Once more we catch up with the delightful goings-on in the fictitious 44 Scotland Street from Alexander McCall Smith. With customary charm and deftness, McCall Smith gives us another instalment in this popular series, now running in its ninth season in The Scotsman. Anything could happen to Bertie and the gang....
A delightful portrait of relationships and friendshipness with plenty of funny episodes. Looking forward to read the following one.
Listened to the first in the series but was disappointing due to narration. (Have read all the books). This was highly enjoyable and well read
Bertie having finally reached his 7th birthday, and with his tyrannical mother sowing discord in a Gulf State seraglio, experiences well deserved happiness for a time, while his paternal grandmother comes to look after the family.
To my mind, he's one of the immortal characters of fiction, both wise beyond his years, and innocent as a dove, Candide with great intelligence and wide knowledge in a child's body, a perfect guileless critic of adult hypocrisy and pretensions.
McCall Smith, though not Scots born, or perhaps because not Scots born, has the measure of our capital city in all its beauty, history, cultural heritage (and snobbishness, particularly directed towards "Weegies" - those wild fried Mars bar eaters from that unmentionable city at the other end of the M8.)
Ian Rankin and others recount the dark criminal Edinburgh- the bleak outer housing schemes, all hope lost since Thatcher cheerfully destroyed Scotland's economy but no city or country is entirely described by its worst aspects.
McCall Smith is an east coast John Galt (Annals of the Parish, The Provost, etc) who can make fine stories without sensational events.
I'm trying not to hope Irene falls under one of those mythical trams...
Another great episode of this lovely series - and I could listen to David Rentoul all day.
McColl Smith manages to weave a story that feels as if the reader, or listener, in this case feels a part of. David Rintoul's narration and cadence brings it alive. We are all routing for Bertie.
The descriptions of the smells, aromas, atmosphere and sensuality of V&C never fail to take me straight to Edinburgh. And for Bertie they must be an antidote to the harshness of his mother. I enjoyed the 'Irene-free' zone of the majority of the book allowing me to engage in the development of some of the other characters, such as the early married lives of Angus and Domenica and how they are learning to live together and enjoy each other's company while having their separate lives too. It was good to hear more of Big Lou. Also to hear what an obnoxious child Olive is, though repeating verbatim things she has heard adults say of Irene without understanding what she is saying but confirming to the listener in 15 years time she too will be embarking on her life as an Irene clone. Poor Bertie, we can only hope he gets to Glasgow or at least conceals the location of where he is wanting to go from Olive so she can't go there too! Having just finished The Bertie Project I am waiting for the next one to find out how everyone in Scotland Street, and beyond, manage their lives and lives.
Just as relaxing to listen to as this series is to read. However I didn't find thr story line of this particular story so gripping, it ended pretty abruptly. It was still lovely to hear about the familiar characters and I am looking forward to the next book.
Thanks, Mr Smith for the reminder. Nice books and a nostalgia trip for me but the snottiness, the chauvinism, the small mindedness, the alcohol consumption remind me just how toxic an environment Edinburgh is for anyone who doesn't grow up playing rugby. I feel sure Bertie will run the hell off to San Francisco and become and character in an Armistead Maupin novel. He will if he knows what's good for him. Perhaps if Irene had been allowed to disclose the horrors of her childhood, we'd all understand her desire to protect Bertie from the toxic culture of Edinburgh. I ended up feeling quite sorry for her.
What did you like most about The Revolving Door of Life: 44 Scotland Street, Book 10?
The always entertaining characters and observations, and the absence of Bertie's dreadful mother Irene, the poor little boy.
What did you like best about this story?
The continuing story of the lives of an eclectic and sometimes eccentric group of people, and yes, and the absence of Bertie's dreadful mother.
What about David Rintoul’s performance did you like?
Easy to listen to his voice.
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Occasional laugh out loud moments.
Would you listen to The Revolving Door of Life: 44 Scotland Street, Book 10 again? Why?
I will certainly listen to not only this book but the whole series again
Which scene did you most enjoy?
I love any scene that involves Bertie and his mother but also like the way that the story is woven from the lives of different characters
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
I don't think I would have managed the book at one sitting but certainly wanted to come back to it at every available opportunity