Two quick reads this week:
Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders - John Mortimer takes us back to Rumpole's first murder case, which made his name. We also learn how Rumpole met She Who Must Be Obeyed and, despite Hilda's sometimes obnoxious determination, there's some real affection in the portrait of their courtship and marriage:
'I would like to propose a toast,' I raised my voice against the gossip from the schooldays, 'to the person who supported me during the Penge Bungalow trial, who encouraged me from the public gallery and who stopped her learned daddy from kicking me out of my room in chambers. So, will you all charge your glasses and drink to She Who Must.'Mortimer has really written this book for Rumpole fans (either book or show). If you've never encountered the shabby legal star, fond of a sip of Chateau Thames Embankment, start somewhere else, otherwise many of the glorious jokes and portraits of long-standing characters might be lost on you. And that would be a shame.
'To whom?' My wife looked puzzled.
'To you, Hilda.'
'I thought you might want to drink to that dreadful Daisy Sampson.'
'Don't you remember? She married Reggie Proudfoot. No, I was drinking to you, Hilda. Entirely to you.'
God is Dead by Ron Currie - God comes to Earth as a refugee in Sudan and is killed. In the wake of his death the world struggles to reorganise itself and establish new codes of meaning. This is a fantastically well-written book, with some wonderfully wry moments, and a very fine balance between humour and what is essentially a pretty grim story. Ultimately, though, it left me feeling a bit washed out and down. Perhaps I wasn't in the mood for futility.
Now, come on, no rolling of the eyes: I've waited all year. And it is my birthday week, so just live with it.
Hazel (of course) - Bob Dylan
Absolutely Sweet Marie - Bob Dylan
Shelter from the Storm - Bob Dylan
Romance in Durango - Bob Dylan
Can't Wait - Bob Dylan