Corduroy Mansions by Alexander McCall Smith and Andrew Sachs (Audiobook/Podcasts)

Corduroy MansionsCorduroy Mansions is officially my first audiobook, and podcast! What a whole new world I had discovered when I discovered both! Can’t believe what I’d been missing all this time!

To trace back a little, I am never a good listener. As in I often miss what people say in general, even in my first language (not that I’m not patient to listen people talking — I’m good that way). Studying English in school, I scored lowest for Listening, in comparison to Grammar, Reading, and Speaking. If only I found audiobook when I was in high school!

I approached the podcasts with apprehension, but I was hooked since the first episode! Andrew Sachs is such a fantastic reader! It’s so wonderful that I found him as my first narrator. The down side of it is that after I listened to more audiobooks, all the readers (especially male readers) are pale in comparison. With Andrew Sachs, it doesn’t feel like he’s reading text. It feels like he’s talking to you out of his head.

Andrew Sachs
Andrew Sachs, my new love <3

Corduroy Mansions is I’d say typical of Alexander McCall Smith’s: cozy, safe, adorable, lightly humoured. We are presented with a quite large number of characters that live in the mansion, some their friends or family members who live somewhere else. There is very little plot. It’s mostly the musings and interaction of the characters.

The podcast is only about 6-7 minutes each, going for 100 episodes. It’s just perfect for me to listen to walking from the bus stop to my office. I listened to only a couple of episodes each day, which seemed to work very well. It’s not plot heavy, so you don’t want to rush through it, and allow to characters gradually sip in. With my listening problem, I even listened to each podcast twice until about halfway through the 100 episodes. After that I had started to build up my listening stamina, and only needed to listen once (most of the time :).

To be honest I don’t know if I would like the book if I read it instead of listening to it. But as audiobook, it’s almost perfect! Not to mention that it’s free! Thanks to Jackie @ Farm Lane Books Blog who I first knew about the podcasts from!

Have you read/listened to the book? Who’s your favorite character and who you liked the least? I actually liked a lot of the characters, even the supposedly least likeable one like MP Snark (he amused me). My least favorite is Terence Moongrove, the air-headed old man who just sounds impossible that he has lived that long in the world. My favorite characters are probably (unavoidably) Freddie de la Hay the dog and his owner William French. They’re both just so adorable.

4.5 stars
2008, 13 hours

The second book is now available, titled The Dog who Came in from the Cold. It’s up to chapter 77 now, so you can still catch up! I just started the second season a few days ago and am at chapter 8 now. Podcasts of the first book is no longer officially available, but there’s this telegraph xml link from where you can download them (get them quick before they put it down :).

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