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Publisher's Summary

It is said that a picture may be worth a thousand words, but an old photograph can inspire many more. In this beguiling book, Alexander McCall Smith casts his eye over five chanced-upon photographs from the era of black-and-white photography and imagines the stories behind them.

Who were those people, what were their stories, why are they smiling, what made them sad? What emerges are surprising and poignant tales of love and friendship in a variety of settings - an estate in the Highlands of Scotland; a travelling circus in Canada; an Australian gold-mining town; a village in Ireland; and the Scottish capital, Edinburgh.

Some will find joy and fulfilment - others would prefer happier endings. Each of them, though, will find love, and that is ultimately what matters.

©2016 Alexander McCall Smith (P)2016 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Several "I wish that I had written that..."

What made the experience of listening to Chance Developments the most enjoyable?

It makes commuting so much less hellish, to the point where, with certain books, I don't want to arrive at destination.

What did you like best about this story?

The multiple stories. Probably as romantic as you will find McCall-Smith. Several of the stories were quite remarkable.

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

Always loved Davina Porter but there were no duds. Robert Ian McKenzie is always a standout.

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

Old Photographs and Pictures disclose some remarkable tales. ( I was already casting characters for some of them.)

Any additional comments?

Had to listen to a couple of them two times. So many remarkable asides on the human condition ...

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable Read!

Each story had well-developed characters and an interesting plot. Smith carried the theme of love throughout each unique story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Merrill
  • Oklahoma City, OK, United States
  • 09-15-16

Charming stories!

I love stories by Alexander McCall Smith. Happy endings! Perfect for my thirty minute commute.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Short stories from old photos...with no photos

What made the experience of listening to Chance Developments the most enjoyable?

Each reader seemed specifically chosen for the story and characters - so glad AMS went with a collaborative approach! The familiar narrators from all the AMS series were a pleasure to hear from again.

What did you like best about this story?

The approach of starting with an old photo is incredible. As I listened, I imagined the photos and what details let AMS down the paths he chose.

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

Sister Flora.

If you could take any character from Chance Developments out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Harry. Such a fascinating life.

Any additional comments?

Given this book's tight tie to the inspirational images, it would have been fantastic for Audible to find a way to share those images. I have managed to find a couple of them online, but I'd still really like to see the rest!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

The "Good"; The "Bad"; The "Otherwise"

Where does Chance Developments rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Among all the Alexander McCall Smith books, this collection of Short Stories falls a bit short -- in that most all the stories were very good, but a few were just "so so". :) But I sitll hold AMS at the top of my reading lists! The "No 1 Ladies..." is absolute prefection and I await each new publication with as much anticipation as I do, waiting for a loaf of Home-Made bread!

Would you be willing to try another book from Alexander McCall Smith? Why or why not?

Absolutely, YES!

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

Very good.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No...