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Isle of New York

New York, NY

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  • 8 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2014
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  • The Ascent of Rum Doodle

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By W. E. Bowman
    • Narrated By Terry Wale, Bill Bryson
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (31)

    First published in 1956, The Ascent of Rum Doodle quickly became established as mountaineering classic. As an outrageously funny spoof about the ascent of a 40,000-and-a-half-foot peak, many thought it inspired by the 1953 conquest of Everest. But Bowman had drawn on the flavour and tone of earlier adventures, of Bill Tilman and his 1937 account of the Nandi Devi expedition. The book's central and unforgettable character, Binder, is one of the finest creations in comic literature.

    Ann says: "If you like Money Python, you will love Rum Doodle"
    "Hilarious. Definitely a find, not to be missed."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Ascent of Rum Doodle the most enjoyable?

    This book is a brilliant send up of mountaineering memoirs or, indeed, any pompous memoirs by adventurers to exotic places. The characters are hilariously eccentric, the story is replete with recurring jokes and silly (but worthwhile!) digressions, and the prose is exquisite. Even the place names are funny. You can tell it was a labor of love -- W.E. Bowman must have thrown everything he had into this book ad honed it to perfection.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    It's an ensemble work, so having to pick a favorite character is like having to pick a favorite member of Monty Python. They're all quite droll, especially the leader of the group (nicknamed "Binder").


    What about Terry Wale and Bill Bryson ’s performance did you like?

    The narrator is superb -- he does a deadpan, stiff upper lip tone perfectly, injecting just the right tone of gravity to make the account absurdly funny. It's a great performance. I'd rather listen to him doing this book than attend most Broadway shows.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There are many laugh out loud moments, e.g. when "Jungle," the perpetually lost navigator, is unable to find his way through London to the group's initial meeting. The recurring jokes do verge on repetitive at times, but it's a sustained and suspenseful narrative, and it's not long. It's well worth the time invested.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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