Stephanie's Reviews > The Kalahari Typing School for Men

The Kalahari Typing School for Men by Alexander McCall Smith
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Aug 16, 10

Read in August, 2010

My colleague and I have recently groused together that a certain novelist who writes a certain set of trashy novels to which we are both addicted, is such a poor writer that even though the novels are set in Lousiana, when we read the dialogue what we hear in our minds' ears are the voices of people just like us who live in the Pacific Northwest. And upon reading these admittedly addicting trashy novels, I have no reason to picture the heat and damp and mosquitos with which I know Louisiana must be afflicted, because the author does nothing to help me imagine the setting.

Nothing can be further from the writing of Alexander McCall Smith, author of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, of which The Kalahari Typing School for Men is the first book I've read. When I read the words on Mr. Smith's pages, I hear the measured lilt of a Botswana accent, and his characters have such rich inner lives that I am able to nod with satisfaction that each is behaving according to his own character. Mr. Smith's writing is beautiful and wonderfully evocative; I can imagine the garage, the house, the bush, the little white van, the cattle with their beautiful eyes, and the field with its endless sky. The pace of his story was slow, as measured and lilting as a Botswana voice must surely be, and the story's arc was satisfying. I will read more books in this series.
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