Synopses & Reviews
Full of McCall Smith's gentle humor and sympathy for his characters, this second novel set at 44 Scotland Street is also an affectionate portrait of a city and its people who, in the author's own words, "make Edinburgh one of the most vibrant and interesting places in the world." Unabridged. 9 CDs.
"McCall Smith is such a prolific author that he needs at least three readers to keep up with him. The series that transpire in Scotland have two performers. Davina Porter narrates the Sunday Philosophy Club series while Mackenzie performs the series about 44 Scotland Street. Porter is the better performer as she catches the various cadences of Edinburgh's middle class. Mackenzie's characters sound pretty much alike in terms of their accents, with the exception of Angus's hearty brogue. Its also annoying that some of the women are given the same tiny voices used for a six-year-old genius. Best is Mackenzie's over-the-top enactment of Lard, a Glaswegian gangster and his cohorts with their barely comprehensible street slang and thick accents. The major problem with this production is the lugubrious pace of the narration. Although Espresso Tales is the second book in a series, the audio helpfully provides two summaries of characters and events at the beginning. Despite the reader's lack of pep, the author's sly, gentle humor shines through and makes this audio charming and engaging. Simultaneous release with the Anchor paperback (Reviews, May 22). (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Alexander McCall Smith's many fans will welcome the second installment in the best-selling 44 Scotland Street series. Back are all our favourite denizens of a converted Georgian townhouse in Edinburgh. Bertie, the immensely talented six-year-old, is now enrolled in kindergarten, and much to his dismay, has been clad in pink overalls for his first day of class. Bruce has lost his job as a surveyor and, between admiring glances in the mirror, is contemplating becoming a wine merchant. Pat is embarking on a new life at Edinburgh University and perhaps on a new relationship, courtesy of Domenica, her witty and worldly-wise neighbour. In any event, he couldn't be less suitable than her ill-fated flirtation with Bruce. Full of McCall Smith's gentle humour and sympathy for his characters, Espresso Tales is also an affectionate portrait of a city and its people who, in the author's own worlds, "make Edinburgh one of the most vibrant and interesting places in the world."