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The Ascent Of Rum Doodle Paperback – 4 Oct 2001


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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Pimlico; New edition edition (4 Oct. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 071266808X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712668088
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.5 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 495,623 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Wonderful. Rum Doodle does for mountaineering what Three Men in a Boat did for Thames-going or Catch-22 did for the Second World War. It is simply an account of the leader of an expedition up Rum Doodle, a 40,000 and a half foot peak in the Himalayas, in the same way that Scoop is simply a tale about newsgathering in Africa. The tone is nearer to Pooter than anyone else I can think of, but the flavour is all W.E. Bowman's own." (Sunday Times)

"I just love this book. Everything about it is nearly perfect... hugely enjoyable and brilliantly sustained." (From the introduction by Bill Bryson)

"Exceedingly funny... as if the hero of Diary of a Nobody had, in a mood of abandon, turned to mountaineering." (Dublin Magazine)

"it is an epic. It is Homeric. It is inspiring. It is very, very funny... Read it and be moved." (Books of the Month)

Book Description

A new edition of W.E. Bowman's hilarious spoof, with a new introduction by Bill Bryson.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 Nov. 2001
Format: Paperback
I bought this book in an attempt to cheer myself up amist a depressing work load.
After a good introduction I went over the first chapters stepping carefully and curiously observing whether this was what the cover promised.
The books grows on you because it not a simple attempt to assemble a host of funny jokes. But better, it is the brilliantly crafted caracters that you get to know that will crack you up. These characters are revealed bit by bit through every tongue-in-cheek incident that takes place in the course of their (parody of an) expedition.
I tried to read this in the tube only to find that my laughter became a scene. So I went and retreated to Hampstead Heath to get the peace to read it.
Truly uplifting and funny.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bob Salter TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback
As the great Totter once said "To climb Mont Blanc by the Grepon route is one thing; to climb Rum Doodle, is quite another". At 40,000 feet the towering `Queen of snows' has defied all attempts to climb it, until an intrepid team of British climbers lead by the in indefatigable Binder dare to dream. As Sir Hugely Havering, Chairman of the Rum Doodle Committee said "It will go". But to achieve this mythic goal the team have much to overcome, not least of which are problems in their own ranks. The route-finder Humphrey Jungle has an unfortunate habit of getting lost. Ridley Prone the doctor is alarmingly susceptible to all kinds of illness. Team linguist Lancelot Constant has some "Lost in Translation" moments with the local Yogestani porters, causing a certain amount of confusion in the team. Donald Shute the expedition photographer has a bad habit of inadvertently exposing his film to daylight. Scientist Christopher Wish , who has been higher than most, has great difficulty in finding the fabled Warple. Even the porters are a dodgy bunch. Nothing on earth persuades them to work for longer than eight hours, except money. Generally they are to be found in groups smoking a villainous tobacco called stunk. None of these setbacks deter the brave British adventurers who are spurred on to greater efforts by the thought of cook Pongs dubious cooking.

You may have already gathered that this is not Nobel prize winning literature, but it is certainly infused with a very British sense of humour. You will recognise many of the characters within the pages. Unfortunately I may have a few of Jungle's map reading deficiencies myself.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Oct. 2001
Format: Paperback
I'm not a climber, but I do enjoy humour - the drier the better - and I love this book. I first read it 15 years ago and have just re-bought it for myself as an early Christmas present. It's a very gentle, deadpan tale of disaster that I've regularly found myself re-reading over the years. Treat yourself to a laugh. You won't be disappointed.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By carl@carlandjills.karoo.co.uk on 21 Oct. 2001
Format: Paperback
An elite team is put together to climb the highest mountain in the world (40,000 and a half feet). The hapless bunch set of across Yogistan, led by Jungle, "Radio expert and route finder. Had been nearly as high as most". (Unfortunately he has got lost on the way). The groups welfare tended to by Prone,"Doctor of the expedition and our oxygen expert. Had been high enough. Barely returned from the Himalayas". Helped by Yogistani porters, the head man being, "Bing The Bang" and the worst cook in the world "Pong". So begins a Hilarious adventure, every page having you laughing out loud, as well as containg a memorable quote to use later. The momentum and parody kept sharp from start to finish.
If you want a book to make you feel good and laugh out loud, you must buy this comedy classic. It realy is the funniest book you will ever read
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 Oct. 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is ideal material for the budding climber to digest. It won't help him in his hobby one bit but it will make him appear a superhero if he's made it past base camp unaided! A very funny read; well worth the money.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Aug. 2004
Format: Paperback
I was a little wary when this book was recommended to me, but it is undoubtedly one of the funniest books I have ever read. Even the jokes which seem a little too obvious at first (such as the team's navigator becoming lost en route to the planning meeting) are really just plants for an ongoing series of gentle running gags which are developed wonderfully. The writing is superb and I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a dry sense of humour. There are so many little comments and observations that the book is as funny if not funnier every time you read it. Excellent.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By AS on 13 Mar. 2010
Format: Paperback
I haven't laughed this much since first reading 'Three Men in a Boat'. Written over half a century ago, 'The Ascent of Rum Doodle' is still fresh, original, funny and spectacularly silly. And of course, in the best tradition of the mountaineering classics it parodies, it is gripping too, keeping you in suspense throughout: will they be able to climb the 40,000-and-a-half-foot peak of Rum Doodle?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By woozle on 14 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lovers (like me) of Three Men In A Boat will appreciate the similar quirky humour of this delightful book. The cook, in particular will not fail to make you smile. It is such a pleasure to find a book that is quintessentially English,I read it in a day as I simply could not put it down. Highly recommended for those who appreciate old fashioned humour and love the English way of doing things.
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