Customer Review

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The welcome return of Professor Doctor Doctor Von Igelfeld!, 6 Nov 2011
This review is from: Unusual Uses For Olive Oil (von Igelfeld Entertainments) (Hardcover)
Hurrah for the return of Professor Doctor Doctor Von Igelfeld! At the very beginning of his writing career, Alexander McCall Smith published three short books on the wonderful Von Igelfeld, a German philology professor from Regensburg, author of the much acclaimed (in very small circles) "Portuguese Irregular Verbs", and his small group of fellow professors. Despite my loving most of McCall Smith's output ever since I have a particularly soft spot for this series (the first three books were later combined in one volume as "The 2 1/2 Pillars of Wisdom"). Von Igelfeld, a single man in his late 40's, lives in a world entirely within the confines of acadaemia. His views on everything are coloured by this and it is wonderful watching him struggling on his forays out into the real world. Just as funny are his battles for recognition and supremacy with fellow professors (Prinzel and Unterholzer) and the splendid jealousies that exist beteeen them. Von Igelfeld has no sense of humour, which makes him highly amusing, believes he is superior to nearly everyone, is tremendously naive, deeply sensitive, highly sincere, and cannot understand why his book does not sell more than two or three copies every six months. Despite his haughtiness it is difficult not to warm to such a unique character and I would urge the author not to leave it another ten years before bringing out the next in the series.
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