Livet på Scotland Street 44 by Alexander McCall Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Three stars, not because it was average or "meh", but because there were some parts I liked and other parts I didn't.
It's interesting that it was written and published piece by piece in a newspaper, that's not something we see a lot these days as is pointed out in the foreword. However the lack of editing does because quite apparent at some points: as someone who is doing NaNo right now I can recognize it when someone is stalling, and some of the chapters just feels like they're doing that.
And with so many characters you cannot possibly like all of them. I fucking hate Bruce, I hope dies in the sequent books. But you aren't supposed to like him, so I supposed McCall Smith did well there. Same is true for Irene, although I like reading about her and hating on her. A bit annoying that she has some good points about patriarchic structures probably being behind boys liking pink, but that it is totally played as her being dominant and horrile by the narrative. A pink bedroom is the least of Bertie's problems.
Naturally I didn't like Pat fawning over Bruce, but I did like how Dominica and Angus reacted to it. They're not like "oh, I'm sure he's a good guy, just give him a chance", NOPE, they both go "that dude's a dick, we totally see why you like him but omg you'll do so much better don't bother". Idk, it felt healthy and kinda refreshing after seeing so many female characters fall for douchey guys and helping them become better people.
Although how is Bruce hot? Doesn't it say that he has SPIKES in his hair? Or did I just misinterpret it? Because good gods...
I also liked Bertie a lot, and as I said, I liked hating on Irene, so those were quite possibly my favorite parts of the book. I hope things become better for him in the subsequent books, which I will probably read. These aren't as good as Ladies' Detective Agency, but still very enjoyable I'll say.
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