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60 Reviews
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67 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kindly and thoughful exploration of human behaviour
Corduroy Mansions is in the same vein as 44 Scotland Street, but set in London. The inhabitants of a block of flats are the core characters who interact with the outside world. McCall Smith creates a range of believable people and weaves stories around them that illustrate human feelings and behaviour. When reading his books, I feel that the author is a kind and humane...
Published on 27 July 2009 by Bluebell

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Full of charm!
I really enjoyed this book. I found it disarmingly sweet and honest, true to McCall Smith's unique style. It is more sophisticated than the First Lady's Detective Agency series - We are invited into the internal dialogue of a collection of very intelligent and academic Londoners, witnessing their confused thoughts and feelings as they try to untangle everyday problems. I...
Published on 14 Dec 2009 by Book 1981


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Read, 16 April 2013
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V. E. Wood (North Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Corduroy Mansions (Kindle Edition)
Wonderful character descriptions ..you really get to know them. Also Mr McCall has really extended my vocabulary. It is at once amusing and intriguing... How can anyone not be fascinated by a character called Oedipus Snark?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written and absorbing, 30 May 2011
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This review is from: Corduroy Mansions (Paperback)
I am a big fan of the no 1 ladies detective agency but this is a completely different kettle of fish. The joy of Alexander McCall Smiths writing is the nuances he manages to convey and the very insightful observations he continually makes. Here is an author who observes the world around him and understands it in a way most people can only aspire too. Nothing about his style feels forced and one gets the impression that he is very wise. I think the best adjective to describe his work is Charming!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scotland Street Revisited, 6 May 2011
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This review is from: Corduroy Mansions (Paperback)
If you loved the `Scotland Street' series, then this is more of the same warm, witty drama from Alexander McCall Smith.

Short, easy episodes involve open, unmalicious characters. William is gentle, slightly ineffectual, but with a firm core. James discovers to his alarm that he may be heterosexual. The hopelessly romantic Terence Moongrove escapes serious harm only by strokes of fortune. Even the rather cold, dry Oedipus Snark is sympathetically portrayed.

Some of the characters are similar to the `Edinburgh' crowd. William reminded me of Matthew's dad (struggling somewhat with his composure, unsettled variously by his girlfriend or by his son). Freddie de la hay the dog echoed the part of Angus' dog Cyril (sensible, reassuring, though at times unreliable).

Therein I felt lay a slight weakness: a feeling of `sequel' - a similar format to the Scotland Street books, without quite the rich commitment they seemed to possess. Also, one or two of the `Corduroy' plot lines are a bit less convincing than those of its predecessor. Overall though, still good fun.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What one would expect from McCall Smith, 10 April 2011
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This review is from: Corduroy Mansions (Kindle Edition)
There are many excellent ratings for this book so I will not analyse it further, but I am surprised to see some very poor ratings. I love McCall Smith's books, funny, warm hearted at the same time as reflecting on real live situations and the human condition. This book is every inch what I would expect from this author, although I rated with 4 stars simply because there other titles by him rate slightly higher in my opinion - nevertheless it is a thoroughly enjoyable and easy read. Maybe the poor ratings are from people who are looking for something other than what Alexander McCall Smith has to offer, but I feel certain that any real fans will enjoy this latest novel and do advise it as a most enjoyable read.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Corduroy Mansions, 28 Oct 2009
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Pat45 "Pats" (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Corduroy Mansions (Hardcover)
What a disappointment this book was. I thoroughly enjoyed the Scotland St books but could not engage with the characters in this book at all. I became impatient with the characters but wasn't suffiently interested in any of them to care. I lived in Pimlico for 4 years a long time ago, but it has obviously changed & it did not feel like the Pimlico I knew.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Gorgeous!, 22 Mar 2010
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C. M. Collier "myopia1" (Liverpool,england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Corduroy Mansions (Hardcover)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book; in fact,I don't know when I 've enjoyed a book more! I was a bit dubious starting out,as I felt the last Sunday Philosophy Club one left a lot to be desired,but I found this to be absolutely gorgeous!I loved the characters,especially the dog,Freddie de la Hay,and I can't wait for the next one,out in May,as it's called The Dog Who Came in From the Cold,so I imagine it will be more about him.
I can't recommend this book highly enough; it is funny,romantic,exciting,has a great ending and leaves you wanting more!
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5.0 out of 5 stars so droll, 20 Jan 2010
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J. Dunworth (San Francisco) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Corduroy Mansions (Audio CD)
I wanted to turn my husband on to the wit in these stories so I gave him the CDs for Christmas. Mission accomplished. He wants to know when he can get the next series. I have told him I can share the ones I downloaded onto my IPhone but he wants the CD. Since the book hasn't yet been published for the Dog Who Came In From The Cold, I guess he will just have to be patient. I am trying to be patient too and wait and see what McCall Smith comes up with in the next installment. I love that this serialized form has been revived.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Corduroy Mansions, 19 Sep 2009
This review is from: Corduroy Mansions (Hardcover)
As always with Alexander McCall Smith the characters leap off the page, are gentle for the most part, eccentric and beguiling - apart from the dreadful Oedipus Snark. A most enjoyable book but the author does not have the "feel" for London in the same way as he does for Edinbourgh and for this reason I think the 44 Scotland Street books are better. But if he writes a sequal I am sure to buy it to find out what else befalls the characters.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written and beautiful story - deceptively simplistic., 25 Nov 2014
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This review is from: Corduroy Mansions (Kindle Edition)
It took me some while (about 30% of the book) to start caring about any of the characters but then I got it. I can only reiterate everything lovely that's been said before about this collection of books. Delightful, thought provoking and full of gentle wisdom. I read all three back to back and feel quite lost that that there are no more. I would recommend these to anyone.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Some amusing tales, 9 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Corduroy Mansions (Kindle Edition)
Wonderful characters and an easy read,the author has woven some intriguing stories around the residents of the mansion,beautifully written as I would expect .
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Corduroy Mansions
Corduroy Mansions by Alexander McCall Smith (Hardcover - 1 Aug 2009)
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