My Italian Bulldozer

A Novel

Publisher: Knopf Canada
The bestselling author of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series returns with an irresistible new novel about one man’s adventures in the Italian countryside. 

Paul Stuart, a renowned food writer, finds himself at loose ends after his longtime girlfriend leaves him for her personal trainer. To cheer him up, Paul’s editor, Gloria, encourages him to finish his latest cookbook on-site in Tuscany, hoping that a change of scenery (plus the occasional truffled pasta and glass of red wine) will offer a cure for both heartache and writer’s block. But upon Paul’s arrival, things don’t quite go as planned. A mishap with his rental-car reservation leaves him stranded, until a newfound friend leads him to an intriguing alternative: a bulldozer. 

With little choice in the matter, Paul accepts the offer, and as he journeys (well, slowly trundles) into the idyllic hillside town of Montalcino, he discovers that the bulldozer may be the least of the surprises that await him. What follows is a delightful romp through the lush sights and flavors of the Tuscan countryside, as Paul encounters a rich cast of characters, including a young American woman who awakens in him something unexpected. 

A feast for the senses and a poignant meditation on the complexity of human relationships, My Italian Bulldozer is a charming and intensely satisfying love story for anyone who has ever dreamed of a fresh start.


On Italy and Bulldozers by Alexander McCall Smith 
My Italian Bulldozer was written as a result of a long love affair – not with a person, but with a country. Italy is one of those places that engages the affections of just about everybody who ever goes there. It is possible, I suppose,...
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“One of the most prolific of writers and one of the most charming, [McCall Smith] bounces through this happy pilgrimage, which is a mixture of his own gentle philosophy, recipes, romance and how to park a bulldozer when your rental car doesn’t show up. . . . This is the kind of book you can dip into and be grateful for. . . .  [A] cozy read.” —The Washington Times

[A] lovely tale of a life put back on track by charm and coincidence—and by kindness and humanity too. . . . McCall Smith knows exactly what he’s doing at this point in his career, and delivers a perfect combination of suspense, jaunty bons mots and heartstring-pulling moments that result in ultimate reader satisfaction, but with no saccharine aftertaste. And this wonderfully heartwarming novel contains a simple but welcome message about what happens when we open our eyes and see the world as it is, not as we want it be. The result is a perfect finish.” —The Globe and Mail

“Wine, women and bulldozers are the three ruling muses in the charming and amusing fourth stand-alone novel from prolific, bestselling Scottish author Alexander McCall Smith. . . . McCall Smith is particularly good at coming up with slightly absurd situations and convincing the reader it’s all perfectly rational and plausible. . . . Filled with delightfully farcical situations and intelligent and appealing, good-natured characters, My Italian Bulldozer is as memorable and pleasing as its beautiful Tuscan backdrop. Another praiseworthy concoction from the always dependable Alexander McCall Smith.” —Pendle Today (UK)

“[A] story about love, of many types and on many levels: reciprocated and unrequited love; love lost and love found; love of food and wine, of the earth, of friends, of the Italian countryside. . . . [I]t also has a healthy dollop of McCall Smith’s usual dry humor and homespun philosophy, his reflections on life. And this is one important reason his readers love McCall Smith: He presents us with gentle stories that ask profound questions and leaves us not with all the answers, but with a smile on our face and a lot more to think about than when we began.” —New York Journal of Books

“[S]ucceeds in subtly, almost imperceptibly ripping up the traditional rules of the romantic comedy and creating something refreshingly original. . . . A gentle book, but also a gently radical one.” —The Yorkshire Post
“This novel has the usual combination of light-hearted gentleness and forensic acuity, reminding the reader never to underestimate McCall Smith’s fundamental seriousness of purpose.” —The Sydney Morning Herald


“McCall Smith’s accomplished novels [are] dependent on small gestures redolent with meaning and main characters blessed with pleasing personalities.” —Newsday

“McCall Smith is prolific and he’s habit-forming. He’s the crystal meth of popular fiction.” —The Globe and Mail

“Alexander McCall Smith is an excellent, old-fashioned storyteller.” —The Gazette

“Scotland’s one-man novel factory. . . . Smith’s writing has tons of charm and kindly wisdom.” The Times

“McCall Smith’s talent for dialogue is matched only by his gift for characterization.” —Chicago Tribune
“McCall Smith makes the sublime look easy. . . . [He] has few peers in capturing the quiet moments of people’s lives.” —Publishers Weekly
“McCall Smith’s characters are well-drawn and alive. . . . A writer . . . who charms many readers.” —Providence Journal
“A prolific, popular and wonderfully peculiar writer.” —The Independent

“McCall Smith is a wonderful storyteller, and his stories are characteristically filled with humour and an innate, affectionate disposition towards the human race.” —The Sydney Morning Herald

“A vivid observer and an elegant writer.” —The Plain Dealer