A Distant View of Everything

Alexander McCall Smith

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A Distant View of Everything

A Distant View of Everything In this latest installment of Alexander McCall Smith s ever delightful and perennially best selling series amateur sleuth and philosopher Isabel Dalhousie is called upon to help when a matchmaker beg

  • Title: A Distant View of Everything
  • Author: Alexander McCall Smith
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 154
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • In this latest installment of Alexander McCall Smith s ever delightful and perennially best selling series, amateur sleuth and philosopher Isabel Dalhousie is called upon to help when a matchmaker begins to question her latest match.A new baby brings an abundance of joy to Isabel Dalhousie and her husband, Jamie but Isabel s almost four year old son, Charlie, is none too kIn this latest installment of Alexander McCall Smith s ever delightful and perennially best selling series, amateur sleuth and philosopher Isabel Dalhousie is called upon to help when a matchmaker begins to question her latest match.A new baby brings an abundance of joy to Isabel Dalhousie and her husband, Jamie but Isabel s almost four year old son, Charlie, is none too keen on his newborn brother In fact, Charlie refuses to acknowledge Magnus, and Isabel must find a way to impress upon her older son the patience and understanding that have served as guiding principles in her own life These are, of course, the qualities that bring Rosemary Hipple, an old acquaintance of Isabel s, to seek her help in a tricky situation Rosemary is something of a matchmaker and has brought together a cosmetic surgeon and a successful banker at her most recent dinner party But new information comes to light about the cosmetic surgeon that causes Rosemary to doubt the auspiciousness of the match Isabel agrees to find out , but her inquiries take an unexpected turn, and she starts to wonder which of the two she should be investigating after all As ever, her intelligence, quick wit, and deep empathy for others will come to her aid as she grapples with the issues that are her bread and butter friendship and its duties, the obligation of truthfulness, and the importance of perspective.

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      Posted by:Alexander McCall Smith
      Published :2018-06-10T06:02:40+00:00

    One thought on “A Distant View of Everything

    1. Duckpondwithoutducks on said:

      Rating a book 5 stars on means something.Normally, if I rate something 1 star, it means - why was this ever published?2 stars means - not my cup of tea3 stars means - enjoyed it, but not one I would necessarily recommend4 stars means - really enjoyed it, would recommend to those who like that genre5 stars means - would recommend to everybody, if they don't like it they are crazy!I am rating this book 5 stars, but I know that it is not the kind of book that everybody would enjoy.It is normally s [...]

    2. Lise on said:

      I want to like this series, I really do. I love the No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. But I find Isabel Dalhousie unlikeable. She is supposed to be my age, but I have always felt her to be about 20 years older than me. As Eddie (in the deli) says, she is rude, letting her mind wander while listening to other people talking. I just cannot connect with her. And nothing happens in this book. Essentially, you read and read, and nothing happens. I think my time with this series has come to an end.

    3. Ivonne Rovira on said:

      In The Novel Habits of Happiness, Isabel Dalhousie was such a prig; thankfully, Alexander McCall Smith has redeemed himself in A Distant View of Everything, and Isabel is back to her old understanding self. And just in time! I hadn’t realized just how much I had missed her.An old schoolmate of Isabel’s, Bea Shandon, fancies herself quite the matchmaker; however, Bea has come across information that she may have introduced a very rich friend to a doctor with a history of loving — and leavin [...]

    4. Ariel on said:

      The 11th installment of the Sunday Philosophy Club is here. Some things change, new baby Magnus and new deli employee Peg, while more things stay the same, Isabelle salivating over Jamie, bossy Grace the housekeeper, crazy Cat at the deli, sullen Eddie, and last but not least, an appearance by brother fox. In this outing Isabelle is asked to meddle in or rather investigate in the life of a doctor who may be a grifter. Although I have a fondness for the series this novel began to irk me. While ha [...]

    5. Jean Poulos on said:

      I enjoy the musings of Isabel Dalhousie. I do understand that readers either love or hate the Sunday Philosophy Club Series. When I learned there was a new book, I could hardly wait to get it. Reading the book, I feel as if I have just stopped by Isabel’s house for a cup of tea and a chat.Isabel has had another child, a boy named Magnus. Charlie is now four years old. Isabel is again involved in solving problems. This time with Bea, who is sort of a local matchmaker. She is trying to bring tog [...]

    6. Carol Hunsicker on said:

      I decided, about 3/4 into this book, to not finish it. Which is unusual for me. I really can't see what the point is. I have read other books by this author, like the #1 Detective Agency books, that were good. So, this is disappointing.

