Wednesday, September 8, 2010

CORDUROY MANSIONS: REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

GIVEAWAY ENDED
CORDUROY MANSIONS

BY ALEXANDER MCCALL SMITH

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Corduroy Mansions is the affectionate nickname given to a genteel, crumbling mansion block in London’s vibrant Pimlico neighborhood and the home turf of a captivating collection of quirky and altogether McCall-Smithian characters. Filled with the ins and outs of neighborliness in all its unexpected variations, CORDUROY MANSIONS showcases the life, laughter and humanity that have become the hallmarks of Alexander McCall Smith’s work.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the international phenomenon The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, the Isabel Dalhousie series, the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, and the 44 Scotland Street series. He is professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and has served on many national and international bodies concerned with bioethics. He was born in what is now known as Zimbabwe and he was a law professor at the University of Botswana.

MY REVIEW:


In CORDUROY MANSIONS, Alexander McCall Smith has created a captivating group of people who interact in entertaining and often intriguing ways similar to his best-selling series set in Edinburgh. Written from the perspective of the diverse group of characters, Smith now takes on London with a familiar story line that gives the story an easy going feel and comfortable read. Set near, but not quite in, the nicer part of London, a house has been turned into a group of apartments, or flats, and takes on the name of Corduroy Mansion.

William, who runs a prosperous wine business and is a widower, lives on the top floor of the building. Having lived there longer than anyone else, he would be satisfied to live by himself, but Eddie, his 24-year-old son, is determined on staying with his father, probably because he is unemployed. William’s excuse is that he is there to care for his father as he gets older and then William will take over the house and the business. There is also Marcia, who is a caterer, and she too would like Eddie gone so she can move in on the “eligible” bachelor. William thinks by having Freddie, a vegetarian terrier pup, it might be a reason to get Eddie out but not so, even with Freddie‘s excellent sense of smell that gets everyone into some unusual situations.

Other tenants who live in “the mansion”, all add their part to the overall story. There is a group of girls who share a flat. Dee, works in a vitamin store who I found to be quite amusing, and she lives with Jennifer and two other gals. Jennifer is the personal assistant to a Member of Parliament whose name really ought to be a clue to the kind of person he is…Oedipus Snark.

Nobody seems to like Snark as he can’t be trusted by even those who work close with him. Snark plays a large role in CORDUROY MANSIONS and I imagine will be a big part of this series as well. Readers will find out about his mother, Berthea, who is a well-known psychologist who is writing a biography of her son and includes all the gossip and as well as facts about him. Even she can’t stand her own son, Oedipus Snark, and she moves in with Terence Moongrove, who is her brother and a rather peculiar but rich old guy who is quite a character himself. There is also Snark’s ex, Barbara Ragg, and this entire group could be a book unto themselves, I think, especially with their addition of some political aspects to the story, and a few twists and turns as well.

McCall Smith writes like he is thinking out loud and in that way, adds in his personal opinions about culture, society and the part the youth play in it all today. He is thoughtful, quite intelligent, and full of creative ideas that add to the story and entertain readers. This was only the second of Alexander McCall Smith’s books that I have read and I have many friends who adore his writing and he is quite popular and well thought of as an entertaining, clever, and well liked author. I don’t think this book was quite as good as some of his others but it was pleasant enough and perhaps will age well as it leads readers into the rest of this series that I imagine will come from CORDUROY MANSIONS.


GIVEAWAY

THANKS TO THE GOOD FOLKS AT
KNOPF DOUBLEDAY PUBLISHING,
I HAVE 1 COPY OF THIS POPULAR
NEW BOOK TO GIVE AWAY.




--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!

HOW TO ENTER:

+1 ENTRY:
COMMENT ON WHY YOU WOULD LIKE TO WIN A COPY OF THIS BOOK BY READING "ABOUT THE BOOK" ABOVE AND IN MY REVIEW

+1 MORE ENTRY: GO TO ALEXANDER MCCALL SMITH'S WEBSITE HERE AND COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FIND INTERESTING IN ALL THERE IS TO SEE AT HIS CHARMING SITE

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND LEAVE A LINK I CAN FOLLOW IN THE ENTRY


GIVEAWAY ENDS
6 PM, EST, SEPTEMBER 21!
GOOD LUCK!

44 comments:

Icedream said...

I loved the background music on Alexander McCall Smith's site. I found it interesting that he has won the British Book Awards Author of the Year.

waitmantwillie at hotmail dot com

Icedream said...

I love books about quirky characters and actually I picked this book up from the library but had to return it before I could read it. These are the kind of books I like having my own copy of, so that I don't feel rushed and can sit down with a cup of tea on a cozy afternoon and enjoy them at my leasure.

waitmantwillie at hotmail dot com

Icedream said...

I tweeted about this giveaway (BloggerIcedream) at:
http://twitter.com/BloggerIcedream/status/23981170639

waitmantwillie at hotmail dot com

debbie said...

