Top critical review
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comfortable or not?
on 9 April 2010
I am a big fan of McCall Smith's No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. I have always felt that the author captured the "voice" of his subjects perfectly, down to the nuance and unique inflections that are completely African. The warmth, humour, sense of values and pride of country that McCall Smith's characters display in such a convincing way are things that bring positive reinforcement to the African image.
I must admit that I was slightly disappointed with "the double comfort safari club". That authentic "African voice" seems to have been somewhat lost here, with the characters slipping in and out of colloquial sounding English. The book also read, to me, that it was slightly rushed and so didn't really tug at many emotive strings in this reader as the previous book had. Maybe this was something to do with the content as well, which didn't draw me in too much.
I really hope that McCall Smith is not losing steam with Mma Ramotswe and her ilk, though. It is rare that such gems of books with African subjects become popular on a global scale and it would be a shame to lose the "magic" and appeal that made this series a worldwide favourite.