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Reviewed by Neil A White for Readers' Favorite
Unburdened by the Problems of Success is the first in a trilogy of humorous musings from Ronald Dalgliesh. His collection of loosely connected short stories recounts an often hysterical view into Scottish life as seen through the eyes of a young Mr. Dalgliesh. His story begins in a cottage on the outskirts of Edinburgh, where as a young lad his penchant for spinning a tall yarn leads to an unfortunate horse riding accident for a young woman. From that inauspicious, yet hilarious, beginning, the reader is taken on a series of misadventures recounted from his youth. These involve a rabid dog, a bad haircut, an ill-fated camping trip, a coach ride to London to see the Scottish national team play England, and a series of – often – failed encounters with the fairer sex, that ultimately leads to meeting his future wife.
Mr. Dalgliesh’s novella takes the reader on a scenic tour of Edinburgh’s surrounding countryside, provides a welcome travel map of the city’s pubs to plot your pub crawl, and includes a clever warning to steer clear of a certain wine bar and its pretentious bartender. Although just a couple of the stories miss the mark, others will have you laughing out loud. And taken as a whole, the collection is a very enjoyable read. In fact, I would bet if you encountered Mr. Dalgliesh in a bar, and offered to buy a round or two, his story-telling would keep you entertained for as long as the drinks flowed. Though a word to the wise, be sure to order him a beer, not wine.