The Importance of Being Seven

The Importance of Being Seven

Book - 2010
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Despite inhabiting a great city renowned for its impeccable restraint, the extended family of 44 Scotland Street is trembling on the brink of reckless self-indulgence. Matthew and Elspeth receive startling - and expensive - news on a visit to the Infirmary, Angus and Domenica are contemplating an Italian ménage a trois, and even Big Lou is overheard discussing cosmetic surgery. But when Bertie Pollock - six years old and impatient to be seven - mislays his meddling mother Irene one afternoon, a valuable lesson is learned: that wish-fulfilment is a dangerous business.

Warm-hearted, wise and very funny, The Importance of Being Seven brings us a fresh and delightful set of insights into philosophy and fraternity among Edinburgh's most loveable residents.

Publisher: Edinburgh : Polygon, c2010.
ISBN: 9780349123165
9780307399625
Characteristics: 311 p. :,ill. ;,23 cm.
Additional Contributors: McIntosh, Iain

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v
vkreads
Jun 11, 2019

6th book in the series of 13 titles thru yr 2019.
Next book is Bertie Plays the Blues.

In reading this series, I grow increasingly saddened that Stuart, Bertie's father, is such a ineffectual and pathetic representation of "fatherhood".
His ongoing weakness of stepping back from "true parenting" is a weary burden for the reader to carry.

Isabel is a mentally disturbed woman, being given great latitude in the stories to exact forms of mental cruelty onto her family members. She is no longer a humorous representation of a "controlling" mother. Her meanness is a painful psychological portrait.
Why is Stuart so pathetically weak in standing up to Isabel, instead of serving as a father in favor of being a positive influence for Bertie, whose boyhood wishes are to enjoy friendships and fun values?
And .................the tedium of Isabel and Stuart constantly losing track of the location of their car is absurd and no longer humorous.

I continue to enjoy descriptions of Edinburgh although I need to go to youtube or find a travel dvd to see a visual representation of the city.

This book in McCall-Smith's series is an ongoing description of droll set of circumstances.
It is not a 4 or 5 star read, to me.

I'm starting to ask myself more often while reading this series:"what's missing?"
My answer: the altruism of characters toward their local and larger world is ... missing. Yes, they help each other a bit, but not much. And greater charity towards their city seems absent.

l
lozza1401
May 18, 2013

Another exceptional instalment into the series. I am still waiting for Irene to get her come-uppance.

This is a 'mixed review' some good chapters, some funny moments, some interesting insights into small town Edinburgh but I finsihed the book with a sense of unresolved questions. Especially I was concerned that Bertie's [albeit fictional] mother still had too much control and would cause a lot of damage to her son before he reached adulthood. Worse, the fate of younger sibling Ulyssis is left to our imagination. Some of the tensions from previous novels are resolved with good humour and some pathos. I feel the author is riding on his reputation and not honing his art nor respecting his audience.

akarenina Jun 16, 2012

Charming and satisfying in typical McCall Smith fashion.

melwyk May 01, 2012

I've enjoyed all the books in this series, but this one was fantastic. It was the best yet, as we've come to know all the characters and follow them along many escapades throughout the previous five volumes. This book resolves some of the tensions in various storylines, giving the reader a wonderful sense of closure and satisfaction.

These books provide amusement, entertainment and satisfaction in the storyline in each episode. I can't critically review it because I simply love it. So that's my summation: I loved it; I love the characters and the setting, and it's only getting better. If you love gentle satire, wry amusement, and characters either lovable or ludicrous you will find this a great read.

k
kmoyer
Mar 07, 2011

Life continues on apace for the now familiar set of charaters in Edinburgh - a shame we are not able to keep more regularly up to date with a weekly or monthly installment in the Globe & Mail or local paper.

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