It sounds like a wonderful set of eclectic characters, plus I love any story set in london. It seems like a funny book, I would really enjoy.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

debbie said...

I learned he was the chairman of the british medical journal ethics committee. He has a wide background, I never knew about.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

Margie said...

I really enjoy Smith's books, especially the Detective series.
And who can pass up that adorale cover!
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

The Ladies Detective Club quickly became a best seller. The fifth novel in the series, The Full Cupboard of Life, received the Saga Award for Wit.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

rubynreba said...

I would like to read this because the characters sound so interesting.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

rubynreba said...

One of the awards the author has received is the British Book Awards Author of the Year Award.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

justpeachy36 said...

I always like books that have quirky characters since I consider myself somewhat quirky. LOL...

Please enter me in the giveway.

justpeachy36@yahoo.com

justpeachy36 said...

When I visited the authors website. I found out that one of his books is currently in the works to become a movie... I really want to see that one.

justpeachy36@yahoo.com

Tore said...

Please enter me in contest. Sounds like an interesting book. I am a follower and email subscriber. Tore923@aol.com

traveler said...

This book would be something different for me. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

An award given to him was The British Book Awards author of the year. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

This book with the unique characters sounds appealing. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

This multi-talented author is creative. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

Cindy W. said...

I would love to read this book because I like 'quirky' and I love dogs in storylines. It sounds like it has both.


Smiles,
Cindy W.

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

Anonymous said...

I love quirky period, to have in books is a bonus.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Cindy W. said...

I visited the authors website and I loved the background music. Especially the percussion instruments. I also saw that he wrote the #1 Ladies Detective Club series.


Smiles,
Cindy W.

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

Anonymous said...

Hard to believe that I have never heard of this author.
his books have been translated into 45 languages. Born in Zimbabwe and educated in Scotland and he was a Professor of Medical Law for many years, a very interesting guy.

Anonymous said...

Hard to believe that I have never heard of this author.
his books have been translated into 45 languages. Born in Zimbabwe and educated in Scotland and he was a Professor of Medical Law for many years, a very interesting guy.

Pamela Keener said...

Ok the cover has hooked me. I have never read any of this authors books.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Pamela Keener said...

It appears the author is touring the states in October.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

gcpeach17 said...

I love the name and what a wonderful cast of characters! I would love to win this book. Thanks, for the chance.

gcpeach17 at aol dot com

holdenj said...

I am only familiar with McCall's Ladies Detective Agency stories, so I think this new story, set in London looks really good.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

holdenj said...

I thought it was interesting that he's a law professor! He's really branched out to become such a prolific author, I think it said he's published 60 books!
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

Jo-Jo said...

I LOVE Alexander McCall Smith! I see that this one is set in London so I think I would really enjoy this one.
joannelong74 AT gmail DOT com

Jo-Jo said...

I've been to his site quite often so there isn't much for me on there that is new. I've been listening on audio to the 44 Scotland Street Series though and found that the next one up for me is Love Over Scones. Oh, I can't wait!
joannelong74 AT gmail DOT com

Jolee said...

Love a mystery and love the cover. joleehamlin [at] comcast [dot] net

Jolee said...

Cool website. learned about lots of forthcoming titles! Nice. joleehamlin [at] comcast [dot] net

Sandra K321 said...

I love stories with eccentric characters.
seknobloch(at)gmail(dot)com

bison61 said...

a captivating collection of quirky and altogether McCall-Smithian characters. that sounds like a wonderful read

tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

Alyce said...

I'd like to read it because I enjoyed his Isabel Dalhousie series so much.

akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

Linda Kish said...

This book sounds like it has a cast of quirky characters that I would like to get to know.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

I'd like to read his No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

rbooth43 said...

I loved The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith and would love to read Corduroy Mansions.

rbooth43(at)yahoo(dot)com

rbooth43 said...

I am an email subscriber and google follower.

rbooth43(at)yahoo(dot)com

hendy said...

This book looks interesting due to all the characters it has the ability to explore (and of course all the different kinds of drama that accompany so many different types of people). It looks like it could be pretty funny too.
hmhenderson AT yahoo DOT com

hendy said...

What I found interesting about his site, aside from the music, was that he, having been a law professor, helped set up a law school in Botswana.
hmhenderson AT yahoo DOT com

MRWriter said...

I'm a sucker for anything set in England. (-:

AlexDean03(at)yahoo.com

MRWriter said...

He's won 3 awards including the British Boowk Awards Author of the Year.

AlexDean03(at)yahoo.com

Linda Henderson said...

This book sounds like a very interesting story of diverse characters living in a house converted into flats, an everyday look at these different characters. I'd love to read it.

seriousreader at live dot com

Linda Henderson said...

I found out that he had written the Harriet Bean series for children.

seriousreader at live dot com

Linda Henderson said...

I tweeted this giveaway.
http://twitter.com/BookOwner/status/25054921119

seriousreader at live dot com

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