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The Anti-social Behaviour of Horace Rumpole Hardcover – 25 Oct 2007


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Viking; FIRST EDITION edition (25 Oct 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670917117
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670917112
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 2.2 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 989,998 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Praise for Rumpole and the Reign of Terror:'Rumpole is back, as gloriously seedy as ever. Mortimer's divine hero is one of the few fictional immortals of our time' The Times 'Written with Mortimer's customary aplomb and an infectious enjoyment' Elizabeth Buchan, Sunday Times 'A fine comic creation. A figure who represents something important: the defence of liberty against the arrogance of power' Scotsman

About the Author

John Mortimer is a novelist, playwright and former practising barrister. Among his many publications are several volumes of Rumpole stories and a trilogy of political novels (Paradise Postponed, Titmuss Regained and The Sound of Trumpets) featuring aspiring Conservative MP, Leslie Titmuss. Sir John received a knighthood in 1998 for his services to the arts.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By H. meiehofer VINE VOICE on 26 Jan 2009
Format: Paperback
I am writing this just a few days after the death of John Mortimer.

Like his creator Rumpole is a great champion of freedom, and this is very much the theme of this book; where even Rumpole's own liberty is at stake!

Rumpole and Mortimer stand shoulder to shoulder (yes I did mean to say that) against the authoritarianism which constricts our lives from both ends of the political spectrum. Rumpole challenges the absurdities of orthodoxy and privilege with wit and panache. He is no less effective now than he was at the beginning.

A few reviewers have complained that this is rather short. Well so it is, but it is packed with gems.

Rumpole has become one of the great characters of literature. Many will think of these books as light reading, but they serve a profound purpose reminding us how important it is to resist efforts to constrain our freedom.

John Mortimer has gone, but his name will live on for decades, if not centuries. This will be partly as a result of his own distinguished career as a passionate advocate and defender of human rights. But many of us will remember him more as the creator of Horace Rumpole of the Bailey.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Paul Hanratty on 2 Sep 2008
Format: Paperback
I am a criminal lawyer and mourn the fact that we don't have many characters in the legal profession these days. Oh for a Horace Rumpole at my local Magistrates' Court rather than anxious young pin-stripes regurgitating their Sentencing Guidelines to a bored bunch of JP's. I've read all the Rumpole adventures and whilst there is often a convenient last-minute witness to save the day (it doesn't happen in real life!) I agree with another reviewer that Mortimer's writings often induce embarrassing snorts of laughter in the most public of places. I like the fact that Rumpole wrestles with modern day crime and sentences without compromising his principles. I was pleased he didn't take silk as he would have lost that charm of the oldest junior hack on the circuit. I've no idea how old Rumpole is but he must be in his eighties and yet he still scratches around chambers for a brief and preferably one which will allow him to show off his knowledge of blood stains. The story is largely predictable and a little short but great fun.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Adam Wayne on 3 Nov 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is how Rumpole decided to address a letter to the High court Judge Bullingham in order to ask him for a referal in his application to be a QC. It caused me to laugh out loud while standing on a packed train much to my embarrassment. Rumpole is an institution. Mortimer's genius is in getting the reader to tear his/her hair out at the blatant bias of the judges and the trampling of fundamental rights. He does this with his usual tact. As in previous books, the Rumpole character is so appealing because of his joy in the simple things in life. The small cigar, Pommeroys finest, the Guinness and pie for lunch. His morality is not self rightousness but is a basic sense of right and wrong. He as ever puts his genius to the benefit of the client at the expense of himself. The only critisism is that the book is too short. Please Mr. Mortimer Keep the Rumpole series going.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 Dec 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have to confess I am biased - I love Rumpole. As another reviewer has mentioned his love of the simple things of life is so endearing. His sense of right and wrong is based on common sense and the presumption of innocence. It seems almost as though he is managing to convince the powers that be that his philosophy is the right one. Ultimately of course he cannot win, but that doesn't stop him trying. He nearly succeeds in becoming a 'Queer Customer', but fails at the last hurdle. Rumpole QC would not sound quite right in any case.
The book was good though too short for my liking - which is my only criticism. But a short Rumpole is better than no Rumpole at all. Long live John Mortimer.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Keith Mitchell on 5 Sep 2008
Format: Paperback
Fact - there is no bigger Rumpole fan than me. So I have to report with considerable sadness that the latest Rumpole is IMHO the work of a tired and/or ill old man.

Agree with other reviewers who comment on the extremely large text, the only method of adding substance to an otherwise flimsy, lightweight novella - and I'm being kind here.

But it's not that which upsets me - it's the weakness of the plot, and the characterisation. Our favourite denizens of Equity Court appear - without development or follow-through - say little, and for little apparent reason, fall in lust with each other. The plot - such as it is - fizzles rather than sizzles. Such a shame. This bottle of Pommeroys Very Ordinary is well past its drink-by date, and is a pale, ghostly simulacrum of the noble vintage which has gone before.

Buy it - secondhand - because you can't not read a new Rumpole. But don't spend much and be prepared for disappointment. In the words of his beloved Keats - "...the sedge is wither'd from the lake. And no birds sing."

It really pains me to write this.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By William D. Freeman on 8 Nov 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First: This is a novela easily read in a couple of hours so yes the price is a bit much considering.

Second: As with last year's "Rumpole and the Reign of Terror," this book primarily serves as a platform for Mortimer to highlight New Labour's continuing infringement upon hard-won civil liberties in the name of trendy political issues: security, social justice, global warming etc.

Beware: This is not the vintage Rumpole of the television years. Storyline details about the supporting cast from that time have been completely disregarded. Judge Bullingham is alive once more. Hoskins has ceased to be a judge and despite telling us years ago that Hilda's daddy old C.H. Wystan never took silk we are now informed that he did.

Still the book is worth reading if only to share Mortimer's contempt for those who steamrole freedom in the name of social justice.
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