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With customary charm and deftness, Alexander McCall Smith gives us another instalment in this popular series, now running in its eighth season in The Scotsman. Will Big Lou find true love at last? Will Bertie's healthy snacks go down well at his school fair? And has Bruce Anderson really won the lottery? It s time to catch up with the delightful goings-on in 44 Scotland St With customary charm and deftness, Alexander McCall Smith gives us another instalment in this popular series, now running in its eighth season in The Scotsman. Will Big Lou find true love at last? Will Bertie's healthy snacks go down well at his school fair? And has Bruce Anderson really won the lottery? It s time to catch up with the delightful goings-on in 44 Scotland Street!


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With customary charm and deftness, Alexander McCall Smith gives us another instalment in this popular series, now running in its eighth season in The Scotsman. Will Big Lou find true love at last? Will Bertie's healthy snacks go down well at his school fair? And has Bruce Anderson really won the lottery? It s time to catch up with the delightful goings-on in 44 Scotland St With customary charm and deftness, Alexander McCall Smith gives us another instalment in this popular series, now running in its eighth season in The Scotsman. Will Big Lou find true love at last? Will Bertie's healthy snacks go down well at his school fair? And has Bruce Anderson really won the lottery? It s time to catch up with the delightful goings-on in 44 Scotland Street!

30 review for Sunshine on Scotland Street

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mary Lins

    Who on earth is going to read this review? No one starts a series with Book 8, and if you are already a fan of Alexander McCall Smith’s, 44 Scotland Street series, (and why wouldn’t you be?) you are certainly going to acquire “Sunshine Over Scotland Street” to add to your collection. Maybe you are reading this because you can’t wait to get the book and you want to make sure that it features Bertie, Olive and Tofu - it does! There is even a scene where Tofu spits down Olive’s neck! That’s worth th Who on earth is going to read this review? No one starts a series with Book 8, and if you are already a fan of Alexander McCall Smith’s, 44 Scotland Street series, (and why wouldn’t you be?) you are certainly going to acquire “Sunshine Over Scotland Street” to add to your collection. Maybe you are reading this because you can’t wait to get the book and you want to make sure that it features Bertie, Olive and Tofu - it does! There is even a scene where Tofu spits down Olive’s neck! That’s worth the price of admission right there, for Bertie fans (and we are legion!) Cyril sees some action and Bruce, the egotistical cad, has quite an adventure. Mathew and Big Lou meet a Danish documentary director, and Irene is as annoying as ever. It’s great! Fans won’t be disappointed.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Asp

    The Scotland Street Series have long been my favorite books and this latest installment was wonderful. Luckily I have the next on my shelf giving me that sense of security that should I have a rubbish day or need something to medicate my soul, it will be there for me. I cannot express just how much I love Alexander McCall Smith. To find a modern author who is not sensational, or trend driven, who has a masterful command of the English language, and seems to understand what it is to be a human be The Scotland Street Series have long been my favorite books and this latest installment was wonderful. Luckily I have the next on my shelf giving me that sense of security that should I have a rubbish day or need something to medicate my soul, it will be there for me. I cannot express just how much I love Alexander McCall Smith. To find a modern author who is not sensational, or trend driven, who has a masterful command of the English language, and seems to understand what it is to be a human being on such a fundamental level is absolutely priceless. I often find myself wishing he were a few decades younger so that he can keep writing for longer but then I realize that re-reading these books over again is going to be just as good. Not that he's going to stop writing soon I hope!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I really enjoyed this one but it wasn't quite as strong as the last two in the series. Already moving on to the next one. I've become so fond of several of these characters. I would really miss them if he ever decided to close this series. If you enjoy the No 1 Ladies Detective series, I highly recommend you try this one, which takes place in Scotland. Imo it's not quite as good as the Ladies series but it is still very well done. Gentleness, kindness, a little bit of moral philosophy, interesti I really enjoyed this one but it wasn't quite as strong as the last two in the series. Already moving on to the next one. I've become so fond of several of these characters. I would really miss them if he ever decided to close this series. If you enjoy the No 1 Ladies Detective series, I highly recommend you try this one, which takes place in Scotland. Imo it's not quite as good as the Ladies series but it is still very well done. Gentleness, kindness, a little bit of moral philosophy, interesting characters and wit. These are the things going on in every AMS book I've read so far. I am so glad he is so prolific and I hope he keeps writing forever!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Adrienne

