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The World According to Bertie (44 Scotland Street, #4)
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The World According to Bertie (44 Scotland Street #4)

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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  4,858 ratings  ·  460 reviews
The latest completely charming installment in the bestselling 44 Scotland Street series.

There is never a quiet moment on 44 Scotland Street. In The World According to Bertie, Pat deals with the reappearance of Bruce, which has her heart skipping�and not in a pleasant way. Angus Lordie's dog Cyril has been taken away by the authorities, accused of being a serial biter. Un
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Paperback, 343 pages
Published November 11th 2008 by Anchor (first published January 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Heather
Jun 11, 2008 Heather rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Celtophiles
What can I say? I love this series. I love how Alexander McCall Smith captures Edinburgh. I love the characters. I want to say the books are sweet or heart-warming, but not in a cloying way at all. The author allows his characters to be human, yet rise above their petty cares some of the time. The books are smart and funny and make me want to gather round a table with friends and truly feel at home.

Jessica
I really enjoyed this book. It was the best one in the series so far. The characters are so amusing, and it's just a fun look at life and all the craziness that goes along with it. Bertie is an awesome character!
Valerie
The world according to 6 year old Bertie is one of the most entertaining aspects of the 44 Scotland Street series providing plenty of laugh-out-loud moments.
There are thoughtful moments also. I am including this excerpt because I wonder about McCall Smith's view of God. His characters seem to have faith in love, family, friendship, kindness, Scotland...anything but God.
This is a prayer of Angus Lordie whose dog is being detained because he was accused of biting and Angus misses him greatly (p.
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Jeannie and Louis Rigod
This book is best enjoyed with snuggling down with your favorite drink, soft, but good, reading light, and plenty of time to devote to savoring the essays of daily life of the persons living in Edinburgh, Scotland, near 44 Scotland Street.

As the title of the book suggests, this volume is dedicated to Bertie, a six-year old project (Mother's viewpoint.) Bertie wants to be a boy. That's all. Mother sees the world differently. She has him playing the Saxophone, speaking Italian, and doing Yoga. Of
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Beth Hall
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carolyn
The audio reader was too slow for my taste and I haven't read the first 3 books in this series, so I almost gave up on this book after the first couple disks. I'm glad I stuck with it, because in the end, I found myself liking the characters and enjoying the setting.

I don't think I've ever read a novel set in modern day Scotland (Edinburgh), and being a bit of an anglophile, that made the whole story more appealing to me. I also liked that the characters were generally good people living ordinar
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BJ Rose
I like the precocious six-year-old Bertie, and was looking forward to having much of this book be about Bertie. In spite of the title, it was not to be. It was an entertaining book, but I wanted Bertie (little tantrum here!)
Andrea
Another delightful tale in the 44 Scotland Street Series! There is joy and life lessons for all of the residence. In my mind Alexander McCall Smith is one of the masters of slice of life tales! Bertie Pollock is most certainly proving to be one of my favorite characters that I have had the pleasure of encountering between the pages of a book. His trials and tribulations with school, his family (in particular his mother Irene), and with his therapist Dr. Fairbairn are proving to be a challenge t ...more
Ken Deshaies
This is the 4th in this series by Alexander McCall Smith, and it continues the sagas of a variety of characters in modern Edinburg, Scotland. To say that Smith has a keen insight to human frailties and comedic lapses is to put it mildly. He actually gets you to understand how so many things that we do, or behavior that we view in others, are hilarious, particularly when the full circumstances of that behavior are known. From pompous egotists to overbearing mothers to husbands and children who ar ...more
Barbara
Hooray for Christmas! It was worth waiting to see if a copy would show up in my holiday stocking. I always enjoy a visit to Scotland Street and this was no exception.

All the old "friends" were back, with some shuffling around but Bertie was definitely more front-and-center this time struggling with his own set of imponderables (overbearing mother Isabel, new baby brother Ulysses of the strong resemblance to B's psychotherapist, Olive and her needles, etc). Some of it was really funny, other par
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Sue
There’s a predictability in Alexander McCall Smith’s little escapist novels, with their episodic romps through modern Edinburgh. In this one, however, I think McCall Smith is starting to become instructive. There are many rambling musings about relationships. They are generally placed in the heads of characters who are trying to work through their own muddled affairs, but I think McCall Smith is using his bully pulpit. It’s wonderful, gentle, and humorous.

