Bertie plays the blues A 44 Scotland Street novel

Alexander McCall Smith, 1948-

Book - 2013

Saved in:

1st Floor Show me where

FICTION/Mccallsm Alexande
1 / 1 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
1st Floor FICTION/Mccallsm Alexande Checked In
Series
McCall Smith, Alexander, 1948- 44 Scotland Street series ; v. 7.
Subjects
Published
New York : Anchor Books, a division of Random House LLC 2013.
Edition
First Anchor Books edition
Language
English
Physical Description
310 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
ISBN
9780307948496
0307948498
Main Author
Alexander McCall Smith, 1948- (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Bertie is a six-and-a-half-year-old boy in Edinburgh who is so unhappy with his mother-driven schedule of yoga, Italian lessons, and a weekly visit to a psychotherapist that he puts himself up for adoption on eBay. He lives with his well-meaning but weak father and domineering mother in a well-appointed but loveless flat on Scotland Street. This upscale apartment building, the setting for McCall Smith's Scotland Street series, also houses a cultural anthropologist, soon to marry a portrait painter, and it used to hold the gels, ointments, mirrors, and wardrobe used by Bruce, the beyond-handsome narcissist who fascinates the art student Pat (McCall Smith says it's like a cobra fascinating a mouse). The prolific McCall Smith, who also produces the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series and the Corduroy Mansions series, writes the Scotland Street novels in serial form for The Scotsman, appearing daily several months a year. He moves from vignette to vignette within the flat and in greater Edinburgh, always moving his characters' fates forward bit by bit, meeting in the apartment house hallway by meeting at Big Lou's café or meeting at the wine bar. The plotlines, now spanning seven novels, are devilishly clever, but readers may well value even more McCall Smith's wit and his characters' conversations and reflections on happiness, loneliness, and love. Often droll, often touching, the Scotland Street stories are always delightful to read. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Bestseller Smith's seventh 44 Scotland Street novel (after 2012's The Importance of Being Seven) provides another genial, witty glimpse into the life and times of the denizens of an Edinburgh neighborhood. Seven-year-old Bertie Pollock gets top billing in the title, but all the usual characters figure in the book's many subplots, including Bertie's parents, Irene and Stuart; schoolmates Ranald and Olive; Elspeth Harmony, her husband, Matthew, and their newborn triplets; Domenica Macdonald (now affianced to Angus Lordie); and the proprietress of the local cafe, Big Lou. How will Elspeth and Matthew cope with triplets? Where will Domenica and Angus live? Can Big Lou find happiness through online dating? And on the farcical side, can Bertie orphan himself by auctioning off his parents on eBay? Smith writes soap operas, but for a thoughtful, literate audience interested in the inherent conflict between the moral virtue of civility and the personal desire for happiness. As Angus puts it, there are people who "led the examined life—who questioned themselves, who weighed up what to do, who developed and nurtured the self." They are philosophical but always human, and Smith's great gift is to render—and reconcile—that contradiction. Agent: Robin Straus, Robin Straus Agency. (Oct.) [Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

Review by PW Annex Reviews

Bestseller Smith's seventh 44 Scotland Street novel (after 2012's The Importance of Being Seven) provides another genial, witty glimpse into the life and times of the denizens of an Edinburgh neighborhood. Seven-year-old Bertie Pollock gets top billing in the title, but all the usual characters figure in the book's many subplots, including Bertie's parents, Irene and Stuart; schoolmates Ranald and Olive; Elspeth Harmony, her husband, Matthew, and their newborn triplets; Domenica Macdonald (now affianced to Angus Lordie); and the proprietress of the local cafe, Big Lou. How will Elspeth and Matthew cope with triplets? Where will Domenica and Angus live? Can Big Lou find happiness through online dating? And on the farcical side, can Bertie orphan himself by auctioning off his parents on eBay? Smith writes soap operas, but for a thoughtful, literate audience interested in the inherent conflict between the moral virtue of civility and the personal desire for happiness. As Angus puts it, there are people who "led the examined life—who questioned themselves, who weighed up what to do, who developed and nurtured the self." They are philosophical but always human, and Smith's great gift is to render—and reconcile—that contradiction. Agent: Robin Straus, Robin Straus Agency. (Oct.) [Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Looks at the disparate lives of the residents of an Edinburgh apartment building, including the overwhelmed new parents of twins, a newly engaged couple, and a hen-pecked husband and his overbearing wife.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Looks at the disparate lives of the residents of an Edinburgh apartment building, including the overwhelmed new parents of twins, a newly engaged couple and a hen-pecked husband and his overbearing wife. By the author of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. Original.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

44 SCOTLAND STREET - Book 7The residents and neighbors of 44 Scotland Street and the city of Edinburgh come to vivid life in these gently satirical, wonderfully perceptive serial novels, featuring six-year-old Bertie, a remarkably precocious boy—just ask his mother.  If you haven’t met the residents of 44 Scotland Street yet, there is no better time, since everyone seems to be in the midst of new beginnings. New parents Matthew and Elspeth must muddle through the difficulties of raising their triplets Rognvald, Tobermory and Fegus—there's normal sleep deprivation, and then there's trying to tell the children apart from one another. Angus and Domenica are newly engaged, and now they must negotiate the complex merger of two households. Domenica is also forced to deal with the return of an old flame, while Big Lou has begun the search for a new one, boldly exploring the new world of online dating and coming up with an Elvis impersonator on the first try. And in Bertie’s family, there's a shift in power as his father Stuart starts to stand up to overbearing mother, Irene—and then there’s Bertie, who has been thinking that he might want to start over with a new family and so puts himself up for adoption on eBay.  With his signature charm and gentle wit Alexander McCall Smith vividly portrays the lives of Edinburgh’s most unique and beloved characters.