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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amusing, informative, imaginative and charming
I've read all the books in this series and have really enjoyed meeting again this diverse band of Edinburgh folk. I'm pleased to say that in this further installment McCall Smith has managed to maintain his high standard of story-telling weaving the different lives together in a series of short chapters often ending a gentle cliff-hanger keeping one eager to read on. I...
Published on 5 Aug 2012 by Bluebell

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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Filtered sunshine - 3+
This series is a great favorite of mine and I look forward to every new book; but somehow this episode seemed to be more like treading of water than moving the storyline and its great group of characters forward. There are some funny moments for sure; and the usual cast is all on board, with much of the action in "Sunshine..." focusing on the estimable canine, Cyril. That...
Published on 31 Aug 2012 by Blue in Washington


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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amusing, informative, imaginative and charming, 5 Aug 2012
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Bluebell (UK) - See all my reviews
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I've read all the books in this series and have really enjoyed meeting again this diverse band of Edinburgh folk. I'm pleased to say that in this further installment McCall Smith has managed to maintain his high standard of story-telling weaving the different lives together in a series of short chapters often ending a gentle cliff-hanger keeping one eager to read on. I suspect that those of us who know Edinburgh and recognize some of the real people and shops incorporated into the fictional account get added enjoyment.

The book opens with preparations for Angus and Domenica's wedding causing anxiety for Mathew as best man. As usual the troubles are resolved and the reader is left content that all is well. Little Bertie remains aged 6 years old hoping to be seven as the other characters move on in real time. His perceptions of the world and his hopes to be free of his domineering mother remain one of the engaging themes of the series. His mother, Irene, continues to provide an amusing source of satire over her obession with psycho-analysis and her strident feminism endured stoically by her husband Stuart. Bruce, the narcissistic surveyor is back in Edinburgh and gets involved entertaining adventure with a new neighbour.

The charm of these books is that they are an escape from the real world of debt, troubled relationships and the sheer grind of surviving that many people endure and take the reader into the world of privileged Edinburgh society with their little ups and downs of life. Along the way the author amuses, informs and subtly makes one think about philosophical issues in a natural manner.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sunshine on Scotland Street, 26 Aug 2012
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Alexander McCall Smith writes again. This novel is full of beautifully drawn characters who have a life of their own. One can see them and hear the way they speak. They are so real that, for example, one's blood pressure rises on reading about Irene's treatment of that poor little boy, Bertie. One feels as if the characters were old friends whom One would recognise in the street. This is a relaxed and dreamy book, with a few surprises on the way to a believable but not quite tidy ending. I thoroughly enjoyed this latest and was quite cross when I had finished it. Another, please, and quickly.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Filtered sunshine - 3+, 31 Aug 2012
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Blue in Washington "Barry Ballow" (Washington, DC United States) - See all my reviews
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This series is a great favorite of mine and I look forward to every new book; but somehow this episode seemed to be more like treading of water than moving the storyline and its great group of characters forward. There are some funny moments for sure; and the usual cast is all on board, with much of the action in "Sunshine..." focusing on the estimable canine, Cyril. That paragon of loyalty and stoicism finds himself afloat in Edinburgh as his master Angus Lordie and his new bride Domenica are out of the country on their honeymoon. Also included are Bertie Pollock and his mismatched parents; Matthew and Elspeth well-matched parents of triplets; Big Lou, still looking for an appropriate SO; Pat MacGregor, filling in at the coffeebar; and Bruce Anderson, feckless as ever, but in cahoots with his gay doppelganger.

So what's missing? Hard to say exactly, but for me, the story lacked the forward movement already mentioned, but also a certain characteristic edginess and bite in its humor. This has been supplied in the past by the Pollock family, but those dynamics didn't raise much dust this time around. Beyond that, the usually funny musings of the cast of characters about the meaning of life, etc. just weren't as interesting. And also in this general context, the disagreeable Bruce who often serves as a badly behaving straw man in line for comeuppance, gets involved in a just plain weird situation that doesn't make a lot of sense.

I might have read this at an off personal moment, and I'm certainly not giving up on the series. Just saying.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Joyous Instalment, 2 Aug 2012
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ACB (swansea) - See all my reviews
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This delightful book takes the development of the Scotland Street characters further along the road. Written with Alexander McCall Smith's astute observations of life and personal relationships, the book is a feast of wit, humour and entertainment narrated with snappy dialogue and flowing prose. Domenica and Angus are about to be married. Angus's best man Matthew is horrified at how disorganised Angus is. He has a large hole in his Campbell tartan kilt, has forgotten to buy a wedding ring and has not booked the surprise honeymoon he promised his bride to be.
Domenica's bridesmaid is Big Lou desperately trying to make her presentable. They discuss aging and its effects quite openly. "Two auld hens together", says Big Lou. Fortunately, Matthew and Big Lou somehow get their acts together in time. Big Lou is still looking for love (or a man!),having been disappointed with her lot over the years. She is a rough diamond and continues to speak her mind in or out of her cafe and has a few surprises awaiting her.