    7. Barbara on said:

      Isabel Dalhousie continues to have a good life but at times there a few ripples on its calm surface. She realizes that little lies of omission can lead to misunderstandings and erode trust. She cannot take her life for granted. As always Isabel gets involved in investigating some problem or mystery someone brings to her. She learns that things are often not what they seem. Her niece Cat who is constantly in and out of relationships is again being secretive. This wasn't my favorite in the series [...]

    8. Marianne on said:

      “… it really was rude to allow oneself to daydream while somebody was talking to you. In a way, it was every bit as discourteous as taking a telephone call while engaged in conversation with another, or closing one’s eyes and drifting off to sleep in a concert in full view of a performer. And yet, how did you prevent thoughts coming into your mind? And once they were there, how did you stop yourself from entertaining them?”A Distant View Of Everything is the eleventh novel in the Isabel [...]

    9. P.D.R. Lindsay on said:

      This novel is part of a great series. Each novel is a comfortable, thoughtful read and is not the series of novels for those wanting a great adventure and fast pace story. Isabelle is a philosopher and whilst she has interesting, often complicate, human problems to solve she is not dodging death or hunting villains. She is mulling over the problems we all meet and have to deal with. Each book in the series also looks at one particular quality that we need to live well and decently with each othe [...]

    10. Mandolin on said:

      Very little happens on the surface of the Isabel Dalhouse books and each book is very similar to its predecessors, yet there is something magnetic that draws the reader back to these books each time they are released. Isabel's rich - and often quite funny - thought life and her philosophical take on the world lend to these books a depth and richness that calm and edify the reader. In this newest addition to the series, McCall Smith encourages us to take a distant view of our lives and remind our [...]

    11. Roslyn on said:

      3.5I thought I had the mystery in this one figured out, and I was only partially right - I should have known McCall Smith wouldn't resolve the story as cynically as I imagined. My one complaint - apart from my usual reservations about this series - is that far too many coincidences were required for the plot. Still, even taking into account the aforementioned reservations, a book in the presence of Isabel Dalhousie is always pleasurable.

    12. Lois Flatley on said:

      I used to be a great fan of this series! Now I seem to find each successive book overflowing with tedious philosophical questions on each page!!!!! Each conversation is peppered with Isabel's tiresome thoughts. Isabel has turned into a meddling do gooder and I'm not liking her as much as I did before. Either she has changed or possibly I have? No longer my cup of tea! I must becoming shallow in old age!!!

    13. Christina McLain on said:

      This is a Seinfeld of a book without the laughter. The story is mildly interesting, the characters are mostly likeable and the setting is lovely Edinburgh. But nothing happens!! And while nothing is happening we are subjected to the many many philosophical ramblings of Isabel Dalhousie, the main character, who happens to be the editor of a philosophy journal. Her thoughts are a bit thought provoking but really have little to do with the plot involving a matchmaker with regrets about a possible d [...]

    14. Judy Elizabeth on said:

      This book is wonderful. Alexander McCall Smith shows readers that at every moment we are making choices based on our values. We can choose to do the right thing, the wrong thing, or remain neutral and do nothing. All of it matters. In our strange and dangerous current political environment, Alexander McCall Smith gently reminds us of the horrors of recent world dictators - Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Lenin - and urges us gently to be aware of the content of our souls and the souls of others. I ju [...]

    15. Caroline on said:

      I have to say I was a little worried when I read the reviews of this one that were up when I started. But sometimes having low expectations is just the ticket for really enjoying something. The thing I always love about this series is that the plot really doesn't matter. These books feel like a reassuring exploration of human nature and the stories hinge on small things- passing comments, misunderstandings, people's motivation. This is certainly not the series to read if you're looking for a tig [...]

    16. Clara on said:

      This may well be my favorite of this series to date. As usual, there's little "action" and lots of pondering, which is one of the delights of having a philosopher as a protagonist. Also, as usual, Isabel Dalhousie, now happily married and the mother of two boys, is called to help ("you have a reputation for helping people" she's told by those who come to her) and, of course, she does. The situation at hand is less a "mystery" than a dilemma that allows Isabel to think deeply about human nature ( [...]

    17. Victoria Miller on said:

      Isabel Dalhousie is one of my favorite characters; in fact, I tend to forget she is a character. I feel quite certain that somewhere in Edinburgh, Isabel and her family go on about their lives from day to day, never dreaming Alexander McCall Smith has been looking through his magic glass and recording their stories, and even, and perhaps particularly, thoughts. Reading the 11th book in this series is like visiting an old friend. (If we could read the thoughts of our friends as AMS shows us what [...]

    18. Mary on said:

      Reviewers seem to love or strongly dislike these Isabel Dalhousie books. Count me in as really enjoying them. Maybe you have to be in the right mood and I was. I was ready to relax and go wherever McCall Smith led me--to a philosphy of sleep, to turning green after eating green olives, to salami conferences, to refrigerator magnets. There is plenty of love and good will to relish between Isabel, her family, her "housekeeper" aka personal assistant at times, and the deli crew of Cat and Eddie. Th [...]

    19. Cassandra Elise on said:

      I love McCall Smith, but I feel his last several outings in the Isabel Dalhousie series have been lacking. I don't know if he's rushing to finish them, or if he's just losing steam as he gets older. This one could have used better editing. McCall Smith used the word "muttered" on about fifty occasions during the course of the novel, including several times on the same page. There are synonyms for the word, ("mumble" and "grumble" spring immediately to mind), and someone should have varied the la [...]

    20. Heidi Burkhart on said:

      Warningpossible spoilers!I hated to give this book only three starts but from my point of view that is all it deserved. The Isabel Dalhousie series has always been a bit quirky but I have grown to enjoy it. This book though just fell flat for me. Isabel, now the mother of two small boys is busy helping out at her niece's deli, being rather bossy and unkind to Eddie, one of the employees there, working on her philosophy publication, trying to quash malicious gossip in town, and generally trying t [...]

    21. Wendi on said:

      I couldn't imagine abandoning a series I've thoroughly enjoyed halfway through the eleventh book, but I suppose that's what I've just done. I've abandoned the book, at least, if not the series. Read the rest of my review at wanderaven

    22. Helen on said:

      Another slice of the life of Isabel Dalhousie. I think you need to have read the others: the story is a bit thin and not very much happens, apart from Isabel having had another baby - it doesn't seem to change her life much. This is escapism with some moral questions sneaked in (oh, and one of the characters changes name, confusingly!). Very readable and occasionally funny too.

    23. Lis Carey on said:

      Isabel and Jamie have a new baby, another boy, named Magnus. They and their housekeeper, Grace, are thrilled. Their older boy, Charlie, not so much. He's certain he can come up with good arguments for excluding Magnus from the family!But that's just a normal parenting challenge, and they'll cope as most parents do. Bigger puzzles include Cat's new part-time shop-assistant, Peg, whom Cat seems unusually enthusiastic about. Where did Cat meet her? Why is she so vague about her background? Isabel's [...]

    24. Graeme Roberts on said:

      The Isabel Dalhousie books are too intellectual and sophisticated to be called a soap opera, so perhaps serial is the best description. I am addicted to them, as I am to another series from their prolific authorAlexander McCall Smith, the 44 Scotland Street novels. They are both set in Edinburgh, which is an important part of their charm. I lost interest years ago in his The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, set in Botswana.Isabel Dalhousie is the publisher and editor of an academic journal [...]

    25. Anna on said:

      I almost shrink from calling this a mystery because it is just as much a musing on life, as are all the Dalhousie novels, but there is a mystery here and one of the more sensible and realistic investigations I have read in this or any series. I will enjoy hearing about where this family goes from here.

    26. Kristi Lamont on said:

      Sometimes a brief sojourn in Edinburgh with the thoughty Isabel Dalhousie -- complete with a risotto, nice New Zealand white, and short treatise on moral proximity -- is exactly what one needs. It is, come to think of it, exactly what one needs to reorient one's self so as to be able to takea distant view of everything.

    27. Bev on said:

      Isabel Dalhousie puts her philosophical and investigative skills to work in solving the concern of a friend about the motives of one of her dinner guests. As always, a delight and an indulgence -- Alexander McCall Smith is such a wonderful author and observer of human nature, while causing little giggles to escape his readers along the way. I adore him.

    28. Anne Wolfe on said:

      Another immensely entertaining installment of the Isabel Dalhousie series. McCall Smith turns these out every so often and we visit the delightful philosopher and problem solver, now with her second child just born. It never stops her from minding other people's business and she does that so well.Isabel has the knack (or problem) of having her mind go off on tangents. That's one of the most endearing and charming of her traits.In this book, Charlie, her 4 year old, refuses to recognize the exist [...]

    29. Genine Franklin-Clark on said:

      For the first time in my 79-year-old life, I wish I could spend afternoons conversing with a fictional character. I've liked, even loved, many fictional characters but Isabel Dalhousie is the extraordinary person who touches my soul. (And I'm a humanist. Yep, we have souls, too.)

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