12 Jan 2019


Not one but two books both of which feature somewhat iconic English characters ...

BACK COVER BLURB ... Please clink on book title above. (Please note: A collection of short stories thus I won't be sharing a First Sentence or Memorable Moment. TT)

SOURCE ... A charity shop buy.


MY THOUGHTS ... Though I haven't previously read any of the Rumpole stories and have only the vaguest recollection of the TV series, Rumpole of The Bailey, Rumpole is one of those quintessential English characters that most people of my age (and older) would be hard-pressed to not know about.

A series of seven yuletide short stories previously published in various newspapers and/or magazines. 

Alas slight (even for short stories), formulaic and, well, repetitive; something that was probably made all the more noticeable by the fact that here they were presented all in one publication rather than as a series as was originally intended. But then again it could be argued how many of us read the book not so much for the stories but rather the grumpy and larger than life barrister whose personality and foibles prevail throughout?

When the Browns take Paddington to the Christmas Grotto at the local department store, their journey through the Winter Wonderland is full of unexpected surprises. But the nicest and biggest surprise of all is Paddington's present from Santa. After all, who else would find the perfect present for a bear like Paddington?
- Back Cover Blurb

One Christmas Padington announced he was taking the Brown family to Barkridge store to see Santa Claus.
- First Sentence; Page unnumbered

"How about this one, then?" continued Mr Brown, as they turned corner. "It's the stable where Santa keeps his reindeer."
Paddington didn't say anything. From where he was sitting it looked more like a dog kennel and the only reindeer he could see was a plastic one that had fallen over in the snow.
- Memorable Moment; Page unnumbered

SOURCE ... Given to me by a friend.

  • Visions of Sugar Plums level achieved in the Christmas Spirit Challenge.
MY THOUGHTS ... A bear even more loved by me than Winnie The Pooh. Whilst I was already aware of this story having read it in an omnibus edition of Paddington stories how could I resist this special 50th year edition produced for retailers Marks & Spencer?

Beautifully illustrated certainly BUT to my mind, lacking a certain charm, not one of the better stories. 

Putting on my Teaching Assistant head; I think I might have had a lot of confused (and possibly upset) children on my hands as Paddington and the Brown's visit a Winter Wonderland in which, hardly magical and full of broken props and toys, the family at first fail to meet Santa.

Still, as always the bear in the duffle-coat is on hand to save the day and, well, lets just say that all's well that ends well.

Other books read for the challenge ...
Candy Cane Level (1 book read)
1. Saviours Day
Mistletoe Level (2 to 4 books read)
2. Murder on Christmas Eve
3. Angels At Christmas
4. On Strike For Christmas
Christmas Tree Level (5 to 6 or more books read)
5. It Must have Been The Mistletoe


Brian Joseph said...

My mother used to watch Rumpole of the Baily. I can see how one could get attached to a character like this. Stories and such as this can be so comforting, especially around the holidays.

nightwingsraven said...

I am not familiar with Rumpole, and
even though I have read your objections
against this collection. I will keep
it in mind.
As for Paddington Bear, even though it is
not one of the best of Paddington's stories,
I will add it to my list.

WordsPoeticallyWorth said...

Greetings Tracy. I used to watch Rumpole, and enjoyed the series as a youngster. I haven't read any of the books though. I love Paddington Bear, sorry the story never met to your previous expectations. Blessings to you my Friend. Love love, Andrew.

Kelly said...

When you linked "Rumpole" with "of the Bailey" it rang a bell somewhere in the back of my mind, though I really know nothing about it.

I still have a set of Paddington books and use to have a stuffed Paddington Bear.... but loved more than Winnie the Pooh?? Never! ;)

Suko said...

Tracy, I'm glad that you are still enjoying Christmas via this reading challenge! Paddington was a favorite of mine, too. Have a wonderful week ahead!

Alexia561 said...

I haven't read any of the Rumpole books either, but I do recognize the name. I'm not much for Christmas tales but I do love short stories! And grumpy characters too, so am intrigued.

Paddington Bear is another character that I'm familiar with but never read, but I haven't read the Winnie the Pooh books either. Shame on me! lol