When Pat rents a room in Edinburgh, she acquires some interesting neighbors, including a pushy Stockbridge mother and her talented, sax-playing, 5-year-old son. Pat's job at an art gallery hardly keeps her busy, until she suspects one painting in the collection may be an undiscovered work from a Scottish master. As Pat handles the mystery of the painting, she and the people surrounding her confront issues of trust, love, and loss.
Chalk up another winner for McCall Smith, whose endlessly entertaining and perceptive novel is filled with delightfully authentic sketches of all the archetypes of Edinburgh society.
©2005 Alexander McCall Smith; (P)2005 Recorded Books, LLC
"Readers needn't possess plaid clothes or a brogue to savor this wise, witty send-up of Edinburgh rogues." (Booklist)
"The possibility of romance, the ongoing ups and downs of the large, well-drawn cast of characters, the intricate plot, and the way Smith nimbly jumps from situation to situation and POV to POV...works beautifully." (Publishers Weekly)
I was driving east with my daughter's family, Colorado to Pennsylvania, when I first heard Alexander McCall Smith's work, The Incredible Lightness of Scones, and no warning either. It was a while before I picked up on it, some nonsense about using moisturizer. Then I just relaxed into chuckling and laughter with the rest of the family; I was converted. As soon as I got on the Internet I ordered 44 Scotland St from Audible. And of course, it isn't nonsense at all, or just a funny story, more like an easy path to enlightenment. The play between Bertie, mother Irene and the psychiatrist is a gentle study of defective child rearing that should put us all on notice. Learn while laughing. Why not?
There's a charm and shallowness to this book, with its many short segments and quirky characters, that make it a good diversion while doing such things as running, gardening, knitting, or whatever. I'd not call it great literature, but it is well written and has a certain silly sensibility that I found fairly delightful. The reader was outstanding, with a light Scots accent that gives a feel for the characters without being unintelligible.
The story is pleasant, because it's like listening to all of the small town gossip. It's all very interesting, the plot moves slowly but you hardly notice, because it's all such juicy tidbits. I like that it is written in short spurts of story, so that you can listen in short pieces at a time. The reason I ranked the performance low was simply that I really disliked the narrator's voicing of the children and the women. His voice, so beautiful for men, was cringe worthy for the softer toned characters. With that said, I will probably go back and get the next audiobook, because I have learned to tolerate( but not like) his annoying voice tones, and the storyline is so nicely set up for my daily 40 minute commutes.
I must confess, I haven't experienced anything by McCall Smith yet - I know, I know - the detective agency books are supposed to be great, so my mom tells me. But, the idea of daily life in Edinburgh appealed to me more, so I started with this, not knowing what to expect. The narrator is just great - really stays in the Scottish accent and even gives each of the characters a bit of a twist. I loved that. The book itself might be considered slow to some - and so it is. Yet, as it slowly unfolds, one develops a deep investment the characters, which is why this book was so surprisingly addicting for me. When it ended, I just stopped everything I did and went to download the next installment! I can't wait to start the next! Just a really, really great book - what my mom would affectionately define as "brain candy." It's true!
I'm not sure about this one. I read that it was funny, but I only found a few places where I chuckled. I guess I don't understand Scottish humor. It was an interesting story that seems to have no real ending for a few of the characters. For me, it was sort of like a sitcom without the chuckles. I guess it was just not my style.
Interesting book. Keep in mind the format is different.
It is a collection of shorts from a paper.
Narrator does the men's voices well but they should have got a women for the female roles.
ELLE aka PlantCrone of the Great Pacific Northwest. I enjoy almost every genre-S/F, Action, Biographies and Histories & Romance
equals a fun novel to listen to. I laughed so many times while listening, and had a smile on my face when I wasn't laughing!.
Alexander McCall Smith is a new author to me, as is Robt. Mackenzie as a narrator..what a match. Great Energy of this author and narrator. I can't wait to listen to the second book.
This is a case where the narrator increases the readers (listeners) experience of the book.
I couldn't decide on a genre..romance? Psychological novel?, Lost Love? there are so many fun characters that you grow to enjoy.
I love this series. The characters are fun and interesting. The plot twists enjoyable. I can almost imagine the author sitting in his writing room, giggling.
Interesting, humorous, pleasant.
Pat, ties in all the characters in the book.
Good book, easy to listen to. Looking forward to next book.
I enjoyed Ladies Detective Agency, but this one provoked the question "Why was this written?"
Didn't care about any of the characters. I found them all dull.
He sounded like he had food in his mouth & was chewing!
It was a joyous relief to hear the words "The End"!
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