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Espresso Tales | [Alexander McCall Smith]

Espresso Tales

Between glances in the mirror, vain Bruce contemplates a new career as a wine merchant. His troubled flatmate, Pat, finds himself looking for true love at a nudist picnic. Precocious Bertie, now six years old, prepares for kindergarten despite the horror of being forced to wear pink overalls. Meanwhile, his domineering mother, Irene, and his psychologist, Dr. Fairbarn, struggle with dark secrets as Bertie plots his rebellion against them.
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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author Alexander McCall Smith, creator of the beloved No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels, crafts the second irresistible installment in his Scotland Street series. Espresso Tales follows the charming and immensely popular 44 Scotland Street as all the favorite residents of that Edinburgh address return.

Between glances in the mirror, vain Bruce contemplates a new career as a wine merchant. His troubled flatmate, Pat, finds himself looking for true love at a nudist picnic. Precocious Bertie, now six years old, prepares for kindergarten despite the horror of being forced to wear pink overalls. Meanwhile, his domineering mother, Irene, and his psychologist, Dr. Fairbarn, struggle with dark secrets as Bertie plots his rebellion against them.

It's business as usual in the Georgian townhouse at 44 Scotland Street, and McCall Smith's innumerable fans wouldn't have it any other way.

Check out the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels and 44 Scotland Street (Unabridged).

©2005 Alexander McCall Smith; (P)2006 Record Books LLC

What the Critics Say

"McCall Smith's pacing is impeccable." (Publishers Weekly)
"Robert Ian Mackenzie's impeccable take on the characters reveals their trials, tribulations, blind spots, and charms." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (368 )
5 star
 (187)
4 star
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3 star
 (44)
2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.4 (227 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.6 (232 )
5 star
 (150)
4 star
 (64)
3 star
 (18)
2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Dorothea Chicago, Israel 01-15-07
    Dorothea Chicago, Israel 01-15-07 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    131
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    38
    21
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    FOLLOWING
    5
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    Overall
    "Brilliant, as usual."

    This sequel to 44 Scotland Street (please read/listen to them in order) is a pleasure. The narration, the observations and gentle social satire are superb. As one would expect, the book is completely character-driven--and one truly cares about these people (well, most of them, anyway---some are delightfully contemptible.)

    This is everything an audio book should be. I received the paperback as a gift, and held off
    reading it (with difficulty) until the audio was released.


    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tamara Vista, CA, United States 09-24-14
    Tamara Vista, CA, United States 09-24-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    281
    25
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "seems to have some editing glitches?"

    Several of the chapters in this audio simply cut off mid word and move to the next chapter. I at first thought I had hit the "skip" or "fast fwd" button on accident .. but, realized it was only happening towards chapter end and I hadn't been holding my tablet when they were occurring.

    The story is brilliant and wonderfully done. Some of the characters make me cringe, but that is their delight! Others need a solid whap upside the head for they *should* be able to think through how something may go badly.

    We love our soap operas and this takes them to a new level: soap opera for the quirky!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurie Ann Muller 05-31-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    34
    2
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    0
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    Story
    "Please fix the editing of this book."
    What made the experience of listening to Espresso Tales the most enjoyable?

    Narrator is fantastic. Stories continue to be fabulous. When only 12 minutes were left in the book, I had to go get the next one because I can't bear not to know what's going to happen to these people next! This one has some top-notch cliffhangers.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story? Absolutely nothing. I'm sure people wondered why I would suddenly laugh out loud for seemingly no reason. Other parts of the story made me express epithets. All in all, this series should not be missed.


    Have you listened to any of Robert Ian Mackenzie’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I don't think so, but I'll definitely be more inclined to buy a book if I see he's the narrator.


    If you could take any character from Espresso Tales out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Cyril. I guess Angus Lordie (sp.?) would have to come along, too. Or Dominica. Everyone's just so interesting, it's hard to choose.


    Any additional comments?

    My main reason for this review is the terrible editing problem, which I note another reviewer mentioned. The way the book is put together, some chapters start even before Mackenzie has finished uttering the last word of the previous chapter. In some cases, the number of the chapter fits the final word of the previous chapter so well that it's very confusing (the start of chapter 99 comes to mind). This happens with about half the chapters. In other cases, a suitable pause is taken between the end of a chapter and the beginning of the next.

    This is the only thing marring a truly enjoyable experience with a truly stellar book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie Palo Alto, CA, United States 07-17-14
    Julie Palo Alto, CA, United States 07-17-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    6
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    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Love this series!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this series to anyone looking for a fun send-up of modern times. It's set in Edinburgh but could just as well be San Francisco, Portland or Brooklyn.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I love the humor, the characters and the pace -- because it was originally serialized in a newspaper, it has that fun, chunky structure.


    What about Robert Ian Mackenzie’s performance did you like?

    The narration is a perfect match for the tone of the story.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No -- I enjoyed listening over a week or so in the car. Because it was written as a serial, it is better in smaller doses.


    Any additional comments?

    Start at the beginning of this series!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine Georgetown, Ontario, Canada 11-06-14
    Katherine Georgetown, Ontario, Canada 11-06-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    156
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    142
    139
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    11
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Super! I'm in for the whole series now"

    Delightful social commentary with just believable characters that you come to care about. I'm back looking for Number 3 and I just can't picture listening to anything else right now.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dora Centreville, MD, United States 02-19-13
    dora Centreville, MD, United States 02-19-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
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    0
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    "love this book"
    If you could sum up Espresso Tales in three words, what would they be?

    Absolutely charming characters!


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Bertie visits the psychologist and identifies Mummy as person who keeps him from enjoying his little boy life


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Could have done


    Any additional comments?

    I had read previously, but enjoy the narrator's voice and style. I let him read me to sleep every night. I love this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Psenko Victoria 04-14-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book!"

    Great narrator and excellent story! Captivating simple story. Reading it you feel like you are part of this word. Victoria

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah BOERNE, TX, United States 04-13-15
    Sarah BOERNE, TX, United States 04-13-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    77
    59
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    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "If you liked 44 Scotland Street get this book!"

    It's just as good! I'm half way through the one after this and I am not getting tired of these at all. Some books you can let your mind wander and not miss much but these I want to hear every word, they're so well written.

    Warning: do start with the first one in the series as events are continuous, as with a soap opera,

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lori Long 01-25-15
    Lori Long 01-25-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    36
    4
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    "Charming!"

    A brilliant and witty author, an exceptional reader and a multidimensional and entertaining story. Not a fast paced thrill ride but worthwhile and thought provoking.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane 12-07-14
    Diane 12-07-14 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "So fabulous this should be covered by Anthem..."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Espresso Tales to be better than the print version?

    it is fantastic in audio, as the accents add a LOT


    Any additional comments?

    the writer is a giant! SO funny!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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