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At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances: A Professor Dr von Igelfeld Entertainment Novel (3) [Kindle Edition]

Alexander Mccall Smith , Iain Mcintosh
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $13.95
Kindle Price: $7.99
You Save: $5.96 (43%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Professor Dr. von Igelfeld Entertainment - Book 3

The Professor Dr. von Igelfeld Entertainment series slyly skewers academia, chronicling the comic misadventures of the endearingly awkward Professor Dr. Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld, and his long-suffering colleagues at the Institute of Romantic Philology in Germany.

Readers who fell in love with Precious Ramotswe, proprietor of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, now have new cause for celebration in the protagonist of these three light-footed comic novels by Alexander McCall Smith. Welcome to the insane and rarified world of Professor Dr. Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld of the Institute of Romance Philology. Von Igelfeld is engaged in a never-ending quest to win the respect he feels certain he is due–a quest which has the tendency to go hilariously astray.

In At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances, Professor Dr. von Igelfeld gets caught up in a nasty case of academic intrigue while on sabbatical at Cambridge. When he returns to Regensburg he is confronted with the thrilling news that someone from a foreign embassy has actually checked his masterwork, Portuguese Irregular Verbs, out of the Institute’s Library. As a result, he gets caught up in intrigue of a different sort on a visit to Bogota, Colombia.


From the Trade Paperback edition.


Editorial Reviews

Review

“In the halls of academe, a setting fraught with ego-driven battles for power and prestige [Alexander McCall Smith] has rendered yet another one-of-a-kind character: the bumbling but brilliant Dr. Mortiz-Maria von Igelfeld . . . . [a] deftly rendered trilogy [with] endearingly eccentric characters.” —Chicago Sun-Times


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Review

“In the halls of academe, a setting fraught with ego-driven battles for power and prestige [Alexander McCall Smith] has rendered yet another one-of-a-kind character: the bumbling but brilliant Dr. Mortiz-Maria von Igelfeld . . . . [a] deftly rendered trilogy [with] endearingly eccentric characters.” —Chicago Sun-Times

Product Details

  • File Size: 754 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 073932568X
  • Publisher: Anchor (December 18, 2007)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000XUDGJO
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #506,556 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Weakest of the three but still pretty funny April 19, 2005
Format:Paperback
It's not mandatory to read "Portuguese Irregular Verbs" and "The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs" before reading this book, but you might as well, because (a) they're very short, (b) they're very funny, and (c) there are references to stories in the preceding books.

I found this the weakest of the three books about the misadventures of Professor Dr Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld of the Institute of Romance Philology. Perhaps it's because there are only two stories in the novella, so each must be sustained over sixty pages or so. Maybe it's the stories' length that makes them seem so much more improbable than the improbable stories in the other volumes.

Still, the misadventures of Dr von Igelfeld, once again experienced as a result of searching for that elusive recognition he believes he deserves (Did you know he wrote the master work, Portuguese Irregular Verbs? It's the most important philological work of the last one hundred years, you know.), are very amusing. He accepts a visiting fellowship at Cambridge, where a shadowy plot to overthrow the faculty government is brewing, as if worries over his (less-deserving) colleague taking over his office in his absence were not enough. After that, he visits Columbia (the country), where he stumbles into yet another revolutionary plot.

Although I found this book the least amusing of the three Professor Dr von Igelfeld Entertainments, I still laughed out loud. It's light-hearted. It's short. It's just fun.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Academic manners and madness October 26, 2005
Format:Paperback
The two chapters of Alexander McCall Smith's At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances tell two almost independent stories featuring Professor Dr. Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld--the renowned author of that 1200-page philological masterwork Portuguese Irregular Verbs. When the book opens we find von Igelfeld embroiled in the latest battle in his protracted but unacknowledged war with Professor Detlev Amadeus Unterholzer, von Igelfeld's colleague and nemesis at the University of Regensburg's Institute of Romance Philology. Specifically, von Igelfeld is intent on occupying the most comfortable chair in the Institute's coffee room, a chair which Unterholzer is wont to claim for himself on most occasions: "As the best chair in the room it should by rights have gone to him [von Igelfeld], as he was, after all, the senior scholar, but these things were difficult to articulate in a formal way and he had been obliged to tolerate Unterholzer's occupation of the chair." As it happens, von Igelfeld's successful claiming of the chair on the morning in question--in fact his birthday--leads to his taking a sabbatical at Cambridge University, where he becomes involved in the petty politics of that august institution. Von Igelfeld's experiences abroad--with scheming dons and their lachrymose Master, with an inappropriate Porter, with the University's intolerable toilet situation--leave him more certain than ever of the German's superiority to the Anglo-Saxon.

