This book is a fun listen, and it is literally Smith's take on Maupin's Tales of City, but set in his beloved Edinburgh. It seems that many who have a..Show More »dored the Mma Ramotswe series can't get into anything else Smith has done, previously or subsequently. It's understandable, since the Botwana books are masterpieces. However, Smith is one of the best storytellers of our time, and it is unfortunate to always compare his other books (such as this one) to the Ladies' Detective Agency tales and then find them lacking. This story is full of all of the humanity, thoughtfulness and warm humor that his other stories have had. I can't wait for more of the serial.
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 ..Show More »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.
I have read all of this series, have enjoyed them immensely, and find this to be the most enjoyable. The characters, as usual, are highly developed a..Show More »nd seem to come to life. It's fun, too, having a history with these characters, and much of the plot is a continuation of their past exploits. I would carefully dole out my listening time because I didn't want to get to the end! The narrator is terrific. If you've never read any of these books, start with the first one.
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 ..Show More »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.
I really like Alexander McCall Smith's writing and his sentiments about the important little bits of life.
I can imagine some readers new..Show More » 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.
While Bertie is charming as always, McCall Smith should end the series here rather keeping Bertie at 6-7 forever. There seemed to have been a breakt..Show More »hrough with his mother, but we have been there before. And therein lies the problem: Bertie is treading water with no progress. Unless he gets older and changes, we will keep getting the same problems over and over again.
The beginning of this book was most promising; I could happily have accompanied Angus and Domenica throughut the novel. We begin with Angus bumbling..Show More » about on the morning of his wedding, and his delightful character sings. I was fine with following the many other characters about while Angus and Domenica embark on honeymoon, but I waited eagerly for their return. The book had a finality to it. I would enjoy following other characters--especially poor Bertie who needs to age a bit--but if not, I also feel satisfied and the series feels complete.
I am surprised at needing to make one critical comment. For some very strange reason, the author--not even disguised as a character--tirades against the world of felines so loved by many readers. As a cat owner, I observe, in Smith's unwarranted ramblings off-topic, an immensely inaccurate judgement and a sad lack of knowledge and experience with these gentle animals. He calls them non-trustworthy, non-adoring, and non-companiable! He couldn't be more misguided. In all of his writings it has appeared to me that Smith is a promoter of liberality and patience in dealing with ignorance and suggests, instead, pursuing understanding of characters--and, er--pets. While I am content to believe his tribute to dogs as companions is worthy of my respect, I am sad to see that he has never been held accountable for doing the same towards cats.
Oh the joy of visiting Edinburgh with McCall Smith as he observes the absurd, the kind, the lonely, the ridiculous and the obnoxious … all appropriate..Show More » adjectives for the various characters who reside at, or are former residents of, 44 Scotland Street and its environs. If you have not read this series I strongly recommend that you begin at the beginning and learn to know and, at times, love the various personalities. Bertie seems to be trapped in amber as it has taken him much longer than the average child to reach the lofty age of seven ….. he has been six for years! Get out your Spode china, set a tray for tea (this will make sense as you read the book) and relax as you enter the other worldliness that exists in McCall Smith's Edinburgh … be prepared for laugh out loud moments, poignant moments, and the pure bliss of Cyril getting drunk!