Wednesday, August 19, 2009

44 scotland street

Pretty much from the first page I knew I would embrace this book rather as much as the beloved 'Sunday Philosophy Club'-series by Alexander McCall Smith - as opposed to his very less than pleasing short stories and the imho overrated 'No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency'-series.

The book is a compilation of a previously published serialised novels in 'The Scotsman' newspaper about the quirky characters living at 44 Scotland Street, their friends, acquaintances and no less eccentric characters surrounding them. As usual, the story seemingly simple, mundane and slow but really brimming with subtle humour and insightful wittiness. Every chapter with a final twist or amusuing conclusion.

To mention but a few of the more or very less than likable but still very enjoyable characters;

Pat, the 20 year old in her second gap year just moved in sharing apartment with the immensely narcissistic, shallow Bruce, age 24.

Bruce who works as a not very gifted surveyor, has a very particular haircut and perhaps loves his men's hair goo a bit too much.

Domenica, the philosophizing anthropologist with a custard coloured Mercedes Benz and a particular fondness for tunnel explorations under Edinburgh.

Bertie, the precocious 5 year old who just wants to live the life of average train loving five year old, but instead is pushed into all sorts of activities by his pretentious mother Irene. He no longer wish to play the saxophone or learn Italian and thus has to go to therapy. Irene hopes that the famous therapist will eventually write a book about Bertie called 'A Remarkably Talented Boy and his Problems in Adjusting to a Mediocre Society'.

Matthew, the proprietor of the 'Something Special' art gallery which doesn't make any real money (where Pat works) but who nearly discovers a Peploe or is it a Vettriano? Ian Rankin plays a hot tub part in the nearly discovery.

The witty portrait painter Angus (who is currently living under threats from the Free Presbyterian church) with his flirty, stinky dog Cyril. Cyril has a gold tooth and likes his beer and women.

Needless to say really, I'm pleased there are now four more books in the series waiting to be devoured by undersigned. In a hopefully not too far future.

More of my views on books by Alexander McCall Smith -
Folk Tales from Africa: The Girl Who Married a Lion
Friends, Lovers, Chocolate
The Right Attitude To Rain
Heavenly Date and Other Flirtations
The Kalahari Typing School for Men
The Full Cupboard of Life
Careful Use of Compliments
The 2½ Pillars of Wisdom
In the Company of Cheerful Ladies
Blue shoes and Happiness


P.K said...

the 44 Scotland Street series is my favourite, I've read them all, and enjoyed them very much.

Pia K said...

Glad to hear that, P.K, strangely enough I haven't heard about anyone who have read any other than the No. 1 Ladies... by him. Until now.

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