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Alexander McCall Smith
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Caro



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 2981


Location: Owaka, New Zealand

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:33 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote

I haven't either, Klara, but I am pleased to see someone else championing them.  I never understand the criticisms of the Botswana stories - ASM had lived a long time in Africa and I don't find them at all Anglo- or Hibernia-centric.  I get a (no doubt romanticed) picture of Botswana which is very sympathetic but which immediately brings the sights and smells and dust and communities and problems of the country to my mind.

I also love the Corduroy Mansion stories, but haven't read so much of the others, and am not all that fond of the Sunday Philosophy ones (Isabel is a bit irritating), though I think the Scotland Street ones would appeal if I had read more of them.

I also had a lovely response to a letter I wrote - not specifically from Alexander McCall Smith - but from his secretary writing nicely of "Sandy" and of my comments.  

Cheers, Caro.


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Chibiabos83
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Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 3424


Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Caro wrote:
Isabel is a bit irritating

I read 'Isabel' as 'Israel'. Very inflammatory today, Caro, I thought.


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Caro



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 2981


Location: Owaka, New Zealand

PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a phone call from my son recently and the phone cut out just as he "Don't read Alexander..." So I wrote and wondered if he was about to say Dumas and he said,

"We read Alexander McCall Smith's (author of No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency) Sunday Philosophy Club and were highly disappointed. We both enjoyed the No. 1 Ladies Detective series (book and TV series) so had high expectations, but it just had no redeeming features (Sarah reminds me it was well-written, but I think that only served to lull us into thinking it might be good). Boring, pointless characters we couldn't like (judgemental main one), and nothing happened. Probably a mistake to expect a murder mystery. And there was no philosophy club at all! First of a series - something may happen in the future books.

Not one to read aloud at any rate, but of course the irony is you'll have to read it to see that you shouldn't have read it.

P.S, if it's anything like the film, don't read Dumas' Count of Monty Cristo either.


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TheRejectAmidHair



Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 3864


Location: Staines, Middlesex

PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no idea what the film of The Count of Monte Cristo is like. The only filmned version I have seen is the old one with Robert Donat, and that was pretty enjoyable. The book was wonderful.

I have only read one of Alexander McCall Smith's books - 44 Scotland Street - and I thought it was delighful. It was not so much the plot or the characters. butthe warmth and generus good humour of the authorial voice, that I found particularly endearing. I can't answer for his other books, of course.



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Caro



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 2981


Location: Owaka, New Zealand

PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My husband, who is inclined to do things to surprise me, or at least without asking, seems to have booked tickets for us to listen to Alexander McCall Smith talking in Dunedin on May 10th.  For some odd reason it is at St Paul's Cathedral (where just last weekend we stood outside for over an hour in the rather cool weather waiting for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to exit and walkabout - not that I saw much of the walking; from where I stood I could see the feathery bit in her hat!  My husband did get a decent photo and standing on a seat I did see them a little bit.)

I think AMS seems to be the most delightful warm person both in his novels and in his personality generally. It will be just a week before we leave for another trip to Britain, so should set the scene nicely. Better get a couple of his books out the library and refresh my memory.



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