The Curing of a Bibliomaniac Part 26: Rumpole of the Bailey (John Mortimer, 1978)

Books left: ZEEEEEEEERRRRRRROOOOO. Weeks left: 1.5 (KILLED that deadline).

rumpole“A few mornings later I picked up the collection of demands, final demands and positively final demands which constitutes our post and among the hostile brown envelopes I found a gilded and embossed invitation card. I took the whole lot into the kitchen to file away in the tidy bin when She Who Must Be Obeyed entered and caught me at it. 
‘Horace,’ She said severely. ‘Whatever are you doing with the post?’ 
‘Just throwing it away. Always throw bills away the first time they come in. Otherwise you only encourage them.'”


The shame of doing a project based on authors’ surnames is that of course, I don’t have a proper Z book to finish things off with a bang. So I decided to end the project with a heroic whimper and pick a random, easy book starting with anything. My criteria was to choose both the shortest fun book I could find and the funnest (yes) short book I could find. And to tail off the whimper appropriately I’m going to write a real cop-out of a review, hurrah!

Well, there’s honestly not that much to say about Rumpole, which is not to discount Mortimer’s comedic genius one whit.

Rumpole stories feature the cases, episode by episode, of Horace Rumpole, a lawyer in a disreputable hat who is comfortably free of ambition and takes delight in defending criminals, petty or otherwise. He occasionally breaks out into quoting poetry, usually at inappropriate moments. He has a collection of mystified colleagues and a terrifying wife called She Who Must Be Obeyed. The stories are as clever and entertaining as the lovably droll Rumpole.

I can see why they made this a TV series, which I didn’t know about, but which the Matriarch mentioned when I told her I was reading this book. Might try to sniff it out.

As intended, a cosy and altogether trauma-free option to round off the project.

So there it is. I’m drained, I’m exhausted, I have an utterly love-hate relationship with this blog. But I’ll give you a closing summary of the project in the next post, along with a Best Of. For now, I’m happy to leave this at cop-out level and go and nurse my tired brain by gargling cheese and wine, Bridget Jones-style.

Over and out.


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