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Publisher's Summary

As summer blooms in Edinburgh's gardens, and Bertie Pollock's birthday appears on the horizon, all at 44 Scotland Street is not cake and sunshine. Newlywed Angus Lordie has been booked by his bride into what he must not call the loony bin; Bruce’s first encounter with hot wax brings more anguish than he bargained for; and Bertie's birthday dreams of scout camp and a penknife look set to be replaced by a game of Royal Weddings and a gender-neutral doll. But fate, an amorous Bedouin, and the Dubai Tourist Authority conspire to transport Bertie's mother, Irene, to a warmer--if not a better--place, and once again on Scotland Street the triumph of human kindness over adversity gives cause for celebration.

©2013 Alexander McCall Smith (P)2014 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Bertie's Guide to Life and Mothers

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  • Overall
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Bertie turns seven!!!!

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 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!

6 people found this helpful

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Bertie turns (spoiler)

As Dr McGregor says "even the most dull story can be fascinating". That is Alexander McCall Smith gift to us to make the ordinary extraordinary. Once again I am inspired and saddened by Angus Lordy poetry because that puts an end to another chapter at 44 Scotland St. This time the party is a birthday party for a young man who has wanted to be 7 for a long time. Due to strange and hilarious circumstances he was able to have a little boys party without Irene's interference. Elsewhere: Pat may have found love. Bruce met his match. Matt and Elspeth learns it takes a village (cottage). Even Big Lou may have found unconditional love. Every story was enjoyable.

4 people found this helpful

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Nothing much ever happens. Not my cup of tea!

I saw that readers gave this the most favorable rating of any in this series, so I thought I'd give it a shot. What a disappointment! It seemed more like a collection of character vignettes than a well-formulated novel. Each character seems to be an extreme of some type of personality-a kind of cartoonish caricature. Smith is a good writer, and there are spots of humor, but mostly they take the form of literary slapstick, which gets tiresome very fast. For me, the journey was not rewarding. I probably would not have finished had the narrator (Mackenzie) not been excellent. I won't be trying others in this series.

2 people found this helpful

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I love all the Bertie books

44 Scotland Street is a wonderful series. Great to read if you’d like to escape to a kinder gentler World

1 person found this helpful

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BOOOOORRRRRIIIIINNNGGGGG!!!!!

Warning: Nothing happens in this book!

For those of you who love McCall Smith's Mma Ramotswe series, this series is not a guarantee. I grant that I jumped in at the end of a series. Even still, it was less eventful than a 1980s sutcom. It is very well written, and the narration was great, but it was SO boring!

Now I'm really going to spoil it for you. In this book, there is gossip among elementary students, a nun comes to visit and bores people with her proverbs, an apartment gets renovated, a guy waxes his chest and decides not to ask the waxer out on a date, and on and on and on, culminating in...a birthday party! snore.

I understand that some people like this sort of everyday story, looking into people's lives. I really love McCall Smith's "No. 1 Ladies' Detective" series, do I thought I would try another series of his. The only the it has in common is that they are both very well-written. I'm returning it, because I'm certainly never going to listen to it again.

1 person found this helpful

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My Favorite Book in One of My Favorite Series

I haven't loved all the series McCall Smith has written but this one is fabulous. I don't know how it would be to read the books in print because Robert Ian MacKenzie is a genius at turning words into believable characters. I think he contributes as much as the author. It's the same with the Ladie's Detective series - Lissete Lecat makes the characters come to life.

I have already listened to this audiobook several times, it's that enjoyable.

1 person found this helpful

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Can't believe it's the last one!

These people will live on for me and if I can't continue with them, I'll have to try again with the author's other series. I tried at least one and couldn't connect with it. Alexander McCall Smith seems to live in a certain place, where the people are very real to you, yet one accepts that the actual events are a little fanciful. You suspend reality just a little and you're with him all the way. If you actually start worrying about what is happening when there is a problem, taking it for real, you miss all the fun. I suspect if I approach his other series with that attitude, I may like them better. So, I loved this series. The only problem was laughing out loud at unexpected times!

1 person found this helpful

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Loved the Humour!

McCall Smith, one of my very favourite writers had fun poking holes in some of our modern day sacred cows. (mixed metaphors here.)

1 person found this helpful

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Wonderful, delightfully,

I'm so glad I purchased this book. I'll enjoy listening to it again and again.

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Bertie FINALLY actually turns 7!

With Irene safely out of his hair (temporarily), Bertie FINALLY actually turns 7! He's like Pinocchio, a real boy when there's no one to turn him into a marionette; he's intrinsically kind, thoughtful, a bit impetuous, and wise beyond his years. This is the Bertie we all long to see more of! Not to mention seeing the Stuart we know is always inside crying to get out. Meanwhile, Cyril has a run in with the law that takes from the end of Chapter 11 until the beginning of Chapter 31 to come to resolution. Bruce's karma continues to work its way out, while Matthew and Elspeth and the triplets find help in a couple of unusual places. Big Lou passes an important test. Pat , Angus and Dominica all seem to find contentment. All in all a wonderful edition to the Scotland Street universe.