Corduroy Mansions

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9780349122397: Corduroy Mansions

CORDUROY MANSIONS - Book 1

In the Corduroy Mansions series of novels, set in London’s hip Pimlico neighborhood, we meet a cast of charming eccentrics, including perhaps the world’s most clever terrier, who make their home in a handsome, though slightly dilapidated, apartment block. 

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. There’s the middle-aged wine merchant William, who’s trying to convince his reluctant twenty-four-year-old son, Eddie, to leave the nest; and Marcia, the boutique caterer who has her sights set on William. There’s also the (justifiably) much-loathed Member of Parliament Oedipus Snark; his mother, Berthea, who’s writing his biography and hating every minute of it; and his long-suffering girlfriend, Barbara, a literary agent who would like to be his wife (but, then, she’d like to be almost anyone’s wife). There’s the vitamin evangelist, the psychoanalyst, the art student with a puzzling boyfriend and Freddie de la Hay, the Pimlico terrier who insists on wearing a seat belt and is almost certainly the only avowed vegetarian canine in London.
 
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. 

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Review:

Alexander McCall Smith on Corduroy Mansions

When I started writing serial novels in newspapers six years ago, I had no idea that the whole business would rapidly become addictive. My initial foray into this genre of fiction began after a conversation with Armistead Maupin, author of Tales of the City, which was a saga of life in San Francisco that ran to several volumes. The idea was implanted of starting a daily novel set in Edinburgh, and a few months later I embarked on 44 Scotland Street. After five years of producing a chapter a day for six months of the year, I decided to give Edinburgh a rest for a while and start a tale set in London. Corduroy Mansions, published each day in the online edition of The Daily Telegraph, was the result.

Like any saga, there is a story--but it is not a complicated one. These stories are character-based: what interests me is what makes the characters tick rather than intricate and potentially confusing plots.

There are quite a lot of characters in the story, many of them occupying a rather run-down block of flats in Pimlico that gives its name to the series. We are introduced to William French, a wine merchant who has just turned fifty, but who is in denial about that. He is a widower with a dreadful son, Eddie, who sees no reason to leave a comfortable home and set up independently, in spite of every encouragement by his father. William is admired by Marcia, a caterer who would like to marry him--or anybody really.

William lives at the top of the building. On the floor below is a shared flat lived in by four young women. One of these, Dee, runs a vitamin and health food shop not far away and is a keen exponent of alternative medicine in its various guises, and in particular of colonic irrigation. Then there is Caroline, who is studying for a master’s degree in fine art at the Sotheby’s Institute of Art.

Caroline is fond of James, who is doing the same course as she is. James is very artistic, with a particular interest in the work of the French artist, Nicolas Poussin. James likes Caroline a great deal, but is unsure as to what his real proclivities are. Caroline is optimistic that she can confirm him in the direction she would like him to take, that is as one who is interested in women, but will she succeed?

William, at least, is quite unambiguous in that department: he wants to find a woman. His long-time friend Marcia, however, thinks she just may be his match. In the meantime, William has for company a remarkable dog, Freddie de la Hay, a Pimlico Terrier.

Then there is Oedipus Snark, a Liberal Democrat MP. He is so unpleasant that his mother, Berthea Snark, is writing his unauthorized biography in which she has the intention of dishing every bit of dirt on her son that she can muster. Berthea is the sister of the mystically-inclined Terence Moongrove, an exponent of Bulgarian sacred dance and the unexpected driver of a Porsche.

That is probably all that one needs to know. But even if one cannot be bothered to absorb even those few facts, the story will, I hope, be abundantly clear. This is light social comedy, I suppose, but while I admit that the whole point of the exercise is for the reader to have fun, I hope in this story, nonetheless, to say something about how we live and about how finding love and meaning in the very small things of life may transform us, may make our ordinary lives more bearable.

About the Author:

Alexander McCall Smith is also the author of 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 and has served on many national and international bodies concerned with bioethics. He lives in Scotland.

