What I’m Reading Now

As readers know I love Alexander McCall Smith (“Thrilled This Day Is Over,” “Rooibos,” “Meditation on Meditation,” “Where Have I Been?” and the other entries I mentioned in that one).

My friend Thelma gave me three books from the Professor Dr. von Igelfeld series. Yes, that is indeed the man’s name. I read Portuguese Irregular Verbs in about an hour on the flight back from Amsterdam and was not impressed. It was far too thin, as if AMS decided to see if he could write a mystery that wasn’t really a mystery.

The other night I turned to 44 Scotland Street. This one is far more satisfying. The characters are a sort of downscale, rougher version the folks who appear in the Isabel Dalhousie series. I happen to think Edinburgh, the setting for both series, is a stuffy, rigid sort of place, as opposed to Glasgow which was more disheveled and therefore attractive – at least it was when I visited years ago. Anyway, it’s nice to see the denizens of Edinburgh have some rumples about their edges.

AMS apparently modeled 44 Scotland Street on Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City and its progeny, the city in that case being San Francisco. Both have a full cast of quirky characters and minute details of their respective cities.

Like Irregular Verbs, Scotland Street doesn’t have a serious mystery at 50 pages in, except maybe the provenance of a maybe valuable painting at the gallery where one character works.

It moves so quickly that once I get out from under this week’s NY Times and a New Yorker from last month, I’ll be able to finish it in no time.


One Response to “What I’m Reading Now”

  1. Choice of English « Lizr128′s Blog Says:

    […] quick update: I finished 44 Scotland Street (“What I’m Reading Now,”) and found it a major disappointment. It has not real ending except for a conclusion of sorts […]

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