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Extended Audio Sample At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances Audiobook, by Alexander McCall Smith Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,026 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alexander McCall Smith Narrator: Paul Hecht Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Professor Dr. von Igelfeld Entertainments Release Date: December 2004 ISBN: 9781440795503
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Maybe Dr. von Igelfeld can finally find the dignity he craves. He suffers the slings of academic intrigue as a visiting fellow at Cambridge. But his circumstances also change when he stumbles into an eventful Colombian adventure. A charming conclusion to Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “In the halls of academe, a setting fraught with ego-driven battles for power and prestige [Alexander McCall Smith] has rendered yet another one-of-a-kind character: the bumbling but brilliant Dr. Mortiz-Maria von Igelfeld[a] deftly rendered trilogy [with] endearingly eccentric characters.”

    Chicago Sun-Times

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Pam | 2/18/2014

    " Read this book after I had read some of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series back in the early 2000s and it just wasn't as good. I do read and appreciate the No. 1 Ladies Detetive Agency series, the Isabel Dalhousie series, the 44 Scotland Street series and the Corduroy Mansions series. I try to read them as soon as a new one is published and highly recommend them! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jan | 2/16/2014

    " Amusing end to this series. Not as good as the No. 1 Ladies detective agency from this same author, but an easy 'listen'. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Abby | 2/12/2014

    " these books are so silly, but in the best way! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachel | 2/4/2014

    " I preferred the first two books in this series, but there were still lots of hilarious moments in this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Judy | 2/1/2014

    " The audio version was delightful, like all of Alexandre McCall Smith's books. However, this was a little slow until the Professor goes to Columbia. Also, it seems like the characters are beginning to sound more like one another. I could swear I heard Mme Ramotswe and Isobel Dalhoughsie phrases in his speech. Could I be hearing things? Hmmm "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lorene | 1/26/2014

    " More of his zaniness in this hilarious series. Portuguese Irregular Verbs remains my favorite, but they're all silly and entertaining. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nicole Marble | 1/26/2014

    " Droll. In a world of 'dumb and dumber', gentle droll humor is rare and Alexander McCall Smith is a master. A short book; charming and borderline silly. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Helen | 1/22/2014

    " Again, not as good as his other series, but a quick read for a quiet afternoon. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mom | 1/19/2014

    " Listened to this on a road trip and found it extremely humorous. It's not a thinker. It's just for fun. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Megan | 1/1/2014

    " Actually quite cute. I haven't read the predecessors in this series (Portuguese Irregular Verbs and The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs)... "On Being Light Blue" wasn't terribly funny to me; however, "At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances" is witty and charming! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Good Reads Over Coffee Book Club Wells | 12/29/2013

    " At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances is part of the Professor Van Engle felt Series which continues with a humorous mocking of academic snobbery. Just read it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leigh Roberts | 12/25/2013

    " Von igelfeld strikes again. Tears rolled down my face for this one "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Casie | 11/23/2013

    " A german professor, who is very literal, has difficulty navigating the dry wit of Cambridge. He is further challenged by the emotional and volatile climate of Columbia. I LOVE this character. And listening to this on CD with the accents is sheer delight with the occasional chuckle. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sonia | 11/5/2013

    " Well, the ending is pretty unbelievable, but the book was a fun read nonetheless. This author always manages to incorporate into his books the weird things that are going on in the real world. And, his portrayal of the world of academia is hilarious. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laura | 10/20/2013

    " This is by far the most preposterous of the three books in this series. The president of Columbia? Really? I did find all the complaining about English (British) culture pretty amusing but the second half of the book just went downhill for me. Oh well. I guess I can't love all the AMS books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim Bray | 10/14/2013

    " Not as good as the other books in the series but worth the read only to find out how the the Prof. becomes the president of Colombia "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lucy | 4/9/2013

    " A good one, but I still think the best of these three was The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs: SO funny. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 J B Mills | 2/12/2013

    " Not as good as the first 2 :(. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynne | 2/8/2013

    " Third in the series featuring Romance Philologist Prof. Von Igelberg. Just as silly and fun as the first two. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Shannon | 2/5/2013

