I finished reading Alexander McCall Smith’s “The Sunday Philosophy Club” last night, and feel the best description of this book would be ‘kak’. [Since the “bookclub” (well, we have books, we sometimes read them) to which I belong has defined two categories into which all reading matter falls – either ‘kak’ or ‘nice’ – I thought I would stick to those terms!!]
Jeez, this book sucked!!! I was wondering when the real story would begin, even when the novel came to an abrupt and completely unsatisfactory end, though I was damn pleased it had finally ended. The lead character Isabel was meddlesome, pompous and self-important. I got the sense that even the author didn’t really like her. And why does McCall Smith insist on writing from a female’s perspective? I’ve only read two of his books, and one chapter of a third, and all of them are lead by a female. Does he feel that he has some sort of insight into the feminine psyche that others lack? Does he think that it must be pleasing to his female audience that he shows such remarkable understanding? HA!! Let me not be too unkind…I suppose since he’s written about 2 billion novels he must have had at least one male lead who surely could not be as unengaging as Isabel Dalhousie!
Filled with drivel about pseudo-deep philosophical ponderings, and an abundance of bracketed asides (a peeve hilariously and astutely pointed out to me by my friend Golden Beagle in another group of stories she recently read,) this book is ridiculous. The Sunday Philosophy Club never meets – never, not once. Is that meant to be ironic/funny? The characters barely exist.
This novel is just dreary and flat, and is the kind of book that should be left behind accidently on holiday.