Book Review

#20 Book Review

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The Sunday Philosophy Club

by Alexander McCall Smith

“There was a distinction between lying and telling half-truths, but it was a very narrow one.”

Genre: Fiction

I don’t know since how many years I had at home a few books by Alexander McCall Smith, probably since five or more years.
I have had always in my mind the desire to read them, but there was always another title that inspired my most, so, as a result, they remained where they were.
But as soon as March has started, I took one of them and read it in less then 72 hours.
The books I own, or I should say my mum owns because she bought them, are the first five ones from Isabel Dalhousie’s series, and the edition I have are simply gorgeous.
Generally speaking, I really liked the book I read – n.1 of this series is The Sunday Philosophy Club – because it reminded me Miss Marple’s stories but with something new.
The setting is fantastic, Edinburgh, a city that for me has something mysterious in its buildings, monuments etc., the story is told in an easy and interesting way, because there are no inspectors or police men, they act in the darkness, outside the pages of the book.
The character of Isabel is, in a way, a good one; we may simply describe her as a good woman, but there were a few things about her and also about the way in which the story is told that I would have changed if I had written the book.
Firstly, sometimes she is too much acculturated, too much, and she risks to become annoying and dreary, like the kind of people you would never talk with.
Secondly, the author talks to much about Kant, the philosopher, and while describing an action or a particular moment of the story, like as if he suddenly changes his mind, he start talking about philosophy stuffs, and mainly about Kant, and interrupts the narration.
It was a bit redundant for me, but maybe someone who has a deep interest in philosophy may find it stimulating and interesting.
Then, I absolutely don’t like the ending; I won’t spoil it, but in my opinion it seems as if the author didn’t know how to end his story and decided to do it in a simple way.
The only thing I can say is that I personally don’t like the way in which Isabel behaves in the last chapter.
That’s all, I can’t say too much.
Because of the ending I voted with four stars out of five.
But if you like Agatha Christie’s books, or crime fiction in general, this is a book and a series that you should read.
Now I am sure I want to keep on reading Isabel’s series, hopping that the next ones have better endings.

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