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Comment: Condition: Very good condition., Binding: Paperback / Publisher: Anchor / Pub. Date: 2008-11-11 Attributes: Book, 368 pp / Stock#: 2007700 (FBA) * * *This item qualifies for FREE SHIPPING and Amazon Prime programs! * * *
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The World According to Bertie: A 44 Scotland Street Novel (4) Paperback – November 11, 2008


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Frequently Bought Together

The World According to Bertie: A 44 Scotland Street Novel (4) + Love Over Scotland: A 44 Scotland Street Novel (3) + The Unbearable Lightness of Scones: A 44 Scotland Street Novel (5)
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Product Details

  • Series: 44 Scotland Street
  • Paperback: 343 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; 1ST edition (November 11, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307387062
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307387066
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #134,105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Smith delivers yet another delightful installment to his Scotland Street series. This time out, he focuses mostly on the irrepressible Bertie Pollock, a precocious six-year-old whose mummy, Irene, forces him to play a saxophone, converse in Italian, do yoga and see Dr. Hugo Fairbairn, a psychotherapist who looks a lot like Bertie's baby brother, Ulysses. As Bertie struggles to accommodate his nutty mummy and new brother, another crisis explodes for artist Angus Lordie, whose beloved dog, Cyril, has been thrown in the pound for biting someone. Cyril is innocent, and Angus, with Bertie's assistance, sets out to rescue Cyril before he's put down. Subplots abound, and Smith details with dependable whimsical flair the romantic progress of Scotland Street familiars Matthew, Pat and Bruce. Series fans know what to expect, and they get it by the truckload. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

This fourth installment—following Love over Scotland—in New York Times best-selling author McCall Smith's (www.mccallsmith.com) "44 Scotland Street" series centers on a group of Edinburgh denizens' quirky and intriguing antics as seen through the eyes of a six-year-old boy. The book can stand alone, though listeners would benefit from meeting the characters earlier in the series. Actor/narrator Robert Ian Mackenzie's (Freddy and Fredericka) voice and delivery are wonderful; however, he could have done a better job distinguishing among the numerous characters. For mystery and audio collections in public libraries, especially those with previous McCall Smith titles.—Nicole A. Cooke, Montclair State Univ. Lib., NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Alexander McCall Smith was born in what is now Zimbabwe and taught law at the University of Botswana. He is now Professor of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh. He has written more than fifty books, including a number of specialist titles, but is best known for The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, which has achieved bestseller status on four continents. In 2004 he was awarded British Book Awards Author of the Year and Booksellers Association Author of the Year. He lives in Scotland, where in his spare time he is a bassoonist in the RTO (Really Terrible Orchestra).

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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I love the characters, and each book in the series is more enjoyable than the last.
ruby
44 Scotland Street was chosen by our book club as we have previously enjoyed Alexander McCall Smith's books, and his latest series does not disappoint.
Sheila May
Alexander McCall Smith is one of my present favorite writers - beautiful writing, insightful, thoughtful and very kind - no dirt.
Helen Dourov

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
(4.5 stars) Alexander McCall Smith always succeeds in charming his readers with warm and humorous tales of almost normal life, lived by people who care about each other and share the values that make life worth living. Like the other novels in this series, the "plot" here consists of episodes in the lives of several loosely connected characters from 44 Scotland Street as they face separate problems of crucial importance to them (and sometimes them alone) in their everyday lives.

Little Bertie Pollock, six years old, "just wants to be normal." Forced by his domineering mother Irene to go to advanced music classes, yoga, and psychotherapy once a week, he cannot be a rough-and-tumble boy. Irene has even enlisted his help when she pumps breast milk for the baby. In the past Bertie has found some comfort from Cyril, a dog with one gold tooth, who belongs to Angus Lordie, a painter who lives in the building, but Cyril is in the pound, and Angus is in the midst of legal proceedings to reclaim him.

Other characters at 44 Scotland Street and its neighborhood are also dealing with problems. Matthew, a quiet young man who runs an art gallery, hopes that Pat, who works in his gallery, will become more fond of him--and that he will become more fond of her--given enough time. Bruce, a devastatingly handsome narcissist with few financial resources, takes advantage of Julia by moving in with her. Big Lou Brown, who runs the local coffee shop, falls in love with a construction worker who wants to return the Stuarts to the throne, and Antonia, who has previously rented Dominica's flat, buys her own place in the building and finds new "love.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Miami Bob on January 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
Bertie is the amazingly forever 6 year old son whose life is ponderously observed by the elders of his city as extremely unfortunate because of his psychoanalytically infatuated mother, Irene. But, he is actually is a happy boy -- something so magnificently shown in one of the book's last chapters in which Bertie writes his autobiography -- the chapter which shares the book's title.

In this book, some of the old comrades are no more -- Domenica seems to have no relation to Pat and is soon losing friendship with her friend of yore.

But, from such losses come new alliances. Marriages abound -- or at least engagements. And, one for all the right reasons and one for all the wrong reasons -- and each between a pauper and a prince or princess.

And, Domenica seems to be getting closer to Angus -- or is there anything romantic to be conceived between these old friends? No matter what happens, the next book will address these and other issues. And, in the land of McCall Smith where the best of each character emanates from the pages, one must assume the sequel will somehow allow each to survive or at least leave no hearts broken.

Also, the book deals with a legal question of great uniquity -- McCall Smith himself is an attorney -- which can only be pointed out by little Bertie and followed by the adults around him. And, while marriages and legal questions flow on these pages, we learn about how normal the seemingly eclectic crowd of Scotland Street is -- maybe more like we Americans than even they would care to know or admit. Imagine that!

This crowd in Scotland reminds me of Zadie Smith's London crowd in White Teeth.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Blue in Washington TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 3, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
OK--Up front, let me admit that I'm one of those people who think Alexander McCall Smith can do no wrong. His multiple series, that run the gamut from Botswana to Scotland to Germany and beyond, are simply the best satirical writing and exploration of the modern human condition that I have come across in years (and I would be glad to know of other living writers of this ilk, as there cannot be enough of them to service the world in its current complicated and often melancholy state).

Having said that, I would like to earnestly praise and recommend without reservation the latest installment in the "44 Scotland Street" series. In many ways, McCall Smith's jolliest and broadest examination of human foibles, "The World According to Bertie" continues the chronicles of the lives of Scotland Street inhabitants (and former inhabitants) in the most entertaining way. Front and center in this work is six-year old Bertie Pollock, Italian-spouting, sax-playing prodigy, who desperately wants a break from his over-bearing Yuppie mother so that he can get on being a normal six-year old boy. Bertie has a new baby brother to contend with as well as the continuing over-attention of his mother and her self-important confederate, Dr. Hugo Fairbairn, child psychotherapist. The author gives Bertie and the members of his world the best lines and the most laughs. And the laughs are big!

Also in the returning cast of the story is Angus Lordie and his sidekick, Cyril the hound; Pat McGregor, twenty-something university student, part-time art gallery attendant and quasi-love interest of Matthew, earnest, well-meaning and socially clueless owner of self-same gallery; and Domenica MacDonald, anthropologist, newly returned from field research on Asian CD pirates.
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