Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Brief Notes: Espresso Tales by Alexander McCall Smith

A few years back, Alexander McCall Smith was all over the place. Everybody - but everybody - was talking about his No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Eager to try the author, I not only borrowed  the first in the Ladies' Detective Agency series but also bought four of his books. However, the adventures of Mma Precious Ramotswe left me cold. I expected something like an Agatha Christie, all I got were some vignettes of life in Africa. Of the other series, The Sunday Philosophy Club started well but by the second book in the series, Friends, Lovers, Chocolate, I was tired of it. 44 Scotland Street was so boring that I had to push myself to read it. The result of all this was that Espresso Tales, the second in the 44 Scotland Street languished on my shelves. This year, however, I decided to read it so that I could be over and done with all the books bought.




And was I in for a surprise! I actually enjoyed the book. The adventures of the residents of 44 Scotland Street: Pat Macgregor, Domenica Macdonald, Bruce, and six year old Berie Pollock caught between his father Stuart and mother Irene not to mention Dr. Fairburn, made for some very pleasant reading. And I am quite eager to know what has transpired in their lives since this book.

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First Line: It was summer.

Title: Espresso Tales: A 44 Scotland Street Novel

Author: Alexander McCall Smith

Series: 44 Scotland Street

Publishing Details: London: Abacus, 2008

First Published: 2005

Pages: 342

Other books read of the same author: The No. 1 Ladies' detective Agency; The Sunday Philosophy Club; Friends, Lovers, Chocolate; 44 Scotland Street.

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The book can be easily purchased on the Net. I bought it from a book shop at South Ex.

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Submitted for the following challenges: 52 Books in 52 Weeks, 2013 A to Z (Authors), 2013 A to Z (Titles), 2013 TBR Pile, British Books, European Reading, Let Me Count the Ways, Mount TBR, What Countries Have I Visited.

10 comments:

  1. I like this author. Read a couple of his books and like them all.

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    1. Well, I didn't really enjoy the books read earlier but this one was good. I hope to read more of this particular series.

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  2. I read the first in the Mma Precious Ramotswe series, but I did not care for it either. I have at least one more of those and I will try it. Interesting that you liked this 2nd one in the 44 Scotland Street series.

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    1. Even I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this Tracy. Perhaps the first time I read McCall Smith my expectations were too high and this time round there were no expectations at all.

      I am so glad that somebody else shares my views on Mme Precious Ramotswe series. :)

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  3. I love McCall Smith but, I like those "vignettes of life" type of books. I haven't tried any of his other series other than the Mme Precious ones.

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    1. Monika, if you like vignettes of life kind of books, than you must read the 44 Scotland Street Series. Thanks for having a look.

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  4. Neere,

    Agree with you somewhat about how the books are good but not as good as everyone seems to rave about. I am planning to read "Espresso Tales' now.

    - Nitu

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    1. Nitu di, plz read the first in the series before going on to Espresso Tales. I look forward to your views.

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  5. I'm sort of in agreement with you, Neer. Except that I enjoyed The Number 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. But I've never read any of the others in the series. The other books of Smith's that I've attempted to read have been rather boring so I just stopped reading his stuff. But I might take a look at this one since you enjoyed it. I think he is simply an acquired taste.

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    1. The problem that I had with No.1 was perhaps with my expectations. The way everyone was raving about Smith, I thought it'd be something like an Agatha Christie, a nice murder mystery to sink my teeth into. It wasn't... and my enthusiasm just petered out.

      I enjoyed this one because of its humour. Hope you enjoy it too.

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