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The Ascent of Rum Doodle | [W. E. Bowman]

The Ascent of Rum Doodle

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

©1989 W. E. Bowman (P)2010 Random House Audiobooks

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  •  
    Ann United States 03-08-14
    Ann United States 03-08-14 Member Since 2013
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    "If you like Money Python, you will love Rum Doodle"
    If you could sum up The Ascent of Rum Doodle in three words, what would they be?

    Cute British giggles.


    Which character – as performed by Terry Wale and Bill Bryson – was your favorite?

    Each was great in there own way.


    Any additional comments?

    As an American, It takes a little while to learn the British-isms, but it is well worth it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Isle of New York New York, NY 02-06-14
    Isle of New York New York, NY 02-06-14
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    "Hilarious. Definitely a find, not to be missed."
    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
  •  
    07-11-13
    07-11-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Wonderful Book"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Ascent of Rum Doodle to be better than the print version?

    Great story. I had a lot of fun just listing to the narrator, who seemed to own the part. Billy wasn’t wrong when he said this was a find!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Binder of course!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Al Brooke Jacksonville, FL USA 06-09-13
    Al Brooke Jacksonville, FL USA 06-09-13 Member Since 2005
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    42
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    "If only . . ."
    What disappointed you about The Ascent of Rum Doodle?

    If only Bill Bryson had narrated the book instead of just writing the introduction, this book might have been a good fit for a family trip.


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • Stephen
    LiverpoolUnited Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Deserves it's legendary status"

    Travel writing for the armchair humorist with a fantastic cast of endearingly caricatured characters and steady stream of running jokes that perfectly apes the earnest, serious travel writing of its time. Shades of PG Wodehouse, Dad's Army, J.K. Jerome and more.



    It's amazing that this book is not more widely known but its obscurity makes it very pleasant surprise. I just wish someone would read / record the sequel - Cruise of the Talking Fish.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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