Clinging to the Wreckage – the first part of John Mortimer’s hilarious and moving autobiography
‘A true masterpiece of the genre’ The Times
Here John Mortimer recounts his solitary childhood in the English countryside, with affectionate portraits of his remote parents – an increasingly unconventional barrister father, whose blindness must never be mentioned, battling earwigs in the mutinous garden, and a vague and endlessly patient mother. As a boy dreaming of a tap-dancing career on the stage and forming a one-boy communist cell at boarding school, his father pushes him to pursue the law, where Mortimer embarks on the career that was to inspire his hilarious and immortal literary creations.
Told with great humour and touching honesty, this is a magnificent achievement by one of Britain’s best-loved writers. It will delight readers of P.G. Wodehouse, Roald Dahl and fans of Rumpole.
‘Enchantingly witty … should be held as the model for all autobiographies of our times’Auberon Waugh
Sir John Mortimer was a barrister, playwright and novelist. His fictional trilogy about the inexorable rise of an ambitious Tory MP in the Thatcher years (Paradise Postponed, Titmuss Regained and The Sound of Trumpets) has recently been republished in Penguin Classics, together with Clinging to the Wreckage and his play A Voyage round My Father. His most famous creation was the barrister Horace Rumpole, who featured in four novels and around eighty short stories. His books in Penguin include: The Anti-social Behaviour of Horace Rumpole; The Collected Stories of Rumpole; The First Rumpole Omnibus; Rumpole and the Angel of Death; Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders; Rumpole and the Primrose Path; Rumpole and the Reign of Terror; Rumpole and the Younger Generation; Rumpole at Christmas; Rumpole Rests His Case; The Second Rumpole Omnibus; Forever Rumpole; In Other Words; Quite Honestly and Summer’s Lease.