Overview from www.bn.com: Welcome to the insane and rarified world of Professor Dr. Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld of the Institute of Romance Philology. Von Igelfeld is engaged in a never-ending quest to win the respect he feels certain he is due–a quest which has the tendency to go hilariously astray.
In Portuguese Irregular Verbs, Professor Dr von Igelfeld learns to play tennis, and forces a college chum to enter into a duel that results in a nipped nose. He also takes a field trip to Ireland where he becomes acquainted with the rich world of archaic Irishisms, and he develops an aching infatuation with a Dentist fatale. Along the way, he takes two ill-fated Italian sojourns, the first merely uncomfortable, the second definitely dangerous.
While at the library I found the section of books written by Alexander McCall Smith. I had always meant to get around to reading one of his books in the Ladies’ Detective Agency series. And with that aim, I looked for the perfect book to start with; however the first book I picked up had a description that seemed to suggest that I should know something about all these characters before I read. Seeing as I don’t know any of them, I put it aside.
Then I found Portuguese Irregular Verbs. Thinking it had been misfiled I picked it up to look at it but it was marked fiction and the author was also Mr. Smith. This got me curious. And since it was only one hundred pages or so, I decided to give it a shot. I am glad I did.
This was one of the funniest, most delightful books I have ever read. The size of it along with the humorous story would make it perfect for any summer reading list.
Dr. Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld is the Rodney Dangerfield of the linguistics world—he gets no respect. The book calls him a professor of Romance Philology, a word I had to look up but basically means his a linguistics expert.
The good doctor takes great pride in his accomplishments as well as his aristocratic heritage. He is nearly always put out however when his mentor and then his colleagues manage to steal most of his thunder. The only thing he has managed to rightfully claim as his own is his book entitled, you guessed it, Portuguese Irregular Verbs.
As the doctor travels around the world seeking true love, as well as academic recognition, he faces many perils. Some are merely annoying. Others are downright scary. But one thing they all have in common—they are all hilarious. Pick up a copy this summer and you’ll see for yourself what I mean.
Contains: some mention of pornography but it is really not that bad at all.
Below is a video of the author discussing this series.