The world's highest mountain awaits (and the world's worst mountaineers are on their way). Named by The Guardian as one of the "1000 Novels Everyone Must Read," (and by Bill Bryson as "one of the funniest books you will ever read."), this classic laugh-out-loud novel (something like Monty Python climbing the Matterhorn) was first published in 1956 and never out-of-print somewhere in the world since then.
Our adventure begins as Sir Hugeley Havering, chairman of the Rum Doodle Committee, puts the challenge squarely, "to climb Mont Blanc by the Gr pon route is one thing; to climb Rum Doodle is, as Totter once said, quite another." Armed with that wise warning, yet with typical British aplomb, Binder assembles a team and heads for Yogistan. Their goal: the ascent of Rum Doodle: elevation 40,000 and 1/2 feet.
The intrepid cast of characters include Dr. Prone, the expedition's doctor, constantly incapacitated by sudden illnesses; Mr. Jungle, charged with navigation, forever losing his way and cabling for money from obscure locations; and Mr. Constant, who alone speaks the native language of their guides and porters, through linguistic error provokes not just one but several riots. Led by Mr. Binder, whose narration would have you believe his crew and mission represent historic bravery and grit, these daring incompetents cut their path to the summit of Rum Doodle (sort of).
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About the Author
W .E. Bowman was an unassuming civil engineer who, though he enjoyed writing and wrote often, published little during his lifetime. He served in the RAF during the Second World War and from 1947 to 1950 worked for the International Voluntary Service helping to rebuild Germany. In 1950 he joined an engineering firm in London for which he designed bridges and power stations. He is best remembered for a parody of the Kon-Tiki Expedition by Thor Heyerdahl, The Cruise of the Talking Fish, but most especially for The Ascent of Rum Doodle.
Praise for The Ascent of Rum Doodle
"Wonderful...Rum Doodle does for mountaineering what Three Men in a Boat did for Thames-going or Catch-22 did for the Second World War."--The Sunday Times
"Imagine Three Men in a Boat Go Mountaineering or Monty Python Climbs the Matterhorn, and you'll get some idea of the hilarity Bowman provokes in this small gem of literary comedy."--James Mustich, 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die