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Bertie Plays The Blues: 44 Scotland Street (44 Scotland Street 7) [Hardcover]

Alexander McCall Smith
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Aug 2011 44 Scotland Street 7
Domestic bliss seems in short supply at 44 Scotland Street. Over at the Pollocks, dad, Stuart, is harbouring a secret about a secret society and Bertie is feeling kind of blue. Having had enough of his neurotic hot-housing mother, he puts himself up for adoption on eBay. Will he go to the highest bidder or will he have to take matters into his own hands? Will the lovelorn Big Lou find true love on the internet? And will Angus Lordie and Domenica make it up the aisle? Catch up with all your favourite faces down in 44 Scotland Street as we follow their daily pursuit of a little happiness.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Polygon An Imprint of Birlinn Limited; 1st Edition edition (1 Aug 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846971888
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846971884
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 22.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 194,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Following a distinguished career as a Professor of Medical Law, Alexander McCall Smith has turned to writing full-time. He is the author of over sixty books on a wide array of subjects, and his books have been translated into forty-two languages. He lives in Edinburgh with his wife.

Product Description


This seventh satirical instalment of their adventures is a delight --Scotland in Trust Magazine

Often much humour can t stand up to a second reading. McCall Smith s comedy is different. Because while it is written with abundant wit...there are equally large dollops of wisdom too --Scotsman

Book Description

The brilliant new novel in the 44 Scotland Street series, first serialised in the Daily Telegraph

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
67 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another gem of a book by McCall Smith! 11 Aug 2011
If you are already a fan of the 44 Scotland Street series then this latest instalment will not disappoint. I now have all of Alexander McCall Smith's books and devour them immediately! I often find myself laughing out loud, which can be somewhat of an embarrassment on the train! His stories are always gentle, full of charm, snippets of wisdom and all importantly a good dose of wit and humour. In this volume we pick up with the latest developments in the lives of Bertie & co. Antonia's life takes a new direction after her attack of Stendhal syndrome, Matthew and Elspeth get to grips with family life, Angus and Domenica grapple with their new dometic arrangements and Pat and Lou are both off in search of love! Finally Bertie seems to be making a break through in his long suffering trials with his awful domineering mother! Oh and a good bit of comeuppance for Bruce is thrown in too! The only problem I have with these books is that they make me greedy for more, so I must be patient and wait for the AMS next book to come out! I can't thank Alexander McCall Smith enough for writing such wonderful books, I may need a new book case shortly however...
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
By Blue in Washington TOP 500 REVIEWER TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Such is the level of civility in Edinburgh reminds Alexander McCall Smith in the latest hilarious episode of the 44 Scotland Street series. The usual wonderful characters are all here as a few months have progressed since the previous installment, "The Importance of Being Seven". Matthew and Elspeth are now the parents of triplets and quickly learning how the joy and wonderment of that parenthood is balanced out by the stress of the responsibility and the almost total lack of sleep, These are good people trying to keep up with a sharp turn in their lives, and help arrives in the form of Danish pastry.

Newly engaged boomers, Domenica and Angus, are struggling with the practical aspects of planning a merger of households; a discussion complicated by the arrival of an old first love. The Pollock family is also evolving in its own way with husband Stuart asserting more independence on his own behalf and that of his prodigy son, Bertie. Bertie, a paragon of brightness and common sense, continues to be baffled and frustrated by the main female in his life--mother Irene, but also by the clique of little girls at his school led by the ever-conniving and devious Olive. Irene Pollock, poster person for overbearing, yuppie maternity, gets a major wakeup call in ""Bertie Plays..." when her son takes a shocking step toward repudiation of her methodologies with the help of eBay.

