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'Forever Rumpole' - or,' Rumpole At His Best !',
This review is from: Forever Rumpole: The Best of the Rumpole Stories (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.