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Corduroy Mansions by Alexander McCall Smith

Corduroy Mansions (2009)

by Alexander McCall Smith

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Corduroy Mansions (1)

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8315410,880 (3.57)54
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"Corduroy Mansions," by Alexander McCall Smith, tells the tales of various inhabitants of the London building in Pimlico in which the characters live, and some stories associated with the work lives of the same people. For example, Jenny who shares a flat with 3 other girls, works for the awful Oedipus Snark, whose own mother, the psychoanalyst Berthia, loathes him so much that she’s writing a tell-all biography about him. But the main story is that of William the wine seller, who in an effort to finally get his 24-year-old layabout son out of the flat and into his own life, comes into possession of a lovely Pimlico terrier, a dog trained as a drug-sniffer at airports but now a vegetarian (!). And liveliness ensues from there….I really like Smith’s writing, although I lost interest in the No. 1 Ladies’ series after about 8 books, and my main favourite these days is his Isabel Dalhousie books; this one has, I think, 3 books to its name and as the first, “Corduroy Mansions” is a lovely introduction. Gentle, yet realistic too; I think one’s interest in Smith’s works depends on how much gentleness one wants in one’s reading. ( )
  thefirstalicat | May 31, 2017 |
Just what I needed; needed uplifting. Light reading. Short chapters. I enjoyed doing encyclopedic searching on artist and even street locations in London. ( )
  jack2410 | Feb 2, 2017 |
Corduroy Mansions is a block of flats in suburban Pimlico built in the early twentieth century that is occupied by an eccentric group of Londoners. There is no plot to this story, it is basically a series of anecdotes that provide character arcs for the group. Some of these anecdotes have some humour. The book ends rather tamely. I give the book 2.5 stars. ( )
  Bruce_McNair | Jan 13, 2017 |
Very interesting book with lots of stories intertwined. I love the way McCall Smith writes. ( )
  KamGeb | Nov 12, 2016 |
Wonderful tale about residents of an apartment complex called "Corduroy Mansions" . Delightful reading as are all of Alexander McCall Smith's books. ( )
  DeviTurner | Nov 2, 2016 |
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Like all McCall Smith’s books, their stories are told with warmth, wit and intelligence and his cast of characters are beautifully observed. It’s a page-turner with many happy endings. Perfect.
added by Shortride | editDaily Express, Angela McGee (Aug 18, 2009)
We may laugh, but our sympathies are engaged at the same time: a deeper and more complex emotion than one normally finds in comedy.

It is this fundamental decency that is perhaps the key to McCall Smith's comedies of manners. Corduroy Mansions may lack the local specificity that makes 44 Scotland Street such an enjoyable read, but it's still a great place to visit if you need cheering up.
Occasionally, McCall Smith’s duty to weigh each question seriously causes a character to sound unconvincing... the seriousness is always sugar dusted with McCall Smith’s delight in the ridiculous and his perfectly paced humour. While he’s an author who clearly believes most people are decent at heart, he’s not above creating a character so loathsome that we cheer on as the villain’s mother plans an unauthorised biography of him and later, tipsily, fantasises about electrocuting him.

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alexander McCall Smithprimary authorall editionscalculated
McIntosh, IainIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
prebble, simonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sachs, AndrewNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is for Andrew Sachs
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Passing off, thought William. Spanish sparkling wine - filthy stuff he thought, filthy - passed itself off as champagne.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
There are multiple audiobook editions of this title. Abridged edition, read by Andrew Sachs, was released by Little, Brown Book Group in the UK (ISBN 10: 1405505737 ISBN 13: 9781405505734, 2009). This reading was also released in the US by Hachette Audio (ISBN 10: 1405509376 ISBN 13: 9781405509374, 2010), and by Hachette Australia (ISBN 10: 0349122393 ISBN 13: 9780349122397, 2010). Unabridged edition was released by Recorded Books, and is read by Simon Prebble. (ISBN 10: 1449839398 ISBN 13: 9781449839390, published 2010). amazon.com unfortunately has missing and/or incorrect information on the three editions they list. Two of the listings have incorrect publication dates (1740 and 1900), but both appear to be the Hachette/Sachs edition. The director Chris Thiese is listed in error as the narrator for the Recorded Books edition.
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Serialised e-book on The Telegraph website. Due for book and audio publication in July 2009. Audio version also available online.
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Alexander McCall Smith captures the goings on of the residents and visitors at Corduroy Mansions, Pimlico, from nasty Liberal Democrat MP Oedipus Snark to the newest resident, Pimlico Terrier Freddie de la Hay.

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