Summary and book reviews of The Kalahari Typing School For Men by Alexander McCall Smith

The Kalahari Typing School For Men

More from the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

by Alexander McCall Smith

The Kalahari Typing School For Men
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2003, 192 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2004, 192 pages

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Book Summary

Life is never without its problems. Will Precious Ramotswe’s delightfully cunning and profoundly moral methods save the day? Find out in this, the fourth volume in the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series featuring Botswana's first and only lady detective.

Now that The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (the only detective agency for ladies and others in Botswana) is established, its founder, Precious Ramotswe, can look upon her life with pride: she’s reached her late thirties ("the finest age to be"), has a house, two children, a good fiancé -- Mr. J. L. B. Matekoni -- and many satisfied customers. But life is never without its problems. It turns out that her adopted son is responsible for the dead hoopoe bird in the garden; her assistant, Mma Makutsi, wants a husband and needs help with her idea to open the Kalahari Typing School for Men; yet Mma Ramotswe’s sexist rival has no trouble opening his Satisfaction Guaranteed Detective Agency across town. Will Precious Ramotswe’s delightfully cunning and profoundly moral methods save the day? Follow the continuing story of Botswana’s first lady detective in the irresistible The Kalahari Typing School for Men.

CHAPTER ONE
How to Find a Man

I must remember, thought Mma. Ramotswe, how fortunate I am in this life; at every moment, but especially now, sitting on the verandah of my house in Zebra Drive, and looking up at the high sky of Botswana, so empty that the blue is almost white. Here she was then, Precious Ramotswe, owner of Botswana's only detective agency, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency--an agency which by and large had lived up to its initial promise to provide satisfaction for its clients, although some of them, it must be said, could never be satisfied. And here she was too, somewhere in her late thirties, which as far as she was concerned was the very finest age to be; here she was with the house in Zebra Drive and two orphan children, a boy and a girl, bringing life and chatter into the home. These were blessings with which anybody should be content. With these things in one's life, one might well say that nothing more was needed.

But there was more. Some time ago, Mma. ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
  1. What themes and situations recur throughout the Precious Ramotswe novels? In what ways are the books similar? What new characters and developments keep the stories fresh?

  2. Mma Ramotswe observes, "The trouble with men, of course, was that they went about with their eyes half closed for much of the time. Sometimes Mma Ramotswe wondered whether men actually wanted to see anything, or whether they decided that they would notice only the things that interested them" [p. 17]. Is this an accurate assessment? What other statements about the differences between men and women occur in The Kalahari Typing School for Men? What perception about male psychology allows Mma Makutsi to open the typing school?

  3. What prompts Mr. Molefelo to seek out Mma ...
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Reviews

Media Reviews

The Los Angeles Times

Smart and sassy...Precious’s progress is charted in passages that have the power to amuse or shock or touch the heart, sometimes all at once…. Thoroughly engaging and entertaining.

The New York Times Book Review - Alida Becker

Practical yet softhearted, inventive yet steeped in convention...Mma Ramotswe’s methods -- and her results -- are as unusual as the novels they inhabit.

Kirkus Reviews

Readers who haven’t yet discovered Mma Ramotswe will enjoy discovering how her quiet humor, understated observation, and resolutely domestic approach to detection promise to put Botswana on the sleuthing map for good.

Publishers Weekly

A dose of easy humor laces the pages...This is another graceful entry in a pleasingly modest and wise series.

The Sunday Telegraph - Anthony Daniels

This is art that conceals art. I haven’t read anything with such unalloyed pleasure for a long time.

Reader Reviews

Victoria

Insight in the African culture, nature and its peoples´minds
This is a great book! The whole series is great! If you do not afford to go to Africa, then you should read this book...You will feel like you are there in Botswana!

Bev Malzard

Mr A.M.Smith has observed rather than created a genuinely appealing and charismatic character. Mma Ramotswe is the real thing. The interwoven daily activities of the characters, the personality of the landscape, the people who inhabit this country ...   Read More

Jimmy

Horrable
It starts off slow with nothing going on, then when you think something is happening, it ends. Don't read this book. Its very boring and stupid. It has no point, no plot, and nothing going on for over one chapter. Spare yourself!

Lucy

terrible
this is the worst book i have ever read. no joke. i love to read and i had to read this book for school. i dont know why they made us read it because it has no point in the story,no moral, or any interesting things. there is no climax or exciting ...   Read More

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