The 2 1/2 Pillars of Wisdom, Paperback
2.5 out of 5 (4 ratings)


Alexander McCall Smith, best-selling author of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, has turned his hand to humour.

The delightful result is a creation of comic genius.

For in the unnaturally tall form of Professor Doctor Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld, we are invited to meet a memorable character whose sublime insouciance is a blend of the cultivated pomposity of Frasier Crane and of Inspecteur Clouseau's hapless gaucherie. Von Igelfeld inhabits the rarefied world of the Institute of Romance Philology at Regensburg, a world he shares with his equally tall and equally ridiculous colleagues, Professors Florianus Prinzel and Detlev Amadeus Unterholzer.

Their unlikely adventures are described in three deliciously funny instalments: Portuguese Irregular Verbs, The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs and At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances.




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Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.

Review by

Alexander McCall Smith branching out from Botswana and Edinburgh into German academia, not entirely successfully. His other books inspire affection for characters of natural warmth. Here, he has used less attractive characters with less attractive results. Read May 2009.

Review by

The Professor von Igelfeld Trilogy trilogy was a quick read, being less than 400 pages in total, and I read it over the weekend. Having very much enjoyed the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, I was a bit disappointed with the doings of Professor Dr Dr Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld and his colleagues. They are the sort of books that are vaguely amusing but don't actually make you laugh, although I did find each book more amusing than the last.

Review by

This was promising to start with, but I found myself getting increasingly irritated with the two dimensional nature of the characters and the total lack of a story, in any of the three books. A series of mildly amusing anecdotes isn't really enough to sustain 400 pages. It felt as if it had been written in a rush, according to a publisher's delivery schedule.

Review by

Liked “The Perfect Imperfect” and particularly “At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances”, but overall I feel it may have been whimsy drawn out rather too far. Suspect it would be better in the three separate volumes as which it was originally published.

Also in the Von Igelfeld Entertainments series