Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Qty:1
  • List Price: $22.00
  • Save: $3.98 (18%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 16 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
The First Rumpole Omnibus has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: This item is listed as acceptable and has probably been well used. It could have considerable writing or highlighting throughout but is still usable and has been priced accordingly. Please do not buy if you are expecting a perfect copy. It has a couple more reads left before its time to be recycled. We ship within 1 business day and offer no hassle returns. Big Hearted Books shares its profits with schools, churches and non-profit groups throughout New England. Thank you for your support!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

The First Rumpole Omnibus Paperback – January 3, 1984

4.7 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$26.46
Paperback
"Please retry"
$18.02
$9.67 $0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
$4.77

Books with Buzz
Discover the latest buzz-worthy books, from mysteries and romance to humor and nonfiction. Explore more
$18.02 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 16 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • The First Rumpole Omnibus
  • +
  • The Second Rumpole Omnibus
  • +
  • The Third Rumpole Omnibus
Total price: $54.71
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Who rose to enduring fame on Blood and Typewriters, told the pregnant Portia of the Chambers it would come out in the end, advised Guthrie Featherstone, Q.C., to adopt a more judicial attitude, returned in the tender gloaming of each evening-via Pommeroy's and a glass of Chateau Fleet Street- to She Who Must Be Obeyed? The answer is Horace Rumpole whose legal triumphs, plundering stories into the Oxford Book of English Verse and less-than-salubrious hat are celebrated here in this first omnibus edition.

About the Author

John Mortimer is a playwright, novelist, and former practicing barrister who has written many film scripts as well as stage, radio, and television plays, the Rumpole plays, for which he received the British Academy Writer of the Year Award, and the adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited. He is the author of twelve collections of Rumpole stories and three acclaimed volumes of autobiography.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Series: Rumpole
  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Omnibus Ed edition (January 3, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014006768X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140067682
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.2 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #224,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Horace Rumpole, the Old Bailey hack, shines in this collection of John Mortimer's stories. Rumpole is the master of acerbic wit and keen observation. Donned in a wig and robe, he thrusts and parries his way through the English criminal justice system, soldiering on for his mostly shady clients. One of Rumpole's rules is "never plead guilty." He also stands fast on the principle that hearing the truth from one's client can be dangerous. It usually puts the lawyer in an awkward position. Rumpole fortifies himself with an ample supply of little cigars, modestly priced claret, and an old copy of the "Oxford Book of English Verse," from which he quotes Wordsworth and others from memory. Amidst an hilarious ensemble of reappearing supporting characters, Rumpole goes forth daily to fight the good fight and also keep the legal fees and refreshers coming in to the Rumpole bank account. He fears only She Who Must Be Obeyed. His wife, Hilda, who rules their home in Froxbury Court with an iron hand. Written with humor, affection, and intelligence these stories are pure delight. The stories vary in length, but average 40-50 pages. Take Sherlock Holmes and P. G. Wodehouse, mix with Mortimer's background as a barrister, flavor with amusing vernacular and chatty first-person narrative, and you have good lite reading. Especially recommended for busy readers in the era of weighty tomes that populate popular fiction. ;-)
Comment 56 of 58 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
"[I]t's crime which not only pays moderately well, but which is also by far the greatest fun."--Horace Rumpole.
The problem with most lawyer stories, even those written by lawyers, is that they bear little resemblance to reality. John Mortimer makes Horace Rumpole as real as any fictional lawyer can be, and in the process, Mortimer perfectly captures the joys and woes of trial practice, giving it all a good leavening of humor--something essential to a trial lawyer's retention of sanity.
Mortimer entertains and enlightens. Not only do you get satisfying mysteries told with just the right amount of humor, you also get insight into the foils and foibles of trial lawyers and judges. The book abounds with dead-on insights into the mechanics of trying cases. Any lawyer would benefit from reviewing Rumpole's maxims of trial practice. A few examples:
"As for me, I'm not sure that I like cast iron alibis. They're the sort that sink quickest, to the bottom of the sea."
"A bit of delay, I have found it an infallible rule, never does any harm to the defense."
"It's no help to the defense in an obscenity case to have anyone actually read the works in question."
Mortimer tries to include at least one lawyerly aphorism in each short story in the collection, and part of the joy I find in reading and re-reading the stories comes from searching for these little nuggets of wisdom.
Comment 38 of 39 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
John Mortimer's Rumpole is so satisfying that this is my second copy - I wore the covers off the first SET of the three omnibuses (or is it omnibusi?) I've read every Rumpole story in existence, as far as I know. While there are tiny inconsistencies in the names of characters and small subplot variations from story to story (that only a committed Rumpolean would notice), Rumpole remains a literary sustaining gulp of claret and a warm and fuzzy blanket on a cold foggy night. Long after the belly laughs passed and every crime and misdemeanor was committed to memory, I've still enjoyed the comfortable reek of Rumpole's small cigars and the warm memory of Leo McKern in the title role of "Rumpole of the Bailey."
2 Comments 26 of 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I have read all three Rumpole Omnibuses several times. I ordered an additional set for my mother, a former probate judge. What I find remarkable about John Mortimer's work, is that Rumpole is as engaging at the end of the series as at the beginning. I have also enjoyed Mortimer's three autobiographical books. I read and reread these stories, not as mysteries, but as a series of one act plays, where the dramas are spun out of the interaction of stock characters in the style of commedia dell'arte. Rumpole himself plays the part of the buffoon as barrister: fat, vain, self-centered, addicted to greasy food and cheap wine; but also extremely intelligent, perceptive, and compassionate. As I read more of the stories, Rumpole became less of a stock character and more of actual human being. Unlike Perry Mason, Rumpole does not necessarily win all of his cases. When Rumpole loses, we get to see him go down to cells beneath the Old Bailey, with all of the sounds and smells of prison life, to say goodbye to his former client. The stories are often very funny, but occasionally poignant and even sad.