Since these books were written to be ser
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Barbara Roden
The World According to Bertie is the fourth in Alexander McCall Smith's 'Scotland Street' series, and is a gentle, sometimes funny, sometimes thoughtful look at a by now firmly established cast of characters (although Smith skilfully mixes new faces into the crowd to keep things fresh). As the title implies, this volume focuses on precocious six-year-old Bertie, who just wants to be a normal boy, but who is frustrated at almost every turn by his mother, who sees Bertie more as an experiment than ...more
Pragyam
Superb in all ways--characters, plot(s), writing, emotional depth, humor...This is my favorite kind of book--simple, deep, and profound. I have always loved the author's compassionate acceptance of the human condition; this book was, therefore, very positive for me.

I later found out that the 44 Scotland Street series began as a serialized novel for a newspaper. That helped me understand the structure of this book better, and also to appreciate the author's light touch a bit more.

As one grows old
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Jan Polep
Jumped into this series with book 4 (about quirky Edinburgh characters who live in and around 44 Scotland Street) only because Steve could fill me in on the first 3 books as we listened to this as an audiobook on the way to and from Omaha. I could never get into this series but now it makes sense since we hoofed it all over Edinburgh in September. Some of the chapters drag, but any chapter with wee Bertie (6 years old) in them simply shine. And there was a dog ...Cyril. Lot of back and forth wit ...more
Patricia
The latest installment of Smith's 44 Scotland Street series is yet another voyeuristic visit to Edinburgh. Although all characters have their own individual stories, their stories commingle peripherally as they would in town environs. I enjoy that all the characters are flawed in their own way, making them quintessentially human. Love and comfort are mistaken for each other; friendship and neighbors don’t always mix, and one can never overstate the importance of a dog’s companionship.

This is a c
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Sara Frost
I'm still just having a hard time with this series. I enjoyed the first one but then lost interest halfway through the second one. The only story line I care about is Bertie's and the only reason I read this book was I thought the focus would be more on his story line. Instead it started with Pat's story (who I really really don't like), followed by more pointless, uninteresting story lines. I feel like I hardly read any of Bertie's stories.

I think I'm done with this series, I just don't care en
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Susan
The World According to Bertie by Alexander McCall Smith is book 4 of the 44 Scotland Street series set in contemporary Edinburgh. Bertie is 6 years old, very intelligent and observant. Poor Bertie is tyrannized by his mother Irene, who insists he play the saxophone, take yoga classes, and continue psychotherapy. He lives with his parents and new baby brother Ulysses in an apartment at 44 Scotland Street. Bertie notices his baby brother’s facial features resemble the psychotherapist’s. Bertie’s o ...more
Auntie Pam
Impossibile non amare Alexander McCall Smith, impossibile non amare il suo stile sempre elegante ed ironico e il suo inglese così fluido e corretto (autore ideale per chi volesse rispolverare il proprio inglese). Questo è il quarto libro della serie e stavolta Scotland Street e paraggi ha come protagonista Bertie, un bambino di sei anni. Bertie è un bambino un po' fuori dal comune, con una mamma che nessuno si augurerebbe per sè e con un'intelligenza e una perspicacia fuori dal comune. I protago ...more
Catherine
Lots of lovely tales intermingled in short little bites. Poor bewildered, clever Bertie is still my favourite inhabitant of Scotland Street and related places, although Big Lou has plenty of my sympathy too.
Kingfan30
So it's been a year since I last visited Scotland Street, so it was time to grab a coffee, snuggle up in some PJs and get reading. It really is like catching up with friends, Bertie's mum is still just as controlling and I really wish his dad would just man up a bit. Bruce is back and is just as annoying as ever, although he may well have met his match. Antonio and Dominica were quite amusing too, assessing thier friendship now they are neighbours and working out the boundaries. At least this ti ...more
Nicole Marble
I'm hooked - I look forward to every chapter, every character, every detail.
Alcornell
3.75. Edinburgh itself seems to be the spine of the book, revealed in the characters' daily goings-on. McCall Smith brings a question of ethics to almost every vignette-chapter. The problem of how to find one's way to the right thing or the kind thing is the question of the piece, moving the reader gently toward the premise that love is the only thing after all. These characters bring up all kinds of everyday intrigue and pettiness, never failing to cleverly mirror essences we know in ourselves. ...more
Anne Hawn Smith
Bertie is just about my favorite character and in this book we see a lot of him. His biggest problem in this book is, of course, his mother and we have the addition of a baby brother, Ulysses, who looks suspiciously like Bertie's therapist. Bertie, who doesn't lie, mentions this a couple of times. His mother has decided that he should have his good "friend" Olive over to play with him weekly and he is in despair, not only can he not stand her, but his mother has painted his room pink again.