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Alexander McCall Smith
Editore: Little, Brown Book Group, United Kingdom (2010)
ISBN 10: 0349122393 ISBN 13: 9780349122397
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Descrizione libro Little, Brown Book Group, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Welcome to Corduroy Mansions in Pimlico: a temple of Arts and Crafts architecture, with comforting, weathered brickwork and frankly frivolous dormer windows, it is home to a delightfully eccentric cast of Londoners. In the top flat lives William, with a faithful ex-vegetarian dog named Freddie de la Hay and a freeloading son who he hopes will soon fly the nest. Four lively young women share the first-floor flat, including twinset-and-pearls Caroline from Cheltenham, Dee, vitamin addict and avid subscriber to Anti-oxidant News, and Jenny, a put-upon PA. And round the corner lives Oedipus Snark MP, possibly the world s only loathsome Lib Dem, who has succeeded in offending everyone he knows, and many others besides. But what dark revenge is being plotted by his mother, Berthea Snark, and by his girlfriend, Barbara Ragg.?. Codice libro della libreria AA29780349122397

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Alexander McCall Smith
Editore: Little, Brown Book Group, United Kingdom (2010)
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Descrizione libro Little, Brown Book Group, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Welcome to Corduroy Mansions in Pimlico: a temple of Arts and Crafts architecture, with comforting, weathered brickwork and frankly frivolous dormer windows, it is home to a delightfully eccentric cast of Londoners. In the top flat lives William, with a faithful ex-vegetarian dog named Freddie de la Hay and a freeloading son who he hopes will soon fly the nest. Four lively young women share the first-floor flat, including twinset-and-pearls Caroline from Cheltenham, Dee, vitamin addict and avid subscriber to Anti-oxidant News, and Jenny, a put-upon PA. And round the corner lives Oedipus Snark MP, possibly the world s only loathsome Lib Dem, who has succeeded in offending everyone he knows, and many others besides. But what dark revenge is being plotted by his mother, Berthea Snark, and by his girlfriend, Barbara Ragg.?. Codice libro della libreria AA29780349122397

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Descrizione libro Abacus 2010-05-06, 2010. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria NU-GRD-00471317

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Descrizione libro Little, Brown Book Group. Paperback. Condizione libro: new. BRAND NEW, Corduroy Mansions, Alexander McCall Smith, Welcome to Corduroy Mansions in Pimlico: a temple of Arts and Crafts architecture, with comforting, weathered brickwork and frankly frivolous dormer windows, it is home to a delightfully eccentric cast of Londoners. In the top flat lives William, with a faithful ex-vegetarian dog named Freddie de la Hay and a freeloading son who he hopes will soon fly the nest. Four lively young women share the first-floor flat, including twinset-and-pearls Caroline from Cheltenham, Dee, vitamin addict and avid subscriber to Anti-oxidant News, and Jenny, a put-upon PA. And round the corner lives Oedipus Snark MP, possibly the world's only loathsome Lib Dem, who has succeeded in offending everyone he knows, and many others besides. But what dark revenge is being plotted by his mother, Berthea Snark, and by his girlfriend, Barbara Ragg.?. Codice libro della libreria B9780349122397

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Alexander McCall Smith
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Descrizione libro Abacus, 2010. Condizione libro: New. 2010. 1St Edition. Paperback. *The new London-based series from Alexander McCall Smith, comparable in warmth and humour to 44 Scotland Street Series: Corduroy Mansions. Num Pages: 352 pages, Illustrations. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 196 x 128 x 21. Weight in Grams: 254. . . . . . . Codice libro della libreria V9780349122397

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Descrizione libro Abacus. Condizione libro: New. 2010. 1St Edition. Paperback. *The new London-based series from Alexander McCall Smith, comparable in warmth and humour to 44 Scotland Street Series: Corduroy Mansions. Num Pages: 352 pages, Illustrations. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 196 x 128 x 21. Weight in Grams: 254. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Codice libro della libreria V9780349122397

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Descrizione libro Little, Brown 2010-05-06, London, 2010. paperback. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria 9780349122397

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Descrizione libro Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Not Signed; Welcome to Corduroy Mansions in Pimlico: a temple of Arts and Crafts architecture, with comforting, weathered brickwork and frankly frivolous dormer windows, it is home to a delightfully eccentric cast of Londoners. In the top flat lives William, with a faithful ex-vegetarian dog named Freddie de l. book. Codice libro della libreria ria9780349122397_rkm

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Descrizione libro Abacus, 2010. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. BRAND NEW ** SUPER FAST SHIPPING FROM UK WAREHOUSE ** 30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE. Codice libro della libreria mon0000231081

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