What I’ve Just Finished Reading

I’ve finished the three volume’s of Alexander McCall Smith’s Portuguese Irregular Verb series, about a hapless German philology professor. As regular readers of this blog know, I adore AMS.  Precious Ramotswe’s Ladies Detective Agency, Isabel Dalhousie’s Sunday Philosophers are great company at any time of the day or night, though I don’t recommend them as books to fall asleep by. I generally find myself saying “five minutes more” and realizing it’s after 2 a.m. before I finally close the book.

Professor Doctor (is that Doctor Professor?) Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld is another matter. His misadventures are meant to be humorous but involve Grand Guignol attitude. He involves a friend in a nearly fatal sword duel (Portuguese Irregular Verbs), amputates the legs of a dog (The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs), nearly kills a Colombian military officer (At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances). Von Igelfeld’s self absorption and competition for the itty bitty crumbs of power at his university are no doubt based on truth but just a bit too over the top (or not over the top enough) to engender genuine laughter.  Herr professor travels the world — Italy, the States, India, Colombia, England — but remains in his own little cocoon.

To clear the literary palate, I’m picking up my annual reading of Emma and continuing with The Grace of Silence.


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