Mark's Reviews > 44 Scotland Street

44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith
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really liked it
Recommended for: people who like strong character stories

Sixty pages into this book, I stopped and looked at the back of it. What was it about again? Did the same thing sixty pages later.

When I finally closed the back cover, I realized that this is a book about nothing. It's Seinfeld in Edinburgh.

McCall Smith did this serial novel for The Scotsman newspaper in Edinburgh. Each chapter is short -- about 9 inches of copy for a daily newspaper run.

And what he's created is this wonderful and funny character study. Like Seinfeld, nothing much happens, but you really, really enjoy the ride. He had so much fun doing this book that he continued the series and did a second volume. I hadn't intended to read the second volume, but, upon finishing this first one, I marched right out and bought Espresso Tales. I had to find out what happened to these hilarious characters -- the narcissist surveyor, the hesitant heroine, the incompetent gallery owner, the eccentric portrait painter with the gold-toothed dog, the domineering mother of the five-year-old prodigy. The characters are the strength of this series and I think I might be hooked for a while.
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Reading Progress

July 5, 2008 – Shelved
Started Reading
July 13, 2008 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-11 of 11 (11 new)

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message 1: by N (new) - added it

N "It's Seinfeld in Edinburgh" - great! I could almost hear Jerry doing a routine on a book about nothing.


Woollyragwort You're a wierdo - but in a good way!


Andrea Angelyna Nailed it. I wasn't sure exactly how to describe why a book without much point could leave me wanting to read the sequel. Nicely put.


Sadie-jane (sj) Nunis Going to read this series when I'm done with Douglas Adams. loved your review


message 5: by Amy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy I've just started it, and love it. The narcissist surveyor reminds me, uncomfortably, of one of my own offspring. Ah. Thank you for your awesome review!


Rajiv Bhattacharya "It's Seinfeld in Edinburgh" . You nailed it .


message 7: by Elaine (new)

Elaine I love Seinfeld!


Atty. Tish Rae you nailed it. love this.


Vineet I was thinking exactly the same, that 'it's a book about nothing'.


message 10: by Barb (new) - rated it 5 stars

Barb Heinrichs I "read" this as an audio book during a long car drive. Wonderful entertainment.


Francine So true !


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