New York Times best-selling author Alexander McCall Smith brings his peerless wit to this second entry featuring a motley collection of residents in London’s Pimlico neighborhood.
Literary agent Barbara Ragg has agreed to represent a man writing a book about his experiences hanging out with the Abominable Snowman. Terence Moongrove’s residence has become the target of New Age cosmologists. And pint-sized terrier Freddie de la Hay is being recruited by MI6 to infiltrate a Russian spy ring.
Also listen to the first book, Corduroy Mansions.
©2010 Alexander McCall Smith (P)2011 Recorded Books, LLC
Corduroy Mansions is a fun, rewarding story--humorous, but not laugh-out-loud funny. It's comfort food in literary form. We look forward to every book in every one of his Alexander McCall Smith's series, but this series, his newest, is one of our favorites. Set in an apartment house in London, it's a contemporary soap opera with a low level of angst and a high level of pleasant personal intrigue. Life feels kinder and gentler for the hours spent with Corduroy Mansions. Could listen to Simon Prebble all day--soothing and skillful reader.
I had put off listening to this series because I thought I had read a bad review somewhere . I love dogs, however, and enjoyed this author's series, The #1 Ladies' Detective Agency, so when it came up on the 2 for 1 sale, I made the plunge and I sure wasn't disappointed. The author is such a wise man. While I normally dislike books that keep several story lines going at once, Smith is an expert juggler, managing to keep you on track and interested in each character, and in this case, I found that I enjoyed the departures. This is not like some other "dog" books, in that it is not all about Freddie de la Hay (the dog) and is not narrated by him but he definitely influences the entire story. The author's understated humor is just right, keeping you smiling and occasionally laughing out loud while still exploring the pathos and frailties of the human condition. I think to a large degree it succeeds because we can see ourselves in the characters. Simon Prebble is the perfect narrator for the story and when it ended, I just wanted to listen to it again. As soon as I finish the other books in the season, I probably will. I just loved it.
Yes. Wonderful characters and lots of fun to listen to.
The eccentric characters that McCall Smith creates.
All of the scenes with Berthea and her brother, Terrance.
Tinker, Tailor, Sailor...Dog.
Alexander McCall Smith is such a prolific writer that it might be feared that some of his series would suffer. No worries! The wonderfully eccentric characters and delightful details of their quirky lives remain alive and well in all of his many books!
I wrote that the first book in this series was "just ok", but 6 months later, I found a had a hankering to read another. The characters continued to grow on me after I finished the book. Now I've read the second, and I am somewhat more enthusiastic. Still not anything compelling and irresistible, and still nowhere near as good as the Ladies' Number One Detective Agency series, in my view, but I did enjoy this book.
Like the Ladies' No. 1 series, these stories are gentle, not terribly fast-moving or full of action. Much of the book consists of the internal thoughts of the characters, some of them rambling and tangential to whatever led to them. The characters are all likeable. and some of them are real "characters"! Some of the action and dialog is kind of goofy, but meant to be, and amusing, in a gentle sort of way (not knee-slapping hilarity, but pleasantly amusing). There are many different characters, whose lives intertwine only superficially (most of them are neighbors to each other), and the book is told in an ever-rotating series of episodes in each of the main character's lives.
I found that some of the character-plot-lines worked better than others, and were of more interest to me. Some of it is kind of ho-hum, but all in all, I just LIKE being with these characters - they are all like real people who have (mild) real-world problems (although the stuff about William and his dog getting mixed up with spies is not terribly realistic) that real people can relate to.
Picked up right where the other book left off without too much repetition about what happened in the last adventure.
His fabulous accent!
No, its easy light listening that I enjoy but don't feel compelled to stay up all night to read.
If you like the different Alexander McCall Smith series you will like this one too. I keep expecting them to run into Bertie.
Yes. It's a gentle story, yet keeps one's interest.
How William's neighbor finally found Freddie de la Hay.
William. He's a good person.
Freddie, because the author does a dog's point of view very well.
I enjoyed the dog.
Again, I loved the dog.
How the dog won everyone over.
I would like to have seen the dog have a more active role.
Not particularly. Not very amusing, entertaining or enlightening.
Hardly a surprise
I don't think this is as good as the first book in the series, which was OK, not great. The story is the major problem. It is farfetched. Not much goes on and there isn't much character development. It's boring. I wouldn't listen to any more in the series.
Writer, painter and unabashed romantic with passion for history and mystery.
Funny, touching, exciting even. A not so shaggy dog satire (albeit a fond satire) of the British spy genre. Superb narration by Simon Prebble whose voice conveys just the right humorous note when called for. Prebble is a master with accents as well, a much needed skill to carry off this brilliantly written work.
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