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Summary

Winner of the British Book Awards, Author of the Year, 2004.
Winner of the CWA Dagger in the Library Award, 2004.

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.

Click here to see all the titles in our Alexander McCall Smith collection.
©2003 Alexander McCall Smith (P)2004 Time Warner AudioBooks

What listeners say about Portuguese Irregular Verbs

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Hugh Laurie is a joy to listen to

An eccentric comic novel which gently parodies the academic life. Hugh Laurie's reading is a joy, he manages 6 or 7 different German character's voices, a number of Italians, and Irish, among others, both male and female, and gives each character their distinctive voice, accent and mannerisms, preserving this during dialogue. He knows exactly the right tone of voice to adopt to bring out the humour in the book. I'm looking forward to listening to him read the other books in this trilogy.

5 people found this helpful

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wonderful laugh

What made the experience of listening to Portuguese Irregular Verbs the most enjoyable?

Apart from the charming book it was Hugh Laurie's excellent performance that made this audible book so enjoyable. He is absolutely wonderful at mimicking the accents and in giving the personae their character.I ordered all three and enjoyed them greatly. Wish there were more of them.

Any additional comments?

I am mostly german myself and thoroughly enjoyed the clever, but somehow tender parody of the german professors.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

I loved it!

I thought it was a delightful story, engagingly read by Hugh Laurie. The humour was gentle but pointed at the rarefied world of the academy. Very reminiscent of PG Wodehouse.

3 people found this helpful

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Quirky and laugh out loud

McCall Smith's characters spring to life. I dragged myself reluctantly back to the 21st Century.

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Just delightful

Hugh Laurie’s narration is superb. You expect it to be good, then you listen and hear him navigate the different languages and realise his skill. Coupled with the comic irony and percent of McCall Smith, this audiobook is one of the best. It tracks the adventures of an academic who finds himself in different countries and one should not be put off by the title. Shame it is so short - when it ended I immediately bought the next in the series.

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Hugh Laurie is a hilarious story-teller

Mr. Laurie's ability in adopting a varety of voices, characters and their respective accents, is immersive and superb. Rather looking forward to the next book. Perhaps Mr Laurie can produce more audiobooks to generate more characters than the grouchy, yet brilliant, Dr House. Thoroughly enjoyed this short audiobook.

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such fun

Hugh Laurie is the perfect narrator of this highly amusing, foppish story. His accents are really good and his delivery of the lines are perfectly timed.
I adore Alexander McCall Smith's writing. He obviously knows the wonderful people that this story is based on.
I loved it.

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Beautiful narration, mediocre text

My initial reaction to this book is “meh” and then “why did he bother”. Literally a lot of nothing happens for quite a long time. Nowhere near as entertaining or charming as the author’s no. 1Ladies Detective Agency books. The characters aren’t as engaging as those in his Sunday Philosophy club series either. The main character is Boeing and pompous and the text is a series of episodes that are not really link so this is not really a novel with an over arching story. It is a huge disappointment. That being said Hugh Laurie does an amazing job of the narration.

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disappointing.

Having enjoyed the authors' 'Lady Detective'I was looking forward to this enormously.Unfortunately I was so bored that I couldn't listen beyond chapter four.There is nothing here to recommend - the story is just not funny, the music between chapters irritating at best - a total waste of Hugh Lauries' talents as a narrator.

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Exceptionally funny and thoughtful comedy

A brilliant piece of erudite comedy. The first in what was a trilogy and became in the end a four part series of novels about Von Igelfeld. The performance was first-class, as you'd expect from the famous name - and clearly Hugh Laurie must have really enjoyed reading this out as well.

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  • Cidem
  • 23-02-11

Listen again and again

I don't know if there is category called best re-listenable, if there is then this is No.1. This is a lovely book and Hugh Laurie does a superb job; fills each character with a unique personality and reads with such dry wit. I truely love this audiobook.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 31-05-19

Hugh Laurie rocks!

I love Alexander McCall Smith and read with pleasure just about everything he writes. Although the characters in his 44 Scotland Street and (sadly arrested after just three novels) Corduroy Mansions series are closer to my heart than those in Portuguese Irregular Verbs, this is possibly his funniest collection. The humour is delightfully absurd. But it is Hugh Laurie's outstanding narration that has motivated me to write a review. It is absolute perfection.