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"Portuguese Irregular Verbs" was refreshing and delightfully funny. The main characters--as some have noted--are not very "loveable" at the outset, but then, they're not supposed to be! They are stuffy German intellectuals, and Smith does a remarkable job of charicaturizing these friends without resorting to flat or ugly stereotypes. Long before I finished the book I'd discovered that they each had a good number of redeemable qualities. Additional nationalities' charicatures are provided, from the dramatically friendly and chaotic Irishman and the tragically serious Indian to the single-minded Italian. I laughed outloud every few paragraphs . . . the stodgy and absent-minded, socially inept academics filled me with a desire for a long visit with some of my European friends. The narration is fantastic--probably half the reason the delightfulness of the book came through so well for me. Though so different from the "Ladies Detective Agency" series, "Irregular Verbs" only serves to highlight the author's incredible insight to the admirable and entertaining in the ordinary human character. A wonderful treat.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
Alexander McCall Smith's charming, warm, touching little human comedy is perfectly evoked by this narrator. His use of gentle accents and perfect inflection makes me believe it is better to be read to than to read it on my own. At least with this narrator!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful