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Publisher's Summary

An all-new, never-before-published original short novel by the best-selling author of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, about a hapless American tourist's larger-than-life comical trip to Ireland. Shortlisted for the 2015 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse prize for comic fiction.

Cornelius P. "Fatty" O'Leary and his wife, Betty, plan a vacation in Ireland for his 40th birthday, where they will tour his ancestral homeland and relax in the countryside. Almost immediately things go terribly wrong: the seats in economy class on the plane are too small; the country hotel's dinner spread and bathroom fixtures leave much to be desired; and the down-to-earth O'Learys find their fellow guests are more than a little snobbish. In this amusing and touching portrayal of a kindly, misunderstood soul, McCall Smith has created yet another memorable character who will become an instant favorite to his many fans.

©2014 Alexander McCall Smith (P)2014 W.F. Howes

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Sharon
  • GREENVILLE, SC, United States
  • 08-05-15

Not up to par

I read all of AMS's novels set in England and Scotland. This one is not since it is an American couple visiting Ireland and I should have stayed with England and Scotland. Not good in any way. Wish I hadn't wasted a credit but I did finish it for some reason.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Everyone's Dinner Party

If you could sum up Fatty O'Leary's Dinner Party in three words, what would they be?

funny, clever, sympathetic

What did you like best about this story?

I loved the interactions between the characters and how all of them experienced their own sense of misguidedness (if that is a real word).

What does Steven Crossley bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The narrator was excellent! He did a wonderful job portraying Irish and Arkansas accents, as well as having just the right about subtlety and nuance in his voice to highlight the ridiculousness of a situation.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I was moved by the many moments when Fatty expressed his sincere incredulity at the situation as well as Betty's steadfast support of him, regardless of the fiasco.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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Dissapointing

What would have made Fatty O'Leary's Dinner Party better?

I generally love Mr. Smith's books. The humor is subtle yet his books are thought provoking. I felt that this one lacked any of the usual qualities that draw me to his books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Almost deserving of the Turner Prize

With the exception of Bertie Pollack's mother, all of AMcS's characters engage. Not these. Sorry.