Rumpole Rests His Case by John Mortimer
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Rumpole is getting up there in years (it's seems like in every Rumpole book the poor old blighter is "getting up there in years") and the overall tone of this book makes you think perhaps it's time for him to hang up his wig. But what the hey, how about a few more cases?!
Rumpole Rests His Case treads upon familiar plots and characters, so much so that I was half way through and sure I'd read this one before I realized it was just that I recognized the stories from the tv version, and yes, most of the storylines play out like most all of John Mortimer's enjoyable books about the ethical humanitarian lawyer Horace Rumpole.
The short stories that make up this volume -at least the first half of them- do not seem as cohesive as other Rumpoles I've read. The theme thread does surface by the end though.
What's most interesting about this one, to me at any rate, is that it was written later in Mortimer's writing career, so Rumpole is faced with some new technology, such as "The Internet". It's interesting, because Rumpole is an old dude -an old lovable dude- but old one nonetheless and set in his ways. I find charm in his cantankerous ways, especially his repulsion to most new things. He's a great chap who will go to the wall for a defendant wrongly accused, but he is a grump. I probably like it because it makes me feel a little less curmudgeonly than I am.
Rumpole Rests His Case does not gather together the best of Mortimer's work, imo, but it is a serviceably good read that should bring a bit of joy to fans.
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