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44 Scotland Street

by Alexander McCall Smith

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: 44 Scotland Street (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,0471083,262 (3.54)220
When Pat rents a room in Edinburgh, she acquires some interesting neighbors--including a pushy Stockbridge mother and her talented, sax-playing, five-year-old son. Her job at an art gallery hardly keeps her busy until she suspects one painting in the collection may be an undiscovered work by a Scottish master.… (more)
  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
    Notwithstanding by Louis De Bernières (jayne_charles)
  3. 01
    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)
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» See also 220 mentions

English (107)  French (1)  All languages (108)
Showing 1-5 of 107 (next | show all)
Originally published as a serial in the Scotsman newspaper. Hard to put down at the conclusion of a chapter because of the hook at the end to get one to buy the next issue of the newspaper. I must visit some of the book's settings on my next trip to Edinburgh. A nice light read with well developed and likable characters. ( )
  lynnbyrdcpa | Dec 7, 2020 |
[This is a review I wrote in 2007]

I loved this book. It was a real delight to read. A treasure trove of wonderfully exaggerated characters, each highlighting a different aspect of the bourgeois Edinburgh society that Alexander McCall Smith is portraying in this novel. The plots are funny, and although not entirely believable... if you stretch your imagination just a little bit, you're almost there!

The main character is Pat. Pat is 20 and taking a second year out before going to uni. She's just found herself a room to rent at 44 Scotland Street and walked into job in an art gallery (a struggling art gallery!)...

Meet Bruce, the self-absorbed narcissistic but also very fit flatmate. Meet Matthew, the new boss who knows nothing at all about art and even less about running a successful business. Meed Domenica, the welcoming, supportive and fascinating neighbour. Then, of course there's snooty neighbour Irene and her sax playing, french-speaking 5 year old son... Of course many more such characters are just waiting to make your acquaintance in this fabulously witty novel.

There are mini plot lines and cliffhangers throughout to keep your attention going and the pages turning. The novel itself is a breakdown of neat little 2 or 2.5 page segments, amounting to an amazing 110 chapters. Usually, this kind of breakdown is an annoyance and can feel very stilted, but Alexander McCall Smith makes this work so well and ties in all the threads so that you barely notice. The book originally began as daily instalments in "The Scotsman" paper, hence so many chapters but it works so well if you read it all in one go. The only very slight irritation for me is that Pat comes across as just a bit too sensible and sophisticated for her 20 years... but then again, I guess none of the characters in the book are entirely believable...... ( )
  ArdizzoneFan | Nov 20, 2020 |
Enjoyable light read - perfect for hot summer weather! ( )
  leslie.98 | Jul 31, 2020 |
This is a light, entertaining story about a narcissist, a conflicted flatmate, and a serially unsuccessful gallery owner. There is no great plot here, but the characters are interesting. What I enjoyed most was Googling the artists, poets, and writers I was not familiar with. This is the first book in a series, and it left enough unsaid to make me want to read the next book. Especially, I need to find out about Cyril, the dog with the gold tooth. ( )
1 vote TooBusyReading | Nov 24, 2019 |
I've read all of Alexander McCall Smith's #1 Ladies Detective Agency books, but have never ventured into his novels set in Scotland, so when I was offered an audio book of the first of his Scotland Street series, I jumped at it. And I was not disappointed.

The interconnected stories of the inhabitants of a block of flats in Edinburgh is charming and heartwarming and, at times laugh out loud funny. I especially like the precocious little boy, Bertie, and his insufferable and predictable liberal parents.

I'll certainly be dipping into the other novels in this series. They are perfect for chilly winter days with a nice hot cup of tea. ( )
1 vote etxgardener | Nov 20, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 107 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alexander McCall Smithprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kern, ÉlisabethTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McIntosh, IainIllustratorsecondary authorsome 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)

When Pat rents a room in Edinburgh, she acquires some interesting neighbors--including a pushy Stockbridge mother and her talented, sax-playing, five-year-old son. Her job at an art gallery hardly keeps her busy until she suspects one painting in the collection may be an undiscovered work by a Scottish master.

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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.
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Average: (3.54)
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1 24
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2.5 23
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3.5 57
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4.5 24
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