A bit of old time charm.
A bit of a trip down memory lane insofar as I can dimly recall the TV series featuring Leo McKern as Rumpole. The show aired in the late 70s and ran on and off until 1992.
Six stories and six different cases which Rumpole defends with varying degrees of success. His motto is to never plead a client guilty. A lot of the stories comprise Rumpole philosophising on life in chambers, his home life, with his marriage to Hilda and his son, Nick; as well as on the state of the nation. There's a drinking culture surrounding the legal profession and Rumpole is usually partial to a taste post-chambers as well as a drop or two at home.
I quite like the observational nature of the tales which are now quite dated. We encounter the hippie culture in one of the stories and the outrage that induces in the middle classes. Almost a hang them for having long hair mentality. There's a subtle humour to all of the stories. Mortimer pokes fun at class and authority. This was a time when the word of the police would be accepted unquestionably.
Rumpole frequently defends the same criminal family and is the go-to-barrister for some south London villains. He negotiates the politics at work, has limited career expectations and always seems to be a disappointment to Hilda, his more ambitious wife.
I enjoyed the nostalgia the book resurrected for me. My dad enjoyed the TV series, so it was nice to be reminded of him. Narration was by Patrick Tull, which was enjoyable with just the right amount of gravitas.
There are plenty more Rumpole books to enjoy if I want to go down that route and while I wouldn't rule it out in the future, I think I'm satisfied for now.
Leo McKern was the best narrator, as he was the original Rumpole , but close behind him was John hardy and Patrick Tull.
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