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The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs (original 2003; edition 2004)

by Alexander McCall Smith

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8622210,358 (3.65)41
Member:themulhern
Title:The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs
Authors:Alexander McCall Smith
Info:Anchor (2004), Paperback, 128 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:***
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The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs by Alexander McCall Smith (2003)

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Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
True to the character McCall Smith presents to readers in Portuguese Irregular Verbs, Professor Dr. von Ingelfeld continues to find himself in awkward situations of his own devising, all due to his ingrained belief in his own self-importance. The connected short stories in this book had a smoother flow to them as the stories seem to be more closely connected, more like chapters in a novel. It helped that my previous exposure to von Ingelfeld via Portuguese Irregular Verbs helped me to anticipate some of the inane behavior and decisions of our illustrious professor, but even then, McCall Smith manages a couple of “OMG” moments for me as I was reading. I still find von Ingelfeld to be a rather despicable individual but at least the author has now given von Ingelfeld the occasional bouts of conscience, tempering his self-importance arrogence, especially after the very poor way in which he treats his ‘dear’ (and possibly only) friend, Professor Dr. Unterholzer. As annoying as I continue to find von Ingelfeld, I have to admit that he is starting to grow on me. This is a character who consistently manages to dig himself a deeper hole when he attempts to get out of a situation, which lends to the comic side of things. The misadventures von Ingelfeld encounters on the Mediterranean cruise were quite funny and did give me a chuckle or two.

If, like me, you read Portuguese Irregular Verbs and consider not wasting your time with the other books in the series, I will gently nudge you towards The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs. It is a short read and may convince you, like it did me, to continue reading the further books in the series. Just be forewarned that the humour still continues to be very dry and might not appeal to all readers. ( )
  lkernagh | Feb 13, 2017 |
Once more, [Alexander McCall Smith], author of the No 1 Ladies' Detective series, tickles my funny bone in another series involving Professor Dr. Igelfeld, master philologist of mideval romance languages, noted for his seminal work, "Portuguese Irregular Verbs". In this book, [[The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs]], Dr Igelfeld is pressed into service as an emergency vetinary surgeon, a courier for Father Christmas' bones, and as an entertaining lecturer on a cruise ship. Just when you think the ridiculous meets the sublime, the sublime become ridiculous. ( )
  jjvors | Feb 5, 2013 |
Frequently laugh-out-loud funny, Professor of Philology Dr Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld of Germany is quite the entertaining character. Iglefeld sees himself as the epitome of scholarship, and his ego gets him into some hilarious situations. His trip to Arkansas is the funniest stretch of the book, though his experiences in the Vatican library, and on a lecture cruise ship are close seconds. The humor is in the writing. Smith knows just how to word something to make it funny.

This short book isn't so much a novel, as a series of episodes. The events of each episode are largely unrelated to the events of another, so one comes away almost feeling that one has read a short story collection rather than a novel.

It is also refreshingly peaceful. Like Smith's Ladies Number 1 Detective Agency series, the book is free of evildoers, and makes for a pleasant and relaxing read. ( )
  fingerpost | Jan 11, 2013 |
The second book in the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, this volume centers around Prof. Dr. Von Igelfeld and an unfortunate misunderstanding with regard to his field of expertise. He is a Philologist whose focus is on Portuguese Irregular Verbs who, do to an unfortunate similarity of names, is mistaken for a Veterinary Dr. whose specialty is Sausage Dogs. The resulting series of events will have you laughing out loud. I read parts of this book to my sons who laughed so hard it brought tears to their eyes. A very short, very entertaining read.
  mcschlosser | Sep 7, 2012 |
A gentle satire of academia. It is, in parts, quite funny. ( )
1 vote themulhern | Jul 9, 2012 |
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This is for Matthew Gurewitsch
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Professor Dr Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld, author of that great triumph of Germanic scholarship, Portuguese Irregular Verbs, had never set foot on American shores.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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When Professor Dr. Mortiz-Maria von Igelfeld of The Institute of Romance Philology is mistaken for a veterinarian, he ends up practicing veterinary medicine without a license, operating on a friend's dachshund with unfortunate results; transports relics for a Coptic prelate; and is pursued by lovesick widows on a Mediterranean cruise ship.… (more)

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