By Alexander McCall Smith

ISBN-10: 0748110798

ISBN-13: 9780748110797

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Take his colleague Professor Dr Detlev Amadeus Unterholzer, for instance. Firstly, there was the name: to be called Detlev was a misfortune, but to add that ridiculous Mozartian pretension to it, and then to culminate in Unterholzer was to 3 gild a turnip. But if one then considered Unterholzer’s general circumstances, then Pelion was surely piled upon Ossa. Unterholzer had the double misfortune of coming from an obscure potato-growing area somewhere, a place completely without consequence, and of being burdened in this life with a large and inelegant nose.

It was a splendid, mirrored room, in which men in dark, shapeless suits leaned against the counter drinking black stout. The barman greeted O’Leary with the same warmth that seemed to herald his every appearance in Cork. ‘Now then, Paddy,’ said the white-aproned tender. ’ Paddy! thought von Igelfeld. ’ The drinks poured, O’Leary guided von Igelfeld towards a section of the bar, where two of the men in dark suits were standing. ‘Fitz, my friend,’ said one of the men, slapping O’Leary on the back.

L. Singh, of Chandighar. As the great Indian philologist (author of Terms of Ritual Abuse in the Creditor/Debtor Relationship in Village India) ascended the platform, there emanated from the audience a strange sound; an inspiration of breath or a spontaneous communal sigh – it was difficult to tell which. Those delegates nearest the door were able to creep out without too much disturbance; those closer to the platform were trapped. Amongst the escapees was von Igelfeld, who spent the next two hours in the Cathedral Museum, admiring the illuminated manuscripts.

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The 21⁄2 Pillars of Wisdom: A Von Igelfeld Novel by Alexander McCall Smith


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