The Dog Who Came in from the Cold by Alexander McCall Smith

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Toward the end of the novel one of the characters reflects: "We should all busy ourselves in being who we are, although many of us do not and spend so much of our time and energy being something else. We try to be what others want us to be, or what we ourselves want to be. And then we suddenly realise that our lives have shot past and we have not got round to being who we really are." The Dog Who Came in from the Cold is about a group of characters readers first met in Corduroy Mansions, living in or near the block of flats by that name in Pimlico. If Seinfeld was the "show about nothing," then in some ways The Dog Who Came in from the Cold is about nothing much more than people busy trying to be themselves. Just how they go about doing this, and how well they succeed at it, or not, is what makes the novels of the entertaining and endlessly inventive Alexander McCall Smith such a joy to read. Freddie de la Hay, the Pimlico terrier owned by William French, is recruited by MI6 and is wired to infiltrate a Russian spy ring. Literary agent Barbara Ragg travels to Scotland to meet her fiance's parents. Caroline sorts out her relationship with James. Dee and Martin take a chance on marketing an herbal "Sudoku remedy." And Berthea Snark intervenes when con artists try to take advantage of her gullible brother. Their lives intersect with apparent randomness, but with meaningful and sometimes comic results when their decisions lead to unintended consequences. Complicated and interconnected plots aside, It is the reflective sides of the characters and their pitch-perfect interior monologues that give their stories depth and vitality. Originally published online, a chapter a day at the Telegraph website, the novel is in the same format as the books in the 44 Scotland Street series. The short, pithy chapters give readers a lot to savor as they enjoy the crisscrossing storylines of a memorable group of people going about their lives.

Submitted by Chris @ Bay View


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This page contains a single entry by Jacki published on November 11, 2011 8:07 AM.

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