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.
©2005 Alexander McCall Smith; (P)2006 Record Books LLC
"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)
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.
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!
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.
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.
I don't think so, but I'll definitely be more inclined to buy a book if I see he's the narrator.
Cyril. I guess Angus Lordie (sp.?) would have to come along, too. Or Dominica. Everyone's just so interesting, it's hard to choose.
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.
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.
I love the humor, the characters and the pace -- because it was originally serialized in a newspaper, it has that fun, chunky structure.
The narration is a perfect match for the tone of the story.
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.
Start at the beginning of this series!
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.
Absolutely charming characters!
Bertie visits the psychologist and identifies Mummy as person who keeps him from enjoying his little boy life
Could have done
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.
Tell us about yourself! I am retired and all my life I loved to read. Audible gives you a chance to listen and enjoy your book everywhere!
Great narrator and excellent story! Captivating simple story. Reading it you feel like you are part of this word. Victoria
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,
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.
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