Unusual Uses for Olive Oil by Alexander McCall Smith
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
After a near ten-year hiatus, the long-awaited (well, by me at any rate) fourth book in Alexander McCall Smith's comedic Portuguese Irregular Verbs series finally arrived!
I enjoyed the heck out of book number one. Then the following two became a little Candide-like or Monty Python-esque in their wackiness as our hero Professor Dr. Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld became embroiled in far flung adventures. This fourth book, Unusual Uses for Olive Oil is a return to the sedate wordsmithing of the first book, and perhaps I really didn't want what I'd been wishing for.
This book is boring. There's no too ways about it. It's lacking in a sense of fun. Oh yes, there's plenty of wordplay and that's all very well and good, but poking fun at Germans and how they take everything literally, as well as the pedantic nature of language professors only goes so far before it becomes tiresome.
I can and do recommend this for word-lovers and those looking for some light academic japery. If you like reading satire on the foibles of the learned, have at it! I got a chuckle or two between the covers of this one and you may, too!
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