- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Vintage Canada (Nov. 11 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0307397084
- ISBN-13: 978-0307397089
- Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.9 x 20.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 272 g
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #318,801 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The World According to Bertie: The New 44 Scotland Street Novel Paperback – Nov 11 2008
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“McCall Smith delivers yet another delightful installment to his Scotland Street series.... Subplots abound, and McCall 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.” Publishers Weekly
“McCall Smith’s confident brush picks out vivid and entertaining characters.... A deliciously engaging Edinburgh comedy.” Financial Times
About the Author
ALEXANDER MCCALL SMITH is the author of the international phenomenon The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, the Isabel Dalhousie Series, the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, the 44 Scotland Street series and the Corduroy Mansions series. He is professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and has served with many national and international organizations concerned with bioethics. He was born in what is now known as Zimbabwe and was a law professor at the University of Botswana.See all Product description
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There's no doubt about it, Bertie Pollock makes this series work. He is the young (perpetually six so far), and blameless, example of what we all aspire to be . . . honest, fair, serious, humble, and considerate. Bertie has a problem (and we have a source of humor) in Bertie's mum, Irene, who wishes to make Bertie into a PC version of what a 21st century boy should be . . . despite Bertie's preferences and instincts to the contrary. As a result, Bertie's bedroom is painted pink, his mother encourages him to play with girls rather than boys, he takes Italian, saxophone, and yoga lessons, and he sees a psychotherapist. Irene also organizes his life . . . over much.
In this book, Irene decides that she wants to encourage Bertie to play with Olive, his nemesis at school. The consequences reverberate throughout the book.
In addition, Bertie's little brother, Ulysses, is someone Irene wants Bertie to have a close relationships with. Bertie finds an unexpected surprise while changing Ulysses' diapers that reveal fundamental flaws in his parents.
Bertie also has questions about the birds and the bees . . . but not the ones you expect.
Another major theme in the book is the genuine concern that the painter Angus Lordie has for his dog, Cyril, who faces legal proceedings for biting. You'll notice that no one in the novel cares for another human being nearly as much.
Big Lou's boyfriend is tied up in a Jacobite group and is devoted to Bonnie Prince Charlie.
After flaming out in London, Bruce is back and quickly puts the touch on an adoring young woman. Pat notices him . . . and finds she still feels excited.
Domenica is finding it very annoying to have her friend Antonia living across the hall. Antonia learns to communicate with her Polish builder in ways she hadn't expected.
Matthew still drinks a lot of coffee and feels like he needs to make changes in his romantic life. He also develops a bit of whimsy when it comes to modern art.
For me, the parts where neither Bertie nor Angus were present didn't work nearly as well. Without a lot of those two, this would have been a four-star book. The humor was aimed in more directions than usual . . . and touched on some very sensitive (and thus, very funny) topics that I didn't expect to find in the book. Two of the scenes involving Irene are ones that I'll laugh about for the rest of my life.
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