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My Italian Bulldozer by Alexander McCall Smith

My Italian Bulldozer

Relationship Stories   Books of the Month   Books of the Year 2016   Literary Fiction   Reading Groups   Romantic Fiction   Sagas and Romance   eBook Favourites   

RRP £14.99

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One of our Books of the Year 2016.

June 2016 Book of the Month.

A fabulously quirky, ‘standalone’ romance-cum-farce from this feel-good author. Abandoned by his long-time girlfriend, travel writer Paul goes to Tuscany to research his next book. Arrangements are made but upon arrival no car is available. Enter one bulldozer, a wacky scenario which results in some charming pieces. Paul enters village life and that atmosphere is vividly and warmly described. Attempting to rescue an American ‘damsel in distress’ he falls instantly in love. Then long-time girlfriend turns up and life gets complicated. Full of joy and wellbeing, of sunshine and wine this affectionate, gently tale, a love triangle, or possibly a love square as more women seem to enter Paul’s life, is a sheer delight from start to finish. Highly recommended. ~ Sarah Broadhurst

A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher...

'Alexander McCall Smith is fantastic at writing about Italy: its food & wine, its music, the history, the landscape and la bella figura. Onto this beautiful canvas he’s introduced una macchina colossale– a bulldozer.

Only McCall Smith has the literary dexterity to pull this off. Funny, elegant and moving – occasionally earth-moving – this book is a joy; you’ll be swept away, literally.' ~ Neville Moir, Publishing Director, Polygon

If you like Alexander McCall Smith you might also like to read books by Celestine Hitiura Vaite, Robert Goddard and Marina Lewycka.

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. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Rachel Aygin - 'Alexander McCall Smith’s effortless writing style is a pleasure to read.  His books are full of wonderful, quirky and believable characters and this one is no exception.'
  • Angie Rhodes - 'With the fantastic descriptions of Tuscany, the sights, sounds and people, Alexander McCall Smith manages to whisk you away on this amazing journey along with Paul from the comfort of your own armchair. Just perfect!!'
  • Suzanne Marsh - 'The balance of this book with Contemporary/crime and laugh out loud moments has everything a reader can possible want. I highly recommend buying and reading book.'
  • Ann Alderton - 'Written with gentle charm and wit, the story of Paul Stuart, a food writer who escapes to the Tuscan hills to finish his latest book, is a feel-good read which is both compelling and engaging.'
  • Beverley Davenport  - 'Some wonderful insights into the food, wine, landscape and culture of Tuscany add to this deliciously fun read.'
  • Rachael Anderson - 'An easy, amusing standalone novel.'
  • Jacqueline Passfield - 'An amusing and entertaining romp around the Italian countryside - a delightful holiday read.'
  • Wendy Stubbs - 'A writer, a bulldozer and the Italian countryside, all add up to make an immensely enjoyable light hearted read. A slow but eventful journey through Italy, makes a fab read.'
  • Edel Waugh - 'This was a delightful story about the ups and downs of love, the power of a fresh start and the delightful people and scenery of the Italian countryside told with plenty of humour.'
  • Alison Bisping - 'I loved it from the moment I started until the moment it ended...Enjoy it and be prepared to fall in love with Italy - if you don't already.'
  • Manisha - 'I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is well written and has some funny bits which make it an easy and relaxing read.'
  • Sarah Tilley - 'A delightful read - perfect for this year's summer holiday especially if you are having your own Italian adventure.'
  • Mary Chapman - 'I am a lover of Alexander McCall Smith and have read so many of his books and loved them all but know this book is not going to join the list.'
  • Julie Collins - 'An interesting read, sometimes funny, sometimes sad. The characters are a strange mix but each brings something different to the story. Surprising subject matter but it works.'
  • Phylippa Smithson - 'Read this and am confused. Is it a cookery-wine review book, Tuscan tourist guide, reflection on Italians and their culture, or a love story? Still don’t know the answer.'

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My Italian Bulldozer by Alexander McCall Smith

When writer Paul Stewart heads to the idyllic Italian town of Montalcino to finish his already late book, it seems like the perfect escape from stressful city life. Upon landing, however, things quickly take a turn for the worse when he discovers his hired car is nowhere to be found. With no record of any reservation and no other cars available it looks like Paul is stuck at the airport. That is, until an enterprising stranger offers him an unexpected alternative. While there may be no cars available there is something else on offer: a bulldozer.

With little choice in the matter, Paul accepts and so begins a series of laugh out loud adventures through the Italian countryside, following in the wake of Paul and his Italian Bulldozer. A story of unexpected circumstance and lesson in making the best of what you have, My Italian Bulldozer is a warm holiday read guaranteed to put a smile on your face.


'Full of joy and wellbeing, of sunshine and wine this affectionate, gently tale, a love triangle, or possibly a love square as more women seem to enter Paul's life, is a sheer delight from start to finish. Highly recommended' - Lovereading; 'With a title like My Italian Bulldozer, you just know that people will pick it up to see what the heck it's all about. [One thing is] the idea of human warmth which is always at the heart of Sandy's writing' - Janice Forsyth, BBC Radio Scotland; 'Something refreshingly original,... deliciously farcical... A gentle book, but also a gently radical one' - Roger Cox, Scotsman; 'Alexander McCall Smith's novels are always a delightful mixture of humour, humanity and observation. Just as at home in Italy as in Botswana, he depicts the people of Tuscany in this novel with a verve that makes me long to go back' - Country Life; 'Once again Alexander McCall Smith has managed to enchant, and whisk away the reader' - 5 stars, Angie Rhodes,; 'There are all the things I love about AMS's stories in this book, with extreme silliness described in the most gentle, believable way. ...His characters are diverse, thought-provoking and entertaining, and his descriptions of the small village of Montalcino and the surrounding countryside left me wanting to plan a holiday to Italy. ... another delight to sink into an armchair with' - Ruth Ng,'

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

19th May 2016


Alexander McCall Smith

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Polygon An Imprint of Birlinn Limited an imprint of Birlinn General


240 pages


Relationship Stories
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