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Bertie Plays the Blues: 44 Scotland Street Series (7) Paperback – Illustrated, October 8, 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 637 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Bertie is a six-and-a-half-year-old boy in Edinburgh who is so unhappy with his mother-driven schedule of yoga, Italian lessons, and a weekly visit to a psychotherapist that he puts himself up for adoption on eBay. He lives with his well-meaning but weak father and domineering mother in a well-appointed but loveless flat on Scotland Street. This upscale apartment building, the setting for McCall Smith’s Scotland Street series, also houses a cultural anthropologist, soon to marry a portrait painter, and it used to hold the gels, ointments, mirrors, and wardrobe used by Bruce, the beyond-handsome narcissist who fascinates the art student Pat (McCall Smith says it’s like a cobra fascinating a mouse). The prolific McCall Smith, who also produces the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series and the Corduroy Mansions series, writes the Scotland Street novels in serial form for The Scotsman, appearing daily several months a year. He moves from vignette to vignette within the flat and in greater Edinburgh, always moving his characters’ fates forward bit by bit, meeting in the apartment house hallway by meeting at Big Lou’s café or meeting at the wine bar. The plotlines, now spanning seven novels, are devilishly clever, but readers may well value even more McCall Smith’s wit and his characters’ conversations and reflections on happiness, loneliness, and love. Often droll, often touching, the Scotland Street stories are always delightful to read. --Connie Fletcher

Review

"Devilishly clever. . . . Often droll, often touching, the Scotland Street stories are always delightful to read."
     --Booklist (starred review)

"Eighty more bite-sized chapters bring curious readers up to date on the latest doings at 44 Scotland Street and its Edinburgh environs. . . . The neighborhood’s legion of fans will devour each chapter and be sorry when they’ve turned the last page."
     --Kirkus Reviews

“Full of charm, gentleness and penetrating insight.”
     —The Daily Express (Scotland)
 
“You see the whole extent of McCall Smith’s gentle comedy of manners. . . . While it is written with abundant wit . . . there are equally large dollops of wisdom too.”
     —Scotland on Sunday

Praise for the 44 Scotland Street Series

“Sweet . . .  Graceful . . . Wonderful. . . . Gentle but powerfully addicting fiction.”
    —Entertainment Weekly
 
“McCall Smith’s assessments of fellow humans are piercing and profound. . . . [His] depictions of Edinburgh are vivid and seamless.”
     —San Francisco Chronicle
 
 “Irresistible . . . Packed with the charming characters, piercing perceptions and shrewd yet generous humor that have become McCall Smith’s cachet.”
     —Chicago Sun-Times
 
“McCall Smith’s plots offer wit, charm, and intrigue in equal doses.”
     —Richmond Times-Dispatch
 
“The most genial of writers and the most gentle of satirists. . . . [The] characters are great fun . . . [and] McCall Smith treats all of them with affection.”
     —Rocky Mountain News

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Anchor; Illustrated edition (October 8, 2013)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0307948498
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0307948496
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 8.5 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 637 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
637 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

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PipEmma
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these books!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 29, 2019
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Blue in Washington (Barry Ballow)
5.0 out of 5 stars They would never criticize someone else's underwear no matter the level of provocation
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 20, 2011
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Pete Mackay
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for everyone, but I adore AMS's Edinburgh Books
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 23, 2015
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john green
4.0 out of 5 stars Great storytelling and excellent characters.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 12, 2021
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J. R. Caley
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 28, 2012
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