This is a plotless tale of the life and "adventures" (I use the term loosely because they aren't very exciting) of a tall, eccentric German professor of philology.
Eager to read more of this author's books and impatient for the next "No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" book to come in at the library, I decided to check out a couple of the "Professor von Igelfeld" novels. This is the first, and I found it disappointing (though I did finish it). It was meant to be humorous, but sort of like Napoleon Dynamite, the humor lies in laughing at the foibles of the main character. I don't often find odd people funny, I guess. So the story just came off as weird and sort of pointless - why would I want to read about all the stupid things this odd person does?
That said, I am not giving up on Mr McCall Smith and will be trying his "Sunday Philosophy Club" series.