The World According to Bertie
Alexander McCall Smith, , read by Robert Ian MacKenzie. . Recorded Books, $34.99 ( , unabridged, 11 CDs, 14 hrs., $34.99 ISBN p) ISBN 978-1-4361-4131-4
In this latest installment of McCall Smith’s 44 Scotland Street series, Robert Ian Mackenzie portrays Bertie as the overly intelligent and articulate six-year-old that he is meant to be, but when Bertie is among his classmates Tofu, Hiawatha, Larch and Olive, Mackenzie is hard-pressed to individualize the children’s voices. A similar problem arises as more and more women are added to the cast. Now that Domenica and Antonia are neighbors, their voices are almost as similar as their flats. Miss Harmony, Bertie’s teacher, could be Antonia’s twin sister. While Mackenzie has clearly run out of new voices, he does better with his male characters, especially with Angus’s basso and Matthew’s hesitant voice that matches his timid demeanor. Mackenzie keeps this enjoyable, lighthearted romp moving along quickly.
Reviewed on: 12/22/2008