Bertie Plays The Blues: 44 Scotland Street (44 Scotland Street 7) Hardcover – 1 Aug 2011
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This seventh satirical instalment of their adventures is a delight --Scotland in Trust Magazine
Often much humour can t stand up to a second reading. McCall Smith s comedy is different. Because while it is written with abundant wit...there are equally large dollops of wisdom too --Scotsman
The brilliant new novel in the 44 Scotland Street series, first serialised in the Daily TelegraphSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Newly engaged boomers, Domenica and Angus, are struggling with the practical aspects of planning a merger of households; a discussion complicated by the arrival of an old first love. The Pollock family is also evolving in its own way with husband Stuart asserting more independence on his own behalf and that of his prodigy son, Bertie. Bertie, a paragon of brightness and common sense, continues to be baffled and frustrated by the main female in his life--mother Irene, but also by the clique of little girls at his school led by the ever-conniving and devious Olive. Irene Pollock, poster person for overbearing, yuppie maternity, gets a major wakeup call in ""Bertie Plays..." when her son takes a shocking step toward repudiation of her methodologies with the help of eBay.
Supporting characters Big Lou, Pat, Bruce and, above all the rest, Cyril the gold-toothed dog, all have important roles to play in this story, largely as participants in the conversations about the daily dilemmas of life that are the main point of the series and, the reader surmises, the author's larger purpose for writing. As in all of these books, there is a sweet satire that can be both gentle and provocative.Read more ›
Let me first deal with the positives - of which there are many. As with the rest of the series, we dive straight into the ongoing story with no unnecessary preamble. Around six months have passed, and - without giving away too much of the plot(s) - births are imminent, wedding plans are in hand, and Bertie is still yearning to escape the clutches of his mother. The character development, the plots, the humour and the philosophical asides are all what we have come to expect from a master story-teller.
So why the dissatisfaction? One word: continuity. Now I must confess that I am one of those annoying people who, when watching a tv show, will always spot when a character is seen getting into a blue car, but then climbing out of a red car. Yes, these things happen and some suspension of disbelief is always required when watching or reading fiction. Artistic licence and all that. But consistency of plot and back-story is always crucial to any soap opera, literary saga, or whatever. So it is a bit disconcerting to find that Bertie, after spending all the last book wishing he was 7, still appears to be 6. Perhaps we can accept this as part of the author's charm and whimsy, but later we have Bertie reminiscing on his adventures and travels, which include Glasgow but not Paris! How could Bertie forget that episode? Or has AMS forgotten it?
Skip this paragraph if you wish to avoid spoilers. The above appears halfway through the book.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A good read. just as anticipated, good to catch up with Bertie, has his mum learnt her lesson, I look forward to finding out.Published 3 months ago by Tony Flewelling
Very good. I really enjoy reading about poor Bertie and his pain in the neck mother. Also the other characters of Scotland Street really give an insight into their everyday life. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Gill