Von Igelfeld is quite pleased with his role as a visiting scholar at Cambridge, even if his English colleagues can be difficult to comprehend. They frequently speak in metaphors and make peculiar assumptions, saying such odd things as, "I take it your journey went well," when that is not the case at all. But von Igelfeld settles in the best he can, and is soon deeply embroiled in some shady political scheming at the university. After returning to the comfort of his perfectly rational Germany, von Igelfeld is invited to Columbia for a special fellowship. But while there, he gets caught up in some decidedly unscrupulous behavior.
©2003 Alexander McCall Smith; (P)2004 Recorded Books, LLC
I enjoyed this book as much as any of McCall Smith's others, though it was a bit over the top, even for Professor Doctor Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld. His stuffy self satisfaction and obliviously ethnocentric views somehow blend with an ultimately moral character and occassional display of feeling that leave him in mind as an infernal teddy bear. All of the previous books in this series have been fairly believable as to plot; this one not so much--perhaps it is McCall Smith's token work of Magical Realism? Regardless, I enjoyed the read/listen very much.
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