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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

Critic Reviews

"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 listeners say about Unbearable Lightness of Scones

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    19
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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • 3 Stars
    46
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    4

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

37 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

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!

15 people found this helpful

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

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).

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Series losing its charm

McCall Smith and this series was delightful to start (for the most part) but his characters are getting tedious. This series is starting to feel like an afternoon with your cranky grandpa who drones on about how things just aren’t what they used to be. And those liberals!! Lots of bitterness here.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

One of my fav series

I can’t get enough of the 44 Scotland Street series. I always have a smile on my face during my morning commute when I’m listening to these. The Unbearable Lightness of Scones isn’t my favorite book in the series but Robert Ian McKenzie is always a joy to listen to. Such a simple story, full of life, family friendly, and funny! The perfect series to make your commute enjoyable. If you love Scotland, you’ll love this series.

1 person found this helpful

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

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.

1 person found this helpful

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

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 person found this helpful

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

Going downhill

Initially, I really enjoyed this series. Now, the balance is tipping away from nicely-done fiction to the author’s personal soapbox. In this book, I found myself often wondering if these characters now exist to be vehicles for the author’s rants on political, social, and historical topics. I don’t read a novel to be lectured at, at length. Plus, the tiny subplot about the puppies seems to have been solely created around animal cruelty. I can’t stomach that.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

disturbing pattern in this series

I enjoyed the first 2 books in the Scotland Street series. All the books have lots of characters and stories going on at the same time, which works fine, but starting in book 3, they all have a side story about dogs that are meant to be humorous, but if you’re a dog lover, they just make you uncomfortable throughout the duration of the novel. OK, it’s just fiction, but who wants to read about a dog in a cage about to be killed, a dog who was stolen and abused by a cruel man, or puppies who are about to be eaten? Why do authors do this, and in what universe are these things funny?

It seems suspicious to me when authors use animal cruelty in their novels. In the Scotland series, it’s certainly not used for realism.. It’s possibly intended to add comic effect and drama, but it provokes anger and discontent, not laughter. I kept hoping the next book would break the pattern, but the writing is formulaic, which causes this series to quickly become tedious.
I’ll try his other series and cross my fingers they will not repeat this awful pattern, but with book 5, I’m at the end of 44 Scotland Street.

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

Love the narrator!

The characters, plot, and stories are terrific, as usual. But the narration brings them to life. Kudos to Robert Ian Mackenzie!