Irene remains insufferable with her restrictive forthright opinions and obsession with Melanie Klein and yoga. Stuart is shackled by this and the children, mortgage and insurance payments. Ulysses continues to scream or be sick whenever Irene picks him up.Brother Bertie, still stuck on the age of 6 is captivating and lovable. His innocence and freshness enable him to ask direct questions to all and sundry without fear of embarrassment including making comments regarding Ulysses's resemblance to his previous psychotherapist, (making Stuart think!). He is still having psychotherapy, loves the cubs (paramilitary-Irene),fishing (cruel), rugby (barbaric) and dogs (dirty). He yearns for the freedom his schoolmates have and still hates being made to learn Italian.

Matthew remains serious and vulnerable, perhaps searching for a missing part of life. Solid, and supported by Elspeth ever busy with the triplets aided by Danish au pair Anna. Bruce returns to Edinburgh with his narcissism admiring his perfection in any reflective surface. "Adonis", he says. He meets his match, literally, with new neighbour Jonathan that has dramatic effects on both their futures.

Angus's dog, Cyril, is a star. He runs throughout the story. Devoted to Angus, loved by everyone (except Irene, of course), he is looked after by Bertie while Angus is away but becomes withdrawn. Irene takes him for dog psychotherapy much to Bertie's disgust. Cyril then passes contentedly through several foster homes with comical incidents doing what dogs do best eating,sleeping,walking,salivating at the thought of biting ankles (Irene's and Matthew's especially) and not averse to animal indiscretions.

The author maintains the high standards and expectations of this series. He is not averse to slipping in passages of gentle satire, philosophy or ethics. They add to this highly entertaining book full of sparkling fun and humour. Highly recommended escapist fiction.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Always enjoy a visit to Scotland Street, 16 Aug 2012
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Leigh - See all my reviews
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As always it was fun to read this book. It feels like catching up with old friends, seeing what everyone is up to now. It's a good escape read, to lose yourself in a world where life's problems are small and easily solved and things always work out very well for everyone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best AMS!!!!, 10 Feb 2013
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Love that neighborhood and everyone in it !!!!! It just keeps getting better. I can't wait for the next installment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 14 Nov 2012
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I have read all Alexander McCall Smith's Scotland Street books and on the whole enjoyed them. I have waited with impatience for the next instalment to find out what has befallen my favourite characters. This latest book however was a real disappointment. None of the vignettes involving the regular characters were resolved and new situations were introduced and just left hanging. This volume hasn't inspired me to read any more and I suspect McCall Smith has lost interest in his subject as much as I have.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More sunshine from Mr McCall Smith, 21 Sep 2012
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Terry Morgan "tjmshots" (Chipping Campden) - See all my reviews
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Another well written, comforting, uncomplicated but mildly thought-provoking volume from AMS. It's great to be returned to the comings and goings of Scotland Street and I look forward to visiting again soon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Good Read, 31 Aug 2012
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Having read several of Alexander McCall Smith's Scotland Street stories I looked forward to this one with anticipation and was not disappointed. His characterisation is spot on and I was delighted to renew my acquaintance with most of them - there are one or two I do not empathise with. Nevertheless these are gripping stories moving the lives of his charaters forward. I'm always sorry when I come to the end of one of his books, and always look forward to the next.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not up to scratch Mr McCall Smith!, 10 Sep 2013
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J. Garbutt - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sunshine on Scotland Street (44 Scotland Street) (Paperback)
I don't like to give books a poor rating but I was genuinely disappointed with this. The plot lines were weak, and some of them downright ridiculous.
The near disastrous lead up to the wedding was a damp squib - even Matthew managed to survive his ordeal as best man.
Bruce's doppelganger was weird -and the encounter with his 'colleague's' boil just revolting.
Angus Lordie's dog has gone missing before ...same old story
We all know that Bertie's brother is the son of her former shrink - we don't need the heavy hints anymore - although one bit of light relief is that Bertie and his friends are finally acknowledging his mother's awfulness . . . not before time.
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Sunshine on Scotland Street (44 Scotland Street)
Sunshine on Scotland Street (44 Scotland Street) by Alexander McCall Smith (Paperback - 18 July 2013)
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