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Corduroy Mansions Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Abridged

4.0 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio; Abridged edition (2 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781405505734
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405505734
  • ASIN: 1405505737
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.5 x 13.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 657,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Quirky and original . . . told with warmth, wit and intelligence, and McCall Smith's cast of characters are beautifully observed. It's a page-turner with many happy endings. Perfect (DAILY EXPRESS ** 'Bags of warmth and wisdom and easy, accomplished writing that begs for a comfy chair')

Kate Saunders, THE TIMES ** 'Richly illustrates McCall Smith's absolute mastery of the art of storytelling (THE LADY ** 'The author's gentle humour and playful teasing-out of moral dilemmas great and small are there in abundance')

SCOTSMAN ** 'The seriousness is always sugar-dusted in McCall Smith's delight in the ridiculous and his perfectly paced humour (DAILY TELEGRAPH) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

*The new London-based series from Alexander McCall Smith, comparable in warmth and humour to 44 Scotland Street

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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 man who tries to see the best in people. His books do not depict the underbelly of society not are they full of violence, but they are not overly sentimental and do deal with philosophical and moral issues. I know Edinburgh well and the Scotland Street books are full of familiar Streets and venues which add to the pleasure. I don't feel that Corduroy Mansions has so many allusions to place, which is not surprising as McCall Smith has lived and worked in Edinburgh for a long time. The format of the book (like the Scottish series) is a series of short chapters, previously published in a daily newspaper, giving the book a pacy immediacy that carries the reader along. It's a bit like a superior soap opera where one follows the lives of the largely middle-class characters from day to day. Very enjoyable.
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Format: Hardcover
Corduroy Mansions is the tale of the inhabitants of...well Corduroy Mansions, and those they interact with outside of the building they reside. William lives at the top of the building with his son Eddie, though he wants Eddie out going as far as getting a vegetarian cat loving dog (the wonderful Freddie de la Hay) and then moving in the besotted Marcia as a flatmate, perfect situation for some wonderful comedy. One the floor below lives a group of flat sharing girls. Jo an Aussie fresh to the UK but loving it and possibly one of her housemates, Dee who works in vitamins and pharmaceuticals and wants to give her assistant a colonic, Caroline an Art Student who once featured in Rural Life Magazine and is now sort of infatuated with James who is worried he might be straight and the bookish Jenny who works for the odious Oedipus Snark (brilliant name) the nastiest Liberal Democrat MP you could ever wish to meet.

Not only do we get to follow these colourful characters lives we also get to meet and in some cases follow the people that they have in their lives such as Oedipus through whom we also get to follow his mother Berthea, who is writing her sons biography, and her wonderful `spiritual' brother Terence Moongrove. There is also Oedipus's long suffering girlfriend Barbara Ragg who runs a publishing company and is about to have quite a change in life. These characters are also wonderful and make you want to read more; it's almost like wonderful character overload.

Now if you are wondering why I haven't mentioned plot... well there isn't a huge plot to it. It's much more subtle than that.
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Format: Hardcover
If you've read the Scotland Street series, don't waste your money. An old house converted into flats, an eligible middle aged man and a woman with her eyes on him, a painting, a dog, an assortment of dithering, uncertain people, a dinner party ending with a poem. Haven't I read this before somewhere......? All that's missing is a Bertie, the best of the Scotland St characters.

This is shameless recycling of an idea. The same flour in a new bag. Some say that Mozart didn't compose 400 pieces - he composed the same piece 400 times. But Mozart had genius on his side.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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 think everyone will find issues in this book they can relate to, like job security, family, flatmates and unrequited love.

It follows the same unwavering moral compass found in all McCall Smith's books, interspersed with bright sparks of humour and charm, as well as refreshing originality - Take for example the vegetarian dog Freddie de la Hay.

It is no fast-paced book with cliff hangers and page-turning suspense, nor does it contain huge emotional turmoil or passionate romances. It is very much a middle-of-the-way story of average people living average lives, and the effect of the narration is more that of a comfortable ramble than a breathless charge. I was not as hooked as I might have been, but I never failed to be charmed and impressed by McCall Smith's sometimes profound take on everyday life.
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Format: Paperback
"If you are wise, you are wise for yourself," -- Proverbs 9:12 (NKJV)

Don't miss this book!

Corduroy Mansions displays all of the best traits of Alexander McCall Smith's writing about UK characters: Introspection, musings about the human condition, gentle seeking for love, outrageous satire, canine perspectives on humans, and one of the most obnoxious politicians you can imagine.

I was very impressed by the story. Only the absurd M.P. Oedipus Snark seems seriously unlikely to be a real person. He provides a perfect foil for introducing the other characters and making them sympathetically interesting. The other characters resonated with me in their discomfort, inertia, and willingness to step into the world of possibilities when the door to the future opens. The plot itself has many delightful twists that make for both gentle humor and belly laughs. Through it all, Alexander McCall Smith provides the kind of wisdom about knowing oneself and living authentically that makes his books so life affirming and enjoyable to read.
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