cover image The Unbearable Lightness of Scones

The Unbearable Lightness of Scones

Alexander McCall Smith, , read by Robert Ian Mackenzie. . Recorded Books, $39.99 ( , unabridged, 12 CDs, 14 hrs., $39.99 ISBN p) ISBN 978-1-4407-8825-3

The fifth book in McCall Smith's 44 Scotland Street series re-visits the quirky characters of a tiny neighborhood of Edinburgh: aging Angus and his dog, young Matthew with his new bride, precocious six-year-old Bertie and his overbearing mother, and others. The dry humor and Wodehousian wit in the descriptions and observations of the eccentric characters give them charm, but the book is a study in ordinary people living ordinary lives, and the narrative is slow paced. Robert Ian Mackenzie's deep, sonorous voice is ideal for the exposition and the voices of the male characters, but that same rich masculine voice is a drawback when used for the dialogue of the female and child characters, who end up sounding stilted and impaired. An Anchor paperback (Reviews, Nov. 9). (Jan.)