Sunday, October 5, 2008

Lunedì Letterario

The World According to Bertie
a 44 Scotland Street Novel

by Alexander McCall Smith

For my birthday in September I received this book as a gift and enjoyed reading it on the bus as I travelled across the Tiber River to and from work. It is a series of snapshots presenting the lives of people living in the same building at 44 Scotland Street in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is a captivating depiction of Edinburgh at the beginning of the 21st Century. The Sunday Express said: "A joyous, charming portrait of city life and human foibles, which moves beyond its setting to deal with deep moral issues and love, desire and friendship." While reading The World According to Bertie I could not help but think of Armistead Maupin's series Tales of the City which depicted the lives of the residents of 28 Barbary Lane in San Francisco from the mid 1970s to the late 1980s. Both authors guide the readers into the personal lives of a group of people who are acquainted with each other because of where they live, with unexpected crossing of plotlines in unexpected places.

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