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©2008 Alexander McCall Smith; (P)2008 Recorded Books, LLC
I have always enjoyed the McCall Smith characters and the various series, whatever their locations, Edinburgh or Botswana. I grab each one as soon as it is available for download and I am never disappointed in the economy of expression yet attention to nuance contained therein. McCall Smith has an excellent grasp of the various moral and situational ambiguities inherent in modern life and is proficient as well as entertaining in expressing them.
I thought this latest episode left a few compelling threads dangling, however, although perhaps that was intentional, leaving the reader wanting more. There was also a significant variation in my attention level, as the narrative went from yawn to laugh-out-loud hilarity.
There were a few passages that were not really critical to the story lines that could have been shorter, in my opinion, but at least this listen was around 11 or so hours instead of the usual 6, so there is access to a longer interlude with the inhabitants of 44 Scotland Street and their cohorts.
Mr. Smith is as good a writer as there is, however, why is this book titled The World According to Bertie? The character Bertie is just about the least mentioned character in the story. I was looking forward to getting a story FULL of information about my favorite Smith character, Bertie. What we get is a pitifully tiny installment on Bertie. I feel as though I've been hoodwinked, promised one thing and getting so much less. I'm very disappointed.
I read a review of one of the 44 Scotland Street series which was not at ALL complimentary, to say the least. I was saddened because the writer missed the whole point of these fabulous books and one of the best narrators I have ever heard: Robert Ian MacKenzie. Was he looking for blood? Perhaps, guts? These aren't those kind of books. Instead, McCall Smith gives us a glimpse into an absolutely incredible world of (gasp) ORDINARY people. And I have fallen in love with them. Totally. When one book ends, I feel as if all my friends went on vacation at the same time and I am left bereft and alone...well, maybe that might be overstating it a bit...but, honestly, Bertie, Big Lou, Olive, Domenica, Matthew, Miss Harmony and Tofu, etc... are so very wonderful.
No one was more surprised as I, that I could simply adore books which weren't jam-packed with the requisite blood and guts. You go, Alexander McCall Smith and Robert Ian Mac Kenzie! I'm hooked!
Alexander McCall Smith is a wonderful author. I love all of his series. The great narration makes these books a fun listen, too. I highly recommend all of his books.
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The ongoing saga of Scotland street. Thoroughly enjoyed this title as much as the others in this series. Like a soap opera for your ears. Watching the characters evolve...the end of the book is always bittersweet because your left hanging until the next on comes out.
Interesting title for this book as poor Bertie is finding out that HIS world is located in the "Twilight Zone." For the last five years now, Bertie wakes up every morning and he's still six years old, trapped in some Dantian ring of Hell. Luckily for them, everybody else at 44 Scotalnd Street seems to be moving on with their lives. Watch out Mr. Matheson; Alexander McCall Smith is challenging you as the new master of the horror genre.
Lyn Paul Relph
Yes I would listen again because these characters worm their way into your heart. They all become old friends and acquaintances, neighbors as if you too live in Ediinburgh.
How the boy Bertie becomes the hero.
Angus. He's so needy and shy.
No, stretch it out, make it last.
This whole series has brightened my life for years now.
While this is a 'nice' book, like a slightly boring visit to a loved maiden aunt, this series in general does not even come close to the Ladies Detective Agency series.
Talk tends to outweigh plot, as is typical of the later books in whatever series this author writes. This volume is no exception. While I usually enjoy his observations about life, only Scots would be interested in most of the discussions that are in this book.
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