Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Ascent of Rum Doodle by W. E. Bowman

The Ascent of Rum Doodle (original 1956; edition 2003)

by W. E. Bowman

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3521231,026 (3.67)10
Title:The Ascent of Rum Doodle
Authors:W. E. Bowman
Info:Isis Large Print Books (2003), Hardcover, 176 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Ascent of Rum Doodle by W. E. Bowman (1956)

  1. 10
    Annapurna by Maurice Herzog (Stbalbach)
    Stbalbach: Rum Doodle (novel; 1956) is a parody of Annapurna (1952)
  2. 00
    Hours of exercise in the Alps by John Tyndall (bertilak)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 10 mentions

English (11)  German (1)  All (12)
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
This book is a parody account of a team climbing a very large mountain. It's a bit of a drawn out single joke, but is quite funny and silly and doesn't take long to read. The characters are amusing and the predictability of it all is part of its charm. ( )
  AlisonSakai | Apr 8, 2016 |
not my kind of thing ( )
  ansate | Oct 26, 2014 |
It is difficult to sustain parody through the length of a novel, even a short (171 pages) one such as The Ascent of Rum Doodle. Yet W. E. Bowman's subtle humor seldom palls and indeed the book grows funnier the further one reads.
The Ascent of Rum Doodle purports to be a report of a British mountain-climbing expedition, and the tone is perfect. Although it was published not long after the conquest of Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, it is said to have been inspired by an earlier account of an expedition that took place in the 1930s, and indeed has more of the flavor of that earlier time. The account of the struggles of the climbers to learn the use of their radio sets, and their arguments about using oxygen, seem to belong more to the 30s than the 50s (and are extremely funny as well!)
It is not at all necessary to have climbed a mountain or taken part in any sort of expedition to chuckle frequently and occasionally laugh heartily at this book. Bill Bryson, one of the funniest writers working today, says in his Introduction to this edition that it is "one of the funniest books you will ever read," and I can't disagree. It's well deserving of a place in the Comedy category of the Guardian's 1000 Novels Everyone Must Read.
flag ( )
1 vote auntieknickers | Jun 5, 2013 |
Boring and not funny. ( )
  jvgravy | May 2, 2013 |
A flawed masterpiece. Does for climbing what 'Three Men in a Boat' does for boating. ( )
  tonidew | Aug 9, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
W. E. Bowmanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bryson, BillIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Huber, FriederikeDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
To George and Margot
First words
It is with pleasure as well as with a sense of privilege that I associate myself with this account of the climbing of the world's highest mountain.
I scribbled a message: 'Please tell me what to do.' I wrapped this around the neck of a champagne bottle, tied the line round it and lowered it into the crevasse. I gave them five minutes to reply and hauled up the line. The message read: 'Send down another bottle.'
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 071266808X, Paperback)

First published in 1956, The Ascent of Rum Doodle quickly became a mountaineering classic. As an outrageously funny spoof about the ascent of a peak in the Himalayas, many thought it was inspired by the 1953 conquest of Everest. But Bowman had drawn on the flavor 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:07 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A funny spoof about the ascent of a 40,000-and-a-half-foot peak. Many thought on first publication in 1956, that it was inspired by the conquest of Everest in 1953. Bowman had in fact drawn on the earlier adventures of Bill Tilman and his 1937 Nandi Devi expedition.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
2 avail.
19 wanted
1 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.67)
0.5 3
1 1
1.5 1
2 8
2.5 2
3 21
3.5 12
4 35
4.5 2
5 25

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 115,168,494 books! | Top bar: Always visible