Asaf Bartov's Reviews > Collected Plays Volume One

Collected Plays Volume One by John Mortimer
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really liked it

This book has five plays by English barrister and master of comic fiction John Mortimer (creator of Rumpole of the Bailey).

A Voyage Round My Father is touching and brilliant, and I'd have paid very good money to have seen Sir Alec Guinness in the role of the father. It so happens I have read the non-dramatized version of this essentially-autobiographical play, in _Clinging to the Wreckage_, Mortimer's touching, beautiful autobiography, so it was rewarding to see how a great artist transmutes the raw memories into peculiar, idiosyncratic and yet no longer memoiristic art.

The Dock Brief and The Lunch Hour are two droll short plays, with signature Mortimer dialogue, and though both show signs of age (e.g. people aren't all that embarrassed about assignations in hotel rooms any more), they're both very much worth reading.

The other two plays, however -- Collaborators and What Shall We Tell Caroline? -- are rather different pieces. They are both brooding ruminations, perhaps exorcisms of some sort, of tense and emotionally-abusive relationships, and were a harrowing and yet unrewarding read. I just don't know why Mortimer wrote them.

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Reading Progress

December 11, 2012 – Started Reading
December 11, 2012 – Shelved
December 26, 2012 –
page 231
February 11, 2013 – Finished Reading

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