Bertie Plays the Blues: A 44 Scotland Street Novel

Alexander McCall Smith. Anchor, $15 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-307-94849-6
Bestseller Smith's seventh 44 Scotland Street novel (after 2012's The Importance of Being Seven) provides another genial, witty glimpse into the life and times of the denizens of an Edinburgh neighborhood. Seven-year-old Bertie Pollock gets top billing in the title, but all the usual characters figure in the book's many subplots, including Bertie's parents, Irene and Stuart; schoolmates Ranald and Olive; Elspeth Harmony, her husband, Matthew, and their newborn triplets; Domenica Macdonald (now affianced to Angus Lordie); and the proprietress of the local cafe, Big Lou. How will Elspeth and Matthew cope with triplets? Where will Domenica and Angus live? Can Big Lou find happiness through online dating? And on the farcical side, can Bertie orphan himself by auctioning off his parents on eBay? Smith writes soap operas, but for a thoughtful, literate audience interested in the inherent conflict between the moral virtue of civility and the personal desire for happiness. As Angus puts it, there are people who "led the examined life—who questioned themselves, who weighed up what to do, who developed and nurtured the self." They are philosophical but always human, and Smith's great gift is to render—and reconcile—that contradiction. Agent: Robin Straus, Robin Straus Agency. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/07/2013
Release date: 10/08/2013
Show other formats
FORMATS
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-307-36194-3
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-307-94850-2
Paperback - 260 pages - 978-0-349-00032-9
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-1-84697-216-4
Hardcover - 978-0-307-36195-0
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.