Unusual Uses for Olive Oil by Alexander McCall Smith

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You know when a TV series, be it a drama or comedy, has just gone on a little too long and the stories have lost their intensity or originality; the essence that made the series something you loved. But you keep watching anyway, maybe to maintain a connection with the characters you like or because the episode is kinda okay. It passes the time and, while not as enjoyable as it was before, it isn’t truly bad.

You can predict what is going to happen as nothing out of the box will happen. The writer may have changed but it wouldn’t matter because the storyline has become, shock, horror, formulaic. You know they are churning the episodes out for the money. Still, you can’t stop watching.

And that is how it is with the latest Professor Dr Von Igelfeld “entertainment”. Note the book is not called a novel but an entertainment. Trying too hard to be original, me thinks! But again, it just reminds me of a series that has gone on too long. Yeah, you might be entertained but in the cursory, superficial manner of skimming through a magazine. Nothing will really stick.

When I read the first collection, The 2 1/2 Pillars of Wisdom, I laughed so much. I shared my love with everyone whether they were interested or not, even buying copies for others. So I was excited when McCall Smith had finally written another von Ingelfeld installment.

von Ingelfeld is a likable character, who goes through many misunderstandings due to his Aspie nature. But nothing is truly enlightening or laugh-out-loud funny.

My advice: read the first book. Don’t bother with this one. McCall Smith is certainly churning out books full of nice stories. I want something more than just nice.

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2 thoughts on “Unusual Uses for Olive Oil by Alexander McCall Smith

  1. To be honest, I think he should just go on a long holiday for a while. His first books were fresh and funny, but is he just writing now because he can? He has even started writing children’s books, prequels to the Ladies’ No 1 Detective Agency, the childhood adventures of Precious Ramotswe. My daughter received one for her birthday. It was OK, but lacked that zing that makes a good book…

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