    " I just didn't really like this one - really couldn't get to liking the characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lorna | 1/10/2013

    " This is a humorous book in a series about a German Professor and his hilarious adventures. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michale | 10/14/2012

    " Now in a holding pattern waiting for von Igelfeld's return! Meanwhile, will introduce Gabe to 44 Scotland Street series. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chuck Bradley | 8/1/2012

    " Amazingly droll Brit humour! Best read in some time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Peter | 5/14/2012

    " The third Dr Igelfeld book. Always fun, quick, refreshing reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 4/11/2012

    " another in the series with the sausage dogs book. Like the #1 Dectective series much better "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelley | 2/18/2012

    " My favorite of the series of three....and these professors may be my most favorite of McCall Smith characters....they crack me up....it is a German Seinfeld with a little more sophistication and a lot less sex. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Becky | 7/11/2011

    " Laughing out loud. Loved the series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marilyn | 6/29/2011

    " At last, our hero really becomes a hero and finds he doesn't much like it. He does come of honorably in the end, though, even for a farce, it's a bit hard to believe. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Debbie | 6/12/2011

    " Over the past few years, I listened to a number of McCall's books, including the first two in this series. I have to admit, I enjoyed those two more than this one - although there were some laugh out loud parts. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deborah | 6/6/2011

    " Very funny if you understand Germans. I wish McCall Smith had written more books in this series! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Abby | 4/18/2011

    " these books are so silly, but in the best way! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kirsten | 4/3/2011

    " I wish that the professor could find a suitably eccentric wife! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sara | 2/20/2011

    " Fun fun fun reading. Short too! You can read in a day. This is #3 in the series "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharman | 2/6/2011

    " Very entertaining! Witty and wacky! Great cheering-up book (like all his books.) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sylvia | 1/16/2011

    " Third in the trilogy--not as great as the others but disarmingly charming. Have read and re-read this series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Casie | 11/21/2010

    " A german professor, who is very literal, has difficulty navigating the dry wit of Cambridge. He is further challenged by the emotional and volatile climate of Columbia. I LOVE this character. And listening to this on CD with the accents is sheer delight with the occasional chuckle. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sofia | 11/3/2010

    " I can't say I recommend the series. I kinda feel sorry that I bought them. Will have to off-load them sooner rather than later. Too bad. Seemed promising at the outset. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Becky | 10/25/2010

    " Laughing out loud. Loved the series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jan | 10/25/2010

    " Amusing end to this series. Not as good as the No. 1 Ladies detective agency from this same author, but an easy 'listen'. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachel | 10/21/2010

    " I preferred the first two books in this series, but there were still lots of hilarious moments in this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carrie | 10/18/2010

    " A nice little lark to fill a little free time on the weekend or on a flight. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily | 9/5/2010

    " I really enjoyed this series, though the first two were more entertaining than this one. But there's a really funny bit about a bathroom that reminded me of Sheldon from Big Bang Theory, so that was fun. Anyway, great book, fun quick light read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrew | 8/28/2010

    " This was probably my least favorite of the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, but it was still pretty good. They all read really fast, and are funny. They are about a German professor who thinks he's a lot more important than he really is. "

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About the Author
Author Alexander McCall Smith

Alexander McCall Smith is the New York Times bestselling author of the No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, the Isabel Dalhousie series, the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, and the 44 Scotland Street series. He has also written numerous stand-alone novels, books for children, and nonfiction works. He is professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and has served with many national and international organizations concerned with bioethics. He was born in what is now known as Zimbabwe and taught law at the University of Botswana.

About the Narrator

Paul Hecht’s long career in audiobooks spans dozens of titles and authors as varied as Ray Bradbury and Gore Vidal, Jack Finney and Thomas Mann. He has recorded such books as Bob Dole’s One Soldier’s Story and Alexander McCall Smith’s Portuguese Irregular Verbs and At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances. Hecht’s theater career in New York includes many Broadway and television credits. He has won nine AudioFile Earphones Awards for his audiobook narrations.