Invited to lecture in America, von Igelfeld envisions a visit to California or New York. Instead, he finds himself at the University of Arkansas. Still, in von Igelfeld's view, one American state is very like another. An expert philologist, von Igelfeld prepares to deliver a talk on verbs, until he makes a grim discovery: he has been mistaken for a German master of veterinary science who has recently passed away. One man at the reception is quick to point this out. But von Igelfeld explains that since Germans are so efficient, they sometimes publish obituaries before a person's demise. Before long, he takes the podium and faces an attentive crowd expecting to hear some fine points on the nature of sausage dogs.
©2003 Alexander McCall Smith; (P)2004 Recorded Books, LLC
I laughed all the way through this short book--more, possibly, than any other of McCall Smith's that I have read. Half of what makes it so delightful is the narration--which perfectly presents the dry German intellectuals in all their dry intellectual solemnity. The other half is, of course, the author's wit. Professor Doctor Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld is so utterly self-satisfied, and yet at the same time quite likeable, that the reader finds she can view him as an old, though ridiculous, friend. I would give this 5-stars, but felt the earlier stories were more successful than the last 2 or 3, which turned overly ridiculous in my view, though still very enjoyable.
Interesting interactions amoung the self-absorbed academics involved. Felt sorry for the sausage dog, but at least it triumphs in the end.
Brilliantly read, terribly clever, far better than #1 Ladies Detective Agency (which got very high reviews but I found dry, unfunny, and slow). This is especially funny if you know any German or know about German culture. The whole thing is very tongue-in-cheek, about linguists and their world in which the Portuguese Irregular Verb is the most important thing in existence, and the struggles for position that lead to ridiculous scenarios. Very funny!
Sorry...an unbelievable turn of events in the storyline had me quickly stopping the CD. And I did not continue to listen. If you've heard or read this, you know the part to which I refer. Perhaps the author redeemed himself by later making this event part of a dream sequence, but I don't really care. If you care for dogs, you will not want to read this book. Rather surprising from a somewhat gentle soul of an author.
No. I loved all the Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency books and I love animals. I concluded that Alexander McCall Smith would brighten my day with this book. I could not bring myself to finish it. The cruel treatment of the dog, removing it's legs, was beyond my sensibilities. He lost me during surgery and I will warn anyone else who wants to read it.
Merl's Door by Ted Kerasote. I was not disappointed. I learned a lot, and enjoyed the story.
Accent was appropriate.
Maybe Paul Hecht deserves better than a 3, but I was thoroughly disgusted with the book, and everything about it.
Narrative makes the world go round.
Don't expect characters like Isabel, Precious, Bertie or the type of humour in any of those McCall series -- and don't attempt this listen without having listened to or read the first instalment, "Portuguese Irregular Verbs." However, if you love or hate academe, you will find comic relief in these loveable egotist academics.
At the end of the last school semester, I read "Portuguese Verbs" as away of purging school and its campus dramas from my mind - Listening to "Sausage Dogs" has been an even better brain cleanse.
Although a very short listen, this is worth the download, especially on a 15% sale. It's like a literary sorbet before the main reading course for a holiday.
Not sure anything could have made it better given the premise of accidentally amputating 3 legs from a little dog.
No idea but I will never again assume I will like any book from a favorite author.
None. I didn't finish it.
All but the dog.
Who finds amputating 2 of a little dog's legs by mistake funny? I could not get into this story beyond that part. Even before that, the professor going along with the mistaken identity is just stupid.
I love much of McCall's work. Have read all the Ladies Detective series as well as the Philosopher's series but what the heck is going on with this?
I am so disappointed that I wasted an entire credit on this book.
Not thinking amputating three legs off a dog by a bumbling idiot was comedy.
It has turned me off of the author which is too bad as I liked his other series (No.1 Ladies Detective Agency). There the heroine has compassion and wisdom. Wonder what happened here.
See above - What editor thinks this will appeal to to masses? Obviously, this was not meant for everyone, just a niche I guess.
I see from other comments that the amputated dog apparently "gets back" in the end. Nice, but still a thoughtless premise. I stopped reading after that chapter. Any humor or enjoyment from the "three stooges in one" hero was gone. If you like animals, pass on this one.
Having said that, the performance itself was fine and I would listen to another book narrated by him, hopefully he chose a better one next time.
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