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The World According to Bertie is the fourth in the series and revolves around the many colourful characters that come and go at NoScotland Street McCall Smith handles the characters with his customary charm and deftness the stalwart Tory chartered surveyor, the pushy mother, and, most importantly in this novel, the beleaguered Italian speaking prodigy, Bertie This is classic McCall Smith clever, witty and entertaining and beautifully illustrated A chance encounter with Armistead Maupin in San Francisco inspired Alexander McCall Smith to write this series of novels based around the fictional NoScotland Street in Edinburgh s New Town


10 thoughts on “The World According to Bertie

  1. Ken Deshaies Ken Deshaies says:

    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 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 are learning that they can actually have a voice in their own destinies, and the interactions of each with each other, lend to laugh out loud scenes and opportunities to hope for the best for those still lost Smith is truly a master at transition, building on history and experience to extract next actions, truly memorable thoughts and words His segues can leave you breathless Young Bertie, the 6 year old master of Italian, the saxophone, yoga and voracious reader of everything he can get his hands on, is someone you will remember and hope you find in real life At times the young child who is fairly inept at making and or understanding friendships, he is also very capable of seeing through the deceptions that adults create for themselves and pointing those out There are 6books in this series, and I anticipate reading them all with joy


  2. Heather Heather says:

    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.


  3. BJ Rose BJ Rose says:

    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


  4. Jessica Jessica says:

    Poor Bertie But hooray for Miss Harmony And Matthew Andthe Jacobite RebellionI often feel there s a bit too much padding in the form of Angus and Domenica pontificating on the state of Scotland Today and Society in General, which is what keeps me from loving these books whole heartedly.


  5. Vio Vio says:

    Another pleasant 3,5 from me and going straight to the next volume The long time it took me to read this particular book has once again nothing to do with the book, but with some personal stuff I went through I am still not bothered with the very few inadvertencies like Matthew never giving any presents to Pat But I cannot say any who went where in which volume.


  6. Valerie Valerie says:

    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, Scotlandanything 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 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, Scotlandanything 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.253 Oh Lord, he whispered, who judges all men and to whom alone the secrets of the heart are known forgive me my human failings, my manifold acts of wickedness Open my heart to love Turn thy healing gaze to me Forgive me for that which I have not done which I ought to have done It was a hotch potch of half remembered phrases, taken out of context and patched together, but as he spoke them, uttered each one, he felt their transformative power And I ask one final thing, he muttered I ask that you restore my dog He rose to his feet and looked about him How foolish, he thought, to imagine that words uttered by him could change the world in the slightest way, what a massive, sentimental delusion But then the telephone rang Angus gave a start, and then crossed the room to answer For a second or two, he imagined that his prayer had brought results and that the call would bring news of Cyril But that, he knew, was not how the world worked The world was one of chance, a biological lottery, not one ruled by eternal verities and design Prayer was a wishful thinking conversation with self that s what he told himself Of course he knew that He picked up the telephone It was his lawyer, George More, on the other end Come round to the office, said the lawyer There s somebody here who s looking forward to seeing you again Angus frowned Who could George have in the office Then he heard, coming down the line, a bark END of quote.Angus felt the transformative power of his prayer and actually had the prayer and desire of his heart answered, yet there was no further acknowledgment of that in this book It will interest me to see if he or any other characters express any thoughts about God in future installments


  7. Jeannie and Louis Rigod Jeannie and Louis Rigod says:

    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 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 course, there is equal time to make him join her at the Psychoanalyst s office Why the latter Rebellion to the above and where is Father Oh, that is the sad part, he is there, but lacking in gumption And, now there is a new baby brother.Bertie isn t the only subject by any means, we have persons falling in love, and out Cyril the dog is accused of a crime from which he must be acquitted Big Lou is still reading her bookstore and Domenica has returned from living with the Pirates.This is a good, solid, comforting read Try the series


  8. Jenn Jenn says:

    I continue to be addicted to these delightful serialized stories especially as I am listening to them as audiobooks and the reader Robert Ian Mackenzie does a marvelous job however, lately, I ve been wondering if my profound hatred for Irene comes from the smarmy, smug and self satisfied voice he does for hernahshe really, really sucks The stories are just bursting with love and nostalgia for Scotland, especially Edinburgh, which I find delightful, and this installment went on few I continue to be addicted to these delightful serialized stories especially as I am listening to them as audiobooks and the reader Robert Ian Mackenzie does a marvelous job however, lately, I ve been wondering if my profound hatred for Irene comes from the smarmy, smug and self satisfied voice he does for hernahshe really, really sucks The stories are just bursting with love and nostalgia for Scotland, especially Edinburgh, which I find delightful, and this installment went on fewer philosophizing tangents, although they are still there there s a lot of worry over changing the way things used to be and people s values and so forth, as well as mini treatises on art, psychology, anthropology, etc., which are sometimes interesting and sometimes I just want to get to my people I want to pet Cyril and was VERY STRESSED OUT for him in this volume , hug Bertie, hug Angus, have tea with Domenica, and punch, slap, and kick Irene I m so sorry for the violence of feeling that I have for that horrible, smug, delusional woman But, ugh


  9. Jessica Jessica says:

    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


  10. Laura Laura says:

    Second read, 2018 3.75 stars I have raved about this author here on Goodreads for years Suffice it to say that he is the cure for what ails ya His books are medicine for the soul His