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The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs

(Portuguese Irregular Verbs #2)

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  5,397 ratings  ·  562 reviews
Professor Dr. von Igelfeld Entertainment – Book 2

The Professor Dr. von Igelfeld Entertainment series slyly skewers academia, chronicling the comic misadventures of the endearingly awkward Professor Dr. Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld, and his long-suffering colleagues at the Institute of Romantic Philology in Germany.

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Paperback, 128 pages
Published December 28th 2004 by Anchor (first published January 1st 2004)
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Average rating 3.70  · 
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 ·  5,397 ratings  ·  562 reviews

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Jason Koivu
Nov 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, comedy, humor
Professor Dr. von Igelfeld gets no respect, no respect I tell ya!

And it's no wonder! The height of his academic career has been the publication of an impossibly long tome on a very specific foreign language linguistic construct. It's his bloody life's work and no one wants to read it! So, when he's mistaken for a veterinarian and asked to preform surgery on a dachshund, a ridiculous dog if ever there was one, his ego wins the battle over common sense. Yes, dachshunds were indeed harmed in the wr
Mar 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is not my favourite of Alexander McCall Smith's series but it is still written in his delightful way with lots of humour and gentle mocking of people's foolishness.

In The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs it is the turn of Professor Dr. Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld and his colleagues at the Institute of romantic Philology in Germany to be exposed to view with all their faults and foibles. Von Igelfeld has a very high opinion of his own abilities and his standing in the world which leads him into a
Dec 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Warning: although this is a funny book with a pompous professor, it has an extreme bit with animal cruelty. So, if you are sensitive to that, even when it is supposed to be Monty Python funny, skip this book.
That being said, there are some funny parts, especially the last skit with the professor on a cruise with husband hunting matrons.
Lynn Pribus
Sep 04, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
What a disappointment. I like many of his other books which are populated (mostly) by likeable characters.

This one is about an insufferable man who, instead of confessing he isn't a vet when invited to a convention of veteranarians, goes ahead and operates on a poor dachshund, unnecessarily amputating three legs. I tried to persist, but in the next chapter he is justifying the mutilation. Too much of a dog lover to persist.

What a jerk!

Jan 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who like dogs, hedgehogs and gentle laughter
Shelves: ams, other-places
Humour is so individual.
A review I read said "If you like Mma Ramotswe you will hate Professor Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld. Well, sorry I love the Ladies Detective Agency series, but I also enjoy this series. I admire Mma R's independence, good sense and humanity, but I also have a sympathy for poor Igelfeld's bruised self-esteem and need for constant recognition, although in one of these stories he seems to discover another side to himself and his need for recognition and respect.
My son laughs
Jan 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Oh wow, I can't take it, Professor von Igelfeld is too funny. These books are short, sweet and such a riot. I usually CANNOT sympathize with self-important people, but him? I can very easily. He has me laughing out loud with the embarrassing, ridiculous situations he gets himself into and his constant belief that life is just not fair and he deserves better than his colleagues - because, after all, he DID write THE book on Portuguese Irregular Verbs. (Oh my gosh, I love it. After a surgery sadly ...more
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd never read Portuguese Irregular Verbs, but I just took some of my dad's old audiobooks off hands, and this was one of them. And hilarious! So hilarious! And weird! SO WEIRD. From Herr Doktor von Igelfeld being mistaken for a professor of veterinary science, to him making friends with the Pope, this crotchety German man seems to fall into the most extraordinary circumstances, and to come out . . . just as crotchety as ever! ...more
Brian Griffith
Sep 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lit
This book is absolutely ridiculous, and it's dangerous to read. I tried reading it aloud to my dad, who was trying to recover from a stroke, and was warned of what happened to other heart patients. The tale has a timeless quality of vintage idiocy. The license McCall Smith takes in ridiculing people's cultural and professional quirks is goes way beyond any genial ribbing. This is a casual wickedness that annihilates the separation between mutually ludicrous souls. ...more
May 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recentlyread
The second, and perhaps best, of the three novellas in the Professor Doktor von Igelfeld trilogy (published together in Britain, but not here, under the felicitous title "The 2 1/2 Pillars of Wisdom"). Little gems of academic satire!

Here's a snippet for my academic friends (they'll get it):

He sighed. It was not easy maintaining one's position as the author of Portuguese Irregular Verbs. Not only was there Unterholzer (and all that tiresome business with is dog), but von Igelfeld also had to cop
Hákon Gunnarsson
This is the second book in the series about German professor Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld, but the first one I read, and I have to admit I almost gave up on it. Humor can dance on the line between taste and tastelessness. Early on in this book there is a scene which to me stepped over that line in such a way that I almost gave up on the whole thing. If I ever meet the author in person, my first question will be:

How could you do that to that poor sausage dog?

But of course there is a point to the sce
I was trying to stock up on Alexander McCall Smith books and bought this one, not realizing at the time that it was the second in the series, but I don't think that hurt my reading at all.

Professor Dr. Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld is a rather arrogant professor of Portuguese philology at a German university who falls into all sorts of funny circumstances. Needing to visit the United States before a colleague beats him to it, he ends up lecturing a crowd of veterinarians, then ends up doing emergen
Apr 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I get why people would find this 0% funny, so I pretty much never recommend it to anyone. But, if you are interested in absurdly comic yet not vulgar vignettes about a self-important, socially inept German Romance philologist, this book is for you.

The book summary uses the word "light-footed." I would never have thought of this word, but it's perfectly selected.