    Sometimes you just need to take a break from reading about slavery or the holocaust or other gruesome/tragic topics. Sometimes you just need to read a book about nice people doing and saying nice things. And when you do, you absolutely cannot do better than Alexander McCall Smith. No other living author cheers me up quite as much. Live long and prosper AMS.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nigel

    Another excellent addition to this long-running series. Witty and engaging, the everyday lives of an eclectic cast of characters in contemporary Edinburgh.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    Mum had this lying about I picked it up to read while thinking about what to read next. At one time I used to enjoy this series, but now I find it cloying. It's a bit like fast food hamburgers, which I regret every time I eat, but because of this memory I have of how wonderful the first hamburger I ever ate was, I always go back to eat them just one more time. To return to the book.... Is Bertie never to be allowed to grow up? The eternal six-year old is wearing thin. And what used to read like Mum had this lying about I picked it up to read while thinking about what to read next. At one time I used to enjoy this series, but now I find it cloying. It's a bit like fast food hamburgers, which I regret every time I eat, but because of this memory I have of how wonderful the first hamburger I ever ate was, I always go back to eat them just one more time. To return to the book.... Is Bertie never to be allowed to grow up? The eternal six-year old is wearing thin. And what used to read like pithy ruminations on everyday moral dilemmas, now seem long-winded and moralizing. Has the author changed, or is it me? There's one character, however, that never changes and I can never get enough of: Cyril the dog. Long may he live.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I think this might be my favorite, because Bruce has a WILD plot twist that doesn't revolve around him being The Second Worst Person On This Planet. Irene, The Absolute Worst Person On This Planet continues to be too horrible for words, but Stuart has started asserting himself, and a lot more people are coming to Bertie's aid, recognizing that she is so awful. I also, honestly, enjoyed having chapter's from Cyril's POV instead of Angus or Domenica's. I think this might be my favorite, because Bruce has a WILD plot twist that doesn't revolve around him being The Second Worst Person On This Planet. Irene, The Absolute Worst Person On This Planet continues to be too horrible for words, but Stuart has started asserting himself, and a lot more people are coming to Bertie's aid, recognizing that she is so awful. I also, honestly, enjoyed having chapter's from Cyril's POV instead of Angus or Domenica's.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn Walsh

    3.5 stars. Alexander McCall Smith's 44 Scotland Street series has always been enjoyable as we follow the lives of the characters through the eight books in the series. The author weaves his gentle philosophy and insight into the characters throughout his books. There is great understanding of human nature and interactions. I am finding it frustrating waiting for 6 year old Bertie to turn 18, so he can get away from his horrible controlling mother. Bertie looks forward to that day. Bertie's misad 3.5 stars. Alexander McCall Smith's 44 Scotland Street series has always been enjoyable as we follow the lives of the characters through the eight books in the series. The author weaves his gentle philosophy and insight into the characters throughout his books. There is great understanding of human nature and interactions. I am finding it frustrating waiting for 6 year old Bertie to turn 18, so he can get away from his horrible controlling mother. Bertie looks forward to that day. Bertie's misadventures are always entertaining but at the same time sad. His decent father is spending time researching DNA on the internet.Has he found a way to finally assert himself and save Bertie to live a normal childhood? It looks like Bruce, the arrogant narcissist has finally met his match, but will the fates ever give him his just desserts? Cyril, the dog, has emerged as a favourite character throughout the series. He has been shifted around to several homes while his owner Angus is on honeymoon with Domenica. The couple are mostly absent in the book, and so is Pat. Looking forward to more adventures of the inhabitants of 44 Scotland Street, but please Mr. Alexander McCall Smith it is time to give Bertie a break!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jenn

