When his loving wife, Betty, plans a trip to Ireland for Fatty O'Leary's 40th birthday things go wrong almost immediately: the seats in economy class on the plane are too small; Irish bathroom furniture is not as commodious as he'd have liked. And all the time Fatty must put up with the unthinking cruelty of strangers.
©2014 Alexander McCall Smith (P)2014 W F Howes Ltd
"In a hilarious and touching portrayal of a kindly and misunderstood soul, McCall Smith has created yet another memorable character who will become an instant favourite to his many fans."
"McCall Smith's generous writing and dry humour, his gentleness and humanity, and his ability to evoke a place and a set of characters without caricature or condescension have endeared his books to readers" (New York Times)
I did listen to the whole of the book, but I nearly gave up a number of times.
The good points? Well the narrator was good. The bad? The characters were unlikeable, the situations were unbelievable, and the resolution of the story was unsatisfactory.
I think the author was trying to write in the style of Wodehouse, but it was just far to clumsy.
There is no doubt that I am an avid McCall Smith fan but in my opinion, this book is one of the most disappointing. I have lived at the book's location on the east side of Lough Derg (there is no 'south side' )for 60 years; a local has never called it the 'lough', always the 'lake'.I know this is a tiny research point but it distracts from the authenticity as one realises that someone who usually speaks Scottish-English is telling a pretend story about Ireland. The mystery of Fatty's missing clothes from the laundry room is left unsolved, just suggesting that Mrs O'Connor was using them as rags. However, why would she need to when she has an accumulation of left behind property.
A reader might think that I'm being pedantic, but that is not true. I am familiar with copious McCall Smith works and have been spoilt by flawless research that has transported me from Botswana to Edinburgh in blissful cloud of fiction!
I loved the story but thought Fatty had a pretty tough go of it.
Glad he was happy in the end but just felt it fell a bit flat.
Would read it again, though!
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