A Bunch of Minis…
Since I still seem to have a backlog of books to review, here’s another little batch of minis to help me catch up – two winners and two abandonments…
Rumpole’s Return by John Mortimer
😀 😀 😀 😀
Following a string of lost cases tried in front of Judge Bullingham, Rumpole has taken this as a sign and retired with She Who Must Be Obeyed to live out his twilight years in Florida, at the home of his son and his son’s American wife. However a very little of the Florida lifestyle is sufficient for Rumpole, so when he gets a letter from the lovely Phyllida née Trant (Rumpole prefers to forget her married name) asking his advice about a matter of blood, he sneaks off, flies home, and resumes his career, much to the annoyance of the young man who has moved into his room in chambers in the interim.
The Rumpole books are always entertaining, and this is no exception. All the regular characters appear, and all the running jokes are reprised. While any of the books can be read on its own, they do sometimes rely a little on the reader having some familiarity with the characters and how they’re connected to each other, either from previous books or from the excellent TV series which actually came before the books. I was sorry to find that the wonderful TV Rumpole, the late Leo McKern, had never done narrations for the books, but Robert Hardy made an excellent substitute. The books are matched so closely to the TV series that I could see all the characters in my head, and somehow that really enhanced the audiobook experience. Thoroughly good fun!
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A couple I abandoned…
…and my short and to the point comments on Goodreads, made in the full throes of abandonment grumpiness…
Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
“Is this really an American classic? I made it through forty minutes of the audiobook. If I ever feel like simulating brain-death I may listen to the other two hours.”
Privilege by Guinevere Glasfurd
“Story didn’t grab me and I was already thinking of abandoning it when the author decided I would like to read about the hero masturbating. She was mistaken. I wouldn’t.”
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The Mating Season by PG Wodehouse
Bertie is due to make a reluctant visit to friends of his Aunt Agatha at Deverill Hall, but there’s one bright gleam on the horizon. His old friend Catsmeat Potter Pirbright (possibly my favourite fictional name in the universe) is putting on a cross-talk act for the local village entertainment and Bertie relishes the chance to don a green beard and hit his fellow performer with an umbrella! But the dark clouds are gathering. Gussie Fink-Nottle is also due at Deverill Hall, at the behest of his fiancée, Madeline Bassett, she who thinks that the stars are God’s daisy chain, but due to an unfortunate incident involving a fountain and a policeman, Gussie has been unavoidably detained at His Majesty’s Pleasure. Should Madeline discover this, the engagement will be off, and Madeline may well decide to marry Bertie instead! So to avoid this dreadful fate, Bertie decides to impersonate Gussie, but when Gussie then escapes his durance vile and turns up, there’s only one solution – Gussie must impersonate Bertie…
Yet another wonderful treat from the master, this one involves most of the characters being disguised as each other, adding to the general mayhem and allowing them all tae see theirsels as ithers see them, as the Bard once said. Bertie is not at all happy at people thinking that he’s the teetotal newt-fancier Gussie, but is amazed to learn that Gussie is equally horrified to be mistaken for the natty boulevardier Bertie considers himself to be. Add in five aunts – five! – and it’s easy to see why Deverill Hall could easily be mistaken for a House of Horror…
On the cue ‘five aunts’ I had given at the knees a trifle, for the thought of being confronted with such a solid gaggle of aunts, even if those of another, was an unnerving one. Reminding myself that in this life it is not aunts that matter, but the courage that one brings to them, I pulled myself together.
Great stuff, and as always the narration by Jonathan Cecil is perfection!
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