    Always a pleasure, but this time I really have so many questions: why is Bertie still 6 while so many things have happened to other characters (and Rogenvald, Fergus, and - Tovamorey? - seem to have been conceived, born, and started growing up and Bertie is still 6!)? What was done about the Pollock's car (I love the misadventures of the car, but, honestly, what happens next?)? And, while we're at it, did Bertie get to go on his fishing expedition or meet up with his friend, Andy? I thought Bruc Always a pleasure, but this time I really have so many questions: why is Bertie still 6 while so many things have happened to other characters (and Rogenvald, Fergus, and - Tovamorey? - seem to have been conceived, born, and started growing up and Bertie is still 6!)? What was done about the Pollock's car (I love the misadventures of the car, but, honestly, what happens next?)? And, while we're at it, did Bertie get to go on his fishing expedition or meet up with his friend, Andy? I thought Bruce's storyline was interesting, but I don't like him and don't really like to follow him much. We saw a little bit of Pat, and then...? I LOVE Big Lou (most of the time) and her storyline was fun in this collection. I really love the adventures of Cyril - always - and sort of missed seeing Angus and Domenica more, but it was probably a good break from them. Overall, it's interesting how we spend a lot of time on the everyday, but sometimes skip to the end on some big resolutions. Of course, Irene continues to be the ABSOLUTE WORST human being, and yet, unfortunately, somewhat believable. Her condescension is nearly unbearable, but I do adore that Mrs. MacPherson held her own! (Why would you not want to make ANY friends? Why alienate a potential friend?) I like Tofu, because I would like him to spit on all those I don't like, including in the real world (that threat carries a lot more weight these days!). I really love Alexander McCall Smith's prose - it's just such a delight to read - and, at the bottom, the spirituality infused in every word and thought that runs through his stories.

  10. 4 out of 5

    A. Lieberson

    Matthew and Elspeth move their triplets back to Scotland St., Bertie takes care of Cyril while Angus and Domenica are on their honeymoon, but Bertie has to hide Cyril with a friend when Irene wants Cyril to see Dr. St.Clair, and Stuart is looking on the computer for DNA testing. Smith draws us into everyone's daily routines, exciting and sad moments as we continue to peek in on their lives. Matthew and Elspeth move their triplets back to Scotland St., Bertie takes care of Cyril while Angus and Domenica are on their honeymoon, but Bertie has to hide Cyril with a friend when Irene wants Cyril to see Dr. St.Clair, and Stuart is looking on the computer for DNA testing. Smith draws us into everyone's daily routines, exciting and sad moments as we continue to peek in on their lives.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    As always on Scotland Street, humor and philosophy abound. Angus and Domenica are finally tying the knot. Angus’ seriously anthropomorphized dog Cyril has adventures when he is left in Edinburgh during their honeymoon. Big Lou is a YouTube hit. And, true to form, McCall Smith has provided one highly unlikely, over-the-top episode. This time round, it was Bruce’s discovery of a doppelgänger for his own true love (himself), and his most fortuitous lottery win. In other words, it’s vintage Scotland As always on Scotland Street, humor and philosophy abound. Angus and Domenica are finally tying the knot. Angus’ seriously anthropomorphized dog Cyril has adventures when he is left in Edinburgh during their honeymoon. Big Lou is a YouTube hit. And, true to form, McCall Smith has provided one highly unlikely, over-the-top episode. This time round, it was Bruce’s discovery of a doppelgänger for his own true love (himself), and his most fortuitous lottery win. In other words, it’s vintage Scotland Street fare. Who out there could possibly be reading this review? If you know the books, you won’t bother checking a review for Book 8; you’ll just go read it. And if you don’t know the books, you’ll surely want to start with Book 1. I had something new on my mind when I opened Sunshine on Scotland Street. The Scots were faced this year with the issue which confounds them: to separate or not from the UK. I found myself digging for McCall Smith’s observations on being Scottish since in every book he is skillful at finding ways of conveying ideas via his characters. The abstracted but ruminative Angus, in particular, seems often to be a stand-in for the author. In this book, a Danish videographer wants to create a documentary about a typical Scot for Danish television. He finally settles on Big Lou, who fits a stereotype of a rustic rural Scot; Matthew, an art dealer, turns out to be too ordinary and urban. I would surmise that the author is suggesting with humor and good nature that these are both faces of Scotland. One especially amusing exchange imagines a politician in the confession booth. The poor man harbors lingering thoughts not acceptable for a Scottish politician. McCall Smith is kind to both politician and priest: “I must confess, Father, that I have reached the conclusion that some of the things Mrs. Thatcher did were in the best interest of the country.” Silence. “How often have you had these thoughts, my son?” Slight hesitation. “Once or twice a week, Father.” Silence. “My son, you must understand that these thoughts are impure, and you must try to put them out of your mind if they occur to you. Imagine what your family, your friends, your political colleagues would think if they knew that this was what you were thinking.” Always gentle, never strident, Alexander McCall Smith is embracing his Edinburgh.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sally