'We're heading north,' said his host. 'We'll show you a typical hog operation.'
'Most intriguing,' said von Igelfeld. 'I am always intere
Jun 21, 2012 rated it did not like it
Maybe I missed something by not reading the first in the series, but I couldn't find a plot nor could I manage to get interested in the story. ...more
Jun 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Funnier than the first book, but more like a nice diversion than laugh-out-loud hilarious. I listened to it through Audible and Hugh Laurie's narration adds a lot to the enjoyment; plus the fact that these are short stories means it's easy to break them into small chunks to listen to for an hour or so at a time - great for the commute. ...more
Chris Pugh
Nov 04, 2019 rated it did not like it
I thought this was a dreadful book. Gruesome and disturbing. I can't imagine anyone enjoying it. ...more
Jun 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anne Price
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Professor Dr. Iglefeld is equally insufferable and endearing.
Mar 20, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs is a good, quick, relatively light-hearted read but I have to say I didn't find this book as funny or as entertaining as the first Professor Dr Von Igelfeld "entertainment", Portuguese Irregular Verbs , which started the series.

Von Igelfeld is a fantastically created character and I found his bumbling adventures in the first book hilarious but the sequences in this book were longer and fewer and I think therefore lost some of their humour for me.

Also I thin
Michelle Linton
Jul 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs is hilarious ridiculousness, covering incidents in the life of Professor Dr. von Igelfeld, a romance philology expert specializing in Portuguese irregular verbs.

The second installment in the series (I’ll be picking up the first next), this book follows von Igelfeld as he travels to America, is mistaken for a veterinary professor, and supervises the tragic amputation(s) of a sausage dog, mistakenly chastises the Pope for being loud in the Vatican library, and is a
Jan 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-books
I definitely enjoyed this book much more than the first one. Professor Dr. von Igelfeld cracks me up and deep down he is a very sweet and honest person....he is just VERY proud and easily offended by others. Which puts him in ridiculous situations (such as giving a lecture on sausage dogs and offending The Pope). This book is completely unrealistic (view spoiler), but very enj ...more
May 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
I read this series out of order, starting with #2 in the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series. I have read many of McCall Smith's books in the #1 Ladies Detective Agency series and in the 44 Scotland Street series and found them light-hearted and funny. This one is just tedious. It is a short novel about a German professor, Dr. Moritz-Maria who is an expert on the Portuguese language. Dr. Moritz-Maria waffles from arrogance to insecurity and gets himself in some strange situations because of it; in ...more
May 02, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: library
I just didn't get the humour in the book. Sure, main character of the book Dr Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld gets himself into the most absurd situations, in the weirdest ways. But after the whole book, I still canot identify with him. He is pompous and thinks himself as someone of great importance and intelligence. Needs to deflate ego, seriously.

Conclusion: mildly entertaining, at times due to the situations he gets himself in. Other times, boring.
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The 2nd book in the “Portugese Irregular Verbs” series follows the antics of Prof Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld, a pedantic german romance philologist. Moritz-Maria is constantly thwarted in his quest to be recognised as the foremost authority in Portugese Irregular Verbs. Hugh Laurie narrates and brings the stories to life beautifully. Each story is hilarious and of course sausage dogs figure heavily.
Jul 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Meet Professor Dr. von Igelfeld, a stuffy philologist who embarks on a number of absurd and hilarious adventures. This is the second of the series, and probably my favorite – a couple of scenes and many of the one-liners are among the funniest I've ever encountered in fiction. Provides a very unique perspective. Highly recommended. ...more
Kristi Lamont
Feb 24, 2019 rated it liked it
“How misguided can people be!” Indeed. As was Our Alexander McCall Smith, who in fact did not entertain with the surgery of the sausage dog. Otherwise this little romp about self-delusion would merit a delightful 4 stars.
Apr 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Laughter is the best medicine. This was so good. Tears rolling down my face. Audio version
Camelia Rose
Imagine a very tall German Mr. Bean who is also Frasier Crane! This person is Professor von Igelfeld!

The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs has some seriously good bookish humour.
Dixie Howard
Jul 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Witty, interesting read!
Paul Calhoun
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Institute of Romance Philology is back, along with the hapless and pompous Professor Doktor Mauritz Maria von Igelfeld.
(view spoiler)
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just love Alexander McCall Smith's work. My favorite series is The #1 Ladies Detective Agency, but I just always enjoy his books. This series about Professor Dr. von Igelfeld and his strange, to say the least, adventures is so funny. Mr. McCall Smith sense of humor is just perfect for me and this second book in the series was a quick read and was no disappointment. It just seems that if something can go wrong, it will. In this book, the chapters were a little more interrelated than in the firs ...more
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Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the international phenomenon The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, the Isabel Dalhousie Series, the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, and the 44 Scotland Street series. He is professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and has served on many national and international bodies concerned with bioethics. He was born in what ...more

Other books in the series

Portuguese Irregular Verbs (5 books)
  • Portuguese Irregular Verbs (Portuguese Irregular Verbs, #1)
  • At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances (Portuguese Irregular Verbs, #3)
  • Unusual Uses for Olive Oil (Portuguese Irregular Verbs, #4)
  • Your Inner Hedgehog (Portuguese Irregular Verbs, #5)

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“Sorry about your sausage dog.” 17 likes
“Von Igelfeld was not sure. He remembered reading that Hume believed that our minds vibrated in sympathy, and that this ability – to vibrate in unison with one another – was the origin of the ethical impulse. And Schopenhauer’s moral theory was about feeling, was it not; so perhaps they were one and the same phenomenon.” 0 likes
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