Pat i
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Hellion
Like the excellent Precious Ramotswe books these are subtle observations of 'interesting' characters. I say 'interesting' because the charm of the books is there is nothing interesting about them and their lives at all - yet some how you get drawn into their everyday'ness rather as you would a friend or neighbour. I listened to myself, my mother and my aunt talking about this book and anyone listening to the conversation would be mistaken in thinking we really were talking about friends and rela ...more
Andrea
Feb 17, 2009 Andrea rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who love this series
Shelves: scotland
I love this series by Alexander McCall Smith. Plot is never paramount -- the series is made up of a number of interlocking character studies and it celebrates the small events that contribute to the search for fulfillment in life. The characters are lovely, some more endearing than others, with Bertie, the perpetual 6-year-old with a brilliant mind and an array of amazing talents, my personal favorite (though I'm also very fond of Pat and Matthew), and Irene, Bertie's nightmare of a mother the c ...more
Jennifer
As usual, I enjoyed the casual and comfortable atmosphere created by McCall Smith. I always finish his books feeling as if I've spent time with some old friends who impart simple wisdom to live by in day-to-day life.

And young Bertie's perspective gives sweet insights into the world of children. "You see, Mummy, there are two different worlds. There's the grown-up world, and then there's the world down below, where boys and girls live. I don't think grown-ups really know what's happening down in
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Ladiibbug
Mar 29, 2009 Ladiibbug rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone!
#4 - 44 Scotland Street series

Just like Christmas ... that's how much I enjoy catching up with the residents of 44 Scotland Street. The Edinburgh apartment building's charming inhabitants' continuing stories are among my very favorite save-for-special reads.

This time the happenings involve a suspected theft of a china teacup by a good friend; the wrongful incarceration by animal control of a beloved dog, Cyril; Big Lou's new boyfriend and his weird history group; one lonely and good hearted resi
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June Louise
"The World According To Bertie. My name is Bertie Pollock, and I'm a boy. I live in Scotland Street, which is a place in Edinburgh. Our house is at No.44, which is easy to remember.....I have a brother called Ulysses, who is very small and can't talk or think yet. My Daddy's name is Stuart, and he works for the Scottish Executive, where he makes up numbers....My Mummy's name is Irene. She is quite tall and she talks more than Daddy, who sometimes tries to say something but is told not to say it ...more
Jenny Karraker
I love this series, but found this one a little slow. When Bertie keeps commenting on how his little brother looks like his psychiatrist and even asks his Mom, Dad, and the Dr. why this is so, I wonder if the author is hinting at something or just commenting on how children draw conclusions about things in a strange way. I wonder if this question will be resolved in later series. I keep hoping Matthew will find someone, and it seems he and Pat finally get together. Bruce continues to be a real p ...more
Anne
This is my favorite Alexander McCall Smith's series. As I've mentioned before, my favorite character from 44 Scotland Street is 6-year old Bertie who just wants to be a normal little boy, while his mother Irene is convinced that he must be cultivated through classes in music, yoga, and Italian. As Smith explains in his preface, I am apparently not the only one enamored with Bertie, and this installment focuses even more on him. He also points out that while the other characters grow and move fr ...more
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Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the international phenomenon The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, the Isabel Dalhousie Series, the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, and the 44 Scotland Street series. He is professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and has served on many national and international bodies concerned with bioethics. He was born in what ...more
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