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Espresso Tales: The Latest from 44 Scotland Street Paperback – 1 Jun 2006

4.2 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews

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£8.99 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books. Only 10 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus (1 Jun. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349119708
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349119700
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.4 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 66,368 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

It is hard to think of a contemporary writer more genuinely engaging...(his) novels are also extremely funny: I find it impossible to think about them without smiling (Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday)

A treasure of a writer whose books deserve immediate devouring (Marcel Berlins, Guardian)

As warm as cocoa, as cosy as thermal underwear, and just what the doctor ordered for the cold winter evenings (THE TIMES)

Book Description

The second in the series of Alexander McCall Smith's daily novel about the residents of 44 Scotland Street

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you don't find this book laugh-out-loud funny, then you will have altogether missed the point! Every bit as delightful as 44 Scotland Street, the parody of Edinburgh characters continues in the author's usual witty fashion, with scenes of the ridiculous (but often not altogether impossible) and individual personality traits highlighted to the greatest degree. It's a superb comment upon the ridiculous... In fact, do we even realise how ridiculous our society can potentially be!?

Get back in touch with old friends from 44 Scotland Street. There's Pat, the young 20-something soon-to-be student... should she go to the nudist party at Moray Place? She's still working in the Art Gallery for Matthew & it's now turning a profit... can Matthew find some confidence? The erstwhile narcissistic Bruce had decided upon the wine trade as his latest venture, having recently been fired from his career as a chartered surveyor... of course, it doesn't bother him in the slightest that he knows nothing at all about wine! Pat's neighbour and friend Domenica is still there with her insightful comments upon humankind. So too, Angus & his faithful friend, Cyril. But more to the point, this book focuses most of all upon little Bertie (now 6) and his insufferably pushy mother, Irene. Can Stuart stand up to Irene and let Bertie be a little boy? Bertie is finding his way, having just started school, he is now tentatively trying to make friends & "fit in". But this is difficult for Bertie with his pink dungarees, his pink bedroom, his yoga classes, and Italian lessons, the sessions with the psychotherapist & his Grade 7 saxophone. Bertie wants to love mummy all the time... but is finding it very difficult...
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By A Customer on 3 Oct. 2005
Format: Hardcover
The second installment of the to-ings & fro-ings of 44 Scotland Street is even better than the first. With gentle humour, Alexander McCall Smith details the genteel lives of the occupants of that address, and the concerns and issues of their middle class lives (should boys have pink bedrooms to dispel gender stereotypes?). The style of writing is deceptively light, as he does indulge in some big philosophical questions through his characters and it includes discussions on the Iraq war.
The best bit of the book is in the preface - where he notes that he has decided to write a third volume!
Finally - if you are enjoying this series of books you might also enjoy the E.F.Benson 'Lucia' series of books which are equally as humorous and engaging, and have a similar charm.
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Format: Paperback
Well, it looks as though the commute is doing its job because suddenly I am falling behind in my blogging, as opposed to my reading. I've finished two books in the past week and, thus far, haven't found time to write about them. Therefore there might be a kind of double feature thing going on here.. that is, if I don't fall asleep first (hey, I have to get up early!).

I know I said I would try to wait to read Alexander McCall Smith's Espresso Tales until a trip to Edinburgh was on the horizon. But with a new job and no holiday time in sight, as well as a fairly depleted bank balance, I decided to take the plunge.

To give the author his due, when I saw the novel sitting in WH Smith, I really couldn't resist buying it. I've compared McCall Smith to J.K. Rowling previously, and the way I felt when I saw Espresso Tales can only be related to the way I feel when I catch sight of the new Harry Potter on the shelves--I felt like I was getting my friends back (yup, pretty pathetic).

Anyway, it was great to see what Pat, Bruce and the gang from 44 Scotland Street were up to. As well as the old favourites, McCall Smith introduced some new characters--namely a nudist love interest for Pat, and a Glasgow con artist whom child prodigy Bertie beats at cards.

Although I enjoyed the book and will undoubtedly read the third (and most likely last, according to McCall Smith) installment to The Scotsman serialisation, I felt that the novel was missing something. The plot antics seemed too desperate and exaggerated, and there were some characters (i.e. Ramsey Dunbarton) I could've done without knowing more about.

Nonetheless, there were parts of the book that were absolutely laugh-out-loud funny, and the characterisation was, as always, flawless. Sitting on the Tube in the baking heat, there really is no better place than 44 Scotland Street.
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Format: Paperback
One book would have been enough instead of starting a series. This book was all right but I thought that certain parts were tedious. Pat, the student on her second gap year, continues to show poor judgement in men. Deciding to go out with a waiter whose only credit is a good-looking face turns out to be the big mistake, that the reader anticipates, when the date is at a nudist party. Everyone clad in garbage bags because the rain is pouring down. Pathetic! Bruce, the owner of the flat that Pat lives in, has got fired from his job when his boss saw Bruce holding hands with the boss' wife. Bruce is happy though since he feels that being a wine merchant would be more exciting. He gets, what he thinks, a looser friend from his past, to finance his business. Only, he never gets to see any money, because the "looser" takes advice from his even more "looser" solicitor fiancée and pulls out in time. Bruce still gets away with things since he manages to sell some wine at an auction, to a GREAT price. He does get thrown over by his American sweetheart but he soon finds someone else in London so he disappears from the book series. Thank heavens for that. Matthew, the boss of Pat's, who owns a gallery, receives a new stepmother against his will, but in so doing, also receives 4 million pounds from his dad. So he can't really complain. Genius Bertie, 6-years old, starts school but of course his mother continues to push him and embarrass him and the psychotherapist still is blind to the problem. Stuart, the father, finally decides to start being a part of his son's life and they take the train to Glasgow to find their missing car. They receive a stolen, almost identical car, from Glasgow's Al Capone and I'm sorry but if this isn't bad and too much, then Ramsey Dunbarton's memoirs are.Read more ›
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