Anchor Books (Penguin Random House)
6 April 2021
Your Inner Hedgehog is the latest entertaining and hilarious Professor Dr Dr Moritz-Maria Von Igelfeld novel. Our hopelessly out-of-touch hero is forced to confront uppity librarians, the rector of the university and a possible hostile takeover, all while trying to remain studiously above it all.
Professor Dr Dr Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld and his colleagues at the University of Regensburg’s Institute of Romance Philology pride themselves on their unwavering commitment to intellectual excellence. They know it is their job to protect a certain civilized approach to the scholarly arts. So when a new deputy librarian, Dr. Hilda Schreiber-Ziegler, threatens to drag them all down a path of progressive inclusivity, they are determined to stop her in the name of scholarship – even if that requires von Igelfeld to make the noble sacrifice of running for director of the Institute. Alas, politics is never easy, and in order to put his best foot forward, von Igelfeld will be required to take up a visiting fellowship at Oxford and cultivate the attentions of a rather effusive young American scholar. Still, von Igelfeld has always heeded the clarion call of duty, especially when it comes with a larger office.
‘Delightfully silly … [von Igelfeld] is a literary Mr. Magoo’
The Washington Post
‘Professor Moritz-Maria von Igelfield is a hilarious creation’
‘No one pricks pomposity and self-importance as hilariously as Alexander McCall Smith. Whether it is self-congratulatory assistant lady detectives, officious Scandinavian policemen or snobbish residents of Edinburgh’s New Town, he captures absurdities with a gentle lampooning that we laugh at while perhaps also recognising such tendencies in ourselves… A gentle and witty delight at human frailties… Your Inner Hedgehog might be just the antidote we need to the constant real world cacophony of hyperbolic argument and mud-slinging that seems to surround every debate on every issue.’
‘The latest zany instalment, Your Inner Hedgehog, could not be better timed to lift our lockdown blues’
‘With his tongue once again firmly in cheek, McCall Smith manages to poke fun at the hallowed halls of academia… there are some truly ridiculous incidents to add to the fun… [a] highly entertaining read’
‘Professor Dr. Dr. Moritz-Maria Von Igelfeld is back and thwarting stressful university politics, snooty librarians, and a possible takeover of the department’
‘We all know the range and breath of Alexander’s writing, not all of it comic but much of it so comic it keeps us afloat through dark times. [He] has an insatiable appetite for travel and new experiences and new vistas whether they are in Africa, or India or indeed Australia but also that kind of never-satisfied curiosity which is what a writer requires, one of the reasons why there is this extraordinary profusion of characters and places and set-ups… Your Inner Hedgehog is all about puncturing pomposity, he writes as he speaks and he speaks as he writes’
James Naughtie, 5x15 Stories