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44 Scotland Street: A 44 Scotland Street Novel (1)by Alexander Mccall Smith
Synopses & Reviews
Welcome to 44 Scotland Street, home to some of Edinburgh's most colorful characters. There's Pat, a twenty-year-old who has recently moved into a flat with Bruce, an athletic young man with a keen awareness of his own appearance. Their neighbor, Domenica, is an eccentric and insightful widow. In the flat below are Irene and her appealing son Bertie, who is the victim of his mother's desire for him to learn the saxophone and italian — all at the tender age of five.
Love triangles, a lost painting, intriguing new friends, and an encounter with a famous Scottish crime writer are just a few of the ingredients that add to this delightful and witty portrait of Edinburgh society, which was first published as a serial in the Scotsman newspaper.
"Like Smith's bestselling Botswana mysteries, this book — comprising 110 sections, originally serialized in the Scotsman, that drolly chronicle the lives of residents in an Edinburgh boarding house — is episodic, amusing and peopled with characters both endearing and benignly problematic. Pat, 21, is on her second 'gap year' (her first yearlong break from her studies was such a flop she refuses to discuss it), employed at a minor art gallery and newly settled at the eponymous address, where she admires vain flatmate Bruce and befriends neighbor Domenica. A low-level mystery develops about a possibly valuable painting that Pat discovers, proceeds to lose and then finds in the unlikely possession of Ian Rankin, whose bestselling mysteries celebrate the dark side of Edinburgh just as Smith's explore the (mostly) sunny side. The possibility of romance, the ongoing ups and downs of the large, well-drawn cast of characters, the intricate plot and the way Smith nimbly jumps from situation to situation and POV to POV — he was charged, after all, with keeping his newspaper readers both momentarily satisfied and eager for the next installment — works beautifully in book form. No doubt Smith's fans will clamor for more about 44 Scotland Street, and given the author's celebrated productivity, he'll probably give them what they want." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Readers needn't possess plaid clothes or a brogue to savor this wise, witty send-up of Edinburgh rogues." Booklist
"[S]everal short chapters...leave the reader wondering what will happen next. This, along with McCall Smith's insightful and comic observations, makes for an amusing and absorbing look at Edinburgh society." Library Journal
"Sheer readerly bliss." Kirkus Reviews
"McCall Smith's assessments of fellow humans are piercing and profound....[His] depictions of Edinburgh are vivid and seamless." San Francisco Chronicle
"[McCall Smith's] accomplished novels...[are] dependent on small gestures redolent with meaning and main characters blessed with pleasing personalities....These novels are gentle probes into the mysteries of human nature." Newsday
"McCall Smith's writing...harks back to a more tranquil age, where gentle ironies and strict proprieties prevail....The pleasure of the novel lies in its simplicity." The Independent (London)
"Utterly enchanting....It is impossible to come away from an Alexander McCall Smith 'mystery' novel without a smile on the lips and warm fuzzies in the heart." Chicago Sun-Times
"McCall Smith's generous writing and dry humor, his gentleness and humanity, and his ability to evoke a place and a set of characters without caricature or condescension have endeared his books...to readers." The New York Times
"Pure joy....The voice, the setting, the stories, the mysteries of human nature....[McCall Smith's] writing is accessible and the prose is beautiful." Amy Tan
"Mr. Smith, a fine writer, paints his hometown of Edinburgh as indelibly as he captures the sunniness of Africa. We can almost feel the mists as we tread the cobblestones." The Dallas Morning News
"Alexander McCall Smith has become one of those commodities, like oil or chocolate or money, where the supply is never sufficient to the demand....[He] is prolific and habit-forming." The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
"[McCall Smith] captures the cold, foggy, history-drenched atmosphere of Edinburgh...with a Jane Austen-like attention to detail." USA Today
The bestselling author of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books and the Sunday Philosophy Club series now pens a delightful and witty portrait of Edinburgh society. Originally serialized in the Scotsman, this title is already an international sensation.
After taking a job at an Edinburgh art gallery, twenty-year-old Pat rents a room from her landlord, the handsome and cocky Bruce, at 44 Scotland Street, and soon discovers that she has also acquired some colorful new neighbors, including Domenica, an eccentric widow; Bertie, a child prodigy; and his overbearing mother, Irene. Original. 75,000 first printing.
Pat rents a room from the handsome and cocky Bruce, at 44 Scotland Street, and discovers that she has also acquired some colorful new neighbors, including Domenica, an eccentric widow.
About the Author
Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the huge international phenomenon, The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, and The Sunday Philosophy Club series. He is a professor of medical law at Edinburgh University. He was born in what is now known as Zimbabwe and he was a law professor at the University of Botswana. He lives in Scotland.
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