Jilly Cooper's latest ripping racy read, Rupert Campbell-Black returns to the racing world. But is it a return to form? James Walton investigates. 

Mount!

Fans of subtlety should, of course, look elsewhere. 

In Cooper’s latest blockbuster—again set in the horse-racing world—it’s certainly not difficult to tell what she thinks of any of the characters. (“A gold-digger and an absolute bitch, Anthea had never given Dora enough pocket money.”)  There’s also a Chinese man who refers to “Loyal Ascot” and even a baddie called Sheikh Baddi.

The book sees the return of several Cooper favourites, including Rupert Campbell-Black: these days approaching 60 and only intermittently caddish, but still irresistible to all human females (especially Jilly Cooper).

 

 

"At 79, Cooper shows no signs of losing her touch"

 

 

The new characters, meanwhile, are a familiar mix of old soaks, young studs, and women who are generally either “nymphos” or “poppets”.

In other words, at 79, Cooper shows no signs of losing her touch, or of disappointing her readers. Even those fans of subtlety might be disappointed only by how much they enjoy the whole mad confection. 

Oh yes, and Mount! also contains the ultimate Cooper sentence—when Roddy Northfield recalls how “his fiancée, now wife, Enid, had been seduced by Rupert at a hunt ball in a blue and green William Morris-curtained four-poster”.

 

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