The Bertie Project (44 Scotland Street Series #11)

The Bertie Project (44 Scotland Street Series #11)

by Alexander McCall Smith


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Our beloved cast of characters are back, as are the joys and trials of life at 44 Scotland Street in this latest installment of Alexander McCall Smith’s delightfully charming series.
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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780525433002
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/07/2017
Series: 44 Scotland Street Series , #11
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 144,555
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, the Isabel Dalhousie series, the 44 Scotland Street series, the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, and the Corduroy Mansions series. He is professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and has served with many national and international organizations concerned with bioethics.


Edinburgh, Scotland

Date of Birth:

August 24, 1948

Place of Birth:


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Beer and Knees

Excerpted from "The Bertie Project"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Alexander McCall Smith.
Excerpted by permission of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
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Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Bertie Project 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
“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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wish it could go on and on.
SheilaDeeth More than 1 year ago
Love takes many forms in this latest volume of the Scotland Street novels. A boy loves his mother, even though she’s driving him crazy. A mother loves her son, even though she can’t stand his wife. And a husband and father loves… his son, his wife, his lover, his freedom… though he can’t have them all. Very real human tragedies could ensue on these pages, but instead an equally human generosity allows wounded lives to play out against a background of hard choices, and brings them to places that feel, almost surprisingly, like home. Meanwhile other residents of Scotland Street interject their own struggles, with the man who loves himself falling for, just maybe, the woman he deserves, while the woman who loves her baby triplets really needs an au pair, and art plays its part. It’s all told in easily read chapters, skipping from scene to scene, with simple repetition making each chapter stand alone—as indeed these must since (I’ve heard) the book is originally serialized in a newspaper. It’s all a tangle of intriguing tales that never quite get tangled and are always told with wit and understanding, leaving me eager to read on. Disclosure: I’m hooked on the series, so of course I love this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When will Bertie be saved? And his poor father? Help!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago