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The Importance Of Being Seven (44 Scotland Street) Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook, CD

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio; Abridged edition edition (1 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405508833
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405508834
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.5 x 13 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 266,255 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

Book Description

* The sixth volume of Alexander McCall Smith's wonderful serial novels set in Edinburgh's New Town

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-five languages. He lives in Edinburgh with his wife.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By R. King on 2 Sept. 2010
Format: Hardcover
While the 44 Scotland Street series is a gentle and witty soap opera on the surface, McCall Smith's ability to explore the underbelly of society that surrounds us all gives it depth and purpose. Originally published as a serial in The Scotsman it is provided in quick soundbites that merge all too easily to keep you reading section after section.

This serial style of writing will inevitably bring comparisons to Dickens, yet the difference is that the writing is incredibly succinct. Dickens' beautiful prose and outlandish characters will always charm but McCall Smith gets straight to the point. Other authors such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez or John Irving provide similar levels of detail about their characters, but with McCall Smith you scarcely know you are absorbing the information.

The importance of being seven features a number of key characters, the most heart-warming of which is six year old genius Bertie who longs to be seven and to be given freedom from Irene, his overbearing mother. It is simply impossible not to side with Bertie, even his baby brother Ulysses is sick whenever he sees his mother.

Bertie also has to deal with caustic school `friends' and the fact that cub scouts not only let girls in, but ban their members from carrying a knife. His mother doesn't want him to go anyway, and there is not much time for such boyish activities with his Italian lessons, yoga and totally unnecessary psychotherapy sessions.

Artist Angus Lordie and his ever present dog Cyril are travelling to Italy to look for inspiration for a master painting. He is currently painting portraits of bank managers who have since left the bank with golden handshakes after playing their part in the recent financial crisis.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Mr. S. J. Moore on 12 Aug. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The latest volume in the ongoing Scotland Street saga. Bertie continues to charm, his Mother to infuriate the reader and all the other characters continue to delight and surprise. Will the reformed Bruce Anderson continue to be a good boy? As always, McCall Smith's prosaic style is excellent, mixed with Edinburgh slang. When I have finished, I will wait number 7 with some patience.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Gaynor Madoc Leonard on 8 Oct. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Once more we are reunited with the denizens of Scotland Street. Poor Bertie continues to suffer under his ghastly mother's regime but some joy comes into his life in this book so one feels a little less apprehensive on his behalf. All our old friends appear; what is more comforting or delightful than a new Alexander McCall Smith novel, full of wisdom and gentleness?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. R. Caley on 29 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Trying to keep up with AMS's prodigious output is something of a challenge! Having got up to speed with happenings in Africa, Corduroy Mansions and elsewhere in Edinburgh (with Ms Dalhousie), I returned to Scotland Street and read 'The Importance of Being Seven' and 'Bertie Plays The Blues' back-to-back.

I was certainly not disappointed in this book. It was like greeting old treasured friends after an absence of a couple of years. The point has already been made that you will not really understand what is going on unless you have read the previous books in the series, but it is good to get stuck straight into the action without repetitive scene-setting.

There are three main storylines - the Angus/Domenica/Antonia triangle (not forgetting Cyril); Matthew and Elspeth (with Pat and Bruce on the periphery); and, of course, young Bertie Pollock and co. Each thread brings its own treats, but whereas the first two share common ground at Big Lou's cafe, in this particular volume there is virtually no interaction between the Pollocks and the other residents of no. 44.

Other reviewers have touched upon the mild irritation of short chapter lengths, resulting in a disjointed read and the occasional unresolved cliffhanger (more mild hummocks than cliffs, it has to be said!), but we are all used to the format by now.

Overall, it was a thoroughly enjoyable read. I had a silly grin on my face for most of the book and could not wait to start the next one.

I wish I felt the same after I'd read that. Now read on...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 14 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback
"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." -- John 8:32 (NKJV)

You have a great treat ahead of you in this book.

Alexander McCall Smith did well when he created the characters of the very slowly aging (you could even say, non-aging) six-year-old Bertie Pollock; his domineering, obsessed mother, Irene; his hen-pecked father, Stuart; and his baby brother, Ulysses. There's so much wonderful humor in making Bertie the rational one who tells the truth and creates great discomfort for the adults in his life when he does that I have come to believe that we adults are more in self-denial than we realize. Like the best parts of this series, The Importance of Being Seven has lots of Bertie in it. Yeah!

Matthew and his wife Elspeth aren't normally as interesting, but in this book their marriage is in focus in an unusual way that promises intriguing future surprises and makes this book more enjoyable than you might expect when they are in the spotlight. I won't say more.

The story also details what happens when an unusual foursome plans a holiday: Angus Lordie; his dog, Cyril; Domenica Macdonald; and Antonia (who has her eye on Angus).

Mr. McCall Smith is very good at making situations humorous in a loving way. Although characters may be at odds, they do their best to get along and to do the right thing. Ultimately, some sort of truth wins out, even if only in a momentary fashion for the truth teller (and the reader).
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