    Although I do like the characters that Alexander McCall Smith creates, and I do go after new books in the Scotland Street and Botswana series as soon as they are published in the US, it seems more and more that his books are mostly platforms for his philosophical musings and not so much about plots and events among the characters. I found myself skimming forward over the philosophical diversions in this book, and in the end a little disappointed at the general lack of progress in the characters' Although I do like the characters that Alexander McCall Smith creates, and I do go after new books in the Scotland Street and Botswana series as soon as they are published in the US, it seems more and more that his books are mostly platforms for his philosophical musings and not so much about plots and events among the characters. I found myself skimming forward over the philosophical diversions in this book, and in the end a little disappointed at the general lack of progress in the characters' lives. At the end of the book, my favorite character, six-year-old Bertie was rather abruptly left with his father in their plans for a fishing trip in favor of an uninteresting long bit of (supposedly a poem/prose) by Angus at a party after he and Domenica return from their honeymoon trip. And Bruce got involved in a truly weird and unrealistic situation that was not satisfactorily resolved either. I'm not sure if I'll buy any more of this series, even though I want to root for Bertie to find his way out from under his mother's thumb. Maybe in subsequent books someone will review with plot spoilers and I can glean the essence of what is really interesting without having to trudge through the ramblings that feel like listening in to others' trains of thoughts.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Winnie

    Alexander McCall Smith's 44 Scotland Street series has always been an enjoyable one, full of casual observations and witty remarks and occasionally alarmingly accurate justification and application of humanity's foibles and airs. The latest is no different, but it feels distinctly Scottish (even more so than the previous ones). And despite being a good deal thinner than the others, it has just as big a heart. My only lament is that we're not getting as many POVs as we previously did: I'm still i Alexander McCall Smith's 44 Scotland Street series has always been an enjoyable one, full of casual observations and witty remarks and occasionally alarmingly accurate justification and application of humanity's foibles and airs. The latest is no different, but it feels distinctly Scottish (even more so than the previous ones). And despite being a good deal thinner than the others, it has just as big a heart. My only lament is that we're not getting as many POVs as we previously did: I'm still invested in what Pat wants to do with her life, there aren't enough Big Lou-centric chapters, and although due to understandable plot development, there really isn't enough Domenica either. As a result, Sunshine on Scotland Street feels like a brisker read and by the time we're done we feel as if we've only finished the half of something. (also does anyone think that we should've gotten snippets of Angus and Domenica's Jamaican honeymoon, like what we've gotten for Angus, Domenica and Antonia's holiday in Italy?)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ron Johnson

