The second volume of British novelist and former barrister Mortimer's autobiography tells of his days as Queen's Counsel and reminisces about his friendships with the likes of John Gielgud and Harold Pinter. (Mar.)
In the second volume of his autobiography (the first was Clinging to the Wreckage, LJ 9/1/82), Mortimer, the former barrister turned author, writes, ``Old lawyers never die, they simply lose their appeals.'' Not so with Mortimer. His appeal will go on and on, not unlike his creation, that old darling Rumpole of the Old Bailey. Wise, funny, and only occasionally sad, Mortimer is as readable as his scripts on television are watchable. His writing, regardless of the subject-father, mother, wife, daughter, friend, murderer, house, country-is full of affection, fully grounded in a view so dimensional that one would wish for his eyes, his ears, his heart. His profile of his father and mother, of David Niven and John Gielgud, snippets though they may be, are of considerable interest and even memorable. His view of the difference between the writing of a novel and the writing of a play is not only practical but affecting. Mortimer's writing is the stuff of flesh and blood, wronged and wooed, and should not be missed.-Robert L. Kelly, Fort Wayne Community Schs., Ind.