Forever Rumpole: The Best of the Rumpole Stories

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Overview

A wonderful collection, starring the world's most beloved barrister, including a fragment of a new Rumpole story.

John Mortimer died in 2009, but will never be forgotten. While still a practicing barrister, Mortimer took up the pen, and the rest is literary history. His stories featuring the cigar-chomping, cheap- winetippling Rumpole and his wife, Hilda (aka "She Who Must Be Obeyed"), have justly earned their place in the pantheon of mystery fiction legends. The stories became ...

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Forever Rumpole: The Best of the Rumpole Stories

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Overview

A wonderful collection, starring the world's most beloved barrister, including a fragment of a new Rumpole story.

John Mortimer died in 2009, but will never be forgotten. While still a practicing barrister, Mortimer took up the pen, and the rest is literary history. His stories featuring the cigar-chomping, cheap- winetippling Rumpole and his wife, Hilda (aka "She Who Must Be Obeyed"), have justly earned their place in the pantheon of mystery fiction legends. The stories became a very successful PBS television series starring Leo McKern as Rumpole.

Forever Rumpole brings together fourteen of Rumpole's most entertaining adventures, together with a fragment of a new story. Rumpole is never less than delightful and this new collection is a fitting tribute to an indelible character and his remarkable creator.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

"Of course, I've been drinking at all. You don't think I come out with these blinding flashes of deduction when I'm completely sober, do you?" Since the mid-seventies, viewers and readers have been delighting to the eccentric insights and wry, literate cross-examinations and observations of Harold Rumpole of the Old Bailey. While not imbibing cheap wine, eating fried food, or quoting Wordsworth, this aged barrister is pouncing on prosecution inconsistencies and solving crimes. If you haven't previously sampled the Rumpole stories of the much-mourned John Mortimer (1923-2009), this posthumous collection is a fine place to start. If you have, you will enjoy the reminiscences of Anna Mallaliev, a fellow barrister who worked closely with the legendary author.

Publishers Weekly
At the start of “Rumpole and the Younger Generation,” the first story in this posthumous “best of” collection, Mortimer’s curmudgeonly, Wordsworth-quoting barrister, Horace Rumpole, mentions that he’ll be “sixty-eight next birthday.” The case at hand involves a younger member of South London’s nonviolently criminal Timson clan, and a key point in the accused lad’s trial hinges on the date of a Rolling Stones concert that year, 1965. In the penultimate, post-9/11 entry, “Rumpole and the Christmas Break,” Rumpole defends a Pakistani student accused of murdering a history professor, Honoria Glossup (a name borrowed from Mortimer’s literary mentor, P.G. Wodehouse), who wrote a book critical of “the cruelties committed by Islamic fundamentalists.” In the decades in between, in a number of witty, ingeniously plotted adventures that often deal with issues of the day (the women’s movement, animal rights, euthanasia), the ageless, principled barrister must contend with colleagues who scheme to bring about his retirement (when they aren’t hoping for his demise); judges who blatantly favor the prosecution; and his disapproving wife, Hilda (aka “She Who Must Be Obeyed”). A glass or two of Chateau Thames Embankment at Pommeroy’s Wine Bar offers consolation. Ann Mallalieu, a barrister who worked with the, alas, mortal Mortimer (1923–2009) and made the selections, provides an illuminating introduction. A fragment of an uncompleted novel rounds out a volume sure to be treasured by both old fans and new.
Library Journal
Horace Rumpole, the claret-quaffing barrister who never quite makes the grade but always makes a point, stars in a new collection of his most outrageous exploits. Created by British barrister Mortimer, Rumpole's courtroom antics and politically incorrect gaffes have made him a perennial favorite among mystery fans for decades. The book begins with an excellent and insightful introduction by barrister Ann Mallalieu who had the pleasure of assisting Mortimer on some of his cases. Collected here are 14 stories total; seven that were previously published in 1993 under the title The Best of Rumpole, and an additional seven from Mortimer's later works. There is also a sliver of a novel, Rumpole and the Brave New World, which Mortimer began shortly before his death in 2009. VERDICT Alas, Rumpole devotees will find nothing new. However, those uninitiated to the irascible barrister's charm and wit will have much to relish. The collection is an excellent primer to all things Rumpole: the Timson clan (his favorite thieving family), his penchant for Chateau Fleet Street, and the indomitable Hilda, long-suffering wife and appropriately titled "She Who Must Be Obeyed."—Amy Nolan, St. Joseph P.L., MI
The Wall Street Journal
“Once detective-fiction heroes enter your mental landscape, they can seem as real as your own friends and family. For a lot of people, Horace Rumpole is just such a vivid and familiar figure . . . Rumpole fans can savor a bailiff’s dozen of Rumpole’s seriocomic adventures in Forever Rumpole.
The Washington Times
“Delightful . . . [Rumpole’s] distinctive voice – crusty, orotund, pointed – is key to what makes these tales such a pleasure to read. . . . This excellent sampling will encourage most readers to go on and read more of the many still available.”
Bookpage (December Top Pick in Mystery)
Fourteen of the best of Rumpole's cases have been gathered for this compilation . . . the disheveled lawyer fielded cases ranging from petty larceny to Islamic terrorism, all with his characteristic tilting at windmills and his biting tongue-in-cheek wit.
Christian Science Monitor
“John Mortimer’s stories combine a Wodehousian wit with a generous humanism of which the world could use another dollop…it is always a pure pleasure to sit down the the Old Bailey hack.”
American Spectator
“Horace Rumpole. A character Dickens would have been proud to have created . . . Mortimer’s character came as a revelation to those of us who despaired of ever encountering a lawyer we could love. Who knew courtroom drama could be this much fun? The stories are intelligent, witty, and finely crafted . . . So long as there is sympathy for the sinful and muddled mankind, a delight in humor, an interest in justice, and any love of freedom, Horace Rumpole will indeed be forever.”
Bookpage
“Fourteen of the best of Rumpole’s cases have been gathered for this compilation . . . the disheveled lawyer fielded cases ranging from petty larceny to Islamic terrorism, all with his characteristic tilting at windmills and his biting tongue-in-cheek wit.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670023066
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/10/2011
  • Series: Rumpole Series
  • Pages: 528
  • Product dimensions: 6.32 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.66 (d)

Meet the Author


John Mortimer is a playwright, novelist, and former practicing barrister who has written many film scripts as well as stage, radio, and television plays, the Rumpole plays, for which he received the British Academy Writer of the Year Award, and the adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited. He is the author of twelve collections of Rumpole stories and three acclaimed volumes of autobiography.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 26, 2012

    Wonderful collection, Must read for fans

    I loved the TV series and the stories even more. Lots of dry English humor and wonderful characters. I gave my friend who headed up a histology lab the "She Who Must Be Obeyed" cup once. This is not the complete collection of his stories but all are enjoyable.
    Enjoy!

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  • Posted May 21, 2012

    vintage Rumpole

    The usaual fun, no surprises.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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