Once more we catch up with the delightful goings-on in the fictitious 44 Scotland Street from Alexander McCall Smith. With customary charm and deftness, McCall Smith gives us another instalment in this popular series, now running in its ninth season in The Scotsman. Anything could happen to Bertie and the gang....
©2015 Alexander McCall Smith (P)2015 Bolinda
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McColl Smith manages to weave a story that feels as if the reader, or listener, in this case feels a part of. David Rintoul's narration and cadence brings it alive. We are all routing for Bertie.
"A short walk to Valvona & Crolla"
The descriptions of the smells, aromas, atmosphere and sensuality of V&C never fail to take me straight to Edinburgh. And for Bertie they must be an antidote to the harshness of his mother. I enjoyed the 'Irene-free' zone of the majority of the book allowing me to engage in the development of some of the other characters, such as the early married lives of Angus and Domenica and how they are learning to live together and enjoy each other's company while having their separate lives too. It was good to hear more of Big Lou. Also to hear what an obnoxious child Olive is, though repeating verbatim things she has heard adults say of Irene without understanding what she is saying but confirming to the listener in 15 years time she too will be embarking on her life as an Irene clone. Poor Bertie, we can only hope he gets to Glasgow or at least conceals the location of where he is wanting to go from Olive so she can't go there too! Having just finished The Bertie Project I am waiting for the next one to find out how everyone in Scotland Street, and beyond, manage their lives and lives.
"great characters, story line a little thin"
Just as relaxing to listen to as this series is to read. However I didn't find thr story line of this particular story so gripping, it ended pretty abruptly. It was still lovely to hear about the familiar characters and I am looking forward to the next book.
"Makes me f@&cking glad I don't live in Edinburgh any more"
Thanks, Mr Smith for the reminder. Nice books and a nostalgia trip for me but the snottiness, the chauvinism, the small mindedness, the alcohol consumption remind me just how toxic an environment Edinburgh is for anyone who doesn't grow up playing rugby. I feel sure Bertie will run the hell off to San Francisco and become and character in an Armistead Maupin novel. He will if he knows what's good for him. Perhaps if Irene had been allowed to disclose the horrors of her childhood, we'd all understand her desire to protect Bertie from the toxic culture of Edinburgh. I ended up feeling quite sorry for her.
"McCall Smith never disappoints"
The always entertaining characters and observations, and the absence of Bertie's dreadful mother Irene, the poor little boy.
The continuing story of the lives of an eclectic and sometimes eccentric group of people, and yes, and the absence of Bertie's dreadful mother.
Easy to listen to his voice.
Occasional laugh out loud moments.
I will certainly listen to not only this book but the whole series again
I love any scene that involves Bertie and his mother but also like the way that the story is woven from the lives of different characters
I don't think I would have managed the book at one sitting but certainly wanted to come back to it at every available opportunity
As a devotee of Alexander McCall Smith it is always pure pleasure to come across another new edition - a combination of laugh out loud wit with wisdom and a fine, engaging plot - thank you. I now can't wait fir another Scotland Street sequel.
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