The Ascent of Rum Doodle

  • by W. E. Bowman
  • Narrated by Terry Wale, Bill Bryson
  • 4 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

First published in 1956, The Ascent of Rum Doodle quickly became established as mountaineering classic. As an outrageously funny spoof about the ascent of a 40,000-and-a-half-foot peak, many thought it inspired by the 1953 conquest of Everest. But Bowman had drawn on the flavour and tone of earlier adventures, of Bill Tilman and his 1937 account of the Nandi Devi expedition. The book's central and unforgettable character, Binder, is one of the finest creations in comic literature.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Very good entertainment

A very rewarding book. So well written. Flawless deadpan narration by Terry Wale who absolutely 'gets' everything about this story. Charmingly, the main character misunderstands almost everything that happens. Great humour.
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- S Anthony

Classic British humour of a bygone age

Would you listen to The Ascent of Rum Doodle again? Why?

Probably, it was a really easy listen enjoyable romp featuring the unique 'Britishness' of the early 20th century and is not afraid to laugh at itself. If I was in need of a very silly, funny and under it all, heartwarming tale that is not taxing to the mind, doesn't make you think too much this would be my first choice. I can see myself listening to this again while I work and scaring the horses laughing.


Would you recommend The Ascent of Rum Doodle to your friends? Why or why not?

It would really depend on the friend. To be clear, this is not up everybody's street. But if a friend shared my enjoyment of this type of comedy rooted in classic Britishness then absolutely I would recommend.


What three words best describe Terry Wale and Bill Bryson ’s voice?

Clear, fun and very british. I keep going on about this Britishness thing and even though I am British myself and live in England what I am referring to is the overblown stereotype of early 20th century, public school educated with RP English accents. The reading brought every bit of that out and gave a life to the story that would have been lost if I was reading the book myself.


If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

I am not sure at all that this book would work as a film. But if it did I think it would be:Do YOU have a fiancee?


Any additional comments?

I heard about this book through Radio 4 book of the week. The story and comments it received on the show grabbed my interest. I started hoping for a silly romp full of classic British humour and I got just that. Think Carry on film without the adult humour and smuttiness.

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- JenJen

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-06-2011
  • Publisher: Random House AudioBooks