Portuguese Irregular Verbs

Portuguese Irregular Verbs

Paperback - 2004
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A deliciously entertaining new series by the bestselling author of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

The many fans of Precious Ramotswe will find further cause for celebration in the protagonist of Alexander McCall Smith's irresistibly funny trilogy, the eminent (if shamefully under-read) philologist Professor Dr. Mortiz-Maria von Igelfeld of the Institute at Regensburg. Unnaturally tall, hypersensitive to slights, and oblivious to his own frequent gaucheries, von Igelfeld is engaged in a never-ending quest to win the respect he knows is due him.

Portuguese Irregular Verbs follows the Professor from a busman's holiday researching old Irish obscenities to a flirtation with a desirable lady dentist. In The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs , von Igelfeld practices veterinary medicine without a license, transports relics for a schismatically challenged Coptic prelate and is mobbed by marriage-minded widows on board a Mediterranean cruise ship. In At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances , the final novel in the trilogy, we find our hero suffering the slings of academic intrigue as a visiting fellow at Cambridge, and the slings of outrageous fortune in an eventful Columbian adventure.
Publisher: Toronto : Vintage Canada, 2004, c2003.
ISBN: 9780676976793
Characteristics: 128 pages :,illustrations ;,21 cm.
Additional Contributors: McIntosh, Iain


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Oct 31, 2015

Inside the mind of a genius who is even less connected to other humans than is Sheldon Cooper of "The Big Band Theory." He watches the incomprehensible actions of mere humans with astonishment and sorrow.

Jan 27, 2014

The first German Philologist Professor Doctor book about nutty academics and international miscommunication. Short romp. Just for fun.


I love this series. I realize it's very different from McCall's other work, but it's still clever and, in my opinion, hilarious. It is a jab at academia and the pretentions that go along with it. It reminds one not to take oneself too seriously.

Aug 07, 2013

This is one of those books that are written purely to amuse, and it definitely did that. The writing was fun, and von Igelfeld is many bits quirky.

Jun 24, 2013

Professor Dr Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld is the world famous author of Portuguese Irregular Verbs. Despite this amazing accomplishment, he gets no respect, instead bumbling through life without enough imagination in some parts, but too much in others. This rather whimsical piece is not nearly as charming as the Patience Ramotswe or Isabel Dalhousie series, but is an amusing quick read.

The character flaws in the German academics suggest some xenophobia in the author. There is a sadness in the overblown self- esteem of Professor Iglefeld and his fawning co-academics. Yes the academic diktat to ‘publish or perish’ [despite the waste of all those trees] is humorous, but no less absurd than expectations put on professionals in other fields of human endeavour. In my opinion this kind of observation of human nature is not funny and the book is really a piece of fluff. I won’t dis the book but it will only appeal to an audience with a particular sense of humour.

Jun 12, 2012

Very funny for those who enjoy kicking uberintellectuals.

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