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A Conspiracy Of Friends (Corduroy Mansions) Audio CD – Audiobook, Abridged

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio; Abridged edition (5 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405509376
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405509374
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 2.3 x 12.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 719,499 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alexander McCall Smith is one of the world's most prolific and most popular authors. His career has been a varied one: for many years he was a professor of Medical Law and worked in universities in the United Kingdom and abroad. Then, after the publication of his highly successful 'No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency' series, which has sold over twenty million copies, he devoted his time to the writing of fiction and has seen his various series of books translated into over forty-six languages and become bestsellers through the world. These include the Scotland Street novels, first published as a serial novel in The Scotsman, the Isabel Dalhousie novels, the Von Igelfeld series, and the Corduroy Mansions series, novels which started life as a delightful (but challenging to write) cross-media serial, written on the website of the Telegraph Media Group. This series won two major cross-media awards - Association of Online Publishers Digital Publishing Award 2009 for a Cross Media Project and the New Media Age award.

In addition to these series, Alexander writes stand-alone books. 2014 sees publication of three new novels which fall into this area: 'The Forever Girl'; 'Fatty O'Leary's Dinner Party'; and 'Emma' - a reworking of the classic Jane Austen novel. This year there will also be a stunning book on Edinburgh, 'A Work of Beauty: Alexander McCall Smith's Edinburgh'. Earlier stand alone novels include 'La's Orchestra Saves the World' and 'Trains and Lovers: A Hearts Journey'.

Alexander is also the author of collections of short stories, academic works, and over thirty books for children. He has received numerous awards for his writing, including the British Book Awards Author of the Year Award in 2004 and a CBE for service to literature in 2007. He holds honorary doctorates from nine universities in Europe and North America. In March of 2011 he received an award from the President of Botswana for his services through literature to that country.
Alexander McCall Smith lives in Edinburgh. He is married to a doctor and has two daughters.

Product Description

Review

The true elegance of the McCall Smith novel-writing machine lies in the fact that for all the comic absurdity of storylines no sooner have we finished with the story of the reluctant gigolo, for example, than we are being introduced to an English-speaking yeti the stories themselves have a very sure and sometimes detailed moral sensibility. --The Scotsman

His thinking is subtle, his observations of human nature and society acute, his plotting watertight, his characters vivid and his turn of phrase sometimes astonishingly beautiful and moving. --Sydney Morning Herald --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

* The third novel in the London-based Corduroy Mansions series from Alexander McCall Smith, comparable in warmth and humour to 44 Scotland Street, read by the inimitable Andrew Sachs.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Rosemary Kaye on 8 July 2011
Format: Hardcover
I enjoy the Corduroy Mansions series, but I do feel that Alexander McCall Smith never really gets to grips with London in the same way that he handles Edinburgh - this is, of course, unsurprising, as he is an Edinburgh resident. Without the numerous references to real places (Valvonna & Crolla, the Scottish Gallery, etc) and people, the London books seem to me less compelling. There is nothing "London" about the characters, as there is "Edinburgh" about Angus Lordie and Cyril. The characters in A Conspiracy of Friends could really be anywhere.

Having said that, I do think this series is improving as it goes along, and as the characters become better defined. I now really want to know what is going to happen to William and Freddie De La Hay - Alexander McCall Smith definitely has a way with writing about dogs.

As one of the previous reviewers says, these books are extremely comforting, with some laugh out loud moments. I will most certainly look forward to the next instalment, even though Scotland Street will always be my favourite series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joyce Symington on 25 Aug. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like this author very much as he has a very neat outlook on the world and its many mad inhabitants and their weird ways. He shows in this book how we can relate to dogs in a different way to the norm, and also lets us see how the dog may well relate to our world and ourselves as being slightly potty and unpredictable. Freddie de la Hay of course, is a very different dog!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Avid_Reader on 12 Jun. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
With the exception of the No. 1 Ladies........I really enjoy Alexander McCall Smith's books.

My favourites are the ones set in Edinburgh because there feels something very real about them, that the characters do exist and if l were to visit the city l would come across them in everyday life.

This novel contains a set of delightful characters who live in London and behave in a mostly ideal/admirable way. When they stray this behaviour is seen as an aberration and they quickly return to a moral way of life. This and the philosophical insights that feature are the reasons the books appeal to me.

The storyline is not too heavy and l don't hurt my brain thinking about the rights and wrongs but simply enjoy.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
5 stars? Why?
Not because it is perfect. Not because it is exicting. Not because it is great literature.
No! 5 stars because I kept wanting to read more.
The unextraordinary events in the lives of not so extraordinary people drew me in. I cared about them and about their experience of events in their lives over which they were, as are we all, ill equipped to deal. Each event, an experience of , at least, grudgingly acknowledged (on my part), significance, could, in the hands of a lesser writer, appear banal. However, crafted by Mr McCall Smith, each encounter, revelation or event provides a new insight into the deepest yearnings of these not quite ordinary people. People ( characters), are so nicely drawn and truly posed, that they come alive in our imaginations and excite sympathy and concern over matters which, on any objetive assesment, appear trivial.
That they matter to the characters, characters whom we come to cherish thanks to the art of Mr McCall Smith, makes them important. We come to care.
In truth, having little affinity with animals and no real interest or liking for dogs, I found myself absorbed and intrigued by the appearnces and adventures of Freddy De La Hay, a Pimlico Terrier. I have, in others, noticed elements of human to dog relationships which Mr McCall Smith so beautifully and sensitively describes. He avoids over anthrpomorphising the dog, rather using it as a means to reveal buried aspects of it's human protagonists' characters.
Others have criticised inconsistencies in the chronology of this series, loose ends not resolved and over complicated story lines.
I do not say they are wong but I do feel that they have missed the point.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By H. Old on 30 Nov. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book! I read it on holiday after having read a really 'frothy' typical summer read and the quality of Alexander McCall Smith's writing was such a welcome relief! It is brilliantly written with great attention to detail which makes the characters believable, likeable and funny. There isn't much of a storyline or plot but it just gently meanders along, introducing new and interesting characters along the way. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who likes a well written light-hearted read. I'll now read the others he's written in this series.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. J. Hutson on 4 Jun. 2011
Format: Hardcover
A treat for McCall Smith fans; well-written and funny Just when you thought you knew all about the existing characters, he springs surprises. I read this in two days and now am wanting the next instalments.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rosie on 11 July 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As always McCall Smith provides an entertaining book written in faultless prose. Even though the stories are a bit weak sometimes there is something intensely satisfying in reading them as they are written in such a sympathetic and leisurely style it is easy to overlook the human truths often laid bare.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steve Barnes on 2 April 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As always Mr McCall Smith writes with such amazing insight and manages to put into words the idocincranses that make each person individual. His fictional characters always become well known friends and acquaintances. You really have to read this series of books for youself
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