The Independent Recommends: Literature

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JOHN MORTIMER (below), creator of the avuncular, wine-bibbing barrister Rumpole of the Bailey, and author of Summer's Lease, pops into Cheltenham this evening (6.30pm). Returning to the satirical vein of his splendid Titmuss book Paradise Postponed, Mortimer reads from his provocative new novel, The Sound of Trumpets, which prods wickedly at the pretensions of New Labour. (And there was I thinking that was Mr Mortimer beaming by Tony's side at the election-victory party.)

Also today, Mark Amory and Philip Ziegler tell tales of British eccentrics (2.30pm), and Ralph Steadman reports on his Gonzo days with Hunter S Thompson (8.45pm).

Cheltenham Festival of Literature (01242 227979) to 18 Oct