Saturday, July 14, 2012

Recommended reading

As some people know, when I'm not shouting at my mother or trying to ignore her, one of the things I do is read aloud to her.  We've been through a number of books over the past few months.

The one we're on currently is W. E. Bowman's The Ascent of Rum Doodle, a spoof on mountaineering which narrates - in studiously po-faced and pompous "Boys' Own Stories" style - the attempts of a hapless crew of incompetents to conquer the 40,000½ foot tall peak of the title.  It's blessed with a foreword by Bill Bryson, who describes it as one of the funniest books he's ever read.

I mention it here because, for a sixty-year-old classic of humourous writing, it is weirdly little-known.  It's been compared (not without justification) to Three Men in a Boat and The Diary of a Nobody, but those books are famous, and The Ascent of Rum Doodle, inexplicably, isn't.  Oh, I'm sure there's a Wikipedia page about it, but that means nothing these days.

Probably my posting this here means nothing much, too, but... should you chance across this one, give it a go.  I mean, it's funny enough that both my mother and I are enjoying it.  How often does that happen?

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