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Alexander McCall Smith
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By lilian
Format:Audio CD
I thoroughly enjoyed this book (as well as the sequel). The moral discussions included in the plot are intriguing. The characters are interesting and unpredictable. There is a sparing quality and deceptive simplicity to this writer's prose that I admire.
I was sorry when the book ended and hope there will be many more in this outstanding series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My Philosophy is . . . Dec 8 2004
The latest effort, THE SUNDAY PHILOSOPHY CLUB, from best-selling author, Smith, is a great addition to his canon. The premise is as good as anything else you'll find in a boostore, and the execution is ingenious. An editor for a hilosophical journal, Isabel Dalhousie spends a lot fo time thinking about thorny issues like truth, morality,and social responsibility. And she also likes to try and solve problems, especially the problems of people she knows--even the ones of people she barely knows. One evening, Isabel is attending a performance by the Reykjavik Symphony in Usher Hall, when a man suddenly tumbles down from the top tier to his death. Isabel is traumatized by this unexpected tragedy and she resolves to find out if the victim, Mark Fraser, was pushed or fell accidentally. I found the character of Isabel Dalhousie intriguing and refreshing. Look for this stellar book to keep its place on the best-seller list. I also very much enjoyed a new title called THE CHILDREN'S CORNER by Jackson McCrae--it's a collection of stories about types of loss--personal, physical, emotional, and not a book for children. Highly recommendced along with SUNDAY.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Don't believe the negative reviews! Oct. 19 2004
There's possibly something to be said for negative reviews in that I wasn't expecting much after reading them. That said, I found myself in an excellent novel, THE SUNDAY PHILOSOPHY CLUB. What a find! I absolutely loved this book. Mix murder and ethics together, along with a wonderful setting (Edinburgh) and you've got the formula for something equally as good as THE NO. 1 LADIES DETECTIVE AGENCY. The protagonist in this snappy new book is Isabel Dalhousie. She's single and quite independent and women should take to her right away. But what makes this book different is the dialogues about ethics and what responsibilities we all have to each other. Not in a preachy way, but in an entertaining and enlightening way. And isn't that what you really want in a good book?
I would also recommend another great book that I recently read. It is TOTALLY different from this one, but then, why would you want to read the same thing? It's called THE BARK OF THE DOGWOOD and it's hysterical and harrowing, all between the same covers. But whatever you do, please, please, please read this one first.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Authentic and engaging ... for a while Aug. 8 2005
As a former resident of Edinburgh (not too far from where Isabel lives), I can vouch for the skill with which Mr McCall brings the setting to life. And I found Isabel's philosophical musings thought-provoking and entertaining. As a mood and brain piece, therefore, it was evocative and engaging. But the mystery aspect of the tale was badly let down by the ending: flat, dreich and damp as an October afternoon in Edinburgh's Meadows. The run-up had promised so much more, and I'd hoped for a really challenging, mind-stretching revelation that would have made sense of some of the minor characters' actions. It doesn't happen.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not the same spark as Ladies Detective Agency.... Nov. 12 2004
I ran out and got this book because I had thoroughly enjoyed the Ladies Detective Agency series by A McCall Smith.
I find that the main character is not likeable. In Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency Mma Ramotswe is a likeable character despite her imposition of morals onto others. There is a certain charm that generates reader interest. I don't find that to be the case in this book at all.
I am not even finished the book yet but I don't know if I will be able to get through it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars It will do in a pinch... June 5 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Although I read it in its entirety, I wasn't captivated by this book. I found the author's habit of providing information about a range of topics while telling the story distracting. I also found the plot rather simplistic. It didn't inspire me to pursue the series.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Gads! Jan. 28 2007
The real story begins at page 152. In the meantime, the book presents modern day spinster-hood dwelling both in both shallow philosophy and in shallow lifestyle. It should be a success in the like environment, where love is simply a frustrated feeling carrying on for some time, with no care for persons nor life.
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