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Unbearable Lightness of Scones | [Alexander McCall Smith]

Unbearable Lightness of Scones

Precocious six-year-old Bertie joins the scouts to escape his mother, Matthew learns to handle the challenges of marriage, and Domenica deals with loneliness. Even four-legged Cyril gets in on the action, finding himself a bit of canine romance.
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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling, award-winning author Alexander McCall Smith delivers the fifth entertaining novel from his 44 Scotland Street series.

Precocious six-year-old Bertie joins the scouts to escape his mother, Matthew learns to handle the challenges of marriage, and Domenica deals with loneliness. Even four-legged Cyril gets in on the action, finding himself a bit of canine romance.

©2009 Alexander McCall Smith; (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

"It is impossible to come away from an Alexander McCall Smith novel without a smile on the lips and warm fuzzies in the heart." (Chicago Sun-Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (368 )
5 star
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4.6 (229 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Benedict San Francisco, US, Canada 01-16-10
    Benedict San Francisco, US, Canada 01-16-10 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Touching bit of love"

    I really like Alexander McCall Smith's writing and his sentiments about the important little bits of life.

    I can imagine some readers new to the series might wonder why he gets such good ratings. For me, I like the touching characters, their ethical concerns about how to behave and the author's very realistic view of what we really think day to day.

    The warmest character has been ending each book in this series with a poem about love that is very real, and I like that very much.

    I find myself setting aside my duties in life to listen to any book I buy authored by Smith.

    The narration is exquisite.

    29 of 29 people found this review helpful
  •  
    connie Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada 08-23-10
    connie Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada 08-23-10

    Narrative makes the world go round.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "always hated books about kids and dogs"

    but I look forward to the next installment of the 44 Scotland Street to learn how Berite and Cyril are faring. I listened to all five available audiobooks in the series this summer and marvel at how McCall Smith keeps me addicted to his story lines and characters. MacKenzie's narration is a big part of the charm.

    I look forward to the next in the serial (I hear that Bertie turns 7) and I wish Audible could exchange its complimentary subscription to the NY TImes for the Scotsman so I did not need to wait!

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    carmen OFallon, MO, United States 04-09-13
    carmen OFallon, MO, United States 04-09-13 Member Since 2011

    Favorite author: Alexander McCall Smith Favorite narrator: Gerard Doyle Favorite listen : Burton and Swinburne Trilogy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "More adventures of our freinds on Scotland St"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Unbearable Lightness of Scones to be better than the print version?

    Ian Mckensie brings all the characters to life. I love the way he makes every day people doing normal things endearing and interesting. A lot of that is a testament to Alexander Mcall Smith who does that best. All of his books are about etraordinary ordinary people.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I love the way Angus and Mathew are so protective of Big Lou. Poor Big Lou, like most of us, seems to always attract the wierdos.


    What does Robert Ian MacKenzie bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I think I probably would not have enjoyed Dominica as much because I probably would have read her as snooty and antagonistic. Ian mckensie reads her as a normal person who is flawed. That makes you kind of love her.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The moment that moved me to tears was between Mathew and Big Lou. Where you really got a sense that Big Lou has a big heart and Mathew is just inherently a good person. The funnier parts were Berties adventures although, if you were Bertie, you would probably be moved to tears.


    Any additional comments?

    The series started out with Pat moving to the big city and these are the people she meets and the things that happen. At least in my mind. I am sure everyone has their favorites, but to me Pat was the heart of it. When her and Mathew broke up I was sad but not disapointed because it was obvious that Miss Harmony and Mathew belong together. However, Pat was barely mentioned in the book except to say she was happy for Mathew and since moving out of edinborough she lost touch with Dominica and Angus. I am kind of disapointed because I was waiting to see if Pat would find love too or at least start collecting cats. I am still listening to the next one when I get my credit in four days.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane McLean 07-21-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Just LOVE this series and these characters!"

    I love this series, the characters and their antics. The narration is just perfect as far as the characters and their personalities. I feel like I know them all!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah BOERNE, TX, United States 06-13-15
    Sarah BOERNE, TX, United States 06-13-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Another Excellent Book from the Series!"
    Where does Unbearable Lightness of Scones rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    There are many, many audiobooks I have loved and appreciated and this whole series ranks at the top. The author has an extraordinary ability to get into the minds of the characters, whether they are young men, older men,women, children or even a dog.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Unbearable Lightness of Scones?

    Bruce has his eyes opened when he attends a party and learns he has some competition for his fiance - he goes from detestable to pitiable but begins a period of personal insight which I hope will turn out well for him in future books. These stories are a literary soap opera that one hopes will go on and on forever (although I know there are only a few books left in the series).


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

    One might say his performances get better with each book but it's hard to improve on perfection. MacKenzie's performance is at least fifty percent of what makes these audiobooks so good.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    I don't see this book as a film, maybe an ongoing TV series.


    Any additional comments?

    A caveat for sensitive animal lovers - there is a disturbing situation involving Cyril's puppies which is not resolved in this book but I did read somewhere in a Q & A with the author that the puppies are fine and end up performing in a circus. I don't think this ever comes up in the books, but I'm not sure since I haven't read them all (yet).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine Georgetown, Ontario, Canada 02-22-15
    Katherine Georgetown, Ontario, Canada 02-22-15 Member Since 2011
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    "The characters are becoming old friends"

    I'm definitely hooked on this series now, even though very occasionally it drags. The charm, the wisdom and the humour more than makes up for it. The narrator, Robert Ian Mackenzie couldn't be better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kaye Allambie Heights NSW, Australia 01-24-15
    Kaye Allambie Heights NSW, Australia 01-24-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Pleasant but pointless"

    Long and meandering, often gave me a chuckle but never really went anywhere. There was basically no story, just some likeable and realistic characters wandering through life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ralph W. Dobson 01-17-15

    Aloharalph

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    "Delightful"

    Warm hearted story with lots of humor. Can't wait to listen to the next one.

    Loved his no 1 detective series

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Levine 01-10-15
    M. Levine 01-10-15
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    "I hate when these end!"

    The continuing characters are wonderful, there are enough stories and surprises to keep me happily listening, and the narrator is great!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    laura Eugene, OR, United States 10-11-14
    laura Eugene, OR, United States 10-11-14 Member Since 2013

    I am a fiber artist and teacher. I love moderate action, plot twists, diverse characters and much romance.

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    "Kept Expecting A Plot, but enjoyed it nonetheless"

    I guess I go this on a BOGO sale or something, because now that I come back for #2, it turns out this was #5, not #1. I really don't like listening to things out of order and I did kind of wonder that it seemed like I should have known more about the characters than I did as I listened. Nice narration, though. There's only so much a grown man can do to sound like a 6 year old I guess, but his phrasing and inflection were in no way annoying. I am very particular about narrators. I plan to listen to more of these when I need a soothing voice.

    I quite liked that the dog is a character in his own doggy way. I kept expecting Something To Happen. Well, lots of things happened, but nothing really happened. It turns out it really is just a nice long story about some fairly normal and nice Scottish People who live near one another and have sort of everyday adventures, joys, and sorrows. Once I figured out that it wasn't really supposed to have a plot exactly, I quite enjoyed it!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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