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Publisher's Summary

With millions of copies of his New York Times best-selling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency mysteries in print across the globe, Alexander McCall Smith is one of the most popular novelists and humorists in the world. Starring the brilliant but bumbling Professor Doctor Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld, The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs is a wonderfully entertaining showcase for Smith's award-winning wit.

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Deanna
  • St. Robert, MO, United States
  • 08-12-12

So disappointing.

Any additional comments?

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Wit Supreme

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Don
  • Austin, TX, USA
  • 06-06-06

Enjoyable Story

Interesting interactions amoung the self-absorbed academics involved. Felt sorry for the sausage dog, but at least it triumphs in the end.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Judy
  • Springfield, OH, United States
  • 06-26-12

I couldn't finish the book...

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

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.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Merl's Door by Ted Kerasote. I was not disappointed. I learned a lot, and enjoyed the story.

What three words best describe Paul Hecht’s voice?

Accent was appropriate.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No

Any additional comments?

Maybe Paul Hecht deserves better than a 3, but I was thoroughly disgusted with the book, and everything about it.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Leah
  • Arlington, VA, USA
  • 12-24-05

Very funny, very clever!

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!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

This is supposed to be funny?

What would have made The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs better?

Not sure anything could have made it better given the premise of accidentally amputating 3 legs from a little dog.

What do you think your next listen will be?

No idea but I will never again assume I will like any book from a favorite author.

Which scene was your favorite?

None. I didn't finish it.

What character would you cut from The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs?

All but the dog.

Any additional comments?

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. <br/><br/>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? <br/><br/>I am so disappointed that I wasted an entire credit on this book.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • connie
  • Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • 12-18-11

a palate cleanser after a bad semester

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.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Mindless, Quick Read

This book started out with a clever premise, but it didn't stay as delightful to the end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Disappointment and disgust

What would have made The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs better?

Not thinking amputating three legs off a dog by a bumbling idiot was comedy.

Has The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs turned you off from other books in this genre?

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.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs?

See above - What editor thinks this will appeal to to masses? Obviously, this was not meant for everyone, just a niche I guess.

Any additional comments?

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.<br/><br/>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.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Witty caricature with dry humor

Witty and all to valid a caricature of certain people. First part not funny if love dogs but then does turn cute. Usually I like a mystery. This makes for light reading and fun.