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The Ascent of Rum Doodle by W. E. Bowman
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The Ascent of Rum Doodle (original 1956; edition 2003)

by W. E. Bowman

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3081136,210 (3.68)10
Member:Jaminbeng
Title:The Ascent of Rum Doodle
Authors:W. E. Bowman
Info:Isis Large Print Books (2003), Hardcover, 176 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:None

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

Recently added bymart1n, private library, M.Bird, baoyu, julianbf, peterpetcarp, rudolfo.christ, puckers, Davidat57
  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)
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English (10)  German (1)  All languages (11)
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
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 ( )
  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 |
First heard about this book on Nick Milne's blog. Parody of a mountaineering expedition -- very enjoyable... and veddy English.
  johnredmond | Jun 5, 2010 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
W. E. Bowmanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bryson, BillIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Huber, FriederikeDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.
Quotations
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.'
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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)

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