Friday, August 12, 2011

Alexander Mccall Smith - Cozy and Prolific, Yet Intelligent

Alexander McCall Smith is probably best known for the Number One Ladies Detective Agency series.  While I haven't actually read that series, I feel safe in recommending it just knowing how very homey and well written his Sunday Philosophy Club, and Corduroy Mansion books are. 

His characters span the generations, from children to middle aged folks, which I find to be unusual in modern books.  We live in a society divided by class, race and age and we tend to create stories and experiences with one point of view in mind rather than the tangle of variously aged and situated folks that really exist.  Mr. Smith's ability to appreciate the tangle may be what makes his worlds seem both both textured and nostalgic. 

Reading a McCall Smith novel is like slipping into a chapter of the early 1900's, in which the world has become more liberal and technologically advanced, yet retained old-world manners and traditions.  Smith creates a network of characters linked organically into settings that are integral to the story rather than a background for random plot.  A visit with his Isabel Dalhousie is a trip to Edinburgh, a walk through life that could not exist elsewhere without drastic reconstruction and a personality transplant. 

Craving some heavy action and suspense?  Well, don't look between these comforting covers.  Rather, curl up with Smith when  you are feeling like a walk in different shoes after a hard day at work or a harried day with the family.  Your blood-pressure will plummet with every word, and your smile will creep right back out from under your nose.

1 comment:

  1. I love McCall Smith books! It's nice to see your post about them - makes them feel like less of a guilty pleasure, and just a pleasure!