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The Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith
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Jul 04, 2010

it was amazing
Read in July, 2010

The novel starts off at a slow and leisurely pace, at least as far as getting into the actual cases that Mma Ramotswe and her secretary/Assistant Detective, Mma Grace Makutsi, investigate, but that just leaves more time for enjoying the characters and set-up. I really love the titles that Alexander McCall Smith comes up with for the chapters, like the first one, “You Do Not Change People By Shouting At Them,” and “Teapots and Efficiency,” “A Man’s Face is like the Very Land,” and “How to Love Your Country Again.” The title of the first chapter is a saying of his wife’s that Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni recalls as a car passes him on “the unpaved verge of the road.” Matekoni feels like leaning on his horn and flashing his lights, but he realizes that would be another sort of way of shouting at someone who’s been rude, and that “sounding one’s horn, shouting–these were much the same things, and achieved equally little....Precious has told Grace she’ll pay all of the expenses for the trip, and in one of the novel’s several humorous scenes, Grace takes this to mean that Precious will also pay for her to get new suede boots, as they are necessary protection against the snakes they’re sure to encounter. This is not at all what Precious is referring to by “expenses,” but she thinks to herself that Grace has not had much given to her in her life, and that she deserves something special now and then, so she buys both of them new boots. Grace and others sometimes take advantage of Mma Ramotswe’s kindness, but Precious never seems to mind (very much, anyway). She’s too good-natured, and feels it’s a small price to pay.
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