Not long after his return to Regensburg von Igelfeld sets off on another foreign adventure, as he is to be inaugurated into the Colombian Academy of Letters as a Distinguished Corresponding Fellow.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beware-Not a Series for All Tastes August 29, 2005
Format:Paperback
Like many readers, I came to the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series through Alexander McCall Smith's charming "Number One Ladies Detective Agency" series. Right off the bat, beware that this series has nothing in common with his beloved detective novels set in modern day Botswana. It is hard to believe that he wrote too such different types of books.

The Portuguese Irregular Verb series of which "At the Villa Reduced Circumstances" is just one book can best be described as a droll send up on the absurdities of academic life. McCall's style can best be described as extremely dry and verging on the absurdist. This type of subtle humor is not for everyone.

The books in the series do not need to be read in order. I would recommend that you start with "The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs", the best book in the series. If you like this type of humor gone onto the other two books. If you like your humor dry and way over the top, this is the series for you.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Garments Of Identity, And Other Academic Conundrums October 17, 2006
Format:Paperback
This, the third installment in the Professor Dr. Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld series, is witty and sly like the predecessors, but I found it to be slightly weaker than the first two. The first volume "Portuguese Irregular Verbs" is my clear favorite, and is one of the best things written in the last ten years; likewise "The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs" never fails to entertain (I still laugh when I think about von Igelfeld practicing veterinary medicine without a license.) The primary weakness of this volume is the reduced number of chapters versus the predecessors. In the earlier books, von Igelfeld had more numerous (but briefer) adventures that allowed for a quick pacing; this volume only has two chapters and as a result the plotlines begin to drag a bit. Don't misunderstand me, I loved "At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances," I just liked the other books more. Since this book makes reference to events and characters in the first two volumes, I do recommend reading them in order, though it isn't strictly mandatory.

In this book, von Igelfeld absorbs himself in a faculty political intrigue (which is sly, yet at times candidly accurate in its absurdity) as he takes a visiting professorship at Cambridge. Not only does he get totally immersed in academic political struggles, he has major issues with English toilets. (These two parallels surely can't be coincidental.) In the end his dealings with the politics of Cambridge and English bathroom design leave a clear opinion of Germanic superiority in von Igelfeld's mind.

Soon after the return from Cambridge, von Igelfeld is invited to become a Distinguished Corresponding Fellow at the Colombian Academy of Letters.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Laugh out Loud Funny
Funniest Book I've read in ages
Published 1 month ago by Adelle
5.0 out of 5 stars Great writer. Love these Von Igelfeld entertainment books
Great writer. Love these Von Igelfeld entertainment books.
Published 1 month ago by Megan
3.0 out of 5 stars How does the first part of the book when he's ...
How does the first part of the book when he's a visiting professor at a college relate to him ending up in a jungle in south america in the middle of a guerrilla war?
Published 1 month ago by humboldt honey
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This book had my husband and I in side splitting laughter. The 3 books in the set are marvelous!
Published 4 months ago by Claudia Fernandez
2.0 out of 5 stars Professor Dr von Igelfeld on LSD?
Alexander McCall Smith should be congratulated for getting "At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances" published. Read more
Published 4 months ago by David A. Lessnau
4.0 out of 5 stars Alexander McCall Smith has created a wonderful character in Professor...
Alexander McCall Smith has created a wonderful character in Professor Igelfeld, the bumbling intellectual who finds himself in improbable situations.
Published 4 months ago by Eleanor Pingree
3.0 out of 5 stars Gentle humor on every page
There is humor in this book, and it starts well. Events in the book get progressively more difficult to believe, especially when the protagonist (an expert on Portuguese irregular... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Infomapper
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Loved it, but not the best in this series.
Published 7 months ago by mary
5.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining
This was my favorite out of the first three books of this series. There were times when I laughed out loud at the thoughts and actions of Professor Dr von Igelfeld.
Published 9 months ago by juditha
4.0 out of 5 stars good book by an excellent author
I like everything I have read by Alexander McCall Smith. How he can get into the head of people of all ages and cultures and races is completely beyond me. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Marcia B. Cohen
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More About the Author

Alexander McCall Smith was born in what is now Zimbabwe and taught law at the University of Botswana. He is now Professor of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh. He has written more than fifty books, including a number of specialist titles, but is best known for The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, which has achieved bestseller status on four continents. In 2004 he was awarded British Book Awards Author of the Year and Booksellers Association Author of the Year. He lives in Scotland, where in his spare time he is a bassoonist in the RTO (Really Terrible Orchestra).

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