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Fatty O'Leary's Dinner Party by Alexander McCall Smith
  

Fatty O'Leary's Dinner Party

Family Drama   Books of the Month   Literary Fiction   Reading Groups   Relationship Stories   eBook Favourites   

RRP £9.99

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Winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize 2015.

One of our Books of the Year 2014.

A scrumptious, joyous read, stuffed full of sharp wit, laugh out loud frolics and gentle soothing compassion. Fatty and his loving, loyal saint of a wife Betty leave the comforts of home for a holiday to Ireland in 1979. A number of lamentable and often laughable events befall Fatty and because she is at his side, Betty too. The author as well as pointing out the ridiculous, also allows us to see Fatty from Betty’s eyes and therefore opens ours. Completely charming, this is a little gem of a book and an absolute pleasure to read. ~ Liz Robinson

September 2014 Book of the Month.

The third in The Austen project, a reworking of Emma written by Alexander McCall Smith, is published in November 2014. The first two in this project are already published and include Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollope and Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid. A reworking of Pride and Prejudice by Curtis Sittenfeld is scheduled for 2015.

If you like Alexander McCall Smith you might also like to read books by Jonas Jonasson, Garrison Keillor and Nicholas Drayson.


The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. Cornelius ‘Fatty’ O’Leary and his devoted wife Betty take a trip from their home in Arkansas to Ireland, from whence Fatty’s grandfather set out to make his fortune many years earlier. Hopeful that his ancestral land would be full of delights and that the holiday would be memorable for all the right reasons, Fatty finds himself beset by a series of misfortunes and humiliations, indignities and embarrassments, and he returns home a little wiser and more self-aware. This ‘literary amuse bouche’ puts its genial main character through trial by ordeal, but happily gives its amply proportioned hero the last laugh.
~ Karen Howlett

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

  • Ray Orgill - 'A very attractive little book with a hard back cover and quality paper which would make a pocket-size present for anyone in need of cheering up.' Read full review>
  • Suzanne Marsh - 'What readers can expect from Fatty O'Leary's Dinner Party is that it is full of humour and a must read short novel.  I highly recommend Fatty O'Leary's Dinner Party to all readers.' Read full review>
  • Angie Rhodes - 'Considering this is only a slim book, Alexander has managed to get the reader so involved with the characters, so much, you find yourself not wanting the book to end.' Read full review>
  • Janet Gilliard - 'This cute little book is a stand alone novella...It is a story of the value of friendship. I shall be trying more books by this author.' Read full review>
  • Ann Peet - 'Some amusing bits but not up to his usual high standard.' Read full review>
  • Phylippa Smithson - 'I am not a big fan of McCall Smith –find his work too ‘lite weight’ – but this one has somewhat changed by view.  I loved Fatty!' Read full review>
  • Les Warriner - 'The jury is still out. ...in much the same way as Victor Meldrew, it is indeed a black comedy with a twist in the tale.' Read full review>
  • Jillian McFrederick - 'The vindication as revealed in the last pages gives us a glimpse of hope and humanity, rounding off the story in a satisfactory way.' Read full review>
  • Elisabeth Thomas - 'Not Alexander McCall Smith at his best.' Read full review>
  • Susan Walsh - 'Hilariously funny in parts with a few real Irish twists...This will have you smiling as you read. Very well written & immensely enjoyable.' Read full review>
  • Christine Phillips - 'The situations Fatty finds himself in are very funny and I liked him and his wife. I was on their side throughout the book.' Read full review>

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Synopsis

Fatty O'Leary's Dinner Party by Alexander McCall Smith

His loving wife Betty plans a trip to Ireland for his 40th birthday and almost immediately things go wrong: the seats in economy class on the plane are too small; Irish bathroom furniture is not as commodious as he'd have liked. And all the time Fatty must put up with the unthinking cruelty of strangers. In an hilarious and touching portrayal of a kindly and misunderstood soul, McCall Smith has created yet another memorable character who will become an instant favourite to his many fans.

Reviews

'McCall Smith's generous writing and dry humour, his gentleness and humanity, and his ability to evoke a place and a set of characters without caricature or condescension have endeared his books to readers' - The New York Times

About the Author

Alexander McCall Smith

Alexander McCall Smith was our Guest Editor in July 2011 - click here - to see the books that inspired his writing.

