This book was great! I usually prefer women as the main character, but I grew to love Smithy. The flashbacks were well done and made the story more interesting than a chronological approach would have been. One complaint...The introduction refers to Smithy as a jerk and that turned me off. Why do I want to hear about a jerk? But, I was glad that I persevered because I found Smithy to be a sympathetic character, even at the beginning.
Having listened to all the UNabridged books in this series, I suggest you do not use credits for the last 2 ABRIDGED books. In order to listen to "Fiery Cross", I checked the 47(!) CD edition out from my local library. I ripped them all to my MP3 player, but they could also be listened to on your computer or CD player.
Davina Porter is the reader on the UNabridged versions, not the abridged. I can't imagine listening to anyone else. I am about to check out the last in the series and will be so sad when the tale is over.
I started this series (am now almost done with the 3rd book), firstly because I was looking for a highly-rated LONG book to make the most of my monthly credit. I usually choose mysteries and plain historical fiction.
The idea of Scotland and a female main character with an interest in medicine hooked me. There was a bit more detail in the love scenes, but not offensive to me in anyway. LOVE the reader and the history and the characters and the writing. IMPRESSIVE and I will continue to purchase these books.
As usual, listening to an Alexander McCall-Smith book is a much richer experience than reading it, although I enjoy that too. The narrator does a wonderful job with the scottish accent...I guess brogue, and is a pleasure to listen to. I was touched by the engaging story and laughed many times on my way to work and back. If you ever have a chance to attend a talk by the author, do it!! He was recently in Denver and is a warm, funny man. One of the characters in "Friends, Lovers, Chocolate..." plays the bassoon in an orchestra as does the author, who co-founded "The Really Terrible Orchestra"...a great example of his self-deprecating humor. He has been a professor (of law and ethics) and I'm sure that is why this and the "Sausage Dog" series ring so true. He lives in Scotland with his family and was born in Africa. The only time he grew serious during his talk was when he very sympathetically described the problems on that continent and expressed his appreciation for the help provided there by the US government. An amazing and very entertaining man.
This is one of my favorites, but I almost didn't listen to it. The male narrator starts it off and his voice sounded pretentious to me. I'm glad I hung in there. The female and male narrators switched off depending on the character speaking and I really liked that. I'm not knowledgeable about art, but that didn't matter. The characters and tapestry weaving process were fascinating and I never wanted it to end.
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