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Portuguese Irregular Verbs by Alexander…
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Portuguese Irregular Verbs (2003)

by Alexander McCall Smith

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1,178416,841 (3.41)83
  1. 10
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    goose114: Another story of academia with a witty sense of humor.
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Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
A solid three stars for this short and modestly amusing book. In a series of loosely related episodes, Professor Dr. Moritz-Maria Von Igelfeld moves from small triumphs to minor defeats and embarrassments and back again. His ponderings, which tend to focus on small professional rivalries, but sometimes wander into the theological and ontological, are both very plausible and mildly repellent. Igelfeld is fussy, often petty, and occasionally vindictive. His small intrigues almost invariably go wrong for him, but still he manages to maintain an impressive and rather endearing self-confidence and optimism. He reminds me very much of Basil Fawlty, from the old BBC series, Fawlty Towers, only with unassailable equanimity replacing poor Basil's helpless fury and despair. Infuriating, obnoxious, and hopelessly prone to the most absurd misfortunes and misunderstandings, you nevertheless find yourself sympathizing with Igelfeld and hoping that things will go well for him. ( )
1 vote meandmybooks | Apr 14, 2017 |
Definitely not what I was expecting.... and not in a good way, either. Having fallen in love with Precious Ramotswe and the Botswana setting of Smith's The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, I was kind of hoping for more of the same with this first book in his Professor Dr. von Egelfeld Entertainment series. Instead, I found myself reading a collection of loosely connected stories about a rather unlovable character focused on self-importance. Yes, the situations he finds himself in, usually of his own misguided contrivance, have the makings of good reading material - I admit, the battle of wits he engages in with Signora Cossi did have me raising an eyebrow or two! - but overall, this just didn't work for me. One reviewer has commented that this story is in a similar vein with A Diary of a Nobody where the focus of the story is to make much ado about mundane things and events and that may explain why this was a rather sub-par read for me. I really didn't enjoy A Diary of a Nobody when I read it a few years back.

Given that I do own the next two books in the series and in view of the fact that they are slim volumes, I will give book two in the series The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs a go and see if the Professor grows on me. ( )
  lkernagh | Jan 22, 2017 |
First of all, if you are wanting to know the low-down on Portuguese irregular verbs, this book will not help you much. If you enjoy quiet comedy of the Trollope variety, you might enjoy this. It is a collection of short stories in the life of Professor Dr. von Igelfeld, a man who is very single-minded, lives as if he was born in a different century, and sees life through the lens of etymology. I enjoyed it. ( )
  MrsLee | Jul 8, 2016 |
Light, fun, academic, a bit grotesque, inconsiderable. ( )
  themulhern | Apr 26, 2016 |
Sadly, this book was a disappointment & rather boring. All that saved it from getting 1 star was that I found a few things humourous. I only finished it because it's short. ( )
  Karin7 | Jan 20, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
I am headed to local library to check this one out again. If you like to laugh and have a dry sense of humor you will absolutely relate to this book....and quick note, it's first in a series of three.

The negative reviews on this book astound me. What planet are you on? I take mine dry with a side of umph....
added by tracysbooks | editMy own brain, booknut with sense of humor (Jun 15, 2011)
 
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This is for REINHARD ZIMMERMANN
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Professor Dr Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld often reflected on how fortunate he was to be exactly who he was, and nobody else.
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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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Professor Dr. Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld of the Institute of Romance Philology learns to play tennis and forces a college chum to enter into a duel that results in a nipped nose. He also takes a field trip to Ireland where he becomes acquainted with the rich world of archaic Irishisms, and he develops an aching ingatuation with a dentist fatale. Along the way, he takes two ill-fated Italian sojourns, the first merely uncomfortable, the second defintitely dangerous.… (more)

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