Alexander McCall Smith is one of the world’s most prolific and most popular authors. His career has been a varied one: for many years he was a professor of Medical Law and worked in universities in the United Kingdom and abroad. Then, after the publication of his highly successful No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, which has sold over twenty-five million copies, he devoted his time to the writing of fiction and has seen his various series of books translated into forty-six languages and become bestsellers through the world. These include the Scotland Street novels, first published as a serial novel in the Scotsman newspaper, the Isabel Dalhousie novels, the von Igelfeld series, and the Corduroy Mansions series, novels which started life as a delightful (but challenging to write) cross-media serial, written on the website of the Telegraph Media Group. This series won two major cross-media awards - Association of Online Publishers Digital Publishing Award 2009 for a Cross Media Project and the New Media Age award. Alexander is also the author of collections of short stories, academic works, and over thirty books for children. He has received numerous awards for his writing, including the British Book Awards Author of the Year Award in 2004 and a CBE for service to literature in 2007. He holds honorary doctorates from nine universities in Europe and North America. In March 2011 he received an award from the President of Botswana for his services through literature to that country. Alexander McCall Smith lives in Edinburgh. He is married to a doctor and has two daughters.

Click here to read an exclusive interview with Alexander McCall Smith by Mary Hogarth.

A Lovereading guide to the works of Alexander McCall Smith...

The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency was first published in 1998 and then, suddenly, it took off in America to the extent that no less than11 reprints were required in 2003.

Since then, so prolific has been his output, and so has his popularity soared, that there was a time when the sheer multitude of McCall Smith's books led to confusion as to which book fitted into each of the various series under which he writes. One has hardly been able to keep up with the sheer abundance of books published - we reckon at least thirty in less than a decade.

Now, thankfully, things have settled down and the legions of McCall Smiths avid fans can compartmentalise his new books into the four main series under which they sit - The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency Series, The Isabel Dalhousie Novels, The 44 Scotland Street Series and The Corduroy Mansions Series with a few more on top!

There are constant features across the whole panoply of McCall Smith's output. Wry and witty observations about the day-to-day lives of normal people. An innocence and delight in the human condition. And, always, a twinkle on the eye shared by writer and reader. He is a happy writer and that makes for happy readers.

He is best known for the following 4 series of novels (they are shown below in the order they were published) :-

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Tears of the Giraffe, Morality for Beautiful Girls, The Kalahari Typing School for Men, The Full Cupboard of Life, In the Company of Cheerful Ladies, Blue Shoes and Happiness, The Good Husband of Zebra Drive, The Miracle at Speedy Motors, Tea Time for the Traditionally Built, The Double Comfort Safari Club, The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party, The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection, The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon, The Handsome Man's De Luxe Cafe, The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine, Precious and Grace.

Isabel Dalhousie series: The Sunday Philosophy Club,Friends, Lovers, Chocolate, The Right Attitude to Rain, The Careful Use of Compliments, The Comfort of Saturdays, The Lost Art of Gratitude, The Charming Quirks of Others, The Forgotten Affairs of Youth, The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds, The Novel Habits of Happiness.

44 Scotland Street series: 44 Scotland Street, Espresso Tales, Love Over Scotland, The World According to Bertie, The Unbearable Lightness of Scones, The Importance of Being Seven, Bertie Plays the Blues, Sunshine on Scotland Street, Bertie's Guide to Life and Mothers, The Revolving Door of Life, The Bertie Project, A Time of Love and Tartan.

Corduroy Mansions Series: Corduroy Mansions, The Dog Who Came in from the Cold, A Conspiracy of Friends.

Author Photo © Graham Clark

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Book Info

Publication date

7th August 2014

Author

Alexander McCall Smith

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Author's Website

www.alexandermccallsmith.co...

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Publisher

Polygon An Imprint of Birlinn Limited an imprint of Birlinn General

Format

Hardback
176 pages

Categories

Family Drama
Books of the Month
Literary Fiction
Reading Groups
Relationship Stories
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9781846973000

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