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As a boy, John Mortimer wanted to be an actor, as a young man a writer, but at his father's suggestion he also pursued a career in law - in which, as a defending barrister, he found himself establishing profound but short-term friendships with those accused of various crimes, including murder. The chief lesson he learned from all this was to refrain from judgment, a quality he maintained in his other life. For alongside his work as a lawyer, Mortimer indulged a passion for writing. As this second career took over his life, it brought enriching yet frequently volatile friendships: with Tony Richardson, John Gielgud, Harold Pinter, David Niven, and Neil Kinnock, among others, from the worlds of theater, film, the law, and politics. John Mortimer brought his two worlds together in the character of Rumpole, for whom his creator is frequently mistaken. Murderers and Other Friends is John Mortimer's summing up of himself through his friends. With wit, wisdom, and tenderness he has written the story of the second part of his life, of the strangely assorted characters that enriched it, and of his family at its heart.
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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.From Booklist:
The author of the popular Rumpole stories as well as the lacerating political novel Paradise Postponed (1986) opens this tenderhearted sequel to his first autobiography (Clinging to the Wreckage ) with anecdotes from his career as a queen's counsel, when he found himself establishing short-term but intense friendships with hard-core criminals during the course of their trials. His schizoid existence as a writer with a day job as a lawyer leads to a delightful juxtaposition of people and events, so that a description of a sordid murder trial is followed by a story about a raucous party thrown by director Tony Richardson. Pressured to practice law by his father--an avid gardener whose "ghost . . . is a hard one to banish, I still see him feeling for the flowers in his blindness . . . dressed in an ancient tweed suit"--Mortimer eventually quit the law to devote himself to writing. He talks of visiting Moscow with the Royal Shakespeare Company and swapping oft-heard jokes with a dying David Niven. In a self-deprecating, dryly amusing, unforgettable voice, Mortimer offers up the second part of his life story in a style so fluid, it seems effortless. Joanne Wilkinson
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Book Description Penguin Books, 1996. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110140248005
Book Description Penguin Books, 1996. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0140248005