    Just when I thought that there was no room to grow fonder of McCall Smith's writing, the Tales from 44 Scotland Street divine a new depth into the human spirit, capturing new visions into the modern psyche, poking fun of banal human behavior, and espousing universal truths at every step along the way. The development of Angus and Domenica, of Matthew and Elspeth, of Bruce and Big Lou bring surprises to the reader both scintillating and heart-warming. Finally, some of the questions continue to na Just when I thought that there was no room to grow fonder of McCall Smith's writing, the Tales from 44 Scotland Street divine a new depth into the human spirit, capturing new visions into the modern psyche, poking fun of banal human behavior, and espousing universal truths at every step along the way. The development of Angus and Domenica, of Matthew and Elspeth, of Bruce and Big Lou bring surprises to the reader both scintillating and heart-warming. Finally, some of the questions continue to nag at the reader as they do in each book of the series: Will Irene ever get her due? Will Stuart ever step forward as a parent? Will Bruce get his just rewards? And finally, finally, will poor little Bertie ever catch a break? I'll have to read the next book to see what happens.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia Egbert

    This cast of characters continues to make me smile and grimace (when it comes to Irene) and I enjoyed this one as I have the others. My only (albeit slight) frustration is that I really, really want Bruce to get his comeuppance! A few quotes that I loved: "That look, the look of adoration, was one that Angus, as an artist, knew about from the old masters, it being something they captured well. Contemporary art had no time for the adoring look. It was uncomfortable with the human face and reluctan This cast of characters continues to make me smile and grimace (when it comes to Irene) and I enjoyed this one as I have the others. My only (albeit slight) frustration is that I really, really want Bruce to get his comeuppance! A few quotes that I loved: "That look, the look of adoration, was one that Angus, as an artist, knew about from the old masters, it being something they captured well. Contemporary art had no time for the adoring look. It was uncomfortable with the human face and reluctant to see glory in it." "The thought made him wonder, 'Have we lost the capacity for adoration because we have persuaded ourselves that we can never be satisfied with anyone? Not again, now that we've lost the innocence that once allowed it.'" "Sometimes, in this life, one must choose between making cheese straws and writing poetry." "The Buddhists are right, you'll never satisfy a material appetite." "Honoring one's father and mother is hard when dad is a donor, perhaps, or otherwise somewhere else and mother has her career to consider. But, although the rules are vague, and widely disregarded now, some precepts remain. Live with love. That is a rule we all can understand. Forgive those who need forgiveness, which, I think is everybody, more or less. Be kind. That, perhaps, is first and foremost in any postmodern, newfangled code we devise for ourselves. Yes, be kind. Love one another. And, most of all, tend with gentleness the small patch of terra firma that is allocated to each of us."

  16. 5 out of 5

    Helena

    I bought this 8th part of this brilliant and human series from Edinburgh last summer. I had to visit the lovely Scotland Street just to find out there's no number 44 in real life :) It's always relaxing to read about these residents of Scotland Street. Bertie and his awful mother Irene are my favourites and this time I laughed aloud reading about the Melanie Klein T-shirt the psychoanalysis-orientated mother Irene had bought to his 6y son to mark the anniversary of the celebrated psychoanalyst's I bought this 8th part of this brilliant and human series from Edinburgh last summer. I had to visit the lovely Scotland Street just to find out there's no number 44 in real life :) It's always relaxing to read about these residents of Scotland Street. Bertie and his awful mother Irene are my favourites and this time I laughed aloud reading about the Melanie Klein T-shirt the psychoanalysis-orientated mother Irene had bought to his 6y son to mark the anniversary of the celebrated psychoanalyst's birth :D Poor Bertie had to lie to his friends that Klein is a fashion designer :)

