Books: A New Heaven and a New Earth Paradise Postponed

by John Mortimer; Viking; 374 pages; $17.95

He has called himself "the best playwright ever to have defended a murderer at the Central Criminal Court." The claim is neither entirely immodest nor self-deprecating. It is English Author John Mortimer's way of pointing out that the careers he has pursued seldom overlap. A barrister who became a Queen's Counsel and practiced in the loftiest reaches of the British legal system, he might also be described as the best lawyer ever to write for the stage (A Voyage Round My Father), screen (John and Mary) and television (Brideshead Revisited, Rumpole of the Bailey). Now Mortimer, 62, has earned another encomium:...

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