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The Bertie Project (44 Scotland Street, 11) by Alexander McCall Smith - Paperback - First U.S. Edition - February 2017 - from Books of the World (SKU: RWARE0000003245)

The Bertie Project (44 Scotland Street, 11)

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The Bertie Project (44 Scotland Street, 11)

by Alexander McCall Smith

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  • paperback
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About This Item

New York: Anchor, February 2017. Trade Paperback. First U.S. Edition / full number line. Very Good+. Interior pristine. Light spine crease. Covers clean. Corner wear. Not from a library. No remainder mark. 291 pages.

Bertie's mother, Irene, returns from the Middle East to discover that, in her absence, her son has been exposed to the worst of evils--television shows, ice cream parlors, and even unsanctioned art at the National Portrait Gallery. Her wrath descends on Bertie's long-suffering father, Stuart. But Stuart has found a reason to spend more time outside of the house and seems to have a new spring in his step. What does this mean for the residents of 44 Scotland Street? The winds of change have come to the others as well. Angus undergoes a spiritual transformation after falling victim to an unexpected defenestration. Bruce has fallen in a rather different sense for a young woman who is determined to share with him her enthusiasm for extreme sports. Matthew and Elspeth have a falling out with their triplets' au pair, while Big Lou continues to fall in love with her new role as a mother. And as Irene resumes work on what she calls her Bertie Project, reinstating Bertie's Italian lessons, yoga classes, and psychotherapy, Bertie begins to hatch a project of his own--one that promises freedom.


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On Oct 29 2016, CloggieDownunder said:
"The problem, he though, was that so much humour involved human misfortune of one sort or another, and now that same human misfortune was out of bounds – interdicted by self-appointed guardians of sensitivity. There was somebody to be offended by everything, he thought, which left little room for laughter"

The Bertie Project is the eleventh book in the popular 44 Scotland Street serial novel by Scottish author, Alexander McCall Smith, and in it, the lives of the residents of 44 Scotland Street and those of their friends are, once again, updated for the continuing enjoyment of series fans. So we learn that: Big Lou battles red tape to adopt her foster-son; Irene finds fault in everything Nicola does, while Nicola receives an important letter from her Portuguese husband; a viral illness brings Elspeth and Matthew's Danish au pair troubles to a head.

In as much as a narcissist actually can fall in love with someone other than himself, Bruce, it seems, has done so. Australian physical trainer, ex Qantas stewardess and devotee of extreme sports Clare Hodding has won his heart. And proceeds to turn him into a hipster and involve him in extreme sports.

An unexpected event changes Angus Lordie's long-held view on conceptual art and even the Turner Prize. The Chairman and Secretary of the Association of Scottish Nudists discuss the woes they attribute to the splinter group, Nudism Scotland. And when Bertie mentions to his grandmother that he has seen Stuart lunching with an attractive stranger, Nicola wonders if her thoroughly oppressed son will be allowed some happiness.

The star of the show, as always, is poor, beleaguered Bertie: "He did not enjoy his Italian conversazione sessions, but he was too polite to say so. Nor did he enjoy, for that matter, his yoga classes and his psychotherapy, but he had long since come to understand that these were features of the firmament under which he lived, and there was no point in arguing against your personal planets: these were as fixed in the heavens as Edinburgh Castle was on earth"

He may only be seven years old, but his observations are always insightful: "That, it seemed to him, was a persistent problem faced by adults: they simply did not have enough to do. And because there were so many of them, and so few real things to do, they had to invent roles for themselves, and then spend a great deal of time arguing with one another about who should occupy these roles and then, when they were in them, what they should do with them"

Opinions on male inhibition about commenting on the looks of other males, importance of rituals, social reassurance, and rhododendrons are shared, and para mountain biking, a love poem, gout, and defenestration feature in this instalment. There are laugh-out-loud moments, but also some to choke up the most cynical reader. Brilliant as always!

Readers who purchased a hardcover might be just a little annoyed that in each instance where a word contains "ize", someone's overzealous use of "find and replace" has resulted it being substituted with "ise", so we have sises, seised, denisen, Turner Prise etc. The publishers' Oops on the last page might have been better placed before the first: the typos do distract a little from the story.


Books of the World US (US)
Bookseller Inventory #
The Bertie Project (44 Scotland Street, 11)
Alexander McCall Smith
Iain McIntosh
Trade Paperback
Book condition
Used - Very Good+
Quantity available
First U.S. Edition
Place of Publication
New York
Date published
February 2017
fiction, humor, satire, mystery, domestic, detective, families, family life, mothers and sons, neighbors, Edinburgh, Scotland, Great Britain, United Kingdom
Bookseller catalogs
Fiction; Mystery, Suspense, Detective, Crime; Humor, Comedy, Satire, Funny stuff; Britain; Domestic and Family Fiction;

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About Books of the World

Selling books from around the world. I am not a professional bookseller. Rather, I am finding new homes for the library I have collected over five decades.


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number line
A series of numbers appearing on the copyright page of a book, where the lowest number generally indicates the printing of that...[more]
trade paperback
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