44 Scotland Street #1
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The story revolves around the comings and goings at No. 44
Scotland Street, a fictitious building in a real street in
the author's home city of Edinburgh. With its multiple-
occupancy flats, Scotland Street is an interesting corner
of the New Town, verging on the Bohemian, where haute
bourgeoisie rubs shoulders with students and the more
colourful members of the intelligentsia." "One of
McCall Smith's particular talents is his ability to
portray archetypes without resorting to stereotype or
cliche. We immediately recognise the Edinburgh chartered
surveyor, stalwart of the Conservative Association, who
dreams of membership of Scotland's most exclusive golf
club. We have the pushy mother, and her prodigiously
talented five-year-old son, who is making good progress
with the saxophone and with his Italian. Then there is
Domenica Macdonald who is that type of Edinburgh lady who
sees herself as a citizen of a broader intellectual
world." In McCall Smith's hands such characters
retain charm and novelty, simultaneously arousing both
mirth and empathy. 44 Scotland Street is vintage McCall
Smith, tackling issues of trust and honesty, snobbery
and hypocrisy, love and loss, but all with great lightness
of touch. Clever, elegant and funny, this is a novel that
provides entertainment but which is underpinned by the
moral dilemmas of everyday life and the characters'
struggles to resolve them.
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