Sunday, May 28, 2006

44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith

Author: Alexander McCall Smith
ISBN # 0349118973
Publisher: Abacus
1st Published: 2005
326 pages

Welcome to 44 Scotland Street, home to some of Edinburgh's most colorful characters. There's Pat, a twenty-year-old who has recently moved into a flat with Bruce, an athletic young man with a keen awareness of his own appearance. Their neighbor, Domenica, is an eccentric and insightful widow. In the flat below are Irene and her appealing son Bertie, who is the victim of his mother’s desire for him to learn the saxophone and Italian–all at the tender age of five. Love triangles, a lost painting, intriguing new friends, and an encounter with a famous Scottish crime writer are just a few of the ingredients that add to this delightful and witty portrait of Edinburgh society.

This was first published as a serial in The Scotsman newspaper and, as a result, the chapters are quite short and self-contained within the big picture, making this an excellent choice for readers who can only snatch a few moments in their day for relaxing with a book. It has highs and lows and sometimes the overall plot appears to get a little lost as different characters, each with their own stories, wander across the pages, drawing us into their lives as we visit them all in turn, occasionally interacting with each other without realizing the drama they add to each other’s tales. It’s humorous, witty and fun – an interesting experiment in serialized writing that has paid off.

Rating: 6


Post a Comment

<< Home