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The World According to Bertie (44 Scotland Street) Hardcover – 1 Aug 2007

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Polygon; 1st Edition edition (1 Aug. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846970172
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846970177
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.4 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 407,805 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

** 'McCall Smith's confident brush picks out vivid and entertaining characters . . . A deliciously engaging Edinburgh comedy (FINANCIAL TIMES) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

The fourth warm, witty and utterly enchanting instalment from 44 Scotland Street. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Alan J. Milton on 3 Aug. 2007
Format: Hardcover
Bertie is back, with all the usual crowd and a pawbiting Cyril the gold toothed canine anti-hero plot to boot.
Sandy McCall Smith although best known for his 1st Ladies Dective Agency series, always hits the spot with 44 Scotland Street.
If you live in Edinburgh, you will recognise many of the places and probably some of the characters.
For those who don't know is that the books are first serialised in the "Scotsman Newspaper" similar to Dickens and The Times and then collated into an exellent volumes, amply illustrated by Iain McIntosh.
Roll on the next volume,if you have not read any of the earlier volumes go and buy them, pull up a comfy chair, some single malt and lose yourself to some quality plots,then when you have read them, go out and buy the Isobel Dalhousie trilogy, you will thank me for telling you
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By orangeblossompeach on 10 Sept. 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The 44 Scotland Street series is just perfection..somehow the books manage to be very funny and insightful, as well as quite calming. This latest installment does not disappointment, and quite rightly the focus is now on Bertie, who is still being smothered by his awful mother. If you haven't read them yet, go and get the first one, and work your way through - the books are wonderful.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. Nicholson on 14 July 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is the first book I have read of the series, and I found it did not matter that I had not read the others (although it has left me very eager to do so!) It is easy to be drawn into the lives of the characters who are thoroughly believable and far more entertaining than any soap opera!Some of the remarks little Bertie comes out with are absolutely priceless and made me laugh out loud!!
You will enjoy this wherever you come from, but if you have ever lived in or known Edinburgh well (I grew up there) this is a delightful bonus and makes it all the more entertaining and amusing, it captures the 'essence' of Edinburgh life superbly well,and in a gently amusing way.
I would highly recommend this book for its' ability to portray characters and its' pure entertainment value, we all need a bit of light relief these days, and this book certainly gives us that!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Stromata VINE VOICE on 18 Feb. 2008
Format: Hardcover
Another delightful volume of sketches from the lives of the inhabitants, past and present, of 44 Scotland Street, Edinburgh. The stories have a fair dash of local colour which is understandable given that the chapters were serialised in the Scotsman, but that should not put-off readers from Kidderminster or Kathmandu as the characters and storylines are pretty universal. All the usual suspects are here - indecisive Matthew; outrageous Angus; put-upon Big Lou; bullying Bruce; poor six year old Bertie, whose every waking minute is organised by his overbearing mother - and more.

Great story-telling - very amusing, occasionally acerbic but never unkind. A good, uplifting read. How does he do it?
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jane Watson on 24 Jun. 2008
Format: Paperback
This is like coming home to old friends and listening to their tales of what they have been doing for the last few months. I am biased of course as I live in Edinburgh and know that area extremely well, so a lot of the fun is picking out the places the characters go to and imagining them walking up and down the streets of Edinburgh. Alexander McCall Smith writes in a fairly ponderous, careful way, but he draws the characters so delightfully that you really feel about them and what they go through. All the old characters are there, Pat, Matthew, Big Lou, Bertie and his dreadful mum, Angus and Domenica - along with all their problems and joys. The book is completely charming and thoughtful in turn, with flashes of humour and fun showing through as well. The only bit that didn't quite satisfy me was the bit about Bertie's little brother, Ulysses, when he gets left behind at Valvona and Crolla and the family go to pick him up at council agency. Although I'm sure the agency probably does exist, I can't really see that they would just hand over a baby without checking extremely carefully that it was exactly the right baby and right sex!

But all in all, this is a delightful read - I think this is my most favourite series of books by Alexander McCall Smith - and hopefully he will keep on with this series!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 Nov. 2008
Format: Paperback
Please, if you haven't read any of the novels in the 44 Scotland Street series, you should immediately go order and read 44 Scotland Street and then move on to Espresso Tales and Love Over Scotland before reading The World According to Bertie. Before making that decision, let me explain a little about the series. It began as a serial novel in The Scotsman newspaper. As a result, the writing is broken up into little vignettes that are loosely tied to each other by the relations the characters have with each other.

There's no doubt about it, Bertie Pollock makes this series work. He is the young (perpetually six so far), and blameless, example of what we all aspire to be . . . honest, fair, serious, humble, and considerate. Bertie has a problem (and we have a source of humor) in Bertie's mum, Irene, who wishes to make Bertie into a PC version of what a 21st century boy should be . . . despite Bertie's preferences and instincts to the contrary. As a result, Bertie's bedroom is painted pink, his mother encourages him to play with girls rather than boys, he takes Italian, saxophone, and yoga lessons, and he sees a psychotherapist. Irene also organizes his life . . . over much.

In this book, Irene decides that she wants to encourage Bertie to play with Olive, his nemesis at school. The consequences reverberate throughout the book.

In addition, Bertie's little brother, Ulysses, is someone Irene wants Bertie to have a close relationships with. Bertie finds an unexpected surprise while changing Ulysses' diapers that reveal fundamental flaws in his parents.

Bertie also has questions about the birds and the bees . . . but not the ones you expect.
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