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The Full Cupboard of Life [Paperback]

Alexander McCall Smith
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)

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Paperback, 2 Jun 2003 --  
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Book Description

2 Jun 2003
Mma Ramotswe is still engaged to Mr J.L.B. Matekoni. She wonders when a day for the wedding will be named, but she is anxious to avoid putting too much pressure on her fiance. For he has other things on his mind - notably a frightening request made of him by Mma Potokwani.


Product details

  • Paperback: 202 pages
  • Publisher: Polygon (2 Jun 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0954407504
  • ISBN-13: 978-0954407506
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13.4 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,072,327 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Following a distinguished career as a Professor of Medical Law, Alexander McCall Smith has turned to writing full-time. He is the author of over sixty books on a wide array of subjects, and his books have been translated into forty-two languages. He lives in Edinburgh with his wife.

Product Description

Review

'There is something almost divinely appealing about the way Alexander McCall Smith writes about daily life in Botswana... it is hard to think of a contemporary writer more genuinely engaging... His novels are also extremely funny: I find it impossible to think about them without smiling' Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

*The fifth in the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series

*Highly original 'detective' stories with unique setting and characters for people who are fed up with aggressive literature which dwells on selfishness, discourtesy and conflict.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another delight 6 Jun 2003
Format:Paperback
I got this book yesterday, having pre-ordered it, and have already read it. That's some measure of how much I have enjoyed this series and what a pleasure it has been to renew my acquaintance with some of the most endearingly human characters in contemporary fiction. I understand that Michael Ondaatje has set up a new prize for books which particularly evoke a sense of place and I must say I haven't read may writers that give a better flavour of a particular landscape, history and culture. The new book is no exception to this. Botswana - not somewhere I knew much about before - really comes alive: the light, the smells, the courtesy of the people and their hopes and anxieties. It is not often that I laugh aloud at a book, and even less often do I have a tear in my eye, but this one managed both. To write so simply, humorously and movingly about essentially decent human beings is a rare gift. Alexander McCall Smith has certainly enriched my life with this series.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb 8 Dec 2004
By Claretta VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
I've read all the Ladies' Detective Agency books, and enjoyed them all, but I agree with the reviewers who thought this was the best one so far. The writing seems to me to be more assured, the characters more rounded, and the plotting more convincing. All in all, a delight - I just wish the book had been twice as long! I do hope it isn't the last in the series as two new characters have been introduced, plus there are the orphans ... would love to know more about them. Keep writing, Mr McCall Smith!
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars On the Psychology of Men 1 Jun 2004
By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
The Full Cupboard of Life is the fifth book in the series that features Mma Precious Ramotswe as the owner of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency in Botswana. The story features Precious, Mr J.L.B. Maketoni (her fiancé), Mma Makutsi (her assistant and the assistant manager of Mr Maketoni's garage), and Mma Potokwame (the matron of the orphan farm where Mr Maketoni helps out).
If you have not read any books in the series, I suggest that you look instead to begin with the first one (The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency) and work your way through them in the order of their publication (Tears of the Giraffe, Morality for Beautiful Girls, and The Kalahari Typing School for Men). All of those books are better than this one, and provide helpful context for The Full Cupboard of Life.
The Full Cupboard for Life has one detective case in it. Mma Holonga is a successful entrepreneur who has developed a number of beauty parlors for braiding hair in interesting ways and also has created a special formula for treating the hair for braiding. At 40, she realizes that she lacks a husband and child . . . and decides to at least find a husband. But she doesn't want one who is after her money! So she hires Precious to check out her four suitors, beginning with the one she likes best. The case is delicate because Precious is well known in Botswana as a detective, and must avoid having the suitors realize that she is checking them out for Mma Holonga.
Most of the book, however, focuses on the personal lives of the others. Precious finally asks her fiancé when they will marry, and he answers that it will be a year or two before he can save the money for a large wedding. When she offers to sell some cattle to hasten the happy day, he declines her offer. When will they ever marry?
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly fabulous! 27 Sep 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Thank you to Alexander McCall Smith, this was well worth the wait. Rather than losing steam this book gathers a momentum only matched by the very first in the series (which got me hooked). Every chapter takes you to another level and the author manages to do this without keeping you in painful suspense. Almost as if you just happen upon it and then you are so glad you did. I'll say no more. You must read it for yourself. What an ending!! I thought all the great books had been written, and now here I am pining for more. Mr Smith, don't let me wait too long for the next one please.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
In his fifth novel about the #1 Ladies Detective Agency, run by Mma Precious Ramotswe, author Alexander McCall Smith presents the full cupboard of Botswana life in all its richness. For Mma Ramotswe, people and their relationships are paramount, and she believes that these relationships are facilitated by Botswana's traditional code of behavior, with its customs of greetings, sitting down together, drinking bush tea, and casually talking around a subject, rather than addressing it aggressively. Life is a rich, full, and happy experience for Mma Ramotswe, who can find out everything she wants to know from her broad network of family and friends. Engaged to the good-hearted Mr. J.L.B. Matakone, who has not yet set a date for a wedding, she helps him surreptitiously with his problems and cooks and cares for the two orphans he has taken into his home.
In this novel, full of gentle humor and wisdom, Mma Ramotswe and her friends face several "difficult" problems: A woman who has made a fortune establishing hair-braiding salons hires Mma Ramotswe to find out whether her suitors want to marry her for her money. Mr. J.L.B. Matakone finds himself tricked into "volunteering" to do a parachute jump, in order to raise money for the Orphan Farm run by the intrepid Mma Potokwane, who refuses to take no for an answer. He is also disturbed to discover that First Class Motors, a rival garage, has sold improper parts and failed to service a classic old Range Rover correctly, and he has been procrastinating about confronting the garage owner or reporting him to authorities.
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