  17. 5 out of 5

    Valerie

    I am busy reading as many AMSs that I can, as comfort in a time of COVID. This book - I am very surprised and sorry to say - was way below the usual standard. Bertie is getting boring, Bruce's story was frankly uncomfortable and fantastical (read non-creditable), and don't get me started on the boil incident! Disgusting and unfunny. Nevertheless, I am already on to another book in the series. I am busy reading as many AMSs that I can, as comfort in a time of COVID. This book - I am very surprised and sorry to say - was way below the usual standard. Bertie is getting boring, Bruce's story was frankly uncomfortable and fantastical (read non-creditable), and don't get me started on the boil incident! Disgusting and unfunny. Nevertheless, I am already on to another book in the series.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lorri

    I am on to the next book in the series.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rosey

    Enjoyable. Kind of a quirky way of writing but a good change.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Marianne

    Sunshine on Scotland Street is the eighth book in the popular 44 Scotland Street series by British author, Alexander McCall Smith. Fans of the series will be pleased to once again join the residents of this Edinburgh address and their friends and acquaintances. Bertie Pollock, still six years old and eager to be eighteen, is, as usual, thwarted in the enjoyment of life by his mother, Irene, but is nonetheless, excited to be looking after Cyril while Angus and Domenica are on their honeymoon. Mat Sunshine on Scotland Street is the eighth book in the popular 44 Scotland Street series by British author, Alexander McCall Smith. Fans of the series will be pleased to once again join the residents of this Edinburgh address and their friends and acquaintances. Bertie Pollock, still six years old and eager to be eighteen, is, as usual, thwarted in the enjoyment of life by his mother, Irene, but is nonetheless, excited to be looking after Cyril while Angus and Domenica are on their honeymoon. Matthew’s skills as a best man are comprehensively tested. Big Lou drops a bombshell, gains a love interest and goes viral. Expert narcissist, Bruce encounters his double and is coerced into a dubious enterprise. Tofu shares his wisdom on honeymoons. Bertie manages to dispose of his crushed strawberry dungarees. Stuart and Irene have a delightful crossed-purpose conversation. There is a wedding, a school fair, a lottery win, the filming of a documentary and dog psychotherapy. With his inimitable gentle philosophy, McCall Smith comments on tartans, Mrs Thatcher, the length of the Scottish summer, putative paternity, the occasionally surprising source of government figures, bacterial colonisation, the purpose of religion, cats, creative statistics, cold showers, material fulfilment, finding meaning in life, the importance of heritage and a sense of community. As always, there are many charming illustrations by Iain McIntosh, and, while Domenica and Angus are absent for much of the novel, the usual gathering and evocative verse that marks the end of the novels in this series is ever present. My favourite quote: “For most of us, life is lived with the philosophical volume turned half down.” There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments in this entertaining dose of Scotland Street and readers will look forward to the next installment, Bertie’s Guide to Life and Mothers.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Laura Walin

    For the most parts of this book I would have given three stars. Unfortunately AMCS cannot resist to build in some philosophical/ethical sidelines into all his books, and in my opinion they just do not fit into this series (they do in the Isabel Dalhousie and to some extent to the Mma Ramotswa ones). These books would be really enjoyable if he could just stick to his unexpectedly absurd description of everyday life of the main characters.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Barb Martin

    Life is greener on the other side of the fence. At least, some of Alexander McCall Smith's characters seem to think so in this novel. Honestly, most of his work lately reminds me of a musty, fusty dark room filled with dark, clunky furniture draped in doilies. His books have turned a tad bit into a navel-gazing exercise. Life is greener on the other side of the fence. At least, some of Alexander McCall Smith's characters seem to think so in this novel. Honestly, most of his work lately reminds me of a musty, fusty dark room filled with dark, clunky furniture draped in doilies. His books have turned a tad bit into a navel-gazing exercise.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    As much as I enjoy the premise of this series and most of the characters, this time there were too many pages devoted to narcissistic Bruce for my taste. I will certainly continue to follow the Scotland Street gang because I'm dying to know whether Bertie's mother will get her comeuppance and these snippets are like a sorbet course between heavier reading. As much as I enjoy the premise of this series and most of the characters, this time there were too many pages devoted to narcissistic Bruce for my taste. I will certainly continue to follow the Scotland Street gang because I'm dying to know whether Bertie's mother will get her comeuppance and these snippets are like a sorbet course between heavier reading.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Clare Coffey

