Customer Reviews for

Corduroy Mansions (Corduroy Mansions Series #1)

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

17 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

this is a fun look at the foibles of human interactions.

In London, several eccentric people reside at Corduroy Mansions. Wine merchant and connoisseur William wants his twentyish year old son Eddie to move out, but a nuclear bomb is not going to budge his offspring. He gets Freddie the vegan canine whose prime mission is t...
In London, several eccentric people reside at Corduroy Mansions. Wine merchant and connoisseur William wants his twentyish year old son Eddie to move out, but a nuclear bomb is not going to budge his offspring. He gets Freddie the vegan canine whose prime mission is to propel Eddie to move in with people his age. Restaurateur Marcia wants Eddie out of the house also so then she can make a move on empty nester William.

Another occupant Dee works at a vitamin store where she tries to help a peer who she feels needs to cleans his system of excess salt. Her flat-mate Jenny earns a difficult living working for detestable MP Oedipus Snark, who treats his employee like a low form of dog excrement. Snark's mom Berthea is writing the definitive biography of her son while her agent Barbara wants to become Mrs. MP.

As the walls crumble around the quirky residents, their squabbles make for an enjoyable slice of London life. Low keyed and not for everyone, fans of the author will enjoy the jocularity of everyday people interrelating in a dysfunctional manner as Corduroy Mansions is sort of like an aging supercollider with the people living there as the subatomic particles being sliced and diced. More like Alexander McCall Smith's 44 Scotland Street books, than his No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, this is a fun look at the foibles of human interactions.

Harriet Klausner

posted by harstan on June 23, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

What is this book about?

I was disappointed with this book. I kept waiting for something, anything, to happen, and it never did. The writing is a great character study of some offbeat people, but I found myself wanting more. So many characters and with the shift between points of view, and ofte...
I was disappointed with this book. I kept waiting for something, anything, to happen, and it never did. The writing is a great character study of some offbeat people, but I found myself wanting more. So many characters and with the shift between points of view, and often I found myself lost and wondering was it Tim or Tom or James, with Marcia, Jenny or Barbara? It was very difficult to put the book down, pick it up a minute later and remember what was going on.

This is the first book I've read of McCall-Smith's. I am aware of the No. 1 Detective books, so I think I was expecting this to be a mystery as well. I find the Donna Andrews series be to be equally character driven but with more of a plot.

posted by RedRaven on August 13, 2010

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  • Posted August 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Ah, those streets of London

    I've enjoyed all the books I've read so far by Alexander McCall Smith, and Corduroy Mansions is no exception-one of those books that can be put down and picked up at any moment. Chapters are delivered in perfect bite-sized increments, characters in surprisingly deep and realistic coffee-cup caricatures, and the streets of London are depicted to the beat of modern coffee-shops while strains of Mozart drift along on the breeze. There are art galleries, art history, a politician of dubious honesty and integrity, flat-sharing young adults and a grown-up youth pondering the workings of his car. At the center of all is wine-merchant William and the flat he shares, variously, with son, lady friend and dog. Of course, it's a wonderful dog-you can tell from his picture on the cover. Corduroy Mansions is the first of a new series, so, of course, I'll be looking for volume 2 as soon as it's in paperback. It's definitely another fun book for McCall Smith fans, and a great place to meet him (and his characters) if you're not already a fan.



    Disclosure: I bought this for myself; I'm a McCall Smith Addict

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2014

    Interesting characters

    McCall Smith has created interesting characters as usual. It is rather fun encountering his ironies like the art historian deciding he is not gay after all or the dog transitions.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2012

    Specklepaw

    Specklepaw moaned.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2012

    Cosmo

    The she cat say alone

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 2, 2012

    Quirky tales

    Some interesting characters and cute plot. I hope to make it through the series and have read the first two. I have read other books of Mr McCall's and he is a multi-talented writer. Looking forward to reading more about this special dog.

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  • Posted June 18, 2011

    Delightful summer reading!

    I hesitated to buy this book because of the bad reviews, but I really love the First Ladies Detective Agency, so I bought it. It is delightful. The book follows the folks who live in an apartment building in London as they deal with difficult people and ordinary problems. It is told from multiple points of view, which enables the reader to understand how different people react to the same problem. The writing is witty and I laughed many times.
    This is not a book a reader would enjoy if he or she wanted intense drama or lots of action. For me, that makes it a perfect summer book.

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