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44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith
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44 Scotland Street (edition 2005)

by Alexander McCall Smith

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,656962,250 (3.53)181
Member:Robynnlee
Title:44 Scotland Street
Authors:Alexander McCall Smith
Info:Abacus
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:Edinburgh/ humour

Work details

44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith

  1. 20
    Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin (cransell, Jannes)
    Jannes: Tales of the City was the main inspiration for McCall Smith when he decided to write Scotland Street. The two books have a lot in common, including the episodic format, the light-hearted tone, and the premise of a house and it's tenants.
  2. 00
    The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: These character-driven novels use vignettes and ensemble casts to explore multiple plots and the relationships between characters. 44 Scotland Street is both comical and upbeat, while The Imperfectionists is more nuanced, complex, and thoughtful.… (more)
  3. 00
    Notwithstanding by Louis De Bernières (jayne_charles)
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» See also 181 mentions

English (95)  French (1)  All (96)
Showing 1-5 of 95 (next | show all)
This took me two weeks to read due to my crazy work schedule and also the fact that this book didn't exactly call my name. I plodded along for the sake of being able to say "I finished it." Since this is a serial designed for a newspaper following, it doesn't feel like a normal novel.

It's a fairly clean book, but it's just lacking so much. I'm not feeling a connection with any particular character.

Would I read it again? Most likely not. Try the sequel? No. I just didn't like this book enough to continue on to the second volume. ( )
  caslater83 | Apr 23, 2017 |
Audiobook read by Robert Ian Makenzie
Illustrations by Iain McKintosh

From the book jacket: 44 Scotland Street [is] home to some of Edinburgh’s most colorful charcters. There’s Pat, a twenty-year-old who has recently moved into a flat with Bruce, an athletic young manwith 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.

My reactions
In the preface Smith recalls a conversation he had at a party in California with author Amistead Maupin (who wrote the Tales of the City series). That ultimately led to an invitation from The Scotsman to write a serialized novel for that paper, and 44 Scotland Street was born.

I love this kind of ensemble piece. The chapters are short and change focus among the residents of the building at 44 Scotland Street. Not much happens, and everything happens: love found, lost and found again, awkward encounters, a hidden masterpiece, a secret tunnel, dinner with the boss (and boss’s wife and daughter), rebellion, great neighbors (and bad ones), a precocious child, a new job and therapy sessions. Through it all the reader is treated to the author’s witty observations on this microcosm of Edinburgh society.

Robert Ian Mackenzie does an excellent job of narrating the audio version. He has a great facility with voices, and even gives us a plausible twenty-year-old Pat. He really brings these characters to life, and evokes a sense of fun throughout.

I also must comment on the illustrations by Iain McIntosh, which add to the printed version. I enjoyed looking at the fine detail he includes. Whether depicting Big Lou’s coffee bar, the Something Special Gallery, or Bertie yelling at his mother in her flotation tank, they were great fun. ( )
  BookConcierge | Apr 7, 2017 |
A relaxing and fun read. I enjoy looking up the artist, places, wines, and even streets in Edinburgh the author mentions as the story progresses. ( )
  jack2410 | Feb 2, 2017 |
I'm giving this 4 stars just because it's unique. This was a serial in the Scotsman in 2004 ; one chapter was published daily for 6 months. I just felt that some of the characters were too hokey (not real). Most of the characters in this book live in an apartment house on Scotland Street , thus the name. This book will not make my top 100 favorite books; however, I am glad I read it for our book club. It will be a great discussion book. ( )
  travelgal | Jan 3, 2017 |
I've tried reading other books by this author and didn't like them. Thought it was worth a try for a different series as well as it being a book for book club.
No better results - I didn't like the writing style - choppy and seemingly flying around with no direction or plot. The characters didn't interest me - they were whiny and self-centered. I gave it 68 pages and 8 days of my reading and finally said no more. ( )
  cyderry | Dec 15, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 95 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alexander McCall Smithprimary authorall editionscalculated
McIntosh, IainIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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This is for Lucinda Mackay
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Pat stood before the door at the bottom of the stairs, reading the names underneath the buttons.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
After her first gap year ends in disaster, Pat decides to start afresh. She finds employment at a local art gallery, and moves into a flat at 44 Scotland Street – an intriguing building full of intriguing people. There's Domenica Macdonald, the slightly eccentric anthropologist across the hall. There's Irene Pollock, whose five-year-old son Bertie is a victim of her fascination with psychoanalysis. Then there's Bruce, Pat's roommate – an intolerable, self-absorbed, arrogant narcissist who Pat most certainly does not have feelings for. Well . . . not really.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0349118973, Paperback)

1st in a new series by the author of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. This series is set in an apartment building in Edinburgh, Scotland and has its share of eccentrics and failures. Dry, funny, hugely entertaining stories based in the author's hometown.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:38 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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