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At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances (original 2003; edition 2004)

by Alexander Mccall Smith

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7391512,617 (3.48)34
Member:rightantler
Title:At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances
Authors:Alexander Mccall Smith
Info:Anchor (2004), Edition: First Thus, Paperback, 128 pages
Collections:Read but unowned, Stewart's Read
Rating:***1/2
Tags:Y08, fiction, humour

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At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances by Alexander McCall Smith (2003)

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As much as von Ingelfeld struck me as an unlikable character in the earlier installments in the series, I have to admit that he does have some likeable traits (like importance be places on being true to the family motto Truth Always which leads to interesting awkward moments for von Ingelfeld as he struggles to not lie while at the same time steer a visiting professor from learning of the whereabouts of the washroom facilities located across the hall from von Ingelfeld's Cambridge quarters. The fact that most if not all of von Ingelfeld's attempts for preferential self glory tend to backfire on him makes the stories in this installment entertaining. If the story has a moral message it is that "The grass is not always greener on the other side." I found the episode in Colombia to be rather far-fetched but still entertaining and I did enjoy von Ingelfeld's bafflement at the oddities of his Cambridge colleagues. Nothing better than having a von Ingelfeld appear rather "normal" compared to the behaviour of the Cambridge master!

Overall, this is a series that has grown on me and I am really glad that I did not let the tepid experience of Portuguese Irregular Verbs deter me from continuing with the series. ( )
  lkernagh | Mar 26, 2017 |
rabck from dvg; light farce. Professor Igelfeld receives an honarium in Columbia, so off he goes, eventually landing himself in the middle of a revolutionary battle ( )
  nancynova | Oct 4, 2016 |
Preposterous, but somewhat enjoyable. ( )
  themulhern | May 15, 2016 |
This book was a major dissappointment. McCall is not at his best here
  gosherry | Oct 19, 2012 |
This is a throwaway book, an extremely short comic novel that is never more funny than it is absurd. Or perhaps I don’t appreciate the vagaries of academic life enough to get the joke, although I found the section depicting the rapid rise and fall of Central American governments to be so full of stereotypes as to be nearly offensive. ( )
  sturlington | Oct 27, 2011 |
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Epigraph
Dedication
This is for Marvin and Margaret Sloman
First words
Professor Dr Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld's birthday fell on the first of May.
Quotations
The English were very difficult to read; half the things they said were not meant to be taken seriously, but it was impossible, if you were German, to detect which half this was. (p.22)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
The 2 1/2 pillars of wisdom includes At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances, The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs and Portuguese Irregular Verbs in 2002. These titles were published separately in 2003.
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CONTENTS:

eins, On Being Light Blue p.9

zwei, At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances p.63
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The endless mishaps of Professor Dr Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld.

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