    I really did enjoy this book. The story concerning Bruce was good and a had a really good twist at the end.It's a shame that this twist did not happen in my life. I would recommend this book to friends. I really did enjoy this book. The story concerning Bruce was good and a had a really good twist at the end.It's a shame that this twist did not happen in my life. I would recommend this book to friends.

  25. 4 out of 5

    zespri

    The next installment from the 44 Scotland Street series by McCall Smith. Hilarious and quirky as usual, a warm easy read. Bertie once again steals the show for me, and sympathy continues to grow for him with each book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    This one had a bit too much Bruce for me to rate it 4 stars, but it was still a solid offering in the series.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    This is Book 8 in a series of one billion so I guess you're only reading this review if you've read the others, or you are catching up and wondering 'should I read on?'. I say yes. AMcS is the master of the understated observations of Edinburgh life and its a must read for anyone who loves the city. For Aussies - we get a few mentions as AMcS has been out to our shores a few times. Recap: we follow the lives of about 10 Edinburgh residents as they go about their lives, each chapter about them fro This is Book 8 in a series of one billion so I guess you're only reading this review if you've read the others, or you are catching up and wondering 'should I read on?'. I say yes. AMcS is the master of the understated observations of Edinburgh life and its a must read for anyone who loves the city. For Aussies - we get a few mentions as AMcS has been out to our shores a few times. Recap: we follow the lives of about 10 Edinburgh residents as they go about their lives, each chapter about them from their point of view. Their stories are loosely intertwined like the characters from Love Actually. And it's a bit tongue in cheek, a bit funny, in an understated way. Nothing really bad ever happens, even when you think it might. In this book the funniest chapter is when two mums from different sides of Edinburgh and different lives have a phone call in which they burn one another in the way that school parents know so well. We are also introduced to a new character, Jonathon, who is Bruce's doppelgänger. I think he may be a new recurring character. Cyril the dog gets a number of chapters to himself. And of course Bertie, the hothoused 6 year old just trying to have a normal life. These books are the best antidote to a serious or grim read. The last book before this was the fabulous yet grim Shuggie Bain so this was a welcome relief. Thanks again AMcS.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Laurel Bradshaw

    Another delightful installment in the lives of characters that I have come to know and love. Book description: Angus Lordie and Domenica Macdonald are finally tying the knot. Unsurprisingly, Angus is not quite prepared and averting a wedding-day disaster falls to his best man, Matthew. When the newlyweds finally head off on their honeymoon, Angus's dog Cyril goes to stay with the Pollocks—to the delight of one member of the family, and the utter despair of another. The long-suffering Bertie know Another delightful installment in the lives of characters that I have come to know and love. Book description: Angus Lordie and Domenica Macdonald are finally tying the knot. Unsurprisingly, Angus is not quite prepared and averting a wedding-day disaster falls to his best man, Matthew. When the newlyweds finally head off on their honeymoon, Angus's dog Cyril goes to stay with the Pollocks—to the delight of one member of the family, and the utter despair of another. The long-suffering Bertie knows firsthand how stringent his mother's rules can be, and he resolves to help Cyril set off on an adventure. Meanwhile, Big Lou becomes a viral Internet sensation, and the incurable narcissist Bruce meets his match in the form of a doppelganger neighbor, who proposes a plan that could change both their lives.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    Smith always leaves me contemplating something he has mentioned in his stories. This book was no different. Delightful read, especially if you have spent time in Scotland, but a lovely read even if you have not.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    I love this series! Just fun, light stories about some people who live in Edinburgh. And a 6-year-old boy you can’t help but root for.

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