Read Rumpole's Last Case by John Mortimer Free Online
Book Title: Rumpole's Last Case|
The author of the book: John Mortimer
ISBN 13: 9780140126952
Edition: Penguin Books
Date of issue: February 7th 1990
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 9.72 MB
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Reader ratings: 5.6
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This was just what the doctor ordered for mental chiropractics. For realigning my spirit over the gloom of impending winter and too much serious reading. The BBC TV series begun in the late 70’s was almost as much relief from the madness of the world as Monty Python, and its extensions through the Reagan and Thatcher years into the early 90’s was always a safe haven. And by golly, I have been missing the old curmudgeon.
My choice to do an audiobook version of this collection means I could visualize Leo Kern again in the title role and all his allies and enemies in his practice and pompous adversary on the bench, the “Mad Bull” Judge Bullingham. In the seven cases in this book, he tilts at windmills with the sword of his words and usually wins, always in surprising ways and at the cost of many a punctured ego. What he does with the English language stands well on the shoulders of Shakespeare’s comedies.
I love the paradox of his bumbling and brilliance, the hybrid vigor of his humility and arrogance. His wife Hilda is such a perfect foil for his self-centeredness, always able to bring him down to earth (I feel the love in his chorus of “She Who Must Be Obeyed”). In "Rumpole and the Old, Old Story", they have an unusual break. After she admonishes him for an off-color joke at a fancy group dinner, he walks away and tries to live in his office and later with a colleague. The resolution was sweet more than comic.
Often Rumpole is defending guilty petty criminals, such as members of the Tilson family of housebreakers. In “Rumpole and the Blind Tasting” the charge is theft of expensive vintage wine. We know Rumpole thrives on the cheap stuff, as he is always hanging out in Pomeroy’s Wine Bar drinking what he refers to as Chateaux Thames Embankment. There was a great twist in the resolution of this case, poking much fun at the culture of aristocratic tastes.
One story was a more serious case of investigation involving murder. Through an old chum he gets a chance to handle a murder case (the “mother’s milk” of his ambitions). This away game has him travelling to Germany to defend a soldier accused of murdering his sergeant. That the victim was found wearing a dress is an affront to regimental honor, and his army helper on the defense pressures him to pursue a supposed German lover as a culprit. It was fun to see Rumpole apply his shenanigans to a staid court martial setting, but the elements related to deflating homophobic presumptions was often too serious to be funny.
A case relevant to our current crises over exposure official secrets concerns a clerk with MI6 accused of revealing the agency’s large budgetary expenses for tea biscuits. This healthy intersection of Rumpole with the world of espionage was my favorite of the lot. Don’t you deserve some of this kind of mental health break?
Now I have Mortimer in my sites, I have to consider completing what is called the “Rapstone Trilogy.” In a different kind of warm satire, he gave us the brilliant “Paradise Postponed”, a tale of class conflict, hapless ambition, and hopeless romance in a post-war English village. It was adapted into a wonderful Masterpiece Theater production in the 80’s. Number two, “Titmuss Regained”, is muttering “read me, please” from my dusty shelf.
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Read information about the authorJohn Clifford Mortimer was a novelist, playwright and former practising barrister. Among his many publications are several volumes of Rumpole stories and a trilogy of political novels, Paradise Postponed, Titmuss Regained and The Sound of Trumpets, featuring Leslie Titmuss - a character as brilliant as Rumpole. John Mortimer received a knighthood for his services to the arts in 1998.
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