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Green Jay



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 1605


Location: West Sussex

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:42 pm    Post subject: Alexander McCall Smith  Reply with quote

There was a 15-min programme on Radio 4 today at 9.30 when A M-S was interviewed. He talked about Isabel Dalhousie amongst other things, and how he used her books to ponder about moral topics which he did not necessarily have an audience for elsewhere. I dont know if this mini-programme would be on i-player.

I did not realise that, apart from his life as an author of whimsical novels, he was so high in the world of law and ethics. Explains a lot. Also explains to me why, as we've discussed before, everyone in the Edinburgh novels floats along on a soft cloud of privilege and that this can get ever-so-slightly irritating at times; I've concluded perhaps that's  just the world he and everyone else he mixes with moves in.


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Chibiabos83
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Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 3389


Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've spent a hundred pages today being alternately diverted and irritated by it, mainly the latter. I do love McCall Smith, though.


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Evie
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Joined: 24 Oct 2008
Posts: 3569


Location: Kenilworth, Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think part of the charm of the books, for me, is that AMS's life itself seems so genteel and charmed and enviable, and the books are somehow an extension of that.  I seem able to forgive him things that in others would probably put me off reading any more - things that continue to irritate me, but he is still irresistible!  His contributions on Twitter are just fabulous - not like anyone else's - I just want his life!


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David1236



Joined: 21 Jan 2013
Posts: 8



PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now hauld on a wee whiley - there is nothing stuffy, spinsterish about Isobel Dalhousie ( see comment on Alexander McCall Smith's latest novel in the 'Sunday Philosophy club' series) - she has managed to 'hook' a young man, Jamie, who is the admiration of a great many younger women and they have a youngster called Charlie' ; it is true that their intimate life is described with a delicacy which is in sharp ( and, in my view, welcome,) contrast to the gritty and often unpleasant detail so often used in that area of life by authors. It is also true that she has a finely attuned sense of what is right and wrong, honed by her philosophical preoccupations and this can paralyse her actions sometimes ( and exasperate the reader!), but she can 'get things' done' and heal situations too. This same delicacy is also evident in the author's treatment of Eddy, the cafe helper, which might explain why his is only now coming out into the open about his life.
But this is only me talking


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Evie
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Joined: 24 Oct 2008
Posts: 3569


Location: Kenilworth, Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello David!  No, I need more convincing...  I don't mind her relationship with Jamie too much, but the whole Charlie thing is cloying.  And she still seems to me far too old for early 40s - something that comes up in the Scotland Street books too, where I had always imagined Domenica and Angus to be in their 60s at least, only to discover, when they get married, that they too are in their 40s.  I don't think AMcS really understands people in their 40s!

I will still read every Dalhousie book that comes out, though. Scotland Street remains my favourite series, and I like Corduroy Mansions too.


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Evie
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Joined: 24 Oct 2008
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Location: Kenilworth, Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He also writes the most wonderful stories on Twitter, about a Swedish detective called Ulf Varg (I think he started out as Varg Ulf...or is it the other way around..?)  He writes about 5 or 6 tweets, and they are just brilliantly understated little gems.  He is far and away my favourite Tweeter, though he is a bit less prolific there than he used to be.


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TheRejectAmidHair



Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 3864


Location: Staines, Middlesex

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...and AMS has recommended one of my blog posts on Twitter, and that makes him OK in my books ... So there!



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Castorboy



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 1798


Location: Castor Bay Auckland NZ

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

and therefore a member of the Twitterati Laughing


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TheRejectAmidHair



Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 3864


Location: Staines, Middlesex

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am @HairyGit on twitter, should anyone want to follow me. But I never tweet anything of interest.



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KlaraZ



Joined: 29 Jun 2010
Posts: 193



PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, hurrah! I'm on Twitter too, Himadri. Off to 'follow you' (and probably AMS too) straight away!

(I love the Scotland Street book of AMS, also the 'Ladies Detective Agency' series, although I've not read them all.)



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