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Rumpole: The Sleeping Partners & Other Stories

Three BBC Radio 4 Dramatisations
Length: 2 hrs and 11 mins
4.3 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

Non-member price: $27.33

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Publisher's Summary

Benedict Cumberbatch plays the young, feisty, devastatingly acute Horace Rumpole in this collection of cracking cases, also starring Timothy West as the older Rumpole.

Rumpole and the Old Boy Net: With the help of his new pupil, Miss Phillida Trant, Rumpole must defend Mr Napier Lee, who is charged with blackmail. But the alleged victim of the blackmail went to public school with Mr Lee, and so Mr Lee won't sneak on his old school chum....

Rumpole and the Sleeping Partners: After a legal ball in the Savoy Hotel, Rumpole and Hilda argue about Rumpole's drunken behaviour, and Rumpole decides to sleep the night on his sofa in chambers - strictly against the rules. But there he finds his colleague Erskine-Brown with Phillida Trant, 'working late'....

Rumpole and the Portia of Our Chambers: Rumpole comes close to giving up the law when forced to consider the path his life has taken by a combination of his attraction to his pupil Phillida, an unsettling case involving an Irish terrorist, and a visit from an old flame of Hilda's.

©2018 John Mortimer (P)2018 BBC Digital Audio

What listeners say about Rumpole: The Sleeping Partners & Other Stories

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Romantic life of a mediocre lawyer

Cumberbatch’s performance is fantastic as expected- as are Hyde’s and West’s. However, all the characters apart from Rumpole (especially the wife) are one-dimensional and the story is bland. What promises to be a sexy legal thriller ends up being a look into the sorry romantic life of mediocre lawyer. Would not recommend

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  • T Searl
  • 07-08-2018

Excellent dramatization of Rumpole

These Benedict Cumberbatch starring dramatizations are much darker than I remember of the books. I suspect they are truer to the books than my memory. The relationship between Rumpole and Hilda is a main theme - hence the darkness. Highly recommend.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Norman K. Clark
  • 24-11-2019

A perversion, not an adaptation

Any relationship to the Rumpole stories is purely coincidental. Horace Rumpole comes across as almost a pedophile, lusting after his pupil Philida Trant, who is characterized as an airhead. Save your money and time for the real thing.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 07-05-2019

Out of order recordings!!!

Not sure what the heck happened, but the story is all out of correct order. I'm requesting a refund.

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  • Highlight
  • 21-07-2018

Brilliant Rumpole

Enjoy my Rumpole. Great production but why must the BBC always slutify literature! Rumpole does not sleep with any other woman than his wife. All the books state this. So why indicate & cheap titivate in this set. Good writing doesn't need it. Hope we have more good old Rumpole.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Terry McAuliffe
  • 05-07-2018

An Unnecessary Sexing Up of the Originals

John Mortimer's Rumpole stories are little gems written by a master storyteller. Why then have they been rewritten, setting them some twenty five years later than the originals? Just to accomodate the young voice of Dominic Cumberbatch, whose performance is, by the way, very good? The idea of Rumpole fathering a child with Phylida Trant is crude; the relationship between Rumpole and Trant in the original was more interesting and amusing. Mortimer's work doesn't need to be sexed up for the twenty-first century.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Daddy
  • 25-10-2018

Oh dear

so far from the book very disappointing. Why do this to a really good book

1 person found this helpful

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  • pat neville
  • 19-07-2018

Don't fix what isn't broken

Excellent performances, and the plots were good as always, but I really wish this adaptation didn't insist on introducing romance between Rumpole and Portia/Phyllida. It's not remotely necessary and it takes away from the production in my opinion.

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  • Mary Carnegie
  • 11-06-2020

Rumpole revived

The immortal Rumpole, created as a TV series, transformed into books, now renewed as radio drama with an impressive cast, adapted to 21st century - not by transposing the stories to the present, but by sharpening up their settings in time. John Mortimer wasn’t terribly good on continuity (names/dates often inconsistent) as he himself admitted, and this series is more coherent. Timothy West is great as the older Rumpole and Benedict Cumberbatch as his younger self.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 20-02-2020

Didn't like the adaptation

I am a great fan of Rumpole but am a traditionalist and didnt like to modern take on this traditional character. Benedict Cumberbatch is a great actor and I love his work but I dont think this was a good adaptation.

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  • Paul Hough
  • 09-01-2020

Definitely different to the TV series

I always loved the TV series with Leo McKern so was keen to listen to this version. Not having read the books I was surprised of there being a significant difference in the story line which wasn't portrayed on TV. Not an issue as such and in fact added to my enjoyment of the story line. Benedict Cumberbatch gives a brilliant performance of Rumpole and is well supported by the other actors. My only gripe it that at the start of the 2nd and 3rd episodes a fairly large chunk of the previous one was repeated to, I presume, bring the listener up update with the backstory events. However so much of the 2nd episode was repeated in the 3rd that at first thought I was listening to the 2nd one again. Other than this I did enjoy them and will be getting the next ones in the series

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-11-2019

Cumberbatch is very very good

Bit of overlapping storylines which make it less clear, but still a good yarn. thoroughly enjoyed.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-11-2019

Rumpole

I’ve not read a John mortimer book for years but having listened to this I will be getting the all of them to listen to. I had forgotten about the humour in the rumpole books and I have to say Benedict Cumberbatch played Horice extremely well. I recommend this book if you want a lite book with some humour in.

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  • Amien Johaadien
  • 13-09-2019

Great stories - good narrator

I know some people are not fans of these narrators... but IMO they are great - Benedict is a great distinctive voice, and the story is very good too!