DROPPING OUT's Reviews > Portuguese Irregular Verbs

Portuguese Irregular Verbs by Alexander McCall Smith
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U 50x66
's review
May 07, 2009

really liked it

I finished reading this two nights ago and I stand my what I wrote previously. As I got farther into it and was accustomed to the syle, I found many funny moments indeed. The "entertainment" is perhaps one of those things like Kaslamata olives - You either love them or hate them, but for some are an acquired taste.

It is interesting to read the reactions of other readers. Some found the book to be hilarious, while others were bewildered. The crux of the problem, I believe, is to be found in the book's subtitle (as well as that of the others in the series,) namely, A Professor Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld Entertainment."

What is "an entertainment?" It can be definted as "something amusing." In the literary sense, the "entertainment" has been our of fashion in the English language since around World War II, the last great practitioner having been P.G. Wodehouse, whose tales of Bertie and Jeeves were largely brief humorous sketches, rather than short stories in themselves.

What Alexander McCall Smith has done is to resurrect a literary form for a younger generation for whom the form is not only foreign, but not often entertaining.

I am a good way into reading this first (of so far three) volume of "entertainment," and I find them rather good, even downright laugh-outloud funny, as they spoof the manners and mores of oh-so-proper Continental Europeans.

That said, I would understand it if any of my friends picked up this book and frankly failed to find it funny.

The "entertainment" was always more a British genre than American, so perhaps it is an acquired taste, like Marmite!
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