Saturday, January 7, 2012

44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith

This book reminded me of the P.G. Wodehouse book that I read a few years ago. And then I read a review that said is was like Seinfield. Combine those two things together and you get this book. It follows several characters who are somehow intertwined and doesn't seem to have a real plot.

All the characters have ties to the address at 44 Scotland Street in Edinburgh. There's Pat who is on her second gap year living with Bruce. Bruce is a narcissist who works for Todd. Todd's daughter doesn't want to do anything with her life. Pat works at an art gallery with Matthew who has coffee every morning at Big Lou's. Irene and Bertie (a mother/son pair) also live in the building and are at odds with each other.

There really isn't a main character but I did have some favorites. I loved reading about Irene and Bertie. He is a 5 year old boy with a pink room and decides he just wants to be normal like other boys, but Irene doesn't want that.

Although it didn't have a real plot, I did like it. And I will read the next books in the series. However, I feel like because I don't know much about Edinburgh or Scotland, I was at a disadvantage. There were a lot of references to streets and people that I didn't catch.

I did love that the author can make you love or hate the characters. Even though there are so many characters, you have a sense that each character is developing somehow.  That is what I consider good writing.