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Bertie's Guide to Life and Mothers (44 Scotland Street) [Paperback]

Alexander McCall Smith
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
RRP: £7.99
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This title will be released on June 5, 2014.
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Book Description

5 Jun 2014 44 Scotland Street (Book 9)
As summer blooms in Edinburgh's gardens and Bertie Pollock's birthday appears on the horizon, all at 44 Scotland Street is not cake and sunshine. Newlywed Angus Lordie has been booked by his bride into what he must not call the loony bin; Bruce's first encounter with hot wax brings more anguish than he bargained for; and Bertie's birthday dreams of scout camp and a penknife look set to be replaced by a game of Royal Weddings and a gender-neutral doll. But fate, an amorous Bedouin and the Dubai Tourist Authority conspire to transport Bertie's mother Irene to a warmer - if not a better - place, and once again in Scotland Street the triumph of human kindness over adversity gives cause for celebration.

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Bertie's Guide to Life and Mothers (44 Scotland Street) + The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency) + Sunshine on Scotland Street (44 Scotland Street)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus (5 Jun 2014)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0349140065
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349140063
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,326 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


'[An] entertaining book written by this master of observation' --Toowoomba Chronicle

'Bertie's Guide to Life and Mothers lets us immediately relax, secure in the knowledge that we are in a safe pair of hands as McCall Smith is an engaging and a witty guide to the goings on (and comings off) at fictional 44 Scotland Street' --The Sunday Express --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

In the tenth anniversary year of his beloved series, Alexander McCall Smith returns with more delightful adventures from the charming eccentrics who reside in Scotland Street.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
This item has not been released yet and is not eligible to be reviewed. Reviews shown are from other formats of this item.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining and charming book 28 July 2013
By Bluebell TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I've read all the Scotland Street novels and marvel at how the imaginative stories keep coming. I very much enjoyed this next instalment of life among the Edinburgh New town folk whose lives are interwoven in this series. Like a good soap opera most of the characters have been in the series for years: Bertie, his over-bearing mother, Irene; his long-suffering father, Stuart; Big Lou in her coffee bar frequented by Mathew the new father of triplets born to Elspeth in the last book and newly married Angus Lourdie and his amazing dog. Obnoxious Bruce only makes a fleeting appearance, and Pat finds happiness elsewhere.

Bertie remains the central character forever anticipating being seven which he finally attains in this book. Will he remain seven for several more years? His mother, is a wonderful creation that enables the author to poke fun at extreme feminism, psychoanalysis and dietary restrictions. Irene gets involved in a hilarious train of events that will have to be resolved in the next book. I can't wait.

As someone who's lived and worked in Edinburgh these books give extra pleasure as so many familiar places, people, prejudices (against Glasgow), the independence referendum and local issues (the trams!) are spliced into the narrative.

Superficially, the stories are created to amuse but, as always, there's a undercurrent of philosophical conumdrums and issues of morality that makes one stop and think. Some will feel these books paint a anodyne picture of privileged lives and avoid some of the harsh realities of these uncertain times, but it's not a bad thing to read a book that leaves one feeling happy. Denise Mina gives the other side of Scotland: literally and metaphorically.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As refreshing as the best in the series 7 Aug 2013
By Tim
It always seems to take forever for these books to come around even though they are very frequent. I had been anticipating a good "Bertie" book for a while and it didn't disappoint. Small criticism is that some story lines seem to just drop off the radar e.g. Bruce, Cyril's problem after too much beer, Angus's wanderings and such, where they either have no resolution or skip to a resolution. However there is ample writing dedicated to the characters we all love especially Bertie and company (Ranald, Tofu, Olive) and the Lordies. I ate this up in less than 24 hours despite many other calls on my time since once you start you can't stop. If you have enjoyed others in the series this is amongst the best and if you haven't, get on it!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Latest in the Scotland Street series 17 Aug 2013
By Jon
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I couldn't wait for this, the layest in the Scotland Street series. I have come to know all the characters personally over the time of reading them, and this one is no exception. I don't want to finish it, as I expect it'll be a longish wait for the next one. An excellent read.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He has done it again! 31 July 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Lynda Pritchard Newcombe's Review of Bertie's Guide to Life and Mothers:

One wonders how many more times Alexander McCall Smith will find something new to say about these intriguing characters in the Scotland Street novel series. Well, he has done it again and arguably this book is better than any other in the series. The Bertie tales are hilarious but each chapter holds something special to relish on all the characters, whether loveable or obnoxious.

This is relaxing, comfort reading with the bonus of philsophising challenging the little grey cells.

I cannot wait for the next one.

I hope we get to know what happens to Bertie when he is 18. How long will we have to wait?!!!

Lynda Pritchard Newcombe
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Fans of the Scotland Street novels will enjoy this book very much. It is good to be able to read something that is humourous and yet thought provoking at times. It is good to be able to recognise character traits that we find in ourselves or our friends, and to be able to laugh at them. I also like AMcCS's philosophical and social comments that crop up here and there. I know some people don't but maybe it is because I often agree with him!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Birtie's Guide 21 Nov 2013
By tibbs
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I gave this book 5 stars ,because it gave me much pleasure to read it along with all Alexander McCall books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Edinburgh Life 13 Sep 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Excellent story as Bertie grows up. I look forward to hearing more about his adventures with his dreadful mother and the ghastly Olive!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointing 2 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love Alexander Mcall Smith and I have read absolutely everything that he has written. For the first time I have not really enjoyed one of his books. It felt a little as though he had run out of ideas. The writing is, as always, stylish and erudite, but I never had that " must go to bed to read my book" feeling. Nevertheless I will still continue to read everything he writes, because usually his work is so entertaining.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking and very funny
Alexander McCall Smith's Scotland Street series are extremely humerous we hardly notice Bertie never ages as fast as the story lines. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Anne H.
4.0 out of 5 stars Yet another tale of dear Bertie et al
Love all of McCall Smith's books, can't really find anything to criticise! Another tale of dear Bertie and the denizens of Scotland Street, and although Irene doesn't seem quite as... Read more
Published 9 days ago by
5.0 out of 5 stars the title says what's needed!
This series (Scotland St) is very well-established, and possibly the most engaging character is Bertie Pollock, I certainly find his storyline is the most engaging. Read more
Published 17 days ago by M. Turner
5.0 out of 5 stars recommended
I enjoyed reading this very much and would recommend it. You don't need to know the back story but it would help.
Published 24 days ago by Jill Stanfield
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
I alway enjoy reading about the goings in in Scotland street! Can't wait for the next new episode! Brilliant read
Published 1 month ago by Mikki
3.0 out of 5 stars All about Bertie, as the title suggests
Who may I to criticize I could not write a novel but I did feel this was a novel that felt like Mr McCall Smith was struggling after several novels in a series to keep up the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Celia Moutell
5.0 out of 5 stars Always a joy to read AMS
Once more a joy to read If you are looking for a light hearted read look no further brilliant book
Published 1 month ago by murph
5.0 out of 5 stars More of the same...
For all fans of the 44 Scotland Street series, this latest catches up on the lives of the main characters, as well as developing some new ones. Very enjoyable escapism.
Published 1 month ago by Mrs Jane E Crane
5.0 out of 5 stars One of his very best!
Warm, engaging, absorbing, amusing - I didn't want it to end. Looking forward eagerly to news of the next one.
Published 1 month ago by Mr D I Crossley
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that makes you smile.
As a fan of this series, this latest book is even better than the previous episodes. Long suffering Bertie ' s birthday toys made me laugh out loud and I had to keep interrupting... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Miss J R Bucklee
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