buying both. The audio releases are readings by Bill Wallis who is satisfactory but not a patch on Tony Britton, who has also read Mortimer's work, or Timothy West, who plays the title character in the Radio 4 dramatisations. The criticisms of inconsistency above by Mr Gallagher are certainly valid, but one may forgive the aging memory of the writer for these small oversights without detracting from the writing or storyline. And the two different titles over the same collection of stories is unlikely to have been Mortimer's fault. When I pointed out this duplication to Amazon I received an email telling me that both titles were available in paperback! The Amazon writer seemed unable to understand that two titles should indicate two different works. The availability of paperback, hardback, audio readings or dramatisations does not make any difference to the fact that the buyer is going to get the same thing twice when he is hoping to acquire another and different Rumpole collection. Caveat Emptor!
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