Finally, John Mortimer is one of the masters of modern English prose. Just read a few paragraphs of any airplane novel (preferably one that has "Code" in the title), and then read a few paragraphs of any Rumpole story, and you will see what I mean. And nobody, including Raymond Chandler, does dialog better than John Mortimer.
Comment 16 of 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Of course, I have a distinct distaste for anything which uses the word 'omnibus' which is not in fact ALL, but for Rumpole, I shall gladly make exception. Omnibus of course requires all three omnibus volumes, and they are all worthy of reading, but the first is by far the best.
Here is where we are introduced to Rumpole, ever defender of the downtrodden criminal element, most successful of course when these minor villians have been wrongly accused, at least in the latest particular incident. As Rumpole said once during a defence, the English nation when it is long gone will be remembered for three things -- the English breakfast, the Oxford Book of English Verse (the Quiller-Couch Edition), and the presumption of innocence.
Even in the later story of Rumpole for the Prosecution, in which Rumpole is hired to conduct a private prosecution, he manages to provide through his searching for the truth the best defence for the defendant. Rumpole, it seems, will never be anything but the champion for the defence.
Mortimer is intimately familiar with the legal court setting about which he writes in the Rumpole series; judges such as Bullingham and Graves take their character from amalgamations of actual judges, and Mortimer once let it be known in a television interview that if he saw particular miscarriages of justice done, he would have no choice but to work it in to the plot of an upcoming Rumpole story.
One wonders if Hilda, Rumpole's wife, affectionately referred to as 'She Who Must Be Obeyed', is modeled on anyone specific in Mortimer's life. Other characters in chambers and in the dock seem very true to form, while also remaining interesting exaggerations of real persons.
Read more ›
Comment 18 of 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
The First Rumpole Omnibus
This item: The First Rumpole Omnibus
Price: $18.02
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?