Supporting characters Big Lou, Pat, Bruce and, above all the rest, Cyril the gold-toothed dog, all have important roles to play in this story, largely as participants in the conversations about the daily dilemmas of life that are the main point of the series and, the reader surmises, the author's larger purpose for writing. As in all of these books, there is a sweet satire that can be both gentle and provocative.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great - now I must wait for the audiobook! 19 Aug 2011
The Scotland Street stories are by far my favourite McCall Smith books. I must be Bertie's no 1 fan (or certainly in the top 10). My problem is that I really enjoy the audiobook versions, read by the fantastic David Rintoul. They are perfect for short shopping trips in the car, the stories being told in relatively short segments. Just be careful that you don't get stopped at traffic lights as you giggle helplessly! Being born and brought up in Edinburgh definitely helps but is NOT essential. I look forward hopefully to the next episode about Bertie, Big Lou, Angus and Domenica, Matthew and Elspeth, Pat and the awful Bruce ( and hope that Bertie's father gets rewarded for putting up with his dreadful wife!)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bertie's Adventure 27 Aug 2011
By E. Cole
I have read all of Alexander McCall Smith's books and eagerly ordered this one to be sent to me in Texas. I was fortunate to have a vacation to Edinburgh in June and enjoyed finding the 44 Scotland Street spots from the book.

This book was one of my very favorite in the series. Bertie and Stuart are both trying to move away from Irene's demands and the trials of Matthew and the triplets is quite humorous.

I only wish these books were longer.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but... 29 Aug 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've just read 'The Importance of Being Seven' and 'Bertie Plays The Blues' back to back and, for the most part, thoroughly enjoyed my trip back to Scotland Street and its environs (plus Italy). But whereas I had no hesitation in awarding the previous book 5 stars, this one just didn't quite do it for me.

Let me first deal with the positives - of which there are many. As with the rest of the series, we dive straight into the ongoing story with no unnecessary preamble. Around six months have passed, and - without giving away too much of the plot(s) - births are imminent, wedding plans are in hand, and Bertie is still yearning to escape the clutches of his mother. The character development, the plots, the humour and the philosophical asides are all what we have come to expect from a master story-teller.

So why the dissatisfaction? One word: continuity. Now I must confess that I am one of those annoying people who, when watching a tv show, will always spot when a character is seen getting into a blue car, but then climbing out of a red car. Yes, these things happen and some suspension of disbelief is always required when watching or reading fiction. Artistic licence and all that. But consistency of plot and back-story is always crucial to any soap opera, literary saga, or whatever. So it is a bit disconcerting to find that Bertie, after spending all the last book wishing he was 7, still appears to be 6. Perhaps we can accept this as part of the author's charm and whimsy, but later we have Bertie reminiscing on his adventures and travels, which include Glasgow but not Paris! How could Bertie forget that episode? Or has AMS forgotten it?

Skip this paragraph if you wish to avoid spoilers. The above appears halfway through the book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful read as always
Another instalment in the lives of the denizens of 44 Scotland Street, but let's face it, we're really most interested in dear little Bertie. Read more
Published 25 days ago by
4.0 out of 5 stars Maybee
This was good but I thought it should have a different title. At our Book Club it was quite well received.
Published 1 month ago by Mrs. B. M. Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Consistently good
Of all Alexander McCall Smith's series' this is my favourite. It makes me chuckle on the train in the morning and that cant be bad!
Published 2 months ago by Bookworm
5.0 out of 5 stars Another gorgeous book
Alexander McCall Smith's writing entertains and amuses me so much, but especially with the 44 Scotland Street series. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Margi
5.0 out of 5 stars McCall Smith at his best again!
Oh how marvellous this vintage McCall Smith series is.......I just so look forward to getting lost in Bertie's world, his struggles with his awful mother, his hopelessly inadequate... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Laurie Durand
4.0 out of 5 stars Prompt delivery by Amazon.
McCall Smith seems to have lingered far too long in the period of Bertie progressing through six to seven. But as insightful as ever into the ways of Edinburgh and its people..
Published 3 months ago by A Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
The Scotland Street novels are always enjoyable and Bertie as ever is one of the highlights with his perceptive insights.
Published 3 months ago by Phil Aldis
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great book in the series. Delivered on time and in excellent...
Very good service. I selected this item as a gift for my wife. I ordered it with no issues and it arrived on time in excellent condition. A very good and easy to use service.
Published 3 months ago by Alan Pithie
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 Scotland Street series
As usual, a marvellous continuation of the lives of the friends and residents of no. 44 with Bertie's trials and tribulations forming an engrossing and sometimes amusing part of... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Alice
4.0 out of 5 stars Alexander McCall Smith
Yes this is another good book from the author. As I have said before, you need to start at the beginning of the series to really know what is going on.
Published 4 months ago by Susan Rushmer
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