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VINE VOICEon 23 February 2010
A lawyer friend give me this book for Christmas and I simply cannot recommend it highly enough for its sheer entertainment.

Now, it is fair to say that, as I come from a legal family, I probably have more insight than many into some of the contents but, quite frankly, I feel that, for sheer amusement value, this book is hard to beat. It is the kind of volume that one places in the bathroom for the delectation of guests knowing that it will not only keep them well entertained, but also cheer their day considerably. Had I found it in this manner, I would most certainly have asked my host to loan it to me!

Anyway, to the substance of the book. It consists of a motley selection of cases dating back over centuries and includes not only the hilarious but also the curious. Interestingly enough, it starts with the trial of Christ. Peter Seddon writes in an engaging and amusing style which demonstrates a clear eye for an unusual turn of phrase and his description of the judiciary and varied appellants and defendents had me howling with laughter at times.

I have a number of favourite cases. The libel case involving Liberace, for example, was hugely amusing and Seddon's writing brought a sense of immediacy to the story - quite frankly, I have rarely laughed so much and the book would have been worth buying for this alone. One should not, however, forget the story of the cats who ate their kindly owner after her demise and the extraordinarily petty cases that came to no less a place than the Old Bailey (The shocking Affair of the Rolled up Umbrella). Shipman even gets a look in - as does a rather interesting predecessor.

Why only four stars? Well this is because I felt that I would have liked some longer cases in the book to "get my teeth into", so to speak. As it is, each one only lasts a few pages. I think that this has something to do with my preference for substantial chunks of meat when it comes to literature rather than mere tasty morsels.

In summary, I can heartily recommend this book. Bought for yourself or as a gift, it simply cannot fail to delight. You will also never be short of a good story to tell at a dinner party when the conversation hits a lull.
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on 13 August 2010
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. As a law student it puts a light funny side to the heavy reading of cases. Would recommend for any would be lawyer.
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on 17 March 2015
A witty resume of over eighty court cases varying from brutal murder to trivial crimes which have tested the judgement of the country's best law practitioners. The author adopts a lighthearted approach, using frivolous language and double entendres to highlight the vagueness which can appear in the application of the law and shows how the personalities of those involved can add to the confusion.
The brutality of many of the crimes referred to in this book is clear, but Peter Seddon is not writing about this aspect of court work.
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on 29 November 2012
My copy of this book went astray in the mail--then six months later, it suddenly turned up, with apologies from Royal Mail. It was worth the wait. None of the stories are less than interesting, and some are extraordinary. This will give you a new insight into human nature. Either you'll shake your head in righteous despair, or (perhaps more likely) you'll burst out laughing.
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on 30 August 2015
This book is extraordinary but very readable. The author has selected a range of cases from the depths of history to the present day that illustrate the peculiarities and anomalies of our laws. Some of the cases are no laughing matter but now and then we are allowed a sly chuckle at the antics of the protagonists.
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on 3 April 2015
A very amusing and readable book.
The cases described cover a broad Historical period.
Even if you are not particularly interested in Law of itself ,you will find the cases surprising and enlivened by the authors
humourous comments.
An enjoyable easy read,which is that bit different.
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on 26 February 2015
I really enjoyed this book. I worked in the legal profession for almost 45 years, and was closely involved in Court proceedings as a result of which I could just picture in my mind the cases that were described in this book. I have experienced the funny side of Court work on numerous occasions, including the fact that judges have to have ordinary everyday matters explained to them. A really good read!
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on 12 April 2015
I really enjoyed this book, some of the cases were perhaps a bit out of place but as a whole it was a funny light read.
I would recommend this book to anyone who fancies something a bit funny with a serious edge to it. At the time of reading I was using this as downtime from my dissertation and it was perfect to help me switch off at the end of the day.
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on 11 April 2015
Really enjoyed reading this book.Legal books are not normally my choice of book,however short chapters covering the case.Thus easy to get into and read,perfect for a journey to work to ease the boredom of a commute (of course if your not driving!!).
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on 13 April 2013
This is a delightful book, revealing some of the most unusual legal cases which have happened over the years. Some of them are famous, with cases like the 'Lady Chatterley' trial and the Scopes case. Written in a relaxed, chatty style, the author entertains his readers without going into too much legalese.
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