First published in 110 episodes in The Scotsman newspaper, 44 Scotland Street revolves around the comings and goings at No. 44 Scotland Street, a fictitious building in a real street in the author's home city of Edinburgh.
One of McCall Smith's particular talents is his ability to portray archetypes without resorting to stereotype or cliche. We immediately recognise the Edinburgh chartered surveyor, stalwart of the Conservative Association, who dreams of membership of Scotland's most exclusive golf club. We have the pushy Stockbridge mother, and her prodigiously talented 5-year-old son, who is making good progress with the saxophone and with his Italian. Then there is Domenica Macdonald who is that type of Edinburgh lady who sees herself as a citizen of a broader intellectual world.
44 Scotland Street is vintage McCall Smith, tackling issues of trust and honesty, snobbery and hypocrisy, love and loss, but all with great lightness of touch.
Charming and wittily observed novel....revealing of human nature and Edinburgh itself. Must now read all the series. Blythe Duff read superbly - nothing against David Rintoul, but I do wish Duff had read them all.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I was given the second book, "Espresso Tales" on CD, and enjoyed the first CD enough to want to listen to the entire series.
Blythe Duff does a wonderful job of bringing these interesting characters to life, and their individual stories and incidents make for a wonderful tapestry of life. They do not seem to be contrived or artificial, which makes the book both plausible and entertaining.
I can see myself listening to the entire series. The setting is very different to Mma Ramotswe in Botswana, but the storytelling and attention to character detail is just as good as the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Disappointing finish to this story. It seemed to end abruptly mid tale. Is there another part to this story? Well read thank you
I thoroughly enjoyed this book not least because of the narrator. She captures the Edinburgh accents perfectly (to my Glaswegian ears at least). As Domenica she sounds like a neighbour who is from Edinburgh. The book is about a close in Edinburgh and the people who live there. Some you will love, some you will like well enough and one, maybe two, you will not like at all. Poor Bertie. I don't usually listen to abridged books but didn't feel anything lacking. I had a look to see if Blythe Duff had recorded anything else but, sadly, there's nothing in the Audible library. I hope she does more soon. I recommend this book.
So now I've set myself the 44 Scotland St series to listen to. Really engaging. Such a shame Blythe Duff isn't reading them all as she's a wonderful narrator
Would you listen to 44 Scotland Street again? Why?
The first you don't take every thing in. So far have heard it twice
What did you like best about this story?
All the difference people in it. It came to life for me
What does Blythe Duff bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
I love her voice, it's been so long since I heard her on on TV it was a great surprise
If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
Go and be entertained
Any additional comments?
Put it on tv please