January 30, 2009

The Good Husband of Zebra Drive

I love the Precious Ramotswe books by Andrew McCall Smith, not only for the enticing and intimate view of Africa but also for the feeling of goodness and well being suffused in the pages. Although this is a mystery series, the criminals tend to be about as scary as Ewoks and hardly anyone ever dies, so people looking for a thrill should look elsewhere.

Things I like about this book:

1. No one systematically destroys their lives in an annoying and unnecessary fashion (except maybe Charlie the apprentice mechanic but he always bounces back)
2. No annoying alliterary gimicks like writing in the present tense or not using quotation marks
3. No gratuitous sex or violence or swearing - all fine in the right context but bad writing usually makes them distasteful
4. Smith's writing is simple and direct, as opposed to the edgy first-year creative writing student prose that readers are frequently subjected to in modern literature
5. An overall peaceful, easy feeling - I felt like drinking a lot of tea while reading this book

In fact, I enjoyed this book so much I’m not even going to write a snarky spoiler about it.


  1. I agree - they are lovely, soothing books. And as for Precious, she is just, precious.

  2. I love that Precious refers to herself as "traditionally built".
    Cracks me up!

  3. I read the first three awhile back and keep meaning to pick up another -- thx for reminding me. Such nice, easy reads. Make